There are budget friendly tips that wont break the bank when planning that end of year holiday.

December holidays are on the cards and for those who are planning their December holiday now, here are some tips to consider. 

Be location smart

South Africa has a range of places that one can enjoy.  South Africa offers a number of extraordinary destinations to explore ranging from beaches to bush. Some areas, like Cape Town, KwaZulu Natal and the Eastern Cape even offer the best of both.

Why not opt for the lesser-frequented areas? For instance, if you’re looking for a beach holiday, instead of popular locations, why not consider the likes of Paternoster as an alternative to Cape Town or Richards Bay as an alternative to Durban. 

For a guaranteed laid-back holiday experience, why not consider the Pilanesberg or consider staying in Mpumalanga which is in close proximity to not only the Kruger National Park, but also wonderful local treasures such as the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve, the Mac Mac Falls, Bourke’s Potholes and many more.

 Be the early bird and lookout for specials


Don’t miss the deadline. To ultimately ensure that you get the December break you’ve been waiting for, book as early as possible. There are some fantastic specials to benefit from, especially if you book early.

Pay for four, stay for five nights and similar offers are definitely out there. At this time of the year, a number of hotels and resorts are also likely to offer discounted rates especially if your travel plans can be more flexible. There are always the quieter periods before and after the peak times when properties still have availability and are willing to reduce their rates. 

The same applies to airfares. Airlines will often have early-bird or last-minute deals available you just have to be quick enough to catch them!

 Research can go a long way. Research your destination of choice to establish beforehand what is available to you.

Cities such as Paris and the UK offer tourist passes which include transport and entry into many museums. Also research whether you can pre-book site visits which will not only provide you with peace of mind to know that you will be skipping long queues, but it can in some instances save you with volatile exchange rates.

Chances are that you will also be taking your mobile device with you, and with international roaming costs being what they are, look into buying a local pre-paid sim card. Also check on the availability and costs of Wi-Fi or where the best spots are to get free coverage. 

Travelling to Continental Europe? Food and drink in cafes are always much cheaper at the bar than at a table. An expresso in Rome might cost €1 at the bar, €3.5 if you take a table.

Be smart about it


Always ensure that you book through an established and well-recognised travel company that is ASATA-accredited, to ensure that you not only get what you are paying for, but that you have added support back home in case you need it.

All you will have to do now is sit back and count the days until your December escape.

Tips provided by Thompsons Travel.