SA travellers do it the cheap way

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iol travel aug 7 saa plane INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS SAAs service makes travel convenient, affordable and fairly quick. Photo: Sydney Seshibedi

Durban - Most South Africans are willing to sacrifice comfort to explore new frontiers, according to a new survey.

In a poll of more than 3 000 businesses, tourists and travellers, booking website discovered that nearly a third of South Africans spend only $21 (R219) a day while travelling, with 62 percent willing to sacrifice eating out at restaurants and 42 percent willing to give up partying at bars and nightclubs.

After these, the indulgences tourists most commonly jettison are junk food (40 percent), alcohol (39 percent) and cigarettes (33 percent). They have also become fastidious and unceasing in the quest for a frugal flight: 42 percent will get more than three quotations from travel sites before booking a plane.

Scattered throughout the survey responses lay bits of advice for aspiring low-budgeters. “Make your own snacks to take with you everywhere,” one respondent wrote. Others advised sticking to a pre-established budget, combining breakfast and lunch and staying in hotels further away from bustling metropolitan areas.

“Some of the habits were surprising,” said Nick Paul, Travelstart’s social media manager. He cited travellers’ willingness to skimp on restaurant fare as a particularly unexpected finding, saying his company thought most tourists viewed dining out as a basic part of their travel experiences.

He said the survey’s results could alter the way his company and the tourism industry would cater to tourists and travellers in the long run.

But despite astronomical charges for international data roaming, most travellers refused to be disconnected from social media and the internet, with only 27 percent saying they would forsake their smart phones and laptops for the health of their bank accounts.

Russell Jarvis, Travelstart’s content manager, cited the powerful role social media could play in “bragging rights” while abroad. With a few hashtags and an Instagrammed photo of an exotic locale, he said, a traveller’s social status “is immediately elevated”. - The Mercury

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