If you are reading this, then it means you have gathered the strength to finally take the leap of faith and booked your first vacation alone. I know, it’s daunting, but if you’ve already done your research then that’s about 50% of the work – what you need now is this exciting blog post where I will hook you up with easy tips on how to save money while exploring destinations alone.
I’ve longed for an intimate, solitary trip where I can just relax and refocus my own future endeavours as a content creator who might be living abroad soon – *shh… that’s a secret best kept for another day* – and thankfully I have managed to find time to book a short getaway to one of the few places I have been curious about: Paternoster.
Where to stay:
For my getaway, I opted to stay at Gonana Guesthouse, a lavish boutique guesthouse situated near a scenic beachfront that is quite literally right on your doorstep. Think of it as a chilled pre-winter ode to the fast-fading South African summer, and with the seasons changing Gonana Guesthouse happens to be running a 50%-off special. Which is exactly how I nabbed this beaut at a fraction of the cost for two whole nights (a treat mtase). The trick is to book off-peak or off-season dates, which is why planning your stays well in advance and considering weekday dates is your best bet when travelling through South Africa where local tourists tend to fall by the exuberant wayside of high fees. Reduces prices aside, Gonana Guesthouse is also amazing and affordable during its busiest days, so it’s no biggie if you intend to visit over the summer or for December holidays.
For the remainder of my Paternoster patronage I decided to try out Gelukkie – a bespoke luxury self-catering guesthouse which I have been DREAMING of staying at for years now! This guesthouse is available at a wide range of booking rates which also align with peak time and number of nights per stay. If neither one tickles your fancy, not to worry, you can search for more accommodation options on SA-Venues. This is one of my favourite sites, and you can find luxury accommodation for any
destination in South Africa at a discounted rate.
How to budget and the amount you need:
As mentioned earlier in my post, you have to be strategic about the days you book for your stay. Booking accommodation typically requires you to pay a deposit, usually 50% of the total fee, with the rest settled upon checking in. I love this arrangement as it allows you to pay a significant portion of the total fee over time. One thing I need to stress, however, is to ensure you account for car rental no less than 1 month in advance to avoid the headache of searching for vehicles at the last minutes and the potential disappointment of most car rental services being fully booked. Don’t be like me… I booked two days
prior to my trip and found myself SCRAMBLING to find a car for most of the day until I was lucky enough to find a stunning Hyundai Venue at an affordable rate from Tempest.
Where to eat:
I am terrible at self-catering. I am lazy to buy food and even more lazy to cook knowing damn well I chose self-catering accommodation for my solocation. Imagine, me engaging the admin of having to cook for myself and packing all the food in the car to move it to my next location or taking it home with me? Girl, no maam! Which is why I seized the opportunity to visit a couple of restaurants in Paternoster that I think you will love. First, Gonana Guesthouse offers breakfast with their stay (kindly inquire with them first). It was easy to eat breakfast at the guesthouse and lunch somewhere else.
Leeto restaurant: I ordered mouth-watering mussels, which I admit I initially underestimated until I took a bite and was shocked at how delicious they were. 10/10 recommendation to pay the establishment a visit and while you may find the menu a bit pricey, it is totally worth it! Palms restaurant was another restaurant I was thankful to discover while I was in the quiet town of
St. Helena Bay, which proved to be so dry it was difficult to find a good places to eat. This restaurant served me not only a good bowl of mussels but also left with an extra helping of pasta for midnight snacking.
Budgeting is not rocket science, you just have to exercise discipline and deny yourself some of the things you don’t need like excessive clothes shopping or eating UberEats for three consecutive days – track your spending to the last cent! Personally, I feel like I deserve a firm pat on the back and Kim Soo-hyun’s hand in marriage for this one, because I did a great job for my first ever solo expedition – from planning to driving and exploring alone, I’m the real sgonondo!!
P.S: While you are in Paternoster make sure you visit the Shelly Point Lighthouse in St. Helena Bay.
It is not grand but it will make you feel some type of way. You’ll feel it when you get there.
At the end of the day, YOU are in control. YOU make the rules.