Nigerians love to travel and explore new places, but why do we see so many limitations? There is an abundance of information on the internet on how people can travel for cheap but the vast majority of this information is for travellers from Europe and the Americas.
The Village Pot aims to fill the gap in information for travellers from Nigeria. In this Taste the World on a Budget series, we explore the opportunities for Nigerians to travel and experience exciting adventures without breaking the bank.
It is no secret that cost is often the major reason why people who want to travel cannot do so as often as they would like.
If you’re fortunate, you might be able to make major savings on every aspect of your trip. However, major savings in one portion (tickets, accommodation, where to go, etc.) could be the difference between whether or not you can make a trip.
So, each tip is important on its own as well as in combination with other tips, for greater savings.
Here are 4 ways to cut the cost of travel simply by changing the location of where you choose to visit.
Visit ECOWAS and other nearby countries.
By visiting countries in the West African region, travel costs are often automatically cut significantly.
There are 14 other countries (apart from Nigeria) officially registered with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
In the region alone, some countries are francophone (such as Benin and Senegal), others are Anglophone (Ghana, Gambia, Liberia, etc) while others are Lusophone (such as Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau).
With ECOWAS countries, you save on the hassle and costs of visa applications as all ECOWAS passport holders have access to other ECOWAS countries visa free.
Nearby countries outside ECOWAS, such as Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea and Sao Tome & Principe are also good options to visit without breaking the bank.
As distance is a major determinant of the cost of flight tickets, a closer country will usually cost less to get to than a farther one. Also, it is possible to visit neighbouring countries by road transport, thereby reducing the cost of transport. The Nigeria – Benin – Togo – Ghana route is a popular and affordable one on commercial road transport companies such as ABC Transport.
2.Visit countries whose national airlines fly into and out of Nigeria.
Distance is not the only factor by which ticket prices are determined. In fact, there is a host of determining factors and they can sometimes be unpredictable.
If a country’s airline flies into and out of Nigeria, it is a good indication that the route is popular and this can provide affordable ticket prices.
For instance, even though South Africa is a considerable distance from Nigeria, direct flights on South African Airways from Lagos to Johannesburg ensure that tickets are often affordable.
Kenya is another affordable place to visit because on Kenya Airways, travellers can visit Nairobi from Lagos and Abuja for decent prices.
Some of the countries with airlines flying into and out of Nigeria are Britain (British Airways), Dubai (Emirates), Ethiopia (Ethiopian Airlines), France (Air France), Kenya (Kenya Airways), Morocco (Air Maroc), Rwanda (Rwanda Air), South Africa (South African Airways), Turkey (Turkish Airlines) – for a full list of airlines operating out of Nigeria, click here.
3. Visit countries with weaker currencies.
It is amazing the world of difference such a seemingly non-issue can make. Look out for countries whose currencies are similar to or weaker than that of your home country.
For instance, travelling to Tanzania or Zambia from Nigeria will guarantee greater purchasing power. As of August, 2016, 1,000 Nigerian Naira could buy 16,410 Zambian Kwacha and 7,000 Tanzanian Shillings.
It is also a plus that the cost of living in these countries is not high, so the Naira or Dollar will go a long way.
As of August, 2016, One hundred thousand Nigerian Naira could only buy 230 British Pounds and 200 US Dollars; which are worth a lot but will not go as far in the UK and US as their Naira equivalent would go in Nigeria.
4. Visit a country where you have friends or family.
Since accommodation costs can be a major portion of a trip’s budget, visiting a country with family and/or friends means that you can save on this cost. Put the saved money towards other things like tickets and exploring the new place.
Do you have any other tips on how to travel for cheap from Nigeria? The beautiful world is worth tasting and your experience is highly valued.