If you are visiting Lanzarote then this quick guide may save you time and money. These are some things I used to save money when last visiting Lanzarote.
1) Tours – using the right tour company
Last Minute Travel seem to give the best value in tours. The hotel or package holiday reps may tell you that their tours are the only way you will see the island or they may claim cheaper prices but not in my experience. We were quoted €76 each for 2 trips – a north and a south island tour – by a holiday rep of a large UK travel firm on arrival at our hotel. For 2 people this would have cost €304. We were told there was no such thing as a 1 day grand tour of the island… This was a lie to get us to buy the tours from them (we were also told this was our only opportunity to buy the tours). In the end we did a grand tour of the island for about €60 with Last Minute Travel saving about €180 on what the rep might have expected us to pay for 2 separate tours.
2 – Use public transport
Public Transport on the island is frequent and fairly cheap – taxis are plentyful and seem to give good value for money. As an example of how public transport can save you money, there are coach tours from Puerto Del Carmen to Playa Blanca costing about €20 pp but on public transport this trip would cost you €2.40 each way per person. The route is the #6 bus from the Biosphera Shopping Centre in Puerto Del Carmen and you can get times from the “Arricife Bus” website. The bus times are a but erratic and the bus is often late. Holy Days operate a limited service , usually running on Sunday times – your hotel may have correct times available. If you miss the bus or want to get a taxi between the two resorts it will cost you about €30.
3 – Haggle
You can haggle on prices of everything from holiday goods to electrical items. For example I saw something priced €25 and the shop clerk (sometimes they follow you around the shop) was doing a fine sales job. I just said it was too dear and told them all I had with me was €20 and they said “ok, €20” … Not exactly haggling in this case but it is worth keeping in mind. However since UK and Irish people are not used to haggling this can be a daunting if not exciting process.
4 – Try before you Buy
Electrical goods and cameras are good value in Lanzarote. Where possible ask to try the item out in the store and ask to take this item if you are happy. I bought an iPod Travel kit and asked if I could try it on my iPod – there was no problem and when everything worked ok I was happy to buy it. Most recently I got a Canon 70-300 zoom lens in Playa Blanca and asked to try it out – again no problem, and I was asked by the shopkeeper if I wanted to go into the street to try it out on my camera , he didn’t even come with me, which I was impressed by. Be wary of voltages however , if something works in an AC socket in Spain, plugging it in at home in Ireland or UK could end up in sparks and a dead appliance.
Lanzarote is a lovely island and is very safe however, there have been an increase in petty thefts, wallets, cameras, bags and in some cases items taken from hotel rooms. Watch your belongings, and use a safety deposit box in your room.