You’re planning a trip to the Seychelles and you’re wondering how to make it as budget-friendly as possible? Or you’re wondering whether it’s even possible to travel on a budget in the Seychelles?
No worries, I went through the same thing. The short answer is – so-so. The Seychelles Islands are an expensive destination overall, but there are things you can do to make it more budget-friendly.
We spent 2 weeks in the Seychelles and the whole trip cost us around €1500 per person, including all costs (flights, accommodation, food, activities, car rental etc.)
Keep in mind that the prices for an organized trip to the Seychelles with an agency are at least twice as expensive, which is why I recommend you to do your own research and organize the whole trip yourself. At least this is what we did.
During these 2 weeks we managed to explore La Digue, Praslin, Mahe and a few smaller islands around them. In this article I will be giving you 9 tips on how to travel the Seychelles on a budget and see all these beautiful places for as cheap as possible.
Important: Be sure to check all entry requirements before arriving. At the time of updating this post (October 2021), all travellers must have sufficient funds for the duration of their stay (minimum of US$150 or equivalent per day). You could be checked upon entering. You can find more information about this on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Website.
Look for the best flight deals
Check different airlines’ websites, compare fares on Skyscanner and don’t rush with buying your ticket. Sometimes airlines come out with great deals on tickets, so start planning well in advance and be on the lookout for a good deal.
We paid €550 for a round-trip from Sofia to Victoria with Emirates, which wasn’t too bad.
2. Go during the low season
The busiest time on the Seychelles is December, January, July and August, as this is considered the dry season. During these months the prices here are the highest.
I recommend you to visit in May or June – it’s a transition period when it comes to the weather, so it’s less crowded with tourists!
3. Pick the right accommodation
Overall, there are two types of accommodation in the Seychelles. On one hand, you have the famous hotel chains, where the prices can go up to thousands of euros per night.
On the other hand, there are the guest houses and self-catering apartments. There are usually locally-owned places for very acceptable prices, which are the preferred type of accommodation among budget travellers. For every island we visited, we opted for a guest house or a self-catering apartment. What I recommend doing is filtering by lowest prices on Booking and then looking at the reviews. This is how we found really good places to stay at and came across lovely hosts who were ready to help us with everything we needed.
Here is a list of the places we booked for each island:
La Digue – Zerof Guest House
Praslin – Amitie Chalets
4. Eat like a local
Eating out at a restaurant anywhere in the Seychelles is pricey, to say the least. One portion would cost you around €20, which is quite a lot (especially if you’re used to the €5 meals in Bulgaria).
In order to save money on our trip, we made sure we booked apartments with fully equipped kitchens both on Mahe and on Praslin. We then went to the local markets pretty much every other day and bought fresh fruit and freshly caught fish, which we cooked at home afterwards. For 6 big fish we would usually pay around 200 rupees, with additional 20-50 rupees for them to clean up the fish.
All this food would then last us for at least 2 days, for 4 people altogether, which was so much cheaper than going out to an actual restaurant. And it was so much fun learning to cook the fish and trying a new type every day.
Considering that La Digue is the most expensive island here since there are not many options for eating out or buying food on the go, we booked a guest house, where breakfast and dinner were provided. The package price was very good and we were getting so much food served every day that we couldn’t finish it.
5. Find cheaper transportation
If you want to stay on a budget, taxis are a no-go on the Seychelles. They will empty your wallet quicker than you think. While we were in the Seychelles, we didn’t take a cab even just once, because we knew how expensive it’s going to be. Instead, we hired a car on Mahe and Praslin, and a bike on La Digue.
Hiring a car cost us around €35-40 per day, which would’ve probably been the cost of just one ride with a taxi.
Alternatively, you can use public transport both on Mahe and Praslin, which is actually the cheapest option. I can’t give you my personal opinion on whether taking the bus is practical, as I haven’t taken it. However, I know that during the time we were there (May 2021), tourists were not allowed on public buses. As of right now (October 2021), tourists can use the public transportation, but they cannot carry luggage with them.
6. Take the ferry
If you’re planning on visiting other islands apart from Mahe, for example La Digue or Praslin (which I most definitely recommend), you can either take the plane or take a ferry.
The cheaper option most definitely is the ferry – it costs about twice as little. It does take longer and it might be a bit too much for people with weak stomachs (like me), but it’s certainly cheaper.
7. Bring your own snorkeling gear
Almost every beach on the Seychelles is a snorkeling heaven. I recommend you bring your own snorkeling gear with you so you don’t have to purchase/rent it here.
One of our snorkeling masks broke so we looked to buy a new one on one of the islands. When I saw the prices, I was shocked. No need to mention that we chose not to buy a new one from here – thank god it was towards the end of the trip.
8. Exchange money only at places with good rates
Something very important to know is that you must only exchange Seychelles rupees in the Seychelles. They have this rule that you’re not allowed to enter the country with more than 100 SCR, so don’t exchange money in your country before departing.
There are many places to exchange money once you get here. If I can give you a tip, that would be to not go to a bank, but rather exchange at a designated money exchange. Banks usually have the worst rates.
9. Use the local currency instead of Dollars/Euros
Apart from Seychelles rupees, many shops and local sellers accept euros or dollars. However, when converting the currency, they usually calculate the price in their head with an exchange rate that is not very accurate, so they can get more money out of you. Always have rupees on hand so you can pay in the local currency.
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