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Bukunmi Ogunwale: 5 Tips For Going on a Vacation without Spending a Fortune



dreamstime_l_4619630I am an advocate of travelling for leisure. You see, travelling opens up opportunities to meet new people, get adventurous, and have a breath of a new environment. Unexpected twists in experience (good or bad) during my travels have ended up teaching me real life lessons.

Traveling has also created an interest in learning more languages and cultures. I love tasting food, so I make sure I eat the local food of the places I visit, thereby exposing my tongue to a variety of taste.

But in all of this beautiful experiences I realise many travel lovers and adventure seekers have not been  doing so because they believe it is very costly, and going on one trip may involve them breaking the bank or using up their life savings.
This belief is not entirely true; but when you hear the stories of financial woes many come back to tell, about how their trip is the cause of a financial distress they are experiencing, you tend to believe travel is a luxury meant for the rich.

As much as I cannot say travelling is free, it is not necessarily expensive. I once watched a Tedx video of someone who “travels for free”. Yea, you read right. He explained how to achieve travel with minimal cost. From experience however, I see some sense and practicality in what he shared. While I cannot advise that all his methods be adopted because, come on, it’s supposed to be a holiday not a penance trip. These tips can help you have a blast on your holiday without missing a pocket.

Plan Your Trip
Taking a holiday should be considered as seriously as any other money spending venture. You don’t just wake up and go and purchase a car (at least if you’re interested in this article it’s majorly because money is a scare commodity for you too). So if you want to travel, plan your finances. Decide what sacrifices you need to make or extra work you need to do to increase your income and start saving up for the trip.

Start Small
I get everybody wants to go to UK or USA and some will even plan to acquire an accent somehow during a one or two weeks stay. I’ll say instead, if you are a low income earner with needs that outweigh your income, then maybe you should start visiting places not too far – like Ikogosi water springs in Ekiti State, Borgu Game Reserve in Kanji, Niger State, Obudu Cattle Ranch in Cross River State. You may even go to neighbouring countries and visit places like Port Novo in Benin Republic or Ghana.
While these places are relatively cheaper they will help whet your appetite and increase your love to travel more. This longing to travel the following year can also help you become more creative and keep you committed till you can save enough to go on an intercontinental trip. Outside of all this, I need not emphasise that traveling through these short distances would also help you save large cost on transportation – thereby releasing funds for you to enjoy some shopping and sightseeing.

Travel with Everything
You know you’re not rich, so don’t plan on buying your towel or summer clothes during your trip. It’s not worth it – especially if foreign exchange is involved. Even if you intend to shop, try the best you can to ensure you travel with all you need during your holiday. This way, you don’t feel pressured to buy anything out of need. This will also keep you more relaxed in making buying decisions and open you to more choices.

The Bus is Your Friend
As Nigerians it is almost in our DNA to show off. And ‘paint’ everywhere with the Nigerian colour when we travel. However, this attitude is unnecessary and may leave you with more regrets than good memories. Apart from boarding a cab from the airport to your hotel (if you did not arrange for a hotel pick up and drop off during your flight plan). It is advisable to use public bus or train in commuting.

Sharing is Fun
There is nothing as fun as traveling with friends and family. They help you feel less homesick. Having someone watching your back has security benefits too and the best part is you can share the bills.

Holiday is ever fun! You don’t need too much to embark on one. All you need is good planning and an attitude that says I want to relax, enjoy and spoil myself. But above all who knows what you can happen during a trip. It may become an eye opening experience, a life changing one, or a trip that just leaves you grateful.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

I enjoy talking with my hands on ( and other print media. But I hope one day these fingers would tell enough stories that will inspire greatness in others.


  1. Abuja Bored Girl

    June 2, 2016 at 6:22 pm

    Nice thanks for sharing.

  2. Nonso

    June 2, 2016 at 6:31 pm

    I like this article… I love travelling and going to new places. I think I should plan a small trip…
    Thanks for sharing these tips

    • UrbanTravelista

      June 4, 2016 at 8:26 pm

      Going to new places and learning more is awesome…you can pick up so much interesting skills …so yes, let the world educate you for fun..

  3. Anon

    June 2, 2016 at 6:47 pm

    Obudu Cattle Ranch is in Cross River State not Akwa Ibom State.

    • passinate crossriverian

      June 2, 2016 at 8:18 pm

      thanks dear. its so annoying that people dont know the diff between akwa ibom and cross river state. please google should be your friend!

  4. couchsurfing

    June 2, 2016 at 7:03 pm

    You forgot to mention couchsurfing. I can’t even begin to write about how that website has saved me a lot of money when I travel. If you are open-minded, not too hard to please and don’t mind sleeping on a couch then you should try CS. There are so many advantages. You get free accommodation, sometimes free food sef, if you are lucky you might find some hosts willing to offer a spare bed instead of the usual couch, you also get to meet with the locals and actually get to really experience the city you are visiting. Your host may also help you get around, tell you stories about the city………’s so nice.

    I like CS because even though I’m a student, I’m able to travel around Europe on my small budget. I only have to pay for my feeding and transportation and there are usually promos and fare discounts for students especially during the summer. I usually give my hosts chocolates and/or a nice souvenir that I probably bought during my last visit to naija as a thank you present 🙂

    Please don’t forget to hold vex money for accommodation because some of the hosts are not ‘it’ at all. I had a bad experience once, thank God I found another host on CS who was accepting last-minute guests so I didn’t need to spend my vex money.

    Another tip is that it is cheaper to travel in a group. You can just buy a train ticket for your group and this is usually cheaper than single tickets or if one of you owns a car, you just share the cost of fueling it. As for accommodation, there are some decent and affordable hostels where you can book a room for 3 people or more depending on the size of your group and split the cost. If you calculate the money you spend on group trips, you find out that you don’t spend as much compared to when you travel solo.

    Anyway, I plan to travel as much as I can now because it’s quite cheap to travel as a student. Some of the tourist sites also have discounts for students and young people.

  5. Tosin

    June 2, 2016 at 7:12 pm

    Ogun State.
    Visit Aunty …
    See Yankari

  6. Onyinye

    June 2, 2016 at 7:30 pm

    I would really love to go somewhere during my one week leave. I just need a serene environment, lots of nature, good food and to meet people. My budget is low though. Maybe 100k.. I don’t know what I can achieve with that. Any tips people? Fun places I could visit?

    • Ephi

      June 2, 2016 at 8:12 pm

      You can try La Campagne tropicana, heard it’s very serene, I’m not sure what their price is though

    • Chi

      June 3, 2016 at 3:03 pm

      Hi Onyinye. Where do you live and where would you like to travel to? I live in Ghana & don’t mind inviting a fellow woman in for a week stay free of charge.

  7. Jokinglyserious

    June 2, 2016 at 11:02 pm

    -The best way to save on food is travel with Indomie. It’s space effective in the luggag, you can soak it, eat it raw, yes, raw. Like a snack.
    -The part about using public transport should not be underestimated. It cost WAY less to travel with public transport in many European countries than doing taxis. Just ask how to buy tickets or travel cards.
    -Google is your friend, even on holiday. Google free tours and location
    – don’t buy food and souvenirs at the city centres or tourist hot spots. Buying them in the regular markets will save you half the cost.
    -You can save lots of money staying in hostels. Most are comfortable and offer complimentary breakfast buffet. Because it is buffet, You can make a free sandwich to take along for lunch. You can also get fruits and to munch and drink
    -Another trick is to go to the paid spots when the day is almost over. Might get in for free

  8. Somebody

    June 2, 2016 at 11:33 pm

    If your hotel accommodation comes with complimentary breakfast, then eat well and travel with cereal for lunch so you don’t spend so much on food.

  9. Yeyeperry

    June 3, 2016 at 9:06 am

    Bae we should go on on vacation o

    • Bodunade

      June 3, 2016 at 10:29 am

      Idanre Hills, December 2016

  10. Mo!

    June 3, 2016 at 10:15 am

    Bukunmi, are you planning any travel soon.

  11. Ivie

    June 3, 2016 at 10:46 am

    Please correct this, obudu is in cross river state

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