Holidays are one of those things people dream of, they plan for years in advance, save up money and travel brochures, they speak to others who have been there, and accrue a great deal of knowledge about the area they want to go until it’s nearly a burning obsession. It becomes something they aren’t just desiring to go do, but MUST go do, and it would seem that with all the planning in place, and the events lined up just right nothing at all could possibly go wrong!
There’s only a few things to keep in mind when taking a holiday in the first place. Be sure when you’ve spent all those years planning, to take a tour around the area using Google’s Street View. This handy tool allows you to take a virtual drive around the area you want to go see, and considering all you have are other people’s words on the areas, it can only help you to figure out if it offers exactly what you’re looking for, or if the people you’ve spoken to left out the city noise, or traffic, or any other unhelpful elements that you might find matter to you, but didn’t to them.
Don’t take someone else’s trip. If you heard about your friend Lucy’s trip to Mazatlan last year, and she raved about the parties and the fun to be had, the man she met in a cabana on the beach and hours spent sipping tropical fruity drinks as night after night was spent doing something new, and she’s shown pictures to everyone in the office and brought back envy worthy souvenirs, don’t book that trip to Mazatlan simply because Lucy had a great time. You want to go somewhere you have a real interest in, or at a minimum, a place where you can see as much as possible, get away from as much as possible, and spend as little as possible, as is the case with places like Wilderness, and accommodations like Wilderness on Sea where you can do as much or as little as you like, feeling like you’ve bought a timeshare rental on an exotic location.
Some people are looking for the non-stop fun and partying like Lucy, but others might prefer a more sedate and secluded trip, a place where they can enjoy being far from the chaos that marks everyday life, and a place that makes them feel more at peace and one with the land around them. They seek somewhere they can hear the songbirds, feel the wind against their face, smell the ocean and taste foods that are foreign to their home palette. It’s important to figure out what you want to get out of your trip before you book it, especially if it takes years to save and plan for it. There are plenty of locations in South Africa specifically that can bring you both sides of this, and provide the party aspect in some areas, and the more sedate seclusion in others.
Another concern when spending large amounts of money to get to the place you’re going is not having to spend even more to enjoy yourself. By booking a place that is inexpensive, and has surrounding activities that are equally so, it goes a long way toward being able to enjoy yourself completely while you’re away, without having to feel like you’re penny pinching yourself into a rut where you are in a beautiful place, but can’t go anywhere or do anything until you leave. The exchange rate between South African rands and most other country’s currencies is extremely favorable for the traveler and means you get a great opportunity to enjoy far more for far less.
Few places offer visual masterpieces or vistas that change within a small radius, but that’s one more area South Africa shines. When you’re choosing where to go, if you narrow your selection too tiny, as with an island like Hawaii, you’re limited to what is on the island, and not much of the scenery changes. You’ll see plenty of mountains and volcanoes, pineapples, banana trees, palms, beaches, and a ton of over-the-top touristy shops and stalls aimed at pleasing an endless throng of people. You’ll get an occasional hula dancer but much of the real Polynesian element that settled Hawaii a long time ago has been phased out, so you don’t get to see the real area as a local would. This is one area where South Africa is proud to say they’ve stayed true to. A real “Rainbow Nation” as they’ve been dubbed, they’re home to so many cultures, that a variety of foods isn’t the only thing you’ll get to enjoy. The scenery changes with just a short drive in any direction, and as the home where two oceans meet, is the only place on earth that some species live.
By deciding what you really want out of your holiday, whether it is partying til the sun comes up, or relaxing and rejuvenation to go home feeling like a whole new person, you’re enabling yourself to get the most out of a long awaited and planned for trip. Be sure you have done your own research and not just taken the word of others. Call ahead to destinations you’d like to stay or consider, and find out what it would mean to really stay in a location like that. Ask the owners what they love most about living there! If you’ve chosen a place that is nearer to where you live in terms of flight costs, just so you can save money overall on the entire trip, but plan to live frugally while you’re there, you can reconsider your options at going even further away when your money is worth more somewhere else. Besides South Africa, places like Thailand and China are extremely decent places to go where your money is likely to go a long way, so don’t limit yourself by the cost of your plane ticket. Though the airfare may cost more initially (though you can always seek incredible deals daily anywhere) you’ll save more in the long run by being able to truly let go and enjoy yourself while there, and sacrifice no part of the trip.