Itchy feet? 5 travel tips from a pro

When it comes to travel, I could be the modern-day Dora the Explorer. I’m always keen for a new adventure, whether to the coast or the bush, or even a local road trip. It’s time for us all to say ‘yes’ to exploring again and being fearless in the pursuit of newness – safely and responsibly. Luckily for us, there are more travel options available now for both you and your family. I hope the tips below are helpful ...

Travelling with Thobi

Get top travel tips from Thobi Rose: travel and lifestyle content creator, storyteller and travelpreneur.

1. Safety first

While Covid-19 is still a part of our lives, it’s critical for our economy and our sanity to enjoy travel and entertainment responsibly, especially over the upcoming holiday period. So even if you’re fully vaccinated, avoid crowded indoor venues where you can’t practise social distancing, wear a mask when required and wash your hands with soap often.

And don’t forget that there are other dangers on the road, even when we’re preoccupied with a pandemic. Make sure your vehicle is roadworthy and stick to safe, sober driving no matter how much of a holiday-party mood you’re in.

2. Road tripping done right

Thanks to travel restrictions being lifted, road trips are back, especially if you’re still a bit unsure about flying. You can still enjoy the feeling of escapism while in a car on a road trip to new and unseen locations around South Africa. When road tripping, I recommend that you take the road less travelled and instead of your usual turn, take that sho’t left.

In case you aren’t sure what the rules to road tripping are and how to get ready for one, here are some tips and tricks below:

  • Do your research before you leave, including the number of toll gates you’ll pass, how much they cost, road conditions and map routes, so that you will feel less stressed on the road.
  • The music selection needs to be curated a day before, so make sure you've downloaded your songs before starting your trip in case the network along the route isn’t great.
  • Choose the right co-driver to sit in the passenger seat. That person is not only there to share the driving, but they’ll also be responsible for checking the aircon, passing you some snacks as you drive, and keeping the conversation going. Make sure to swap drivers every few hours on long trips.
  • Pack snacks for the road. Whether you’re travelling alone or with friends or family, snacks are highly needed. Make sure to strike a balance between healthy snacks like nuts, fruit, and biltong, and some treats like chips and some chocolate.

3. Local and international destinations open to visit

  • Top African locations perfect for you and your family: Namibia, Kenya, Botswana, Tanzania and Seychelles.
  • The Maldives is currently a fantastic location that you can visit, and many of the resorts are child-friendly, with endless activities for the whole family.
  • The Karoo – a gem that every South African needs to visit, for the landscape, picturesque locations, quirky accommodations, spectacular game viewing and more.
  • All the international destinations mentioned above need a negative PCR test within 72 hours of departure for South African travellers.

4. Being a responsible traveller

  • When travelling, instead of using plastic bottles and plastic straws, why not just bring your own? Buy yourself and the whole family glass bottles and reusable straws for the journey.
  • As much as we all love a Michelin-style meal when travelling, try some of the local establishments too, like street food vendors. You can also give back to the people of that destination by trying a sustainable local homestay, rather than booking a hotel stay.
  • Respect the local customs. Make sure to find out about the local culture, from food to dress code, and even the language. You would be surprised at how locals treat you when you greet them in their own language.
  • Book at eco-friendly accommodations and work closely with the local community that believes in conservation. Being a responsible traveller is great when travelling with family, as it teaches children about the environment. Examples of eco-friendly accommodation are the Samara Private Game Reserve, Bulungula Lodge, Kololo Game Reserve, Grootbos Nature Reserve, Farmhouse 58 and Rosemary Hill Farm.

5. Your 6 must-have travel accessories

  • A power bank to charge your phone and devices when on the move.
  • Packing cubes. These are great for saving space and organising your clothing when travelling.
  • A luggage scale to check your suitcase weight before leaving.
  • A foam travel neck pillow.
  • Multiple face masks and portable hand sanitiser.
  • All your travel documents.