How to have a cost-effective Easter holiday

The Easter weekend falls on 7 – 10 April this year, and accommodation in South Africa’s most popular destinations is filling up fast! But fear not. It’s still possible to treat yourself to an egg-citing escape without breaking the bank. The Flight Centre team has shared their tips on how to have a cost-effective Easter holiday plus great local destinations to consider.


2min read

Published 21 March 2023


The Easter weekend falls on 7 – 10 April this year, and accommodation in South Africa’s most popular destinations is filling up fast! But fear not. It’s still possible to treat yourself to an egg-citing escape without breaking the bank. The Flight Centre team has shared their tips on how to have a cost-effective Easter holiday plus great local destinations to consider.

Tips for a cost-effective Easter holiday

Planning your travel well in advance is always best. This is especially true when booking to travel during the school holidays or for a special occasion, such as Easter or Christmas.

Browse school holiday deals here.

Did Easter sneak up on you? Did you struggle with the idea of putting all your eggs in one basket months in advance? Then you’re undoubtedly wondering how to reduce the cost of your holiday now that you’re ready to book. Here are some ideas:

Fly or drive?

The most important question is whether it’s cheaper to fly or drive.

The answer is simple: it depends on how many people you travel with.

If you’re travelling solo, it’s almost certainly going to be cheaper to fly.

If you’re heading off on a couples’ getaway, it’s a toss-up and will depend on the distance you’re travelling and your vehicle’s fuel efficiency.

If a family holiday is on the agenda, driving is almost always cheaper. After all, the cost of fuel won’t increase too dramatically based on how many passengers are inside your car, but you’ll obviously be paying for more flight tickets when flying as a family of three, four, or five.

The size and type of car is essential for any hassle-free road trip too. Is there enough room for everyone? Does all the luggage – pets, favourite toys and more – fit in comfortably? 

Of course, time is money, so again, consider how much of your holiday time you are willing to ‘give up’ to drive the distance. Flexibility and the control over your departure and arrival times and itinerary are of varying importance to different types of travellers.


Get flexible with your dates

It’s a good idea to consider travelling just before or after the Easter period. There’s a significant difference in flight costs if you travel on Thursday, 6 April (to return on Tuesday, 11 April) compared to travelling one week later on Thursday, 13 April (to return on Tuesday, 18 April). The former will cost you *R5,568 per adult return ticket from Johannesburg to Cape Town on South African Airways, while the latter will set you back just *R3,496 per adult return ticket on FlySafair.

Consider your accommodation

The best budget-friendly accommodation depends on your holiday needs and your travel party. Families can look out for accommodation specials offering two kids under 12 years old (or a certain age) to stay for free or paying only a certain portion of the rate.

No excess baggage

If flying, make absolutely sure that baggage is included in your airfare before checking out (and take note of the exact weight, piece and dimension requirements). If you need a larger baggage allowance, it’s much cheaper to buy it ahead of your flight rather than doing so when dropping off your bags at the airport.

Always check in online beforehand

This minimises the chances of you (or shock and horror – one of the members of your travel party) being bumped off the flight.

Don’t forget your documents

Ensure your family’s passports are valid and always aim to get to the airport earlier than you think you need to. Arriving late and missing your flight can be an incredibly costly mistake that will delay or perhaps even cancel your holiday entirely.


No more hangry

A successful family trip is usually helped along with great music, entertainment and ample snacks!

If you’re flying, ask your Flight Centre Expert to request a child’s meal on any flight. Many airlines offer activity packs that are distributed with the meals booked.

Whether you’re driving or flying, load the phone or tablet with music, series, audiobooks and games and ensure you have enough snacks to keep restless fingers and rumbling stomachs satisfied.

Buy travel insurance

Nowadays, travel insurance is important no matter where you’re travelling. Depending on the provider, you’ll usually have a choice between standard and comprehensive insurance, with the latter being the ideal choice if you’re looking for full coverage. 

Local Easter holiday destination ideas

The bush or the beach? The mountains or the Winelands? Our beautiful country has so much to offer.

Here are a few enchanting holiday hotspots to consider moving to the top of your wish list this year:

1. The Kruger Park

Tranquillity is never in short supply at the Kruger Park, and great news: April is a fantastic time to visit. It’s the month that straddles the colourful ‘Green Season’ and the prime-time dry season, giving you the best of both worlds when it comes to game viewing and birding.

Where to stay: The four-star Kruger Park Lodge is brimming with luxurious spoils. Located on the banks of the Sabie River, it’s your ticket to the best of the national park’s breath-taking wildlife.


2. Cape Town

Cape Town promises all the Easter essentials you could imagine, effortlessly ticking the boxes for all sorts of travellers. Foodies, wine connoisseurs, shopaholics, culture vultures, history buffs, and nature lovers will always find something to entertain, whether it’s perusing the sales at the V&A Waterfront, taking to the hiking trails, or embarking on an insightful tour of Robben Island.

Where to stay: Lagoon Beach Hotel and Spa grants you direct beach access and offers stunning views of both Table Mountain and Robben Island.


3. The Pilanesberg

The Pilanesberg National Park isn’t quite as well-known as the Kruger Park, making it a top choice amongst travellers desperate for a bush holiday far away from the crowds. Those hoping for a mix of relaxation and epic entertainment will love that this destination is also right on Sun City’s doorstep, allowing you to get your full money’s worth while on holiday. The Pilanesberg National Park and Sun City are about an hour’s drive apart, depending on your route.

Where to stay: We love Bakubung Bush Lodge, a four-star, family-friendly lodge with a large swimming pool, flood-lit tennis courts, kiddies’ playground, and spa.


4. The Wild Coast

Get a generous dose of sunshine and extend your summer with a family-friendly escape to the Eastern Cape’s Wild Coast. Relax on the beach, snap a selfie in front of the legendary Hole in the Wall, or grab an ice-cold one at the ever-popular Emerald Vale Brewery.

Where to stay: The Wild Coast Sun is a true classic, set on a beautiful beach in the popular resort town of Port Edward. The rooms are spacious, and the hotel boasts its own water park called Wild Waves Water Park.

With the school holidays right around the corner and Easter creeping up close behind, it’s time to get cracking! Whether you’re booking flights or want to hire a car for an unforgettable family road trip, we’re here to help. Contact a Flight Centre Expert today.

*approximate cost at the time of writing.




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*Prices are in ZAR and subject to availability. Please refer to specific product’s terms and conditions.