The Star Late Edition

Virtual tips for the long weekend

- SAM WRIGHT Sam Wright is an internatio­nal eSports shoutcaste­r and the founder of Tech Girl

FREEDOM Day on April 27 presents another opportunit­y for a four-day weekend, which many are planning to enjoy with friends and family.

While some may kick back at home and connect virtually, others prefer getting out and enjoying the local scenery. To create a safer experience, everyone is encouraged to replace crowded holiday spots with local day-trip destinatio­ns, or small, intimate gatherings.

Here are some fun tips and tricks to help you celebrate your next getaway: Take the (shorter) road less travelled

Avoiding crowded places can be tricky over a long weekend, but you’ll soon find that much of the country’s beauty lies in your province’s local areas, like a nearby hiking trail or a park that’s a couple of minutes away from you.

Make sure any place you visit has a safety stamp of approval

If you’ve made plans to go out to an establishm­ent with a small group of friends or family, then make sure that whichever place you’re visiting has the recommende­d health and safety protocols in place.

Look out for hospitalit­y and entertainm­ent providers that adhere to the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) protocols for your safety, and the safety of other guests. These establishm­ents have the World Travel and Tourism Council's (WTTC) Safe Travels Stamp of approval, courtesy of the TBCSA.

Virtual can still be lekker

More and more events have moved online in recent months, and tons of platforms are available to connect you with friends and family, from Zoom to WhatsApp, Skype or Google Duo. If video isn’t ideal for everyone, then you can set up a free conference call line, where everyone can dial in.

If you must drive, do so safely

If you’re going to be driving for an outing, make sure to take the necessary steps to stay safe and alert – including putting your car through a safety check to ensure it’s in tip-top shape. The Automobile Associatio­n (AA) has some tips to make sure you’ve covered all vehicle checks.

Weekends and holidays are a great time to bond with family and friends, even though they’ll be virtual this year unless it's a small group. If you do have to travel somewhere, remember to stay alert, even if it’s a 20-minute drive. Play some games in the car, sing along to that playlist you’ve been compiling, and remember to keep your body and mind revitalise­d.

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Sam Wright

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