Dubrovnik, Croatia

Yesterday marked #BackToSchool for most kids in South Africa, while #BackToWork started last week already for most adults.

With these popular hashtags comes that well-known melancholy feeling of returning to the grindstone. But, the happy holiday feelings don’t have to end at the school and office doors. The best way to combat the post-holiday blues is to immediately book your next getaway.

To give you some inspiration, travel professionals affiliated with the Association for South African Travel Agents (ASATA) share their favourite holiday destinations as well as some secret inside tips.

Learning to cook in Northern Thailand – Rachael Penaluna, Business Manager Sure Maritime Travel

Northern Thailand is a firm favourite for Rachael Penaluna, Business Manager Sure Maritime Travel. She says: “Out of the hustle and bustle of tourist attractions, the North of Thailand offers an opportunity to find your spiritual self and get back to green nature.”

Although Penaluna says she wouldn’t travel to Northern Thailand with small children, for teens the change of environment and cultural enjoyment are fantastic. 

What are Penaluna’s insider tips for Northern Thailand? “Definitely do a Thai cooking course in Chiang Mai and experience the night market as well as Wat Phra That Doi Suthep,” she says. 

Furthermore, the Hmong Village is a local village home to Chinese Thai villagers who fled across the border, and well worth a visit. Says Penaluna: “It’s a great place to see how the locals really live and buy hand crafted fabrics and gifts made by local people.”

“Local is Lekker” for Club Travel’s Talene Deetlefs 

The favourite holiday destination of Club Travel’s Talene Deetlefs is Langebaan, situated in the West Coast about 130km out of Cape Town. She says: “It has a lagoon with clear blue water that is perfect for kite boarding, SUP (stand up paddling) and kayaking. It’s a nice place to relax and enjoy the ocean air.” 

The lagoon is very safe and has no waves so children can play without the parents worrying too much about them, explains Deetlefs. And also for teens, there are plenty of activities to choose from. 

What are Deetlefs’ insider tips for Langebaan? "If you would like to spoil yourself, I would recommend the Windtown Lagoon Hotel. It’s based in the middle of the town and at walking distance to the beach and shops. It has a swimming pool, spa and a kitesurf shop where one can take lessons."

Die Strandloper is a lovely open-air restaurant with a buffet option, and is definitely worth a visit.

“In the footsteps of Game of Thrones in Croatia,” for Club Travel’s Tatum Vermaak


One of Tatum Vermaak of Club Travel’s favourite holiday destinations is Croatia. She says: “There’s so much to see and do: from island hopping to exploring the set of the famous Game of Thrones.” 

Also for the little ones Croatia is outstanding, according to Vermaak. She says Croatia is a very family-friendly destination with activities for everyone. 

What are Vermaak’s insider tips to Croatia? "I would recommend a 7-night cruise with Katarina Lines as it offers a number of routes to explore the various islands in Croatia as well as the bustling city of Dubrovnik."

It is hard to pick a favourite restaurant as there are so many on the islands and in the city. The food, in general, is delicious, well balanced and tasty. You will find bakeries that sell coffee & pastries all over Croatia, tempting you every step of the way.