Rich and Vivid

SLOW Magazine - - Edition 51 -

Vanessa van den Berg from Travel Temp­ta­tions, in as­so­ci­a­tion with etravel, ad­vises trav­ellers to make copies of their pass­port and air tick­ets. “Leave a set at home with your emer­gency con­tact per­son and pack a set in your suit­case. En­sure you have two un­used pages ad­ja­cent to one an­other avail­able [in your pass­port] and that your pass­port is valid for at least six months af­ter your re­turn date to South Africa.” Don’t Leave Home With­out Michelle Bull­more from Travel Coun­sel­lors says a multi-plug is an es­sen­tial item to pack. “In that way, you can charge all your de­vices in one go, es­pe­cially since ho­tels rarely pro­vide enough plugs.”

Speak­ing of charg­ing, a fully charged cell­phone with a spare power bank is the ticket to mak­ing sure you’re al­ways con­nected. Says Brink: “I have re­ceived calls from trav­ellers who need help, but their phone is go­ing to ‘die any minute’. I can’t help if I can’t com­mu­ni­cate with you.”

Brink also car­ries a mo­bile router that al­lows mul­ti­ple de­vices to con­nect to it. “This is re­ally help­ful if you’re trav­el­ling with a small group or as a fam­ily. Buy a lo­cal SIM and you can all con­nect to the In­ter­net at lo­cal rates.”

Pot­gi­eter ad­vises trav­ellers never to leave home be­fore they’ve bought travel in­sur­ance. “Even if you’ve booked your air ticket us­ing your credit card or have pri­vate med­i­cal cover, make sure you un­der­stand what in­sur­ance is in­cluded and whether it will be enough cover for an emer­gency. The cost of med­i­cal ex­penses over­seas is much higher than in South Africa and travel in­sur­ance is there to cover for that.” In Your Hand Lug­gage Mandy Maggen from Tella Travel, in as­so­ci­a­tion with etravel, never trav­els with­out at least a day or two’s sup­ply of pre­scrip­tion med­i­ca­tion. “If you packed your med­i­ca­tion in your checked lug­gage and it gets lost, you’re in trou­ble.”

As the CEO of Thomp­sons Hol­i­days, Joanne Adolphe trav­els a lot. “By trial and er­ror, I’ve learnt what to take along and what to leave at home. I carry a pash­mina for the plane which I can use as a shawl in the evenings, as well as an ex­tra light holdall or shop­ping bag. Wet wipes are also use­ful and can also be used as loo pa­per if nec­es­sary.”

A fi­nal word on travel es­sen­tials is to check that the travel com­pany or con­sul­tant you are work­ing with is a mem­ber of an in­dus­try body, like the As­so­ci­a­tion of South­ern African Travel Agents (ASATA). “ASATA rep­re­sents 95 % of South Africa’s travel in­dus­try and by en­trust­ing your travel to the hands of an Asa­taac­cred­ited travel com­pany, you can travel with peace of mind,” says CEO Otto de Vries.

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