21 Tips to Help You Save Money While Traveling in Kenya
If you want to travel cheaper, longer and better, you need to make your money last on the road. Every shilling adds up and even if you are only traveling for two weeks, it’s better to spend money on activities and meals you want instead of giving it to the banks or wasting it on unnecessary expenses.
If you are planning on Kenya as your next travel destination, expect the trip to be a bit pricey. However, with these tips, you’ll still be able to enjoy your travel to Kenya while cutting costs and saving money.
Keep reading and find out more about how you can stretch your money on the road and avoid costly mistakes on your next holiday in Kenya.
- Look for free activities
If you do a little research, you’ll see there are often lots of free activities around Kenya. Look at event calendars to see what is going on in cities such as Nairobi and Mombasa while you’re there. Do a self-guided walking tour to familiarize yourself with your destination. Some museums and tourist sites have free days or when they are discounted. Before you go anywhere, make sure you look on their website or social media pages to find out if they offer free visiting hours or discounts.
- Shop at local stores and farmer’s markets
Farmers’ markets often lower the price of their food towards the end of the day. Also, shopping at local vibandas allows you to taste the local cuisine without having to pay the price of a restaurant. Buy some local fish and cook it up at your condo.
- Talk to the locals
Such a simple tip but a very good one. Get insider tips from locals. It can go a long way to good advice, friendship and even a discount. A good icebreaker is to ask for directions or simple advice.
- Carry snacks/water during outings
Kids will need snacks while you are exploring, and can really drive you crazy to spend money on silly snacks. Throw some crisps in your bag and pull them out when the kids need fuel. Always carry your own water. However, splurge when it comes to treats you can only find in that location.
- Don’t wait to buy it there
Avoid the “Oh! I will just buy it when I get there”. Stuff like toiletries and sunscreens are usually less expensive than they are at your destination, so bring them with you.
- Spend more time in fewer places
Instead of racing from one end of Kenya to the other, or tearing through 6 counties in 1 week, get to know the region well. Undertaking too many flights, bus trips, train journeys and driving long distances can really eat into your budget. So slow down, take more in, and discover all the cool free stuff.
- Be flexible with your flight dates
If possible, give yourself the best chance to capture any of the cheap flights when the prices fluctuate by searching a couple of days, or even weeks, either side of your preferred departure date.
- Follow on social media
- Go camping
- Walk as much as you can
Driving rented vehicles or taking cabs during your travel can greatly increase your expenses. Add to that is the cost of gas.
For a cheaper solution to these concerns, consider taking walks if your destination isn’t that far – walking is free. Get active and see things at a slower pace. You can experience more by just wandering around Mombasa or Nairobi and getting lost, talking with the locals, and people watching. Explore local markets, wander and take photos, or even hike to the top of a hill for an awesome view.
- Travel like the locals
Public transport is a great resource. Use it where possible. You get vast knowledge and insight by hanging with the locals, it costs you less and is a more authentic traveling experience.
- Eat street foods
The real reason you should eat street food is that it’s cheap, you help the locals, and it’s safe – you can see what is actually being cooked and is cooked fresh right in front of you. Pay attention to where the locals eat and what is popular.
- Bargain – it’s expected in Kenya
But don’t over bargain. Some locals tend to overcharge the mzungu. A hundred shillings is nothing to you but may mean a day’s worth of meals to the person you are haggling with.
- Travel with a group
If you want to save money and cut the actual cost of your trip, consider planning your travel to Kenya with your friends.
Having a group to go with can cut down your trip’s total cost since you won’t need to shoulder all of the expenses and fees alone. In addition to helping you save, traveling with a group can also make the trip more enjoyable.
- Use a travel agency or hire a tour operator
When traveling to a new city, it is very convenient to have your own tour operator. Although it may require additional cost, having a tour guide can help you plan out your travel within your budget. When talking to your tour operator, lay out your expectations, wants and budget limitations.
Travel agencies offer package deals on flights and hotels that are often much cheaper than you’d get by paying for them separately. Plus they’ll do the planning and have great recommendations since they do this every day. This will help you save time, money and effort since a travel agency or operator knows where to get the cheapest deals in the area. They are familiar with the most affordable places, activities and locations to go.
If you really want to save much, then don’t be shy to ask for assistance while traveling.
- Have a big lunch
Restaurants often offer lunch specials at less expensive prices. You could also buy extra food at lunch and save it for dinner later.
- Travel off-season
If you are to travel to Kenya, be sure to plan your trip off-season since plane tickets are much cheaper at this time. Hotels rooms are less expensive and there may be more availability. You will not have to deal with large crowds at attractions and could also be cheaper at that time. Just make sure places are open.
- Don’t get the best room
How much time are you going to use your room? Will you just be sleeping there? Do you need a room with a good view or so much extra space? Will you use the amenities such as a pool or fitness room?
- Stay outside a city
You often pay for location, and it’s sometimes cheaper to stay away from an area with big tourist attractions. You can always go to the attractions and then head back to your hotel and sleep.
- Before you look, be aware of the location where you’re staying
Transportation can add up quickly especially during the evenings and early mornings, so you may want to stay in a central location. Ideally, somewhere you can walk everywhere would work best.
- Create a budget and stick to it!
Know when to save and when to splurge. Look for ways to have money but also treat yourself during the trip. Having a budget is a wonderful way to keep yourself on track.
These are the best tips that can help you save money when traveling to wonderful places. If you are planning to travel to Kenya, make sure to keep these things in mind to make your trip more enjoyable and budget-friendly.
What are your tips for saving money while traveling? There are still so many cool new tips and hacks to discover, so if I missed out anything, I’d welcome your tips and feedback below.