6 ways to find cheaper flights for your volunteer trip to Africa

So you’re planning on volunteering in Africa, but your flight ticket prices are making you think twice about coming.  If you're reading this then you are in the right place.

Firstly, before we delve into ways of finding cheaper flights, take a moment to explore some of our awesome volunteer programs to see what wonderful work you could be a part of. Our programs include accommodation, food and transport to and from our programs, so all you really need to think about is booking a reasonably priced flight to get you to Africa.  

Volunteering in Africa is truly a special experience. This continent is a melting pot of adventure, unspoiled nature and friendly people. Being part of a volunteer program in one of the many African countries like Zimbabwe, South Africa, Malawi and Tanzania opens a whole new world of opportunities, giving you a unique experience and the advantage of seeing life from a different perspective

We have prepared some insider tips below that will assist you in securing a cheaper flight for your volunteer trip to Africa.

1. Think ahead, book in advance

Being well prepared for anything in life is always an advantage, so book your flight in advance. A few months or weeks ahead of time is preferable.  This will give you enough time to research and compare flight prices.   We found websites such as Skyscanner and Momondo that give you the option of searching for the cheapest flights in a month as well as showing you the cheapest month to fly in.

2. Be smart, avoid peak travel times

You will save money if you decide to fly during off-peak times.  Avoid booking on holidays and weekends, from our experience the best time to book would be during the week, preferably on a Tuesday.  Travel companies also cater for students and gap year travellers so make sure to take advantage of the special rates that they offer.  A useful website is Student Universe where you can find amazing deals on flights for students. Students can also use travel agencies like Flight Centre and STA travel.  Flight prices can also be significantly cheaper after major holidays.   Remember that prices may vary on different browsers so make sure you compare flights across all 3 of the major search engines.

3. Be flexible when you fly

If you want to save money, being flexible will open up a whole new world to you and you will find some great deals on cheap flights.   Prices are always changing, so be prepared to do your research. Compare the prices of a one-way ticket to a return ticket as it may be cheaper to book two one-way tickets instead of a return ticket.  Booking a flight that stops at other countries can also be a cheaper option instead of a direct flight.  Use Google Flights to find cheap deals on destinations around the world and especially for your volunteer trip to Africa.

4. Stay updated with travel websites and download travel apps

Sign up for newsletters to receive the best flight deals as well as tips and tricks for travelling.  Not only will you always stay updated but you will be informed about last minute, special flight promotions that are happening.  A useful website you can subscribe to is The Flight Deal which will inform you about cheaper flights, specifically if you plan to volunteer in South Africa. 

Follow major travel companies on social media to be first in line for the lowest priced flights and promotions.  Another way you can have quick and easy access to flight deals, promotions and discounts is by downloading travel apps on your smart phone.  Two common apps used are Skyscanner and Momondo, which were mentioned earlier so a good idea would be to get these apps for instant access to flight information and prices.  Set up a price alert on these apps so that you can act immediately. 

5. Book your flight in another currency

This isn’t always a reliable method of securing cheaper fares, but booking in a foreign currency may save you some extra cash. Take advantage of favorable exchange rates, especially when travelling to Africa from Europe or America and book your flight with a local airline. So for instance, if you are travelling to South Africa from Amsterdam, book your flight on SAA and pay for it in South African Rands rather than opting to fly on KLM and paying in Euros.

6. Read travel articles and blogs

You will be surprised by the amount of value that can come from reading travel blogs, especially those of volunteers who have worked in Africa. They give a first-hand account of their challenges and experiences, share tips on how to budget and get the best value for money. Bloggers who travel to Africa regularly are also a rich source of information and often know which airlines have the best deals on cheap flights.

If cheaper flights are the only obstacle preventing you from volunteering in Africa, we have now shown you just how easy it is to secure cheap flights. We hope to see you in Africa soon!

 

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Volunteer World
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Khaya Volunteer Projects application
Lilizela Provincial Visitor Experience Award

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