By Nkem Ndem
Lagos City can feel extremely expensive, at least compared to anywhere else in Nigeria. When vacationing in the city, it is easy to overspend and forget about your budget, especially if you are staying in any of the many hotels in the city.
Hotels can exhaust your travel funds more rapidly than most other vacation expenses, as paying too much for lodging is one sure fire way to bust your budget.
Actually, when taking a break from the real world, money should be the last thing you want to worry about. To help you strategize smartly so that you do not end up spending your entire budget with half your stay remaining, Jumia Travel, Africa’s No.1 online hotel booking portal shares tricks on ways you can save money on Lagos hotels. That way, first or second-time visitors to the city can maximize enjoyment and minimize expenses.
DO stay outside of the Island or Ikoyi area
Assuming this is your first visit to Lagos, or maybe your second, where you stay can honestly make or break your trip. If you just search for “Lagos” hotels at the Jumia Travel site, you’ll find that all the cheapest ones are either on the mainland or further down the Lekki Peninsula while the luxurious and exquisite ones are within Ikoyi, Victoria Island, and Lekki axis. Resist the temptation to book at one of these places. Aside from those hotels being expensive, transportation, dining and basically fun activities around those areas, though bountiful, can be cash-draining as well.
Choose the season you visit
Room rates in Lagos hotels can vary dramatically—by thousands of Naira in some cases—depending on what time of year you visit. January 4 through mid-March, is best for bargains, November tends to be quiet and rather affordable too, but July–August, as well as holidays such as Easter, Christmas, New year etc are the busiest and most expensive seasons, as despite the many “holiday deals”, you still get to pay top dollar then. Also, when there are major events and the city fills up, lesser quality hotels will often charge prices that are equal to or even higher than the luxury hotels. If you are looking for savings, keep in mind that timing is everything.
Look Out for Deals and Coupons
You certainly can save money when you book your hotel through an online portal like Jumia Travel, but getting creative with your other expenses can save you, even more, money. Before you leave on your trip, do an online search for coupons for places near your hotel destination to unearth deals and discounts. Consider signing up for money-saving sites like DealDey or searching for coupons or online promotional codes for transportation, attractions, restaurants, shopping etc. around your hotel of choice.
Look for a hotel with Wifi
In-room bills for phone calls in most Lagos hotels, especially if they are international calls, are rather exorbitant. Rather than set yourself up for such extra costs, opt for hotels that offer free Wifi to guests. With Wifi, you can access internet phone services such as Skype etc that way you can stay connected to any other part of the world without running up your hotel bills.
Eat at least one meal per day outside the hotel
It is no secret that hotel food in Lagos is way more expensive than eating at regular restaurants, bukas, mama puts and the many other eating options available within the city. Rather than eat at the hotel all day, you can decide to cut the cost for dining by eating outside at least once a day. Most hotels would offer free breakfast. You can have that, then for lunch or dinner, you hit the streets for any of the local restaurants or you opt for street food. By doing this, you not only save money, you’ll be in good company with all the locals as well. If you do not feel comfortable eating outside the hotel, you can buy food outside and take a pack back to your room.
Some hotels would include transportation in your package, however, if you do not have such a package and you have to organize transportation on your own. Your best bet is to use UBER Lagos. Their rates are usually cheaper than whatever taxi company that would be offered by the hotel and their prices are consistent. Also, they are safer than the random taxis you may find on the streets of Lagos. All you need to do is download the app on your phone or tablet and you are good to go.
Nkem Ndem, a PR Associate at Jumia Travel, writes from Lagos.