Being a savvy traveller isn’t something that always comes naturally to us. Gearing yourself up to go travelling is exciting but it can also be daunting, especially if it is
for the first time. A savvy traveller comes with, on-the-road experience and in the beginning you will make
some silly mistakes.
You are going to mess up a few things – it’s only natural!
never@home has witnessed many of these little mishaps (believe us when we say many!) and have decided to give you guys the heads up by putting together a list of handy pocket sized travel tips. We hope these short and sweet tips will help you to avoid making the all so common traveller mistakes when travelling to Cape Town, South Africa…..
Don’t over pack. Figuring out what to take and leave behind is a common struggle but you will soon get tired of lugging around a heavy backpack or case. It is so much easier to get around when you don’t have your whole wardrobe packed.
Research your costs. Make sure you have a rough idea of how much transport, food and activities will cost you. And then put aside some more. You don’t want your spending money to be blown in the first two days when you
have another few weeks to go. Budget so that you can make sure this doesn’t happen.
Don’t be afraid to use a good old fashioned map. It might make you look like a typical tourist but it won’t be as bad as getting yourself well and truly lost. Also a paper map (unlike online versions) allows you to scribble notes all over them, with you being able to highlight the hip and happening spots you want to go to!
Take only what you need when going out. We are all human and we all misplace, lose or get our belongings stolen from time to time. You really don’t need a Polaroid, digital camera, go-pro, hand held camera and your phones camera to take photos – after all you only have two hands!!!
Pack a padlock. You mustn’t under estimate the importance of that handy piece of metal. A lot of dorms (including ours) require you to use a padlock in order to safely lock away your belongings.
Ask staff for information/ recommendations. Our staff not only know Cape Town like the back of their hand, they know you (yes YOU) more than you think too. They deal with budget travellers all day, every day so they know exactly where to recommend for great cheap meals and attractions.
Eat in the communal kitchen. Locals don’t eat out every night, and neither should you! Go grocery shopping. You will be surprised by how many foods are different from home. Cook something local that you might never have cooked before. Not only will you come away having learnt how to make a new dish that will wow your friends and family back home, cooking in the communal kitchen allows for conversations and engagement with other likeminded travellers.
Carry a basic first aid kit. Ok we don’t want to completely smother you by sounding like your mom but accidents do happen, so best to be prepared with a plaster at the ready, just in case.
Download Uber. Uber is a quick and convenient way of getting around. Plus payment is made via the app using your bank card which means – you can get about with no need to carry lots of cash with you.
Take free walking tours. They are the best ways really get to know the city by foot. Cape Town offers an awesome variety of them going through different areas. We do recommend giving a friendly tip as the guides do not get paid a salary for the awesome job they do.
Pack your trainers! We know you are excited to finally get some sun and you want to get your freshly pedicured feet out but when you finally find yourself in Cape Town, surrounded by glorious mountains which are screaming out “climb me!” you will regret having only packed your flip flops.
Don’t travel too fast. Travelling isn’t a race, nor is it about collecting passport stamps. Our advise is to spend more time embracing the country, it’s food, culture and having awesome experiences rather than rushing simply for the sake of saying you’ve been there, done that to all your mates.
Don’t over plan your trip. Ok, so we have told you to do some planning for your trip to avoid making silly mistakes but on the flip side you can over plan! Make sure you have a rough idea of where you are heading and what you will do but have enough flexibility to embrace opportunity as it comes to you.
Take earplugs. There will always that fellow traveller that SNORES (and for all you know if could be you!) in your dorm room. So don’t take any chances, take your earplugs and get a good nights sleep. This dude is pretty awesome, you don’t want to hate on him because he kept you up all night.
Wear sunscreen. Ok, so you have arrived in Cape Town all pasty-white with the desperate desire to look sun kissed and bronzed. But South Africa can get hot and the sun is strong so make sure you protect yourself from burning by wearing a high sunscreen. After all we don’t want you going home, peeling like a South African,
We help that our pocket sized travel tips will help you in making less silly mistakes when travelling to us!
… But the most important thing you need to remember to do is to enjoy every part of your journey – for the fun and adventure begins at the planning stage. And it won’t be long before one day, you will move seamlessly through airports and find yourself integrating into new cultures like a fish to water.