Super cheap travel
A week-long trip to Bora Bora can easily cost upwards of $15,000. Yes, you read that right. Fifteen Thousand Dollars.
Um, no thanks. I mean, hello, we're students, we can't afford anywhere near that much! But Bora Bora was my DREAM destination. So we absolutely HAD to make it work on the ultra-cheap. We managed to do it for a tiny fraction of that cost.
Read on to discover my secret to SUPER cheap travel.
To get super cheap travel, we have to figure out what the costs are.
1) Getting there (Transport).
(There are plenty of other expenses like travel insurance and shopping too, but usually they aren't the main costs).
Number 1) Getting there - wasn't the problem. There are cheap flights to just about everywhere in the world, flights are on sale all the time. We got SUPER cheap flights. Cheaper than some domestic flights within NZ.
Number 2) Accomodation - In Bora Bora, accommodation can be seriously expensive. Overwater bungalows can cost up to $2000 per night! But we got an awesome deal at a fraction of that price by buying our accommodation in a package with our flights.
Number 3) Activities - This is where we wanted to spend our money - to actually enjoy the amazing activities in Bora Bora! Snorkeling tours, quad bikes, jet skiing, star gazing, massages, fire dancing shows, you name it, we did it! Annnnnd again, we got it cheap as. Booking ahead of time, getting deals, chatting with the locals - we totally aced the activities part of the trip. You can see us LOVING IT in our Bora Bora travel video here.
But the main reason we saved more than $1000 isn't about transport, accommodation or activities. It was to do with the fourth thing on the list.
Number 4) Food. It all comes down to being vegan.
My boyfriend Daniel had just gone vegan the week before we left, and I had been vegan for about 6 months. Both of us knew where we stood - there was no budging or sneaking a little meat, dairy or eggs just because we were on holiday. There aren't cheat days with veganism! We were serious about it then, and we always will be.
But if you've ever been to Tahiti, you'll know that all they eat is seafood and meat! Soooo much of it! We heard it would be tricky to source vegan food on the island, as everything has to be flown in, and there are no supermarkets.
But wait, what's being vegan got to do with saving money on holiday? Won't it just cost more to order vegan food in a place where it's so rare? Well, that's what we thought.
So we decided to get creative.
It made us do something we would NEVER have done if we were carnists.
Are you ready?
The #1 Secret to SUPER Cheap Travel...
BYOF: Bring Your Own Food.
It can cost up to $100 per meal in Bora Bora if you have a few drinks and a dessert too. That can add up to more than $1000 each, just for a week of food. No thank you!
So we brought all our own food in a suitcase! The 23kg luggage allowance is a lot when you think about it in terms of noodles and muesli bars! We went to the supermarket in Wellington where we live, stocked up a week's worth of food and took it in a suitcase. We made sure we had lots of ready-to-eat meals because we knew our hotel room wouldn't have a stove or an oven.
Ugh, you're thinking. BYO food on holiday? That doesn't sound like fun at all.
Well, we ended up spending less than $50 each for a week of food. That's less than what you would pay just for one lunch in Bora Bora! We literally saved THOUSANDS. And with that money, we planned our next holiday (to Europe!). A week of expensive food in Bora Bora, or a week of BYO food in Bora Bora and a WHOLE OTHER HOLIDAY as well?
Trust me, it was totally worth it. We still got to try local fruits and veggies at breakfast (our package included breakfast every day), and because we weren't worried about getting back to the resort in time for dinner, we were able to spend more time snorkeling, jet skiing, and quad biking. Win-win!
But wait a second. You might be thinking,
"Well okay, but surely you don't have to be vegan to do this, right?"
Wrong! When we landed in Tahiti we were stopped at security for a bag check. They wanted to know if we had any meat, dairy or eggs. When they saw that we didn't, they let us straight through! So the only reason it worked is BECAUSE we're vegan!
So being vegan actually meant we HAD TO SAVE MONEY - we had no other option but to do our holiday on the cheap!
$$$ Cha-ching! $$$
What do you think? Would you try this? Let me know in the comments!