Ahead of her trip to the International Emmy Awards, SA actress Thuso Mbedu shares some holiday hacks and the hidden costs of travel.

Television star Thuso Mbedu, a two-time Emmy nominee and the only African nominated across the board at the 46th International Emmy Awards, will soon jet-set to the US to attend the International Emmy Awards for her role as Winnie in the local drama, Is'thunzi. 

Mbedu has bagged another nod from the prestigious awards, nominated for the Best Performance by an Actress title, for the second year in a row.

Ahead of her trip this November, Mbedu shares some holiday hacks and the hidden costs of travel that have taken her by surprise; for example some bank's charge crazy transactions fees and other surprise travel costs. It is a good idea to carry your credit card with you when travelling in case of any emergencies or hidden costs you may encounter.

#1: Tax is the biggest one. In South Africa, I'm used to the price I see being the price I pay, with tax included. However, this works differently elsewhere. In the US, for example, the price you see is not the price you pay as tax is added on afterwards. To make things even more complicated, in SA, VAT is 15% regardless of which city you are in, while in the US, tax changes per city, per state, so it becomes tricky to estimate what the total price will be.

#2: Use the hotel fridge at your own risk. Some hotels have sensors in their fridges so even if you move something and put in your own things, you will be charged a storage fee just to use the fridge.

Video: @thuso.mbedu


#3: Hotel and car hire. Both car and hotel providers tend to ask for a brokerage fee up front, so ensure that you find out how much this is, so you can have it available - these services will put a hold on your card and sometimes take a while to return the funds, so it's best to pay it in cash upfront.

#4: Thank goodness my Capitec credit card made my travelling easy by:

  • Charging me zero currency conversion fees for international payments.
  • I was grateful for zero card purchase fees worldwide, thankfully with the Global One card, not forgetting to mention my much-needed piece of mind with Mastercard® SecureCode™ when making online purchases.
  • Best part, free travel insurance and 55 days of zero percent interest! #CreditCardFTW

#5: Choose the cheaper transport option. If you're travelling to the US and you're planning on using Uber, there is a carpooling option that is much cheaper. You basically share the ride with people travelling to the same place and this works out to be far more cost effective.

Capitec clients get R50 off each of their first 2 Uber rides. Simply use the promo code CAPITECBANK

Your advice for finding the best flight deals?

My friend Vee is a bargain hunter and almost always finds cheaper flights than me. Here's what I have learned from her:

  1. Do your research and test different times on different weekdays to make sure you bag the best bargain. For example, flying out between Tuesday and Thursday is generally cheaper.
  2. Sites like Travelstart are great when you're looking for deals - especially if you have a Capitec card as you get R100 off local flights and R400 off international flights.
  3. Some banks allow you to track your expenditure using an online app. Investigate this option before you head off into the sky. That way you can compare your spending against your budget goals.

This article was published in partnership with Capitec.

DID YOU KNOW? You can track your holiday spending by using the Capitec app , available on Android and IOS, or online banking to compare your rate of expenditure with your budget goals.