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The word travel has such vast connotations. It conjures up different scenarios for different people. It may be a well deserved leisure break, an overseas tour or, for the more adventurous, tackling Kilimanjaro.

Whatever you’re planning, whether it’s a ’local-is-lekker’ beach holiday, sightseeing abroad or an out-of-town business trip the art of successful travel lies in careful preparation.

Here are some useful tips to help ensure that your travel plans run smoothly.


Check the entry and travel requirements of the country you plan to visit. This can be done by contacting the embassies or consulates of your foreign destination. Double check the expiry dates of your documents and renew them if necessary. It is imperative that you have all the required documents with you when you travel:

  • ID Documents
  • Passport
  • Valid Foreign Visa/s
  • Drivers License / International Driving Permit
  • Itinerary
  • Airline Ticket
  • Hotel Confirmation
  • Medical Certificates (where necessary)
  • Credit Cards / Travellers Cheques (keep a list of their serial numbers)
  • Travel and Medical Insurance (optional)


Make two copies of all your travel, important document and personal information in case of emergency or if your documents are lost or stolen. Have your documents officially certified. Take one copy with you, packed separately from the originals, and leave one copy with a friend or relative at home.


  • Invest in durable luggage
  • Pack light – over-packing tops the list of biggest travel mistakes
  • Research the climate and culture of your destination
  • Be aware of flight restrictions on size, weight and number of bags
  • Make an itemised list of clothes, accessories and toiletries
  • Select your most wrinkle-free clothes that hand wash easily
  • Use a rolling technique to fold clothes
  • Choose comfortable shoes – individually wrap them in plastic bags
  • Carry a minimum amount of valuables
  • Use mostly solid make-up – airport security restricts carry-on liquids
  • Wear your heaviest clothes en route.


No matter where your travels take you the golden rule to being money wise is ‘never flash your cash’.

Rather sort out your money away from the payment point than show your wealth to an unscrupulous observer.

Another ‘money wise’ tip is to not have too much money in your ‘travel bank account’ at any one time.

Should you card be stolen this limits the amount a thief could get hold. Always remember to cancel a stolen card immediately.

When travelling overseas:

  • Check and understand the exchange rate before departing
  • Notify you bank or financial institution of your impending trip
  • Avoid carrying cash – opt for credit cards (make sure they are accepted at your destination) or travellers cheques
  • Change travellers cheques only as you need them.

Ultimately the choice is yours as to how you handle your finances abroad. Whether its credit/debit card, travellers cheques or cash make sure you do your homework based on what facilities are available to you at your chosen destination.


Being ill-prepared when it comes to your health is not only costly, it also spoils what could otherwise be an enjoyed and memorable trip.

Prescription Medication

  • If you take prescription medication make sure you pack enough to last your entire trip with some to spare in case of delays.
  • Keep them in their original labelled containers (with instruction leaflet) in case you need to purchase additional medication abroad.

Vaccinations For Entry

  • In some countries vaccinations are required for entry.
  • Check the current health requirements with the foreign embassy.
  • Carry proof of inoculations or medical examinations.

Medical Insurance

  • Check with your medical aid what ‘abroad cover’ you have.
  • Depending on your state of healthy you might want to consider purchasing medical insurance for the duration of your trip.


Your trip will be safer and more enjoyable if you plan ahead. For your own peace-of-mind take care of the little things.

  • Make sure you have the contact information of your overseas embassy or consulate.
  • Check travel warnings for unrest or dangerous conditions which might pose a risk.
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