While technology perks a traveler’s curiosity by opening them up to a world of opportunities and options they would never have considered, Africa still needs a major push in this direction. Global statistics indicate that more than 50% of travel research, booking and buying is done online, our contribution to the data is nothing to write home about. This is probably collaborated by a report by Jana-an emerging Market Research Firm that places Kenyan ‘often’ online buyers at 9.36% against Nigeria’s 9.75 and South Africa’s 15.8%.
Our e-commerce uptake needs a leap forward; and so does our faith in online trading especially when it comes to payment options!
Back to e-tourism, we know little or nothing beyond the first hotel that appears on the Search Engine! As Lillian Gaitho of Jovago.com, a leading online hotel booking platform quips, ‘we need to embrace technology as it has greatly levelled both the traveler’s and the operator’s playfield”. Anyone willing to go beyond the norm opens themselves to a limitless list of options, “no need to rack up hotel rates that will leave you feeling more regretful than refreshed” she advises.
Here is a list oftop five options to help you manage your holiday budget without cutting on the indulgence!
Glamping maybe in vogue, but sure enough the comfort comes with a cost.
Apart from offering one an escape from the routine, the limitless supply
of fresh air and the exercising opportunities are a great reward to your health.
Family campingis a great way to build a closer relationship
between parents and kids. While choosing a camping site,
consider the activities you’d want to engage in e.g. Rapids Camp
in Kenya is an incredible choice for lovers of water sports; chose a camping site on a hospitable beach or along river banks offer similar activities.
Best for single individuals as they grant enough deal of independence, hostels are also fertile grounds for those looking to meet and mingle! If planning for a Gorilla-Tracking Trip in Rwanda for instance, couples without children will find quite affordable accommodation in listings such as Discover Rwanda Youth Hostel.
The furnishingsmainly range from single beds in shared dormitories to private rooms within the hostel premises. This option is best suited for pilgrims and backpackers with stop-overs on their holiday route. Remember too, privacy is not the best feature of this kind of accommodationas ablution facilities are most likely to be shared. You may also need to be comfortable with just basic suppliers; no room telephone, ACs or room service!
Holiday Hosting and Home-Stays
Just like the hotel booking process, you need to be very diligent when looking for a home stay option for your holiday. These will include private rooms in the guest’s main house, separate guest wing or specially designed structures within the host’s home such as Tree houses, pent houses etc. Unless you personally know the host, it’s important to book through a trusted mutual accomplice for obvious security reasons. Holiday Home-stays offer travelers a real-experience of their surroundings as they are open to integrate the host’s daily activities into their holiday itinerary.
A great choice for families-on-vacation. While some come with an in-house chef, others like Diani Beach Villa Cottages feature a well equipped kitchen, leaving you to enjoy your own culinary! There are a countlessadvantages to self-catering cottages as opposed to in-house-chefs; you are not tied to the latter’s skills, you can bring in an extra visitor without much effect on the budget and roam away to try out local cuisine. To reduce costs, consider pooling with a second family. This will of course depend on the size ofthe cottage. One of the amiable effectsof holiday-pooling include having someone to watch over the children for some me- time!
While Hotels are furnished with little niceties of luxury and comfort such as Jacuzzis, swimming pools, childcare and many more; motels are simple and built to host guests breaking distance to a destination. This however does not limit their ability to cater; although devoid of ‘luxury’ motels will make a great option for budget travelers, the duration too is not limited and you can book a full vacation. One more thing worth of note is that unlike hotels, motels are not star-rated and you may have to rely on word of mouth as well as online reviews from previous guests.
Again, just like when making a hotel booking, read through any cancellation policy and understand the terms before signing on the dotted line!