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Expert Tricks To Budget Travel For Nigerians



You do not need to be a millionaire to enjoy travelling or to have a vacation.

There are many ways to be part of the traveling population, whatever your status is. You actually need to purge some believes and blocks out of your system -that vacation is for the rich or middle class only, it is not a necessity or its almost a waste of money, it is expensive, it must be Paris, Milan, or other popular sounding destination, it must be luxurious, it deeps huge hole in your finances, I won die if I don’t do vacation, and loads of other thoughts that are inhibitive. Never forget this popular saying: work hard, play harder!

You also need to agree first that vacation is for your own good- better health, clear head, rejuvenation, education, meeting new people and networking (great for business), better quality job on return, bonding for couples, family and friends, re unions for old school boys and girls. The list is endless. On a cruise holiday or water destination like Zanzibar, do you know how much clean air (no fumes, no dust, no industrial waste etc) that you get into your system? That adds to your number of years on earth, and helps your mental health as well. Come to think of it when you are eighty, what are those things you want to look back to with your partner and smile- the wild holiday, getting lost in a new city that you don’t speak their language, tasting a new delicacy or that adrenalin vacation? There is that special excitement and happy hormone that your body pumps into your blood stream, they are great for you.

If you can’t run marathon, then start with hundred meters or less. Start with domestic tourism and do baecations, daycations or groupations. Nigeria is blessed with so much places to visit which city you are, so my friend if you have no reason not to do anything. This means that your vacation can start from two thousand or five thousand naira! I know the beach is clichéd but go! Get that good air into your system, get your feet on the wet sand, immerse yourself in the water, and for God sake wear something appropriate for the beach. If you are based in Lagos- from Olumo rock, Lekki conservation, Ado awaye, Idanre, Nationa Museum, usually entrance fees is not more than a thousand naira, and Nike art gallery is free for individuals. If you have a group and you would like to explore more to other parts of the country like Yankari game reserve for Safari, Obudu cattle ranch etc, or Paris, Mauritius, Zanzibar, Dubai, will put the magic wand for your group and make it a lingering experience.

So you are thinking cruises, vacation in Paris, Milan, FIFA or UEFA Champions league final hospitality, , Bali, and other pristine sounding destination, if you do not have a fat account, you need to get your acts together on time. In other parts of the world, people save up for their holiday, similarly you do not have to wait for a windfall or manna from heaven! One of the first rules for affordable or cheap travel is ‘BOOKNG AHEAD’. If you book eight months to one year ahead or where possible way more than that, you are like to get almost half of the cost, so your flight, hotel, tours, cruises should be booked ahead. For cruises booking ahead does huge wonders, spouse free, children free, upgrade and loads more. So never forget that you can start planning your vacation more than a year ahead. So that honeymoon, anniversary vacay, family holiday, family re union should not necessarily be over expensive and out of reach.

It helps a lot if you have a capable agency like Butterfly Tourism handling your travel. You will get loads of advice on where your budget can go, discount availability, prime hotels but medium budget, new exciting destinations, what you should do on your vacations and most importantly many cost cutting advice to make it all worthwhile.

A lot of Nigerians mistake vacations for luxury travel, they are not the same, luxury travel is luxury travel, a five thousand dollars suite per night, limousine pick up at the airport, front seat at the games expensive resort, and first class flight is luxury. For affordable travel two or three star hotel is great, economy class flight ticket, tours that are non-expensive, and keep looking out for best places for shopping, malls are not always cheap. For example in Dubai, you may just want to do the desert safari, dhow cruise, and city tours. Inclusions of the likes of IMG, Sky Dubai, Water parks, dining in the sky, helicopter rides, Burj Khalifa prime tickets, cost a lot. There are loads of things you can do on a holiday all by yourself!

Depending on your personality, if you are spending from seven days upward on a vacation, and you are on a tight budget, I will advise you stay in a self-catering apartment (Airbnb preferably) so you can cook. It runs down cost for you, and allow you eat what you want. Eating out can be expensive! Accept it, those lobster, fine wine and caviar serving restaurants are not for budget travel, be happy with what you can afford and create a unique experience for yourself, even if you have to use hostel. Not many Nigerians love the idea of hostel, but it is perfect for people who don’t mind, and with sole aim of ticking off bucket list, and having the fun of their life regardless of low budget.

Beware of taxis, especially metered taxis, the accumulated cost will kill you! Keep to public transportation, except you are in group of three to four upwards, and you can all split the cost. The same reason you should share hotel rooms, splitting the cost help your budget travel a lot. You will probably need to get a map, and must ask lots of questions from locals, and make new friends, they come in handy. They will take you to the best places to buy great souvenirs but at cheap costs.

If you have a large group (sizeable groups starts from ten persons), try to use a travel agency. The stress of travel planning is under estimated and may spark frictions between you and friends, especially with mistakes. A group gets you discounts, and all manners of cost reduction, only an agent will know this tricks. Do you know that before now, some airline offer one ticket free for every ten?

Once you agree within yourself or with your friends and family on a vacation, and destination is agreed, it is time to start planning. Possibly the longer you start booking, the less expensive your booking is. Agencies like ours also allow instalment payment to make things easy. It takes huge loads off your neck.

What of road trips around three or four West Africa countries along with your friends, sleep in your bus, cook, and the balance is mostly fuel cost. Fellow Nigerian, just pulling your legs. If you are up to it, let me know!

Now that you know some of the tricks, when are you going for your vacation?

Hafees Keshinro is the Founder of Butterfly Tourism Nigeria, and you can follow him on twitter @hafeeskeshinro

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Nigerians Are Banned From 2022 US Visa Lottery – US Government



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Nigerians have been banned from participating in the US Visa Lottery for 2022 by the United States government. This was contained in a document, ‘Instructions for the 2022 diversity immigrant visa program (dv-2022)’ obtained from the US Department of States website on Thursday, October 15, 2020, that can be accessed by reading the 19 page document by clicking here.

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The reason given was that because more than 50,000 natives of Nigerians have immigrated to the United States in the previous five years and for DV-2022, persons born in Nigeria is not eligible to apply for the US Visa Lottery for 2022. Other countries affected by the ban apart from Nigeria are Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (including Hong KongSAR), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam.

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It should be noted that the only African country affected by the ban is Nigeria. This might also affect foreigners born in Nigeria as well since the document states that persons born in the following countries are not eligible to apply with Nigeria being among the listed countries.

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Nigeria Lifts International Flight Restriction After Barring Several International Airlines From Airspace



The Nigerian Government had earlier postponed the resumption of international flights earlier scheduled for August 29th to September 5th. On Saturday, September 5, 2020, there was joy as the first international, non-essential passenger flight landed at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, for the first time in over three months. The Middle East Airline (MEA) was the first international flight to land anywhere in Nigeria after the international flight restrictions had been lifted earlier, taking off from Lebanon. President Buhari had in March 2020 suspended international flights due to COVID-19.

Earlier, the Nigerian government had released the list of international airlines denied approval to operate in the country. The Aviation Minister listed some airlines that were denied entry into Nigeria. They include Air France, KLM, Etihad, Rwandair, Lufthansa, TAAG Angola Airlines, Air Namibia, and Royal Air Maroc.

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Out of the 10 airlines barred from flying into Nigeria, some like Air Namibia was barred because the country of origin of the airline has not resumed international flights or because there were was no COVID-19 Health Protocols yet for the country. The Aviation Minister gave the reason Airfrance and Lufthansa were not approved was that Swiss visa owners are not allowed entry and the same reason applied to KLM. The aviation minister also noted that passengers who fail to present a valid COVID-19 test or refuse to go for a repeat test may be placed on a travel watch list for six months. The Nigerian government had in August 2020 vowed to implement a reciprocity clause by banning flights and airlines from countries that had put similar bans on flights from Nigeria as nations open their airspace amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The aviation minister said only approved airlines will be allowed into the country’s airspace.

Approved Airlines In Nigeria

Some approved international airlines that have been given approvals to operate within the COVID-19 protocols in Nigeria include Middle-East, British Airways, Delta Airlines, Qatar Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Egyptair, Air Peace, Virgin Atlantic, Asky, Africa World Airways (AWA), Air Cote-d’Ivoire, Kenya Airways, Emirate, and Turkish airlines.

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Airlines permitted into the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja include British Airways, Emirates, Ethiopian, AWA, and Middle East Airlines while Egyptair, Virgin Atlantic, Turkish Airlines, AWA, Kenya Airways and Middle East Airlines airlines are allowed to operate at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.

Criteria used in approving or denying operation of the airlines include

  • Foreign carrier operator permit: This is a requirement by the law
  • Guidelines by COVID-19 Presidential Task Force
  • Other guidelines including restrictions that came from other countries that will affect Nigeria operations in Nigeria.
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Q & A

How to Book Appointment At American Embassy In Nigeria 2020



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The United States of America is a popular destination for Nigerians. Many people want to visit this powerful western nation. The United States of America is a world power with a thriving economy. Booking of an American visa appointment is done online. You can not enter the United States of America if you are not a citizen or the Queen without an American visa. You need to obtain a visa whether it is a visa for temporal stay or visa or for permanent residence to stay in the country legitimately. Note that having an American visa does not guarantee entry into the U.S. The American visa allows a foreign citizen coming from abroad, to travel to the United States port-of-entry and request permission to enter the U.S.

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As an applicant for the American visa, you have to appear in person in Abuja, or the consulate general in Lagos. There are two ways you can book for your appointment at the American embassy. This can be done either through the call centre or via online application.

Booking American Appointment Online

  1. Visit this link to register an account or log in to your account as the case may be.
  2. Create a profile by filling in a valid email address, your last name, first name, create a password, and correctly filling the characters in the box provided below to create an account.
  3. Note that the U.S. Consulate General Lagos schedules all IR3/IR4 (adoption) cases directly with the applicants after the Consulate receives cases and completes required prescreening. IR3/IR4 cases cannot be scheduled for an interview using this online platform. If you schedule an IR3/IR4 (adoption) interview on this platform, you will be turned away on the day of the interview. Immigrant documents can only be picked up from the Victoria Island location in Lagos. Applicants will be notified by email and SMS when their documents are ready for pickup for those applying for an immigration visa.
  4. Ensure you have completed your DS-160 form and have uploaded the correct photo specification. Applicants who enter invalid DS-160 codes will not be interviewed.  Please visit and follow the guidelines stipulated for visa application for those applying for a non-immigration visa.
  5. For immigration visa, you then select the visa category that applies to you All Immigrant Visas, Boarding Foil, K1 Visa (Fiancee), Returning Residents, select Visa code, and continue until you have booked your appointment.
  6. For a non-immigration visa, you can select the post where you would like to schedule an appointment between Lagos and Abuja and continue the process till you have booked an appointment.

Booking American Appointment Using The Call Centre

You can also contact the American embassy with the lines listed down below. When you place a call, one of the visa application services call centre agents would be able to assist you with booking an appointment. For Callers in Nigeria, they can call +23412278955 while callers in the United States of America cal call +17035202575

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Restrictions To Changing Appointments

Individuals that have already booked for an appointment are limited to the number of times they can reschedule their appointments.  As stated on the site, all fees paid are non-refundable. You will have to pay again when you book for an appointment again.

Supporting Documents Needed for the American Visa Interview

When booking for an appointment, you need the following documents.

  1. A travel to America valid passport with a validity date of at least six months before the intended period of stay
  2. Payment receipt for your visa application this should be from GTbank.
  3. Your DS-160 confirmation page document
  4. Your Valid e-mail address and telephone number

Completion of a Medical Examination for the US Visa Appointment

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services want every applicant to complete a medical appointment with an authorized physician in the country where they will attend their interview. An authorized physician is a doctor approved by the US embassy in Nigeria. If you complete your medical check with another doctor not approved, the consular will not accept it as valid.

Some of the things to be examined during your medical examination include your medical history and a copy of your immunization records. You will also be examined physically (eyes, ears, nose and throat, extremities, heart, lungs, abdomen, lymph nodes, skin, and external genitalia).

Things To Note Before Attending US Visa Interview Appointment

Before you attend your interview you need to know the following. The person interviewing you is the consular officer. Your fingerprints will be scanned during the interview. Do not take with you any foods, backpacks, laptops or big bags to the embassy. You have to take very few things with you. Also, endeavour to dress in a simple manner.

Arrival At The U.S. Consulate General Lagos Office

As an attendee to your interview, you need to arrive on time. Sometimes, you might have to wait in a queue, but that does not guarantee late coming. Try to be in the meeting, at least, 10 minutes earlier.

Fingerprint verification

When you enter the entrance of the embassy, you will be taken through the security door. This security door has a full-body metal detector scan. Proceeding, you will receive a token, which you would use for the interview. Finally, your fingerprints would be scanned and you would receive further instructions.

Get Ready For The Interview

After submitting your fingerprint, you will have to wait in the lounge area. Here, you would wait quietly for your turn. Arrange your documents properly, so that you don’t have to mess with your hands when you meet the interviewer. When you will hear your name, you proceed to the interview with all the required documents.

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