Planning an exotic vacation always starts with choosing a destination. For many of us, the standards are always in play – the Caribbean, Mexico, maybe Europe. One group of destinations that is typically never even brought up is Africa. And while many American travelers shun it due to distance or misconceptions about its weather, there are few destinations with the level of variety and mystique that Africa holds.
A great way to work your way into an African getaway is to start in South Africa. It is more temperate than the equatorial regions of the continent, so the weather will feel familiar to North American travelers. Just remember that it’s in the Southern Hemisphere, so their seasons are the opposite of ours.
Other things will feel more familiar as well. Among its eleven official languages is English, which will make it much easier to communicate with local residents.
Once you’re sold on a trip to Cape Town, you’ll need to pack wisely. It’s a long series of flights, so whatever you can do to optimize your packing will be beneficial. Think about some of these things as you load up.
Review Your Itinerary
If most of your trips have been built around simple sightseeing, you may make an oversight if you decide to book golf in Cape Town, South Africa. You’ll probably remember clubs, but you may forget balls, tees, markers, and perhaps easiest to forget, appropriate apparel. Make sure you remember to pack your golf shoes and clothing that is appropriate for the courses you plan to visit.
And again, remember the differences in South Africa’s climate. While the nation has summer from December to March and winter from June to September, it’s generally hotter year-round than most of North America. Winter gear may still be necessary if you plan to visit some of the high mountains, which can be cold at almost any time of year.
Choose the Right Luggage
Being compact is key on international flights. You don’t want to run into excess baggage fees or problems with carry-ons, so take the time to shop for some new bags that will fit the bill for the whole family.
Remember that your luggage will need to stay closed for long periods of time with lots of handling, so really check out the various zippers and other closures that each bag uses. Consider soft-sided bags that can compress to reduce space if they aren’t completely full (and can stretch a little bit if they’re more than full). Be sure that liquids like health and beauty aids are in tough, tight bags to prevent leaks.
Organize Your Luggage
It can be tempting just to say, “We’ll be there ten days, I’ve got 14 outfits per person, into the bag they go.” But this can make for a miserable unpacking experience.
If your trip involves multiple hotels, organize the outfits based on what you’ll need at each destination. Don’t force yourself to dig today’s swimsuits out from under the ski gear for three days (and 200 miles) later. Consider using large plastic bags inside the luggage to group and mark each day’s outfits for every member of the family so that things go more smoothly when you arrive at your lodging. And be sure that passports and medical information are easily accessible at all times.
South Africa is a nation of immense natural beauty and impressive cities, bustling with activity. A vacation there will undoubtedly be exciting, memorable, and unique. If you pack carefully and wisely, you will have fewer disruptions and slowdowns that will undermine your ability to make the most of your time in Cape Town and the surrounding areas.
Article Submitted By Community Writer