Cape Town - Holidays are great but there's a lot of stress that comes with planning and packing and actually getting to your destination.
Whether you're using a travel agency, a curator of travel or whether you're planning it yourself, here are some tips that might make this year's getaway just a little more enjoyable.
This will take both the financial and logistical stress out of planning your holiday. If you book far enough in advance, then you'll have time to pay for your trip in installments and still save some spending money for little extra's that make for special moments while you're away.
If you've left it until the last minute, rest assured though that all is not lost. It might cost you more but it needn't be the logistical nightmare you expect it to be. Don't try and book it yourself, use a reputable travel or booking agency. Let them search for and coordinate your flights and accommodation for you.
They often get special offers - especially when holiday time draws near and there are still some rooms available that resorts or lodges need to fill so it may well even save you some money.
You don't want to be in such a flat spin that you can't enjoy the break that you have booked and paid for.
Weather apps are a great way to check the weather at your holiday destination. Knowing what the weather is going to do while you are there will help you to pack appropriate clothing. Don't make any assumptions here - the world's weather has become so unpredictable. Even if the prediction is sunny skies, pack in a light-weight long-sleeved top in the event that an unexpected storm creeps in.
Try to mix and match your clothing when you pack to keep your case lighter. You don't want to incur additional travel costs because you packed a black, brown, blue and silver pair of shoes and you only end up wearing one of them anyways.
Whether you're driving or flying, some additional sustenance for the trip is always a nice-to-have. Something to nibble on while you're driving to keep you alert if you're the driver or to keep you chatty to keep your partner company while they do the driving. Some treats on the flight to make the time pass a little faster - nuts, sweets, chips or biltong - these are all good choices.
Supporting documentation and money
If you're lucky enough to be travelling overseas, make sure your passports are packed somewhere safe and easy to access when you get to the airport. Flight documentation may also be a nice-to-have - just in case or if you're really a good planner, check into your flights and book your seats the day before you fly. Most flights open for check-in 24 hours before the flight is scheduled to leave.
It's always a good idea to have a copy of your passport with you. If for whatever reason you lose or have your passport stolen, a soft copy on your phone or photocopy somewhere in your luggage may make the process of reapplying for documentation in a foreign country a little easier.
Also remember that if you are converting money at the airport for a different currency, you will need a proof of residence when doing so. Remember to take this with you, alternatively convert your money at the bank that you have your accounts with as they already have a proof of residence on file.
If you're driving, make sure you have your driver's license with you and enough cash or card credit to pay for toll roads. This expense adds up quickly.
Don't jam-pack your time
Leave some time to relax while you're away. Often if you're travelling abroad your excitement at discovering a new land may result in you jam-packing your days so as to fit everything in. Try to schedule some time in to relax too. You don't want to come back from your holiday more exhausted than when you left. Try to book a day on either side of your trip to pack and unpack and unwind - this will help ease you out of holiday mode and back into work mode.
Adapted from a press release for IOL