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|BEFORE TRAVELLING ABOARD TAKE
NOTE OF SOME OF THESE TRAVEL TIPS
whether your hotel rate includes breakfast or not. Generally,
hotels in the USA never include breakfast, whilst most European
and British hotels do include at least a continental breakfast,
except for some of the really deluxe hotels, which are usually
on a room only basis.
highest category hotel overseas is Deluxe. The second category
is First Class (Superior) and is usually far more expensive
than its South African equivalent.
you cannot afford travel insurance, you cannot afford to travel!!!
Baggage insurance is very expensive and claims are limited
to articles valued at R500,00 or less.
lock your baggage with a key or small padlock. Don’t
make it easy for the would be thief! In case the outside label
should become lost, place an adhesive label with your home
address inside the suitcase.
you are leaving your home unattended during your absence,
it is not a bad idea to ensure your baggage label is protected
against prying eyes at check-in counters, by only having your
ONWARD destination on it. I always take an extra supply of
labels along with me and each time I take another flight,
I change the destination on the label accordingly. This also
makes it easier to trace you, if your baggage should happen
to go astray.
carry a change of underwear, socks, and if possible, a shirt
in your overnight bag in case you and your baggage get separated.
you wear glasses, keep a copy of your lens prescription in
your wallet. It is a lot easier to simply replace glasses
than find a good optician to test your eyes.
should also take along with you, copies of relevant pages
of your passport, air tickets and some extra photos. These
should be kept in a separate place to the original documents,
e.g. in your main suitcase. With these photocopies, you should
also keep, separate from your actual travellers cheques, the
slips giving the record of the serial numbers of your travellers
cheques. You would not be the first person to be mugged whilst
overseas, and it is not much fun to be stranded in a strange
country with no air ticket, no passport, no travellers cheques
and no credit cards!! And no proof of whom you are!!
re-confirming your onward flight, which you should always
do at least 72 hours prior to your departure, check on airport
departure tax. This tax, particularly in the Far East, is
usually paid in that country’s local currency. Imagine
spending your last few bits of local currency before leaving
for the airport, only to find that you have to cash in a large
denomination of travellers cheques, just to pay a few Rands
worth for airport tax.
all your flights are on computer, it may well happen that
if you are a no show for one flight, the computer will automatically
cancel all the subsequent flights on your itinerary. It is
thus in your own interest to let the airlines know your plans.
it is tempting to drink yourself into a stupor on a long international
flight, remember that alcohol dehydrates you and where there
are big time changes involved, it is more likely to cause
remember that there is a difference between DIRECT and a Non-stop
flight. The former simply means that you do not physically
disembark to change to another flight; however, the plane
may stop once or even twice en route to its destination. The
latter is what it says, i.e. no stops.
you travel, keep a supply (about 20-30) of $1 bills on you.
They are useful for tips, the occasional cup of coffee whilst
in transit, the odd phone call from the airport etc. If not
legal tender wherever you are, it is easier to change a few
dollars than a travellers’ cheque in a large denomination,
when you only need a few rands worth of local currency.
you are relying on purchases at duty-free shops at international
airports, remember that often many of these shops close relatively
early in the evening. For example, Geneva duty-free closes
at 22h00 and Rome is also ‘toegesluit’ before
midnight. If therefore you are to depart late at night, make
sure you have not left your important gift or other buying
for the last moment. Make sure by buying your essentials in
town before travelling to the airport.
you are travelling on business, ask your travel agent to check
public holidays in the countries you are visiting. There is
not much use arriving in a city whose business’s are
money and time permits on a business trip, use the weekend
to try and get out of the city, to either a nearby resort
area or even take some full day or half day excursion; apart
from giving you a little R & R, you get to see more of
the country than just another big city.
it does happen that you have to cancel a flight, a hired car
or hotel accommodation, always make a note of the date, time
and the name of the person to whom you spoke, in case of a
later claim that you failed to advise of your change of plans.
is now perfectly legal for South Africans to hold a foreign
passport, in addition to their South African one. Forms for
permission may be obtained from our office or the Department
of Home Affairs. If you are lucky enough to be eligible for
this, it obviates the hassle of visa’s. If you are not
one of the lucky ones, and particularly if you travel frequently
to destinations requiring visa’s, apply for permission
to hold two South African passports; thus, if your passport
is away for 2-3 weeks getting one of the more difficult visas,
and you have to make a sudden unexpected trip, (albeit to
Swaziland), you still have a valid travel document at all
those travelling Economy Class, remember that most fares are
seasonal, based on your departure date. Thus, if you have
to go on business, and your appointments are fairly flexible,
you may save money by travelling a few days earlier or later.
Also, if you are going to be away for less than the required
minimum stay needed on the cheaper fare, try and stick to
only one airline. They are often prepared to waive the minimum
stay provided no other airline is involved and no-one else
most countries require that when hiring a car, you produce
not only an International Drivers Licence, but your local
one as well. A certified copy from your ID book will suffice.
you are a frequent traveller, keep a little medical kit constantly
packed at home, in a small cosmetic purse or similar. Place
in it, any medication you take regularly, contact lens equipment,
plus emergency items such as Panado, Band-Aids, medication
for diarrhea, decongestants, etc. If you have a sensitive
stomach, make it a rule to only drink bottled water when away
from home, no matter where. It is not that the water from
other cities is bad, it is just that it’s different.
Avoid eating lettuce in very hot climate.