In 2018 Arton Capital updated their passport index to offer South Africans a visa free score of 94, which means that South Africans can now visit four more countries than they could in 2017, without having to apply for a visa. This is good news for South Africans who are working through their bucket list of travel destinations.

At CN&CO we firmly support the benefits, experience and exposure that travelling provides and over the years our associates have been fortunate enough to travel to multiple destinations around the globe and locally – from many domestic flights from Johannesburg to Cape Town or Durban; team trips with Club Med (read about our trips here); exploring Lebanon; hiking mountain trails in Spain; touring Amsterdam and loads more.

Some of our experienced travellers have built up their own routines and pre-travel checks which varies from carrying travel packs with their important documents for the trip, to packing a spare set of clothes in their hand luggage in case their primary luggage gets lost on route to their destination. As a first time international traveller there are a few things that you can learn from frequent travellers and we would like to share these with you.

We recently chatted to Magcino Gule, Senior Manager of Travelsure at Old Mutual Insure and here are a few travel tips that she would recommend to first time travellers;

  • Take care of the paperwork first!

Taking care of your admin upfront will always make the whole trip easier. Ahead of any trip, I ensure all the admin is sorted well before my departure date. —For example, will I need to arrange a visa, do I need to get any vaccinations or preventative medication and most importantly, alert the bank that I will be traveling so that I am not stuck abroad with a frozen bank account.

  • Ask, read and get recommendations

You know what they say about ‘time flies when you’re having fun’. Well, I have learnt through the years how crucial it is to structure my holiday. The worst thing to experience is to get to a destination with no knowledge of what you want to do and see because before you know it it’s time to come back home without making any memorable memories, so ask friends who have been there for recommendations for ‘must try’ experiences.

  • Travel Insurance is as important as your cell phone

These days, you can now purchase travel insurance online or by using an insurance broker. While I haven’t had to claim on any of the trips I have been on, having a policy with comprehensive worldwide cover keeps my mind at ease as I board the plane. It is also usually needed when applying for a visa.

  • Prepare for the flight

Always pack a small hand luggage bag and if you are boarding for a long-distance flight it’s best to wear comfortable clothes. Being comfortable means that you are able to relax, read or sleep.

  • Google the currency of your destination

This can help you budget accordingly because effective budgeting can also help when you are comparing different types of accommodation, daily activities and special souvenirs you might want to buy.

We are currently working with the Old Mutual Insure Travelsure team and actively learning more about the travel insurance category in South Africa. Their pipeline is full of exciting things and we can’t wait to share these with you. They have a variety of products to ensure that you are adequately covered on your next leisure or business trip. So check out their Travelsure offering here, they also have a unique product for corporate travel insurance.

With July counting as the half year mark, happy travels and good luck with planning for your next holiday.