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Be Smart About South Africa

Six Travel Resolutions Worth Making This Year

Image: Thomas Bennie - Unsplash

Yes, this is another New Year’s resolutions piece, but it’s not in the way you think. We’re not here to tell you to get your life in order, get your health on track or to make career resolutions. We’re here to tell you to have fun this year. Travel more. Experience more. Make more memories in 2022. 

This pandemic has taught us all that life is fleeting and that waiting for a “special occasion” to enjoy travelling might not be the best plan. Travel anyway. Travel just because it’s Tuesday and you need a break. 

Here are six travel resolutions that are totally worth making this year. 

Put your phone away 

It’s very easy to whip out your phone often while travelling. You want to capture that amazing waterfall. You want to ensure that you take photos or videos of your kids splashing about in the river. But perhaps this year, instead of spending so much time capturing memories on your phone, be part of them instead. Enjoy the moments with your family and loved ones without feeling the need to take a photo of them for social media. Just take in the moment, be present and enjoy your holiday. 

Support local 

There’s no denying that these past two years have been tough for the local tourism industry. With various lockdown and travel restrictions, the industry has taken a battering. Small tourism SMMEs have perhaps felt it the worst. Which is why it’s more important than ever before to support local businesses during this time. Tshepo Matlou, Head: Marketing & Communications at local booking platform, Jurni South Africa, explains that thereare so many local places to explore in South Africa. 

“We’re seeing an increase in demand for local places to stay,” notes Matlou. “We’re working hard to meet this demand and we’re thrilled that domestic travellers are more keen than ever before to support local, small tourism establishments.” 

Travel solo 

Last year, data from global flight search and travel deals website, Cheapflights.co.za, suggested that more people in South Africa were searching for tickets for only one person. Pre-pandemic, in 2019, about 71% of all searches on the website were done for one person while, late in 2021, that number rose to 77%. And while many of these are, of course, for people visiting others or travelling to study/live abroad, there’s no denying that solo travel is on the rise. 

You don’t need to wait for your friends and family to be ready to travel. If you are itching to explore other destinations – plan a solo trip. Enjoy some time by yourself and spoil yourself in ways you never would if you were travelling with a group. 

Splurge if you want to 

If you have money to splurge and you have been tempted to use it on a holiday, don’t feel ashamed to do just that. You deserve it. We all do, to be honest. Spoil yourself and your loved ones with a local luxury trip. Look at destinations such as the incredible Kruger Shalati: The Train on the Bridge if you want something truly special. It’s quite literally a train on a bridge that has been converted into luxury accommodation. It stands over the Sabie river and the views, service and overall experience are spectacular. Or arrange an epic overland adventure if you so wish. The point is: feel free to splurge on your next holiday if you have the means to do so. 

Enjoy more experiences 

It’s easy to want to buy momentos and trinkets on various holidays – and that’s perfectly fine. But be sure to keep some cash on hand for more experiences. Do the boat rides, the hikes, the cycling tours, the cooking courses and more. These experiences not only give you a more authentic feel of a destination, but you are able to meet more locals this way. And other travellers, too, of course. 

Enjoy more day-cations 

If you don’t have the time or the money to take a longer holiday, then do a day-cation in which you explore your local city or area just for one day. Enjoy the touristy things if you wish. Bungee jump off the Orlando Towers in JHB, SUP in the ocean in Durban or enjoy sea-side cocktails at Tobago’s at Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront in Cape Town. Fill your day with activities that you usually reserve for a full holiday and enjoy them to the full. 

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