Travel Money Saving Tips

Here’s a money saving tip if you like planning your own holiday.

The wife and I were planning a trip down to the Eastern Cape to firstly go to Murray Purdon‘s wedding, and then of course show the family our new arrival that is due any day now.

Now we could drive down and although it would be cheaper I do not like spending 12 hours on the road one-way and then 12 hours again traveling back.  Also  it would mean that we would potentially have to sleep over somewhere that is half way (like Colesberg or Gariep Dam) and that would mean two extra days leave.  So we settled on flying down.


Flights you are pretty much stuck with either 1Time or SAA when travelling to the Eastern Cape. If you going to other major centers you can also try Mango (SAA budget brand), British Airways or (which is BA’s budget brand).

If you want to get a good price then you should book at least 3 months in advance. The closer you get to the flight date the more expensive it is…I learnt the hard way last time I flew down to Port Elizabeth. I looked at the prices on a Saturday and made a note of the price. Three days later the price increased (for the same flight number) by R800!

1Time often send out adverts in email format stating that they have limited seats on a flight to destination but if you phone or try book online there is NEVER ones available at that price. I think it is a scam they pull…

If you want to use a website that will scan all available flights from all the local airlines at once for you then you should have a look at Pick n Pay Travel.

It looks like they are using for a back end service provider for flights, but regardless it is really handy to see the different airlines sorted by price for your period of travel.

So remember, for flights book well in advance as possible.

Car Rental

For car rental I tried the usual suspects, Avis, Tempest, Budget, Europcar, Thrifty and

I was looking for a sedan or at least a car that would have some space. I did not want something small like a Citi Golf or ATOZ, and the car had to have at least an aircon. I also wanted unlimited mileage option as well as the best insurance they had to offer (little or no excess the better).  Reason for that is that the cats eyes reflecting on the road at night might not be a reflector – it may just be a cow in a pothole!  🙂

Now each company has different categories and a Tiida might fall in a class C on the one place but a class B on the other site. Looking at the different options I was looking at average price of R2500 for 6 days car rental.

I then tried Pick n Pay Travel again but this time searched for cars. One of the results displayed as coming from a website called CarTrawler.   Now CarTrawler’s website is nothing to look at, and I could not find how to book directly on their site so I did a Google search for CarTrawler in South Africa.

This led me to a website called African Experiences. Looking at their html code it looks like they are part of an affiliate program with CarTrawler. So I copied the URL – – and browsed to it.

The page is not fancy but you put in the location where you want to collect the vehicle, date and return date, chance currency to Rands and hit search.  It then searched a bunch of car hire companies and listed  the cars by catagory, and then the option of standard insurance or all-inclusive insurance options.  The prices were to say the least – incredible!  They were quoting almost R1000 LESS than the some of the other car hire companies…well I took a chance and booked.

Imagine my surprise when I get a receipt for the amount quoted but from Europcar! I went over to their website and asked for a quote with the same dates and same car category…

So when hiring a car – rather use an affiliate!


I decided to give Pick n Pay Travel another shot, but this time for accommodation.  Once again I was surprised to find that if you book via an affiliate it is cheaper than booking directly with the hotel.

Seriously! The website of the hotel is charging R1160,00 per night for a room that sleeps 4.  The SAME room on the Pick n Pay Travel website (and I know it is the same as I called the hotel twice to confirm what the Double Room was and if they had different types of Double Rooms – and they don’t) is R756,00 per room for the same period. That is a saving of R400,00 per DAY!!!

Needless to say I think you know who I booked thru…

In closing…

I have learnt a very valuable lesson – don’t think that doing directly to the supplier that you will be getting the best price. Shop around and if you look around long enough you can get the same thing at a far cheaper price!

Disclaimer – I am in no way affiliated to any of the websites or service providers above. I am merely a guy looking for a value for money options when going on holiday.

MadMike posted at 2011-2-7 Category: Tips

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