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How to save money when travelling to Cape Town

The South African city seems to be on every traveller’s bucket list, but it needn’t be an expensive trip. Blogger Carrie Swindlehurst tells us how to save money on your Cape Town trip…

Whether you need to travel to Cape Town for business or are heading there for a holiday, there are some great ways of saving money which you should consider before booking. Even if you have already booked, there are some good ideas that you can use to cut down on unnecessary expenditure when you are in the South African city. No matter what you do whilst on your trip, keep an eye on the cost of anything that you buy because sometimes tourists report increased prices over what locals might pay for everyday items.

Air Travel

How to save money when travelling to Cape Town Global Grasshopper

Despite being a major port, most tourists travel to South Africa by air these days and you should shop around for the best deals. Flights to Cape Town are easy to book and are among the most budget-friendly packages out on the market; as such, saving money on your trip can be a breeze. Try looking for mid week flights or those which depart earlier in the morning for the best bargains. Book well in advance, before the air operators start to increase the cost of flights as their manifests fill up. Alternatively, look for last minute deals just a day or two ahead of your planned trip.


Cape Town’s airport is full of car hire companies and taxi drivers who ply their trade there. However, the public transport network is good and you can use it to save more than a few pounds over the course of your stay. There is an integrated rapid transport system which links the airport to the downtown part of the city and there are plans to expand on this network. The bus network is generally reliable. There are many bus service providers that operate all over the city. If you are in a large group, then try calling for a metered minibus. You have to phone for these because drivers are not allowed to solicit for fares.


How to save money when travelling to Cape Town Global Grasshopper

Cape Town is blessed with some of the finest and most affordable accommodation places, but there are many more which are not half so pricey. If you opt for a mid-standard hotel rather than a luxury one, you can save a fortune over the course of just a few nights. If you really want to keep your budget under control, then enquire about hostels. You might have to share a dormitory, but these can be the most cost-effective way of exploring the city without needing to spend too much.

Remember that Cape Town can be an inexpensive place to visit. Avoid the main tourist rip off areas. Additionally, don’t carry all of your money with you in one go.


  • Avatar

    johan horak

    6 June, 2014 at 9:04 am

    Hi Interesting article. Is see that you mention hotels as an option to save money. The alternative is to stay over in self catering homes. These are very popular in Cape Town. The only disadvantage is that you cannot stay for one or two nights. Normally 4 nights. And then you get the best possible deal.

    Many people visiting Cape Town as a foreigner wants to stay a few days here and few days there over two weeks. I understand why they want to do it. But that adds to the cost. And who wants to pack up and go every day from one place to another. That’s wasting good time.

    Cape Town in-area is small. Within an hours drive you can be anywhere. Rather get one base. Get a cheap rental – not from the normal guys – and use your one base to see Cape Town. This way you will save a lot of bucks.

    And if you can avoid December Jan Feb then you save more money. Peak time is in some places 5 times more expensive – accommodation wise. And Camps Bay Clifton is not the beginning and end of Cape Town. You will save a lot of money staying in the Southern Peninsula.

    Have fun


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