There are different kinds of people that visit Lagos. There are the ones that have come to attend an event/celebration like a traditional wedding, those that are in town to seal a business deal, those that are here to soak up the sun in the summer, those that are Party-ready, PepperDemGang-ready and come to Lagos in December to find their future husbands. And of course, those that are here to visit family.
The tips I will be providing in the 5 ways to save money when visiting Lagos applies to everyone mentioned (as we know most likely you might fall into a combination of two or more of the categories even if by accident).
1. DON’T BUY ASO-EBI (if it will bankrupt you)
Aso-Ebi is a traditional wear that the friends of the couple wear to attend a wedding. Prices can run up high so rather than follow the crowd, analyse your pocket #EnoughSaid
2. ASK BEFORE YOU BUY/USE/DRINK
Especially at bars, ensure to ask exactly how much the prices for alcohol is as you might have a heart attack if you’ve already consumed the drinks and realise the venue wasn’t created for people like you. It is also important to ask and get a clear sense of EXACTLY what you are paying for when making any purchase or transaction (Don’t ASSUME anything).
Remember in Lagos, everything can be negotiated (except food in a well organised grocery supermarkets) so make sure that you never pay the first price stated by a vendor. Vendors expect you to bargain (as they naturally overprice their products) so please DO. (Tip: You can negotiate deals at electronics stores especially if you are buying high valued items, just request to speak to the manager)
4. DON’T TIP (if you can’t afford it but do tip for great service)
Memory lane takes me to when I was in New York 7 years ago when I forgot to tip a cab driver. He followed me out of the cab and uttered some serious insults for not tipping. That will not happen in Nigeria. Tipping isn’t an obligation, it is a free choice so ensure that you exercise your right to choose your stance.
5. REMEMBER YOU ARE NOT “MOTHER THERESA” (unless of course you are)
Most people that visit Lagos are very generous with giving money to the needy and I personally find nothing wrong with that but it will get exhausting. Rather than giving money to beggars, why don’t you sponsor a child’s education through a well organised organisation with small donations (It will go farther).
6. CHEAPER DOESN’T MEAN BETTER
In your quest to save money, make sure you don’t compromise on quality. If a price seems too good to be true, make sure you run it by a close Lagosian friend who will give you a review better than that on Trip advisor. Ensure to do your research as the same product can significantly be sold at different prices in the same vicinity.
7. STAY AND SOCIALISE ON THE MAINLAND (and from time to time pop over to the Island)
The prices of everything in Victoria Island, Ikoyi and parts of lekki are inflated. This is due to the cost of rent in these areas which are much higher than those on the Lagos Mainland for instance. Whether it be the cost of hotels or food or artefacts, it will be more expensive in Victoria Island and Ikoyi.
Those are my quick tips on how to save money when visiting Lagos. I hope it was useful. Let me know if it was and perhaps you have other tips and hacks. Comment below!!