There’s a saying that you do not have to be rich to travel well. Travelling is about adventures, learning, experience, fun, and stress relief. You do not need a boat trip in the Maldives or riding camels in the desert in Dubai before you have a one-of-a-kind travelling experience. It is possible to travel on a budget in Nigeria.
The possibilities are affordable if you do it the right way by making certain rules and guidelines for yourself. Therefore, if you are looking for the best ways to make your dream of seeing the world without breaking the bank come true, keep reading.
9 Tips for Nigerians to Travel on A Budget in Nigeria
Choose affordable destinations
When picking locations for travel, make sure you have a reason for visiting and let it always align with your interest. Mindless wandering is great if your pocket is heavy. However, the plan is to travel on a budget in Nigeria. Therefore, you need to plan out everything as much as possible.
What do you want from this trip? What kind of trip do you want it to be? Is it to discover something? Or simply to try out new things? Is it to rest and have a fulfilling vacation? Or to check out a famous spot? Is it to have fun with friends?
Once you have a reason for travelling, it’s easier to pick a destination. No matter your reason, there is a location that you can afford if travelling on a budget in Nigeria. If it is to have fun with friends, the Ikogosi Warm Springs at Ekiti State is a good option for a cheap vacation spot.
It is also important to pick somewhere that has interesting packages for cheaper prices. The beauty of Nigeria is that there are a lot of beautiful places in each state. You do not need sunset pictures at the beach to achieve an aesthetic in your pictures. You can milk all that you can from your travel on a budget in Nigeria.
Check for free activities at your chosen destinations
If you are travelling with a group, it is relatively cheaper. This is because most vacation spots have group deals and coupons that are useful if you travel on a budget in Nigeria. Also, some vacation spots have certain free periods. You can check for these options online or ask around from locals.
Asking for free things can be embarrassing, but you should not care. You have an advantage if you speak the language of the community you are going to as you would be able to haggle easily and conveniently. So, ask. Locals usually know the good places in the location. They have information that you may not find online.
If you cannot ask, a search on the internet is not an unconvincing option for a cheap vacation. You can work with what you find. While googling free things to do in Lagos State, many interesting options were available. One of them is the LVI Art Gallery, a very prolific art gallery that provides free visits at certain times during weekdays. If you are travelling to experience cultures and arts, you can find that in Lagos State with a low budget.
In Lagos, you can check for other art galleries that have free admission such as Terra Kulture Art Gallery. You can also go to the New Afrika Shrine, The Cathedral Church of Christ, The Ikeja City Mall, Iga Idungaran, and even observe the Eyo Festival. Lagos State is one of the most expensive places in Nigeria. If you wish to travel on a budget in Nigeria, indulging in free activities would help you enjoy even the second most expensive city in Nigeria.
Avoid tourist spots
This is because non-tourist spots are easier to get into for free. Using Ekiti State as an example, there are many cheap vacation spots to visit depending on the purpose of your vacation. They include Ewi’s Palace, Olosunta Hills, Fajuyi Memorial Park and Esa Cave, amongst others.
The point is you can have fun without visiting the most popular places in a city or state. These places are usually cheap vacation spots and would facilitate your travel on a budget in Nigeria. If you think of yourself as an adventurous person, this is a chance to let the experiences lead your journey. There is a possibility that you will find a hidden gem in these non-tourist spots. Travelling on a low budget is possible if you look at the right places and spots.
Read also: Ibeno Beach tourist centre in Nigeria
Use cheaper transportation means
You can easily shuffle the transportation modes in Nigeria. If you wish to take your car to travel interstate, it’d be too expensive to travel on a budget in Nigeria. You have to factor in fuel price, the state of security and how exhausting driving for hours is. However, if the distance to your destination is not very far from your point of take-off, you can drive yourself.
That said, the most affordable and advisable transportation mode to travel on a budget in Nigeria is public transportation. If you are confused about which ones to take to a certain place, ask people around.
Another viable option is taking an Uber. However, in times when Uber is expensive, you can take a cab to your destination. If you are feeling adventurous, you can decide to walk around. You have higher chances of seeing more of your environment and taking interesting candid pictures.
Pick an off-season period
Celebratory seasons are interlocked with price hikes and crowds in tourist spots. If you decide to travel to a major tourist spot, pick a time that doesn’t align with a seasonal celebration. Also, because there are not always many people during off-season periods, there are deals and discounts that tourists can enjoy at that particular time.
February to May are off-season periods. To travel on a budget in Nigeria does not mean that you won’t have fun or go to touristy sites. You just have to pick a perfect time of the year. The crowd during the off-season period is usually little. Imagine visiting Olumo at Abeokuta in March or on a weekend. You can have your cheap vacation at that time.
Find cheap accommodation
If you are planning to stay a few days at your destination, accommodation is necessary. You can stay for free with someone you know or an acquaintance. However, if you do not know anybody at the location, you still have options for a cheap vacation. When picking accommodation, think of where you are going to explore. That is your vacation spot. It wouldn’t be ideal to pick somewhere far from your vacation spots.
Staying somewhere central where you can get easy access to public transport, local attractions and food outlets is a good option for you to travel on a budget in Nigeria. However, if you cannot find a cheap place to stay in the central spots, stay somewhere slightly outside the city centre.
If you decide to stay at a hotel, ask for deals and discounts that you can use. Do not be shy or embarrassed to ask. If you are travelling with a group, there are usually discounts. Also, you can get a bigger room that can house as many people as possible and then split the bill among yourselves. This is a tested and trusted method to travel on a budget in Nigeria.
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Pack only necessary items
If you are going to be travelling by plane, it is better that you travel light. This is because airlines bill you extra amounts for heavy baggage. Apart from this obvious reason, travelling light is cheaper and more comfortable. You will be doing a lot of moving around and you plan to travel on a budget. Now, imagine lugging a heavy bag around. It is definitely not going to be easy on your arms and back.
You should pack essentials such as a toothbrush, bathing soaps, toothpaste, deodorant and other important toiletries. Also, pack according to where you are going. You do not want to buy things that you already have since you are travelling on a budget.
If you will be going to the Yankari Game Reserve or Zuma Rock, taking a breathable sneaker along with cotton clothes would be a great idea. You would not need to buy these items at the place anymore and you will save money. If where you are going is usually cold, take a jacket with you.
Read also: Money-saving apps for Nigerians
Avoid far destinations
The phrase, “cut your coat according to your cloth” comes into play here. Your reality is that you want to travel on a budget in Nigeria. Picking a place far away from your take-off spot is not advisable. The cost of transportation and travelling would increase. If you are staying in the Northern part of Nigeria, planning a cheap vacation to the South-West is not a feasible option. Even if you are travelling in your car, the amount of fuel and overnight stops you would have to make will make your trip expensive.
For far distance trips, you have a lot of things to consider such as security, fatigue, food and accommodation. If, however, you want to go to a far place, taking public buses and a train is a viable option. You would spend more than you would have for a closer distance.
Some cities are expensive to tour. An example would be the federal capital territory in Abuja. It is the most expensive city in Nigeria. Hence, it is advisable to avoid places like that while you travel on a budget in Nigeria. Smaller cities and less popular towns have places with beautiful scenery and attractive environments that you can tour. You can opt for these places that are very much affordable.
As earlier stated, your reason for travelling would affect your choice of destination. If you want to walk and tour on the beach, opt for Barracuda Beach instead of the popular Oniru beach. If you want to go mountain or rock climbing, opt for Idanre Hill in Ondo State instead of Zuma Rock in Abuja. You experience what you want to at a different location for a cheaper price and enjoy travelling on a budget.
Read also: Tips to travel safely in and out of Nigeria
Have a budget and stick to it
Making a budget is an important part of travelling. You have to think expansively to be able to come up with a budget. Your travel destination is an intricate part of your budget.
For far distance travelling, the expenditure would be more. Your intended accommodation would also determine your budget. To travel on a budget in Nigeria is relative to your travelling style. The activities you wish to take part in would also determine the extent of your budget.
Think of the cost of living where you are going. In big cities like FCT Lagos, and Port Harcourt, the cost of living is higher. Hence, situate your budget to fit in the reality of the city. Once again, avoid expensive cities when you travel on a low budget and decide what your priorities for the trip are. This would help you plan how you want to spend your money. Start saving for your trip and make sure you stick to the budget tightly.
You can take on an adventure anywhere as long as you can afford it. For students and other people with low income looking for a cheap vacation, you can travel on a budget in Nigeria and still enjoy yourself to the fullest.
Remember that you should not go for a larger-than-life place just because it’s popular. Rather, the experience that you wish to have should curtail your budget. When you travel on a budget in Nigeria, it can still be fun and you would be left with wonderful stories to tell. Always make a sustainable budget and do not spend frivolously. Enjoy but do not stretch your pocket.
Do you have other useful tips for travelling on a budget in Nigeria? Feel free to engage in the comments section. Is there a unique travel experience you’d love to talk about? Send us a message on Whatsapp.