Wander or Bust is an Elite Daily travel series that follows young women all over the globe to record their journeys as they experience the thrill of the far-flung and unknown.
They'll track their budgets, where they stay, where they eat and drink, and where they took that amazing Instagram that got them ~maximum exposure.~ The internet is full of travel advice, but none from women just like you. Read on for the tips no one else gives you, and when in doubt, get on the plane.
Here's Lindsay Stein's Wander Or Bust guide to Cape Town, South Africa.
My Name: Lindsay Paige Stein
Where I Live: New York, New York
Where I Went: Cape Town, South Africa
How Long I Stayed: I visited South Africa for 10 days, four of the days spent in Cape Town.
My Spending Style: Occasionally indulgent. I don't throw money around, but I will definitely splurge on more than a few expensive things on a vacation.
Where I Got My Recommendations:
I researched a lot, mostly using travel websites such as Travel + Leisure and Condé Nast Traveler. One of my favorite travel bloggers, Kiersten Rich of The Blonde Abroad, moved to Cape Town and has tons of helpful recommendations and guides for every type of budget.
Exchange Rate At Time Of Travel: 1 South African Rand (ZAR) = $0.80 USD
What That Looks Like IRL: $50 USD = 613.94 ZAR
Preferred Payment Method: I mostly used a credit card to stay away from foreign transaction fees, but took out cash beforehand to have on me at all times. I found that everywhere I went took credit cards.
Phone Bill: I put my cell phone on airplane mode and used WiFi at all times, so there were no long-distance or foreign fees.
Mode of Transport: I flew with South African Airways.
Price: The total round-trip flight cost was $900.
Extra Costs: The hotel arranged airport transfers for us.
Transport Total: $900
I stayed at The Silo Hotel, a new luxury hotel that is worth every penny if you’re looking to splurge on a five-star experience. Taking design to a whole new level, The Silo has incredible rooms, a spa, rooftop lounge, and dining options using seasonal, local ingredients.
Location: The Silo Hotel towers above the V&A Waterfront, surrounded by the natural wonder of Table Mountain and the beaches.
Price: Rooms rates at The Silo start at approximately $1,120 per night.
Extra Costs: $0
Would I Recommend It To Someone Else: Yes!
Accommodation Total: $4,480 (for four days in Cape Town)
Breakfast-Lunch Cost: Approximately $10.
Dinner Cost: Approximately $30 to $40.
Average Total Cost: About $45
Tip Situation: We tipped the same amount that we would in the United States — 18 to 20 percent — depending on how the service was.
Cape Town is home of some of the most innovative and high-quality restaurants, and better yet, they’re all super affordable. The locals eat out a lot, whether it’s going to a trendy cafe for breakfast or a new restaurant for dinner. South African cuisine is largely dominated by meat.
Favorite Restaurant: My favorite restaurant by far was The Pot Luck Club & Gallery, located in The Old Biscuit Mill.
Location: The Pot Luck Club & Gallery, located in The Old Biscuit Mill.
Price: The total meal was $80 for two people.
At award-winning chef Luke Dale-Roberts’ eatery The Pot Luck Club, you can indulge in a smorgasbord of small plates of global modern cuisine and order off a menu that’s divided into distinct taste profiles (salty, sweet, sour, bitter, and umami).
Food Total: Around $250 total
There is a big nightlife scene in Camps Bay, which should be on everyone’s lists heading to Cape Town. It’s a mix of bars and clubs.
What People Wear Out: For those going out in Cape Town, the attire is a beach chic vibe.
Average Cost Of A Pint: $2
Extra Cost To Know About: No, just cabs/Uber for transportation costs.
Last Call: Most of the bars and clubs close around 2 a.m.
Average Total Cost Of A Night Out: Around $30.
Cheapest Bar I'd Actually Go Back To: The Gin Bar
Going Out Total: Around $50.
What I Spent A Lot On That Was Totally Worth It:
A trip to the Cape Winelands Region to explore fine wine, great food, and the amazing scenery is an experience every visitor to Cape Town should have. I booked Luhambo Tours’ Cape of Good Hope & Constantia Winelands Tour, which took us to Chapman’s Peak Drive for incredible views, Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, Boulder Beach, and lastly, Constantia for wine tastings and lunch. The full day tour came out to $100 per person.
What I Spent A Lot On That Was Totally Not Worth It:
Honestly, everything that we splurged on was totally worth it.
What I Spent Little Or No Money On That Was Awesome:
Standing on top of Table Mountain was a dream come true. You can either hike it or take the cable car up to the top for a round-trip price of around $5. I took the cable car and loved the aerial views as we rode up to the top.
Favorite Thing I Did, Regardless Of Cost:
I loved exploring Bo-Kaap, a neighborhood in Cape Town that’s filled with colorful homes and rich history.
Hidden Gem I Found:
The Silo Hotel has a rooftop pool and lounge with the most stunning views, which is one of the best spots to grab a drink and watch the sunset.
The Photo I Took That Got The Most Attention:
Excursions/Extras Total: $125
General Shopping: $150
Souvenirs/Shopping Total: $150
Best Cape Town Hack:
Pack comfortable walking shoes, as most of the city’s streets are uphill. Many of the best restaurants and shops are all in walking distance from each other.
Advice For Anyone Traveling Alone:
If you’re heading out at night and you don’t have your own rental car, I recommend taking an Uber or have your hotel call you a taxi.
Total Trip Cost: Around $3,130 total.
Worth It? It was 100 percent worth it!