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Wanderlust with Lola: 5 Tips For Enjoying Travel Without Worrying Too Much About Money

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BN Picture for Bio Lola EkugoMost great experiences cost something and with so many travel magazines and commercials highlighting expensive tours and exotic locations it is no surprise that the idea of travel has become over hyped and seemingly a luxury.

However the world has evolved and technology has brought affordable travel to your doorstep. With savvy websites, tools and apps like Air BnB, couchsurfing and even Nigeria’s own gomyway.com travel has become much easier.

But why travel? I can’t even begin to tell you the plethora of benefits travel brings to the table. It renews and expands your mind and in essence make us more open and adaptable. The knowledge gained can be worthwhile and even the part about learning new things about yourself can be extraordinary.

For me, there was a time decades ago when, whenever I heard travel, it automatically meant shopping but I have learnt that travel need not be all about that. So, if you are thinking of how to start exploring the world here are some tips to help you get you going!

Embrace travel and keep your needs to the minimum
It’s about the joy of a new experience and the memories, many of these are free – like exploring a new city on foot, bonding with the locals, experiencing the local cuisine and street foods and markets, climbing to the top of a hill. You can see the city from a different perspective, see historic sites and watch the sunset from the beach.

Learning different cultures and experiencing it yourself makes life really interesting. For instance visiting the famous Mount Kilimanjaro most of us learnt about in school or eating the sumptuous delicacy Ugba in a local joint in the east! It’s all about the experiences.

Aim to visit a new place every year and save up
Yes, it may be a visit to Abuja or Paris but with the right planning you can make it happen. Having a target helps you plan and saving up makes a huge difference. The great Dalai Lama said “Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before” for a reason! And for those Dubai, London and USA frequenters, go somewhere else this year! Explore wonderful Thailand, see the Calanques in Cassis, South of France or the natural caves in Palma, Spain, see mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, go on a Safari in Kenya or do some local tourism, visit the suspended lake in Osun state or the Gurara falls in Niger state, just somewhere other than Dubai!

Start planning early and be flexible
Be flexible with your holiday plans. Planning some of your holidays during off peak times or booking in advance, sometimes this can make a huge difference and with so many budget airlines around now your hard earned money can go a long way. Alternatively, you can just go somewhere with the cheapest flight available. With Emirates, most times you can get the same price for a ticket to one of their destinations even if you choose to stop over in Dubai for a few days first, because you always have to stop over in Dubai no matter where you are going when you fly with Emirates. Nigeria’s very own GoMyWay also allows you to travel across the country for cheap by sharing a ride with a verified member who has spare seats in their car.

Travel with a friend or Visit a friend
If you travel with friends, hotel costs can be shared and you can save by staying in a serviced apartment with sites like Air BnB and couchsurfing. Travel accommodation has become more affordable in these times.

Travel to Visa free countries
Visa procedures can sometimes be daunting so why not start with a visa free country. Did you know that with a Nigerian passport you can travel to about 44 countries (Visa on Arrival for some).

If you have lots of time on your hands and would like to travel long term there are teaching opportunities around the world or summer camps where you work when you arrive but you travel for free, you can find some on Workaway website. Are you thinking of exploring a new city soon?

Lola is a Developer/ Business Analyst with a knack for adventure and travelling the world. She is a first class graduate of Business Information Systems from Middlesex University, London. She loves using technology to solve problems and has launched 2 start-ups.She is a writer and photographer drawing inspiration from her travels to over 25 Countries. Follow her on Instagram: @weekenderhq and visit her website: www.WeekenderHQ.com

18 Comments

  1. bijouxthisbijouthat

    June 28, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    informative article as always… LOVES IT!!!

  2. Doctor 68009

    June 28, 2016 at 5:47 pm

    Informative, thanks Lola
    I plan on visiting Abuja for the 1st time and this article came In very handy?

  3. o

    June 28, 2016 at 5:50 pm

    Nice article. Having done UK, US, Ireland and France in the past, I’m now looking forward to my first African trip to Ghana. Seeing as exchange rate is playing ping pong and I’m determined to see somewhere new every year. Accra and Elmina here I come…. *excited much*

    • ThatGhanaChick

      June 29, 2016 at 12:46 pm

      I hope you enjoy Ghana. akwaaba(welcome)

    • o

      June 29, 2016 at 6:19 pm

      Thanks ThatGhanaChick.

      I took the tips you left on a previous post and booked the Coconut Grove resort. I was torn btw that and Hans Cottage but Coconut Grove has better reviews on Trip Advisor. Hopefully I will enjoy it. Thanks!

    • Ade

      June 30, 2016 at 10:14 am

      Hello ThatGhanaChick,
      I plan to come to Ghana for the first time too in August.
      Any ideas please?
      Thanks.

  4. Oma

    June 28, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    Thanks Lola, i am planning a trip to Accra this year. I initially wanted to go in July but when i considered its rainy season and i really would like to be close to the beaches, i am rescheduling for November. Anyone in the house visited Accra, any tips you wanna share?

    • Ajala & Foodie

      June 29, 2016 at 12:57 am

      I visited Accra some years ago, it was one of those trips I used to introduce my hubby to the whole idea of travel. I do not know for sure how things are now as this was 8 years ago but we did the whole slave trade tour, the beach was not my thing personally as it was extremely crowded and not much of a difference from Lagos beaches. The food however was fantastic, we stayed at the Novotel and they offered complimentary breakfast. Rooms were ok and service was good as well (again this was 8 years ago). We ate out for the most part (outside the hotel) we enjoyed food from the local “bukas” more than we did food at the fast food joints. We did the Mall too (don’t ask me why) but again not my thing but it might be worth the experience. I would definitely visit Accra again should the opportunity present itself.

    • Oma

      June 29, 2016 at 5:40 pm

      Thank you @Ajala&Foodie

    • Dee one

      June 29, 2016 at 5:39 pm

      Went to Accra in 2010 and I stayed at the shangrila hotel, can’t remember how much it cost per night. It’s about 10mins drive from the airport and a walking distance to shoprite Accra mall. Its Luke a large compound with tiny bungalows scattered all around plus a pool and a tennis court, very cosy feeling. The hotel offers complementary breakfast and I bought most of my food from shoprite, quite affordable then.
      Some of the places I visited were the kankum national park, elmina castle and one crocodile place close to elmina castle. The journey from Accra to those places was between one and two hours max, so it would be good to set out early.

  5. toju okeme

    June 28, 2016 at 10:05 pm

    nice post and a gud infomation

  6. Mabel

    June 28, 2016 at 11:04 pm

    Going on my first cruise next month. I hope the Goddess gives us beautiful days and calm seas. I am also looking forward to eating freely, this diet is?

  7. Wanderlust _Trekeffect

    June 29, 2016 at 2:21 am

    Why my name though??? lol

    Are there agencies in Nigeria that specialize in volunteering? I think that’s also a good way to travel, after med school I took a year off to volunteer in medical fields, I volunteered in 12 countries in one year, from Europe, to Asia, to Australia and NZ to south America and Africa. Although visa may be an issue for holders of Nigerian passport however if there was an agency in Nigeria they’ll be able to craft the process to favour the nationals. Most volunteer services come with free food and accommodation and you can volunteer in areas specific to your interest.
    I believe it’s a very healthy habit for folks to adopt.

    • "changing moniker"

      June 29, 2016 at 12:58 pm

      I would like to volunteer for 3-6months…..to teach.
      I wish i could go and still have my job when i return.
      i’m in Nigeria. has anyone ever done a thing like that in Nigeria and still had their job when they got back?
      Even if it means piling up my annual leave, sick days, etc for two years….

    • Wanderlust _Trekeffect

      June 29, 2016 at 3:19 pm

      I think it would depend on the institution you work for, you could try finding out from colleagues or seniors at your work place. They could probably make an exception for you, most likely without pay though.

  8. amanda

    June 30, 2016 at 11:55 am

    hey guys i found a wonderful place in phuket Thailand …any one who is interest should visit this website.phuketvillasworld.com….great……enjoy holidays …..

  9. EVRA

    June 30, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    nice piece lola….you said everything i think about travels and more…
    however, two quotes i saw sometime ago help inspire my quest for traveling.
    1. At the tube located in departure wing of MMA , a poster reads ”A mind once stretched, never returns to it’s original size. -Warldof Emerson
    2. At the entrance to disney animal kingdom, Orlando Fl, a banner reads “‘Let the memories begin””

    my point is, when u travel, the mind is stretched and those memories linger forever, never to be recovered from…….

  10. Kenya Travel Tips

    September 4, 2016 at 2:32 pm

    Being an ardent African safari enthusiast I tend to gravitate towards adventure and relaxation. You will find me on a safari in Kenya, Tanzania and Botswana and getting some downtime in Diani Beach and the beautiful beaches of Lamu.

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