Dr Musa Mthombeni shares his top travel tips

South African television host and recent graduate, Dr Musa Mthombeni. Picture: Supplied

South African television host and recent graduate, Dr Musa Mthombeni. Picture: Supplied

Published Apr 9, 2024


Television host and globetrotter Dr Musa Mthombeni says travelling has opened his eyes to what the rest of the world is like.

The recent graduate, who is set to travel to Türkiye and Thailand, for a radiologist conference in Chiang Mai, said travel helped him realise there was a lot more to the world than their own little bubble.

“Like when you live in your own country, you’re in this bubble that exists in your own world, in your own life and that’s it.

“I love that travelling allows me to grow. I like experiencing local activities in international places, local bars and local restaurants, and seeing the different perspective that the locals get to experience and their different cultures and communities.”

He is no stranger to travel for business or leisure with his former Miss SA wife, Liesl Laurie.

What are the top tips for making the most out of long-haul flights and staying comfortable during extended periods in the air?

“As you get ready, pick the most comfortable outfit, put on the most comfortable shoes, and pack your carry-on with essentials for a pleasant flight experience,” he said.

He also advised travellers to check in as early as they could so that they could pick the seats they wanted.

“If you know that your bladder is small, preferably pick an aisle seat so that can jump out without bothering too many people. I can usually sit for many hours without having to move.

“I am a lover of movies and series, so in-flight entertainment excites me and keeps me entertained for the long flight.”

How do you combat jet lag when travelling and do you have any tried-and-tested strategies for adjusting to new time zones?

“I like arriving a day or two early to help adjust to the local time. But upon arriving at your destination, I strongly suggest you try to force yourself to sleep. Once you have adjusted to the time zone, start experiencing things,” he said.

What essentials do you pack in his carry-on bag to ensure a smooth and stress-free flight experience?

“I take all entertainment things, so I carry my laptop or an iPad and headphones. But importantly, I also carry the basic goodies that I need on a long-haul flight.”

He said he maintains his skincare regimen with his L'Oréal Men Expert Hydra Energetic range, which includes a face wash and moisturiser.

“I also use sunscreen. If you are flying during the day and the cabin’s windows are open, you should apply sunscreen. I also recommend you travel with your own toothbrush and toothpaste, just in case you don't like what you're going to get on board.”

Do you have any remedies for those who struggle with motion sickness?

“I don't suffer from any motion sickness or feel any discomfort in flights. I'm easygoing. But I think for anyone that does experience motion sickness; over-the-counter medications are available.”

Mthombeni says travellers could also practise relaxation techniques and keep their minds entertained to help alleviate discomfort during flights.

As someone with a busy schedule, how do you manage to find time for travel?

“I make time to travel. You will never reach a point in your life where you find yourself available to travel. Retirement is too far for you to say you will travel then. I’ll have too many broken bones to really enjoy travelling. So, I make the time.”

Mthombeni says even if you found yourself losing money in the short run, travel.

“If you have leave days, take the leave days. So as much as you can while you’re still young and are able to travel because the future isn't guaranteed, and anything can happen. If you can travel, do it.”

What is your favourite airline and why?

“For me, Turkish Airlines stands out when I look to travelling Eastbound.”

Mthombeni says travellers could experience Istanbul with Turkish Airlines and experience a free stopover and tour Istanbul during a 6 hour layover and, more conveniently, it allows travellers to experience two destinations or two holidays on one trip.