Is there such a thing as a budget friendly vacation or destination for Nigerians these days? In the time it has taken me to complete this post, after letting it sit in my drafts for so long, the prices for vacations from Nigeria have exponentially increased, and are still trending upwards.
Places that I would have originally considered subjectively cheap destinations to visit now cost significantly more than they did only a few years ago. Nevertheless, if we benchmark the cost of travel to what is obtainable these days, there are still some destinations that I would classify as being budget friendly.
I feel the need to mention that a budget friendly international destination will differ for most people. So, keeping that in mind, I will benchmark this post against a per-person upper price limit of $1,500 for a one-week vacation, including flights.
Note that the destinations in West Africa, especially if you visit by road, will fall way under this limit.
Also, note that this post considers only international destinations and has Nigeria as the base travel country. It considers flights and accommodation prices, booked in advance, during shoulder to peak seasons.
The prices for flights for all destinations featured here, when I checked 3 months ahead, are under $650 (at the time of this writing – June 2023). Some destinations might be cheaper if you manage to score flight deals and use cheaper or free accommodation options available.
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What's Covered in this Post
Budget Friendly Vacations from Nigeria: Factors I have considered…
In addition, to make up this list, I have considered a few factors including the ease and cost of obtaining a visa, the cost of transportation to get to the destination, and accommodation, including single supplements for solo travellers.
I have also considered the ease of travelling within the country and the price for what I consider a wholesome destination experience.
I think that’s enough for a disclaimer. Now, let’s get into the list! First up, budget friendly destinations for solo travellers. All destinations in this category are also perfect for group travellers and families.
1. Budget Friendly Vacations for Solo Travellers – West African Road Trip (Benin Republic, Togo, Ghana)
I am so glad to see more Nigerians embrace West African destinations for their vacations. This is the ultimate budget travel hack, which is visiting places closer to you. From Nigeria, road trips are possible and fairly easy to embark on to countries like the Benin Republic and Togo.
Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire are also destinations that can be reached via a longer road trip and the journey is more enjoyable when broken up along the way.
These countries all lie along the West African coast, so you can find a quiet beachside accommodation to enjoy a relaxing time and you can do it all on a budget too!
Relatively cheap direct flights via the country’s National carrier and its visa free policy for Nigerian passport holders make Rwanda a perfect budget friendly vacation destination.
Getting around the country is quite affordable and relatively easy as well. Within the capital city of Kigali, there are bodas (okada) aplenty to get you to your destinations. If that’s not your preferred means of transportation, taxis or renting a car are alternatives to consider.
Note that Uber is available in the country but only works well in certain areas. The alternative is an app called Yego or simply hailing a local taxi. For trips outside the capital, there are reasonably priced long-distance buses that ply the routes to popular tourist destinations.
Generally, if you skip the Gorilla Trekking Experience, you’ll find Rwanda to be one of the cheapest destinations to visit as a Nigerian traveller.
PS: See how much a trip to Rwanda could cost you using my travel cost breakdown post.
Another budget friendly country that is great for solo travellers is Egypt. I’ll add a quick disclaimer here for solo female travellers – this is not the best destination to start out your solo travel adventures. You’ll be more comfortable if you travel in a group or hire a guide.
In general, I’ve enjoyed exploring Egypt – Cairo and elsewhere, on my own but before visiting, I already had several solo trips under my belt. That being said, I’ve found Egypt to be an affordable destination for solo travellers.
It is easy to find tours and accommodation within the country that cater to these groups of travellers and the single supplement is not always steep. Of course, if you travel with a partner, you can significantly save costs.
Related: 19 Fun Things to do in Cairo
Another country worth adding to your wish list if you’re a traveller on a budget is Uganda. Like Rwanda, this East African destination is quite affordable to visit and has one of the cheapest flights from Nigeria and accommodations for every budget type.
If you’re willing to push your budget a bit, consider taking a combined trip to the region, with stops in Rwanda and Kenya as well. This will ultimately save you some money in the long run and could be much cheaper than visiting each country individually.
Budget Friendly Vacations for Group Travellers, Couples and Family
Moving on, to budget friendly destinations that are best visited with family and friends. These places offer the best travel and accommodation experiences for multiple travellers. Of course, they can also be visited by solo travellers alike, but visiting with a group helps to save costs.
First on the list is Kenya.
Travelling within Nairobi alone is good for solo travellers but if you want to explore places outside the capital city – as you should, you will find that the costs are better off shared.
The best accommodations are designed for groups and families. Outside the city, you will find fancy houses and lodges specifically curated for groups of 4 and above. Bearing these costs alone could be quite damaging to your pocket! Besides, it’s always a case of the-more-the-merrier in places like these.
I visited Lebanon as a solo traveller and found it to be mid-point between affordable and pricey for a solo traveller looking for a bit of comfort.
Certain services are in fact affordable, like public transportation and Uber. And if you skip guided tours and large ticket activities, it could be a good budget friendly option for solo travellers.
That being said, if you’re considering taking private tours to certain places (and some places require that), then sharing the costs for these activities will save you a significant amount of money. You can also enjoy staying in beautiful hotels and guest houses on a reasonable budget.
7. South Africa
South Africa is another amazing travel destination that can be budget friendly for multiple travellers. This country has something for every traveller, making it an especially wonderful destination for families.
Now, I wondered whether or not to include South Africa on this list because I’ve heard varying stories about the visa application process. Still, I have been to the country three times now, for work and vacation, and my visas have always been swiftly processed.
In addition, I’ve seen that the SA government has introduced an evisa, which Nigerians can apply for. So I believe it deserves a spot on this list. What do you think?
Bonus Mention: Morocco
Morocco is another destination that I found to be budget friendly while visiting with my partner. I was able to apply for my visa easily through Naija Nomads and did not need to travel down to Abuja for it.
Today, travellers holding a valid visa to certain countries (check here) can quickly get an evisa to Morocco. Direct flights via Royal Air Maroc (not the world’s best airline) are cheap when booked in advance and you’ll find budget friendly accommodations and tours once you’re in the country.
Budget Friendly Vacations: How Much is Good to Allocate to Your Travels?
In general, financial experts recommend using the 50/30/20 budgeting technique when allocating your resources. This involves dividing your income after tax into three buckets – Needs (50%), Wants (30%) and Savings(20%).
You do not have to follow this strictly. Based on your unique living situation, you can be a bit flexible with these buckets, however, a good balance is advised. I don’t recommend going into debt to fund your vacations or neglecting other aspects of your life.
If you can’t afford to visit certain places just yet, consider exploring those closer to you first. At the same time, you can work towards increasing your earnings and saving up towards a bigger trip.
To conclude this post, here are some tips to help you plan and take a budget friendly vacation.
Tips for Taking Budget Friendly Vacations
- Plan your travels ahead of time and be flexible with your dates and destinations. This way, you can take advantage of early flight prices and deals, as well as cheaper accommodation. Travelling during off-peak seasons is also a great way to save costs and stay within budget.
- Don’t neglect local or regional destinations – There are several affordable and fun things to do in your city and country. Don’t lose sight of this while waiting to explore places farther away. PS: check out my list of fun places to visit in Lagos. I have also explored Nigeria extensively. You will find inspiration for places to visit using this tag.
- Consider multi-destination trips – This is a good way to save money in the long run. Also, flight prices are usually cheaper when you fly out from certain countries or regions. Seriously, look up the price difference when flying out from Accra vs Lagos!
- Consider alternative accommodation options – hotels are great and these days, sites like this one give you good options. But if you’re looking to save costs even further, consider Airbnb, housesitting or even Couchsurfing to find cheaper or free accommodation.
- Plan your meals: if you’ve booked a bed and breakfast, take advantage of that. Load up on breakfast, maybe skip lunch and have a nice early dinner.
- Embrace free activities: some of the best things to do in many cities are free. Sign up for free walking tours, visit museums, parks, free-to-attend concerts, beaches and so on! Save your money to splurge on bucket list items.
What is the best budget friendly destination you have travelled to? Also please share your best travel hacks to manage expenses while travelling!