My Top Tips For Planning a Successful Mauritius Holiday (or any holiday) On a Budget!

In this first blog of my Mauritius series, I will show you how I planned my trip to Mauritius and will include day one of my vacation on the island of Mauritius.

Introduction

Travelling has become possible and more affordable. For most, all that is needed are the desire to travel and good planning. And if you're thinking, 'my job does not pay me enough,' you are not alone. That's how I felt before I made the bold decision to travel. One thing to consider is working a little extra and putting the money aside until you have saved enough. Or, if you have stuff you no longer need that you can sell to raise the cash, why not sell and give yourself that holiday of a lifetime?


I've had people reach out to me, inquiring about my trip to Mauritius regarding cost, what to expect and planning. Therefore, in this first blog of my Mauritius series, I will include the planning stages with day one of my vacation on the island of Mauritius.


1. Decisions Decisions

Before you can do anything, decide where you want to go. For example, my choice of destination often depends on factors such as the kind of experience I'm seeking, my budget, and the level of safety in that country, among other things.


I'd had my eye on Mauritius for quite some time, so my vacation decision had already been made. Mauritius is considered one of the top luxury dream destinations in the world. So, when I chose to holiday in Mauritius, I knew I needed to have my money in order.


Travel Requirements

Most countries require a passport valid for at least six months, depending on your nationality. Also, depending on your circumstances or nationality, you may need a visa, certain vaccinations, travel insurance and a health form to fill out before boarding, especially during these turbulent times. So, to ensure your trip goes without a glitch and for peace of mind, research the country's travel requirements and prepare accordingly, as these requirements may change over time.


Book in Advance

Once I had decided to go to Mauritius, I saved and booked my ticket well in advance, and I chose a mid-week flight. This is because you are more likely to get a good deal. I recommend using Skyscanner or other sites that allow you to compare prices.

Securing my ticket months in advance was the best decision I ever made because when I checked the cost of flights to Mauritius out of curiosity, the prices had doubled nearer the time of my travel. Therefore, it is always worth purchasing your ticket early if you are on a strict budget. Furthermore, it is worth considering purchasing a flexible ticket that allows you to alter the dates if buying the ticket early, as plans may change due to unforeseen circumstances.


The same principle applies when booking a hotel. I consider the location, transport and what would make my stay comfortable when choosing a hotel. For example, I must have wifi and prefer easy access to the beach when I am not out on an excursion.

At the time of your booking, your choice of accommodation does not have to be set in stone. There are reputable sights that will allow you to make a reservation with the option to cancel for free forty-eight hours before the date arrives in case you change your mind or cancel your plans.



Budget Money to spend

On Food

Before you set out on your journey, find out the average cost of food and how much money you will need to spend in a day and then add a little extra to that amount. This is because you do not want to restrict yourself too much, especially on holiday. For example, if the amount of money you will need for food in a day is 2000 rupees, add another 500 extra and multiply by the number of days you will stay. This is because the last thing you want is fretting over your bank balance every time you buy something. Also, you may want to indulge in some of the local delicacies you may come across while having the reassurance of the little buffer in your budget.

Remember, you do not always have to dine or eat out. You can buy food from the local supermarket to keep in your room.


On Excursions

From my research online, I knew Mauritius was a breathtaking island with many options for places to visit - from half a day to full-day trips. And you get to choose which ones to explore depending on your interests, time constraints and, of course, your budget. So there is something for everyone.


Do block bookings, i.e. choosing full-day tours that take you to more than one place of interest. Examples for Mauritius include the North Tour or South West Tour. Some excursions come as a complete package if booked via reputable sites such as trip advisor, i.e. with hotel pick-up transportation, food and equipment, for example, for snorkelling, parasailing, diving etc. I recommend these as they allow you to book in advance with the option to cancel forty-eight hours before the day arrives should you change your mind. Furthermore, you sometimes get a discount if you book in advance.


NB: If you travel for the first time in Mauritius, I recommend planning your tours and booking the ones you feel confident you want before leaving your destination to avoid panic booking later. And leave a day or two open for spontaneous activities you can do for free. This also gives you room to be flexible and to breathe as you enjoy the vacation without feeling tied down by rigid planning. You are on holiday, after all.


Pack Lightly

Depending on the season or weather conditions, find out what kind of clothes and shoes you will need for the duration of your vacation and have one set for each day. Comfort should be your top priority, especially if you intend to go sightseeing. In addition, some places require a specific dress code for the evenings during dinner and other special events, which is worth noting.


However, this is one area I'm still trying to improve as I tend to overpack. Perhaps it's because I like to have options regarding my wardrobe. But believe me, no one cares. Most vacationers are there to enjoy and experience life, so worrying about clothes wastes precious time. So, pack light, go for comfort and only have the basics.


Communication

What makes a holiday more fun and relaxing is being able to communicate and share your experiences with your loved ones back home. So, choose a hotel that offers free WiFi. That way, you can access WhatsApp, go on social media and do anything online whenever you want. If you prefer to make phone calls, you can buy a local Sim card to avoid incurring roaming charges.


Research

It is always prudent to understand the place you're visiting. Before you set out on your journey, do a little digging. Educate yourself about the people's culture and what might be expected of you. For example, do they have a strict dress code? Some countries do. The last thing you want is to insult other people's cultures. You can wear whatever you want in Mauritius as long as it is decent or appropriate for the occasion. For example, a bikini on the beach.

Lastly, prepare your heart and mind. Always visit a new place with an open heart and mind. The people you will meet are most likely to be different from you. They will talk and do things differently. Therefore, take your time in that new place as an opportune time to grow and expand your horizon.


So, I was ready to go once I'd prepared all the above.


Day One in Mauritius

Whenever I go on vacation for me, the experience starts soon after take-off once the nerves have settled down. So I always ensure that I secure a window seat from which to enjoy the view from above - the fluffy, cotton ball clouds, the clear blue ocean, the breathtaking sunrise and sunset, not to mention the majestic blue sky. Being able to soak up that inspiration is priceless, and it's the reason I will not swap my window seat with you on the plane.


Of course, that nagging voice sometimes filters through my head as soon as the flight attendant's voice bursts through the intercom, reminding us of the safety features on board and measures to take should the unthinkable occur. And it is during this time when I curse my obsession with disaster movies. But my fear melts and transforms into relaxation as soon as I turn my head to gaze through the window to stare at God's wonders in the form of clouds and listen to the aeroplane's engine roaring as it ascends further into the sky.


On my first day in Mauritius, my highlights were as follows:


Taxi Ride From the Airport

During the one-hour drive from Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport, named after the Father of the nation, as I've since learned, I got the chance to relax, viewing the trees, the mountains and the houses along the way. And I was quick to notice the vast fields of sugarcane, most of whom stretched for miles and as far as the eye could see (more on this later).


Some of the scenes I saw reminded me of back home in Zimbabwe. For example, the man standing by the roadside near a set of traffic lights nodding and waving to motorists. To me, it seemed he hoped someone inside those cars would see him - really see him - perhaps extend a helping hand, a gesture of generosity, a bundle of rupees, a bottle of soda, maybe a new pair of shoes, for he appeared to be a man of no fixed aboard.


Another scene that aroused a sense of familiarity was a broken truck being attended to by two greasy men on the sidewalk, the bus jolting along the tarmac with its engine croaking, drowning out the other noises nearby.

This was my first time in Mauritius, but I could tell I would feel right at home.


We received a warm welcome when we arrived at our hotel. As the receptionist was ironing out some details, the man at the bar brought us a cocktail, tantalising our taste buds on the house as a welcoming gesture. And when we got to our room, I was not disappointed as it was furnished to suit my every need and I was glad to have chosen the room.

After unpacking and settling into our room, we concluded the day by having dinner by the pool while serenaded by a local band. (Watch the video )


Despite being exhausted from my sixteen-hour flight, I could not have wished for a better first day in Mauritius.

Please leave your comments below or share your tips and travel experiences :)





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