1. Budget

This should always be the first thing you do before travelling anywhere. It helps you know how much you are willing to spend during your entire trip so that you can plan for how many days you will be at your destination, means of transport, how much you are going to pack, where you will go, where you will stay and when you will travel. So when budgeting, make sure you put all these things into consideration

2. Travel during off-peak seasons

 If you want to get the most out of your trip and spend less at the same time, do travel during the off-peak seasons. These seasons  may vary depending on your destination but they mostly fall around January to May.The really low peak season starts in April to May which is because of the long rains. These are Mombasa low peak seasons. In June the weather starts to get better and tourists start coming in but prices are not as high as the coming months. From July to October, the peak season begins, then November to Mid December prices shoot even more. From Mid December to around 2nd of January, the prices are way up but this is also the best time to visit Mombasa since the weather is quite beautiful. Mombasa is usually very crowded during this season and it is quite hard to enjoy it if you are on a tight budget. So if you can avoid the rainy season and the peak seasons, I am sure you can get to enjoy Mombasa at a fair price and have the beach all to yourself!

3. Research and plan

Never ever travel without planning or having an idea of where you are going. Researching is particularly good when it comes to identifying places you want to visit, the hotels around, safety, proximity to social amenities, the cultures and beliefs of the people, the weather, the diseases if any that you can expose yourself to, if the place is child friendly, the roads and many more. After researching, make a plan on what to do, when to do it and how you will do it. You do not want to have 10 places that you want to go to yet you do not have any plan whatsoever. Planning in a way helps you make the most out of your trip or vacation and still helps you stay on your budget.

4. Be sure to pack everything you may need

If you think packing is not as important, try forgetting your underwear and you are visiting a remote place. Make a list of everything that you will need and when packing, make good use of your packing space. Roll instead of folding, stuff belts and socks in shoes, use packing organizing bags, always have a carry on bag with spare clothes, important items and toiletries and never ever forget your ID and/or passport. Another trick I learnt from Joy Kendi is always try on your clothes before you pack. It helps you pack what you need and also aids you in knowing how you will match your outfits.

5. Be open to public transportation

Unless you have some coins to spare on flights or driving, use public transportation like the train(SGR) or the bus to Mombasa. For economy, you pay Kshs 1000 which is roughly as much as using a bus but the train is faster. Plane tickets start from kshs 3900 depending on the airline and the season. From the Mombasa  train terminus to your destination,taxis cost from kshs 2000, kshs 1000 for tuk tuks and kshs 50-100 for buses. I hope you know basic mathematics. Also, instead of hiring taxis during your stay, you can still use tuk tuks or matatus.

6. Accommodation open-mindedness

There are some of us who are lucky enough to know someone in Mombasa who is willing to accommodate us, and there are those who either prefer not to depend on others or do not know anyone and so they have to find paid accommodation. In this case, it is advisable to use travel websites to compare prices and they still offer you an option for filtering using your budget. I also do highly recommend Airbnb, villas and rental homes. They offer you the option for cooking your own food which in my opinion is cheaper than buying food. However, some of these are better if you are travelling as a group since it is much cheaper. An example is the 3 bedroom villa in the picture to the left which goes for Kshs 10000-15000 depending on the season. They are situated in Diani, Ukunda though. Send me and email at toriktraveldiaries@gmail.com to book.

7. Carry your own snacks

Carrying your own snacks is not only cheaper but also, it helps you be in control of what you are eating especially for those who are maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Food at stop points, in the train or at the airport is more expensive than just purchasing the food at your regular store. You even end up eating more and most of the times the food is just junk. To be precise, you are carrying snacks for when you are actually travelling and not for your entire trip. Also, avoid foods that go bad very fast and have very strong smells like fried foods. You do not want to make other passengers uncomfortable.

8. Where possible, travel as a group

Travelling as a group not only cuts costs but also makes your trip more fun. There are websites that give you huge discounts if you travel as groups and it makes accommodation very cheap especially if you are renting an apartment or a villa. You always share costs and the price per person ends up being cut by half. Apart from that, the fear of visiting certain  places is reduced since now you are in a group. I highly recommend this hack if you are on a budget but you still want to travel.

9. Interact with the locals

If you want to find out places to visit, the best place to find out is from the locals. They live there so they know what places are good and what places can fit your budget, are safe, are friendly to the kids and are breath taking. Also, you will end up finding out fair prices from them to avoid being scammed. They are the best tour guides you can ever find by the way and they are also very friendly.

10. Stay alert

Keep time. Be very alert of your surroundings because there is someone who is probably eyeing your wallet for their next meal. Be careful who you ask directions from. Ask people selling at stores, security guards or just google. Carry small bags like cross-body bags and fanny packs and leave your important documents in your hotel if you will not need them. Avoid flashing expensive things and keep your bags with you every time. If travelling with kids, always have both eyes on them. If you are in an unfamiliar place, avoid walking alone especially at night and avoid isolated streets. And always carry a first aid kit. Trust me, you will avoid using unnecessary money if you are more careful and alert. Hope I did not scare you. Do not worry, Mombasa is a safe destination. Click here for more tips


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