‘Budget’ and ‘Seychelles’. Two words not generally uttered in the same sentence. With an abundance of luxury resorts, prices in the Seychelles can do some serious damage to the bank balance. However, with a little bit of planning (and some local rum) you can make the most of your Seychelles experience without having to move back in with your parents when you get back.
Make your own holiday season
The first rule of budget travel in the Seychelles is to plan your trip out-of-season. That means you should consider going between February and May, or September and November. Forget about the major school holidays. Rather whip out a calendar and figure out where you can optimize that elusive public holiday to annual leave ratio for the perfect mini-break.
Look past the luxury resorts and big hotels. Using services like Airbnb can help you find really affordable self-catering accommodation even in the Seychelles. Gather a group of friends and club together to book out your own cottage or villa within walking distance from the beach.
Make the trip worthwhile by booking for a week rather than a weekend to get a better rate. Staying in one spot will also keep your travel costs down (frequent island hopping adds up) and you can properly immerse yourself in the area you’re staying in.
So choose a spot close enough to the things you’re most interested in seeing and doing in the Seychelles, and allow for day trips to other islands (the ferries aren’t cheap). Save those Seychellois rupees by avoiding expensive taxis. Opt for public buses or, if you prefer to make your own way, look into renting a small car (or bicycle).
Make a meal of it
Sometimes the best, most authentic experiences are the ones that don’t break the bank. When it comes to eating and drinking, again, go beyond the bubble of hotels. Get a real taste of Creole cuisine from the smaller local food stalls.
Local takeaways that include fresh fish and curries for under USD5 can be eaten on a picturesque beach with your feet in the sand and a ice cold Takamaka and Coke – just like the locals.
If you’re staying in a more remote area, stock up and plan ahead. Remember that almost everything in the Seychelles is imported except for locally caught fish, some fresh produce and, of course, Takamaka Rum – so make the most of it.
So much room for activities
Who needs stale hotel entertainment? Capitalize on having access to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches and make ‘the best things in life are free’ your mantra. There’s no cost for enjoying the sea and sand.
If you want to be more adventurous, pack your own snorkeling gear to avoid rental costs. You can also go for hikes on the free-access trails in the Morne Seychellois Park (the largest in the Seychelles) if you’re staying on Mahe. Affordable rental services are also available on some beaches for kayaking, paddle boarding, windsurfing and pedal boats.
While you won’t be able to get away with winging it with a backpack and some pocket change, you can still maximize your holiday without maxing out your savings.