Everyone remembers their first trip specifically made to go on holiday, and not just a weekend away. It was something long anticipated, and saved for, treasured, perhaps even something we saved photos and brochures for the destination of, because one day we swore we would go there on holiday. When we showed up, all naive and full of sunshiney ambition, we knew nothing about world travel… but from the airline trip or car trip alone, we learned plenty already. It’s those little learning opportunities that you need to have seen once before to know what to do thereafter that matter and make or break your trip. Since we know a thing or two about traveling, we’ll give you some great tips so you don’t have to learn from mistakes.
No Cell and No Computer
Unless you plan on splitting up with the people you are traveling with and need to keep in touch, there is no reason to bring the cell phone along except perhaps for photos. IF you bring the cell phone along for photo opportunities, be sure that you stay off it unless you are taking photos. Here’s why: We live in a highly technological world where even our heart rates are being monitored by wearable technology. We can fly to our favourite destination, and stay at Cinnamon House in Wilderness, all by using the computer to organize it.
These things are great, the ability to do something from anywhere at all is pretty incredible, but there is one thing all this tech brought us that isn’t so great and that is disconnectedness. Everyone is so busy snapchatting or whatsapping, uploading to Facebook or Twitter, and creating the perfect “lay” for Pinterest. The world has gone bonkers seemingly overnight, because people cannot seem to stay off their cell phones and tablets to actually pay attention to their surroundings, and this does not stop when on holiday either… but it needs to.
Here’s our tip for this category – Don’t bother traveling if you are going to upload every moment. Those moments you travel for, those reasons to go on holiday disappear when you’re trying actively to capture all of them. You spend so much time just thinking about the perfect shot, or perfect upload, or how many likes and shares you’ll get that you have already lost the point in the first place. The ironic part of all of this is, nobody is more interested in your own life than you are – and by doing the social media shimmy you’re missing all of it. Put the phone down and look around you when you’re on holiday. South Africa is not to be missed, and moments that you’ll remember for a lifetime will definitely not be the ones you posed for.
Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better
Do you know the song? Have you known someone who is always playing the “I’m better than you” card because they can do things you can’t do? Have you known the people who can’t actually afford to live that style of life, but who do it to keep up with their friends? People like to hang around others who they feel are most like them, and in high society circles that means flaunting how much money you can spend without being called gaudy for it. Whoever has done the most extreme thing, who wears the most expensive dress, or wins the most rare auction, etc… has won the game. Going on holiday is one of those things people tend to get wrong also.
If you’re traveling with friends it’s hard to keep from overspending because they’re encouraging you to have a good time, and often that also means spending money. If you’re competitive friends as are a lot of people, then you’ll spend more than you meant to and feel horrible about it later, just because your friend spent the same amount or more. It’s hard to be the one left behind on holiday and not do something you want to do because money is tight, but if you’re like most of the rest of the world… money IS tight. Money is not something we’re willing to just part ways with because it took us forever to get in the first place. You can actually be thrifty and be on holiday at the same time, so our tip for this one? Don’t send yourself into debt, and be sure to pick places you can afford.
South Africa remains one of the best places to go because most countries money goes a very long way once here. There is no reason to go into debt just to travel. If you’re traveling and charging up a storm then you’ve ruined the whole point in going at all, because you’re there to de-stress, relax, to get away from life’s craziness, not add to it. You can find a myriad of things to do that are totally free, all over the world. There is no reason to go into debt just to go on holiday. So avoid overcharging what you can actually afford to pay back, and you’ll be able to come back for more later!
Get Travel Insurance
This one deserves its own spot in the article, because you just never know. Sometimes your whole trip can go off without a hitch and everyone gets home happy and healthy, but if you’re anything like me or my friends and family, you’ll know that it doesn’t always work out that way. You definitely don’t want to be having the time of your life in Wilderness, and get into some horrible accident while just walking down the cobblestones… not in another country, I can’t even begin to tell you the hassle this is. There is so much waiting and red tape, and people won’t move medically to do anything more than life saving measures until they get every single legality straight. This can be difficult in other countries, but in South Africa, you’ll be close enough to really great medical facilities. Without travel insurance, you’ll potentially spend hundreds of thousands more than you planned, and you can’t plan for an accident… believe that’s why they call it one!
Prepare for it so you don’t have to wish you had later.