The festival season is officially here and people are going away to amazing destinations. I sometimes feel like going away to an exotic destination all by myself, but sometimes It might not be a good idea to travel alone. So here are tips for people travelling alone to international countries
Always travel with a well-known, trustworthy companion. Do not go off on your own.
Always be aware of your surroundings and have all of your emergency numbers on hand.
Never trust strangers, do not visit dodgy places, have at least one other person with you.
Do not travel alone, travel with a tour group.
Carry pepper spray, it might be illegal in some countries (So find out).
Always pack your bags yourself, do not take “gifts” from anybody.
Leave your valuable items such as expensive jewelry that might make you a target.
Give your family copy of all your itinerary and keep in touch as much as possible do they can know your movements
Register with Registration of South African Citizens (ROSA). This service is free and by registering your trip online with ROSA you assist the Department to locate you during an emergency. If you have such a service in your country, it is advisable to register.
Walk with confidence like you know where you are going and if you have ask for directions imply that you are meeting a friend there. So, that they don’t think you are alone.
Hope you find my tips for people travelling alone to international countries this December very useful.Safe travels and enjoy your holidays.
How do you keep yourself safe after living the secure borders of your home country?
I was tagged by the awesome Sara from inafricaandbeyond.com in the wanderlust tag. Being a travel addict, I couldn’t resist completing it of course.
So here goes,
1.Your most treasured passport stamp?
The only stamp that I have (hahahaha) North America Orlando Florida, planning to collect more stamps in the near future.
2.Can you recite your passport # (number) from memory if asked?
Oh wow you are making me feel bad, I don’t know it at all. (Feeling embarrassed)
3.Preferred method of travel: planes, trains or automobiles?
If it was possible to travel overseas with trains, I would be my first option. I really hate flying it really cold up there.
4.Top 3 travel items?
5.Hostel or hotel?
I love my privacy I prefer hotels from 4 star upwards. I need to feel home away from home and be able to sleep peacefully at night.
6.Are you a repeat visitor or do you explore new places?
I am a new visitor, but I would love to visit many more places as possible, preferably every country that my South African passport allows me to visit without a visa.
7.Do you read up on your destination (culture, history, safety) or do you wing it?
Yes, I read a lot about my visit to Orlando, Florida I was obsessed daily. I will also read for my future travels
8. Favourite travel websites?
I use Travelstart to find the best affordable flights and I recently fell in love with Booking.com because you can book without paying a deposit and still cancel to the very last minute. TripAdvisor I love it for reading other traveler reviews about certain things to know what I am getting myself into.
9.Where would you recommend a friend to visit? Name city & why.
Being that I have only visited one place so far, I cannot currently recommend a city maybe in the next two years. (Fingers crossed)
10.You’re leaving tomorrow, money is no option, where are you going?
Oh my goodness Asia I love countries that have are exotic like Malaysia, Hong Kong, India, I love their interesting food, fashion and way of life.
I dream about visiting Turkey I just love the architecture it’s really interesting and then be off to Paris, Greece, Tahiti, Hawaii (Aloha) and oh my gosh I must see Rome.
Basically I want to go everywhere.
I tag the following bloggers to add fuel to my (wanderlust) fire:
In march when we decided to take a family vacation to the US Orlando Florida, we browsed through airlines’ websites and we initially decided to fly Emirates. The prices were too high at that time and because the Rand was really weak, too, going to Orlando, Florida the ticket prices would give anyone a heart attack New York was cheap but accommodation was expensive and accommodation in Florida was cheaper.
My experience flying Emirates well hubby always uses them so it was my daughter and my first time. The staff was very welcoming all smiles, poised and well mannered. I love their uniforms really beautiful and clean. My daughter was entertained all the way from our location to our destination and back. I loved the fun pack they gave her about animals and countries and most importantly, there was a wide selection of animation and the little ones got served first.
Airplane food is horrible they all tasted the same and I was disappointed with their breakfast because it was all kinds of eggs, I do not eat eggs so breakfast was a bit difficult for me (Please consider other options). The menu was crisp and elegant.
The economy seats they were too close to each other and by the time I arrived, my back was hurting, I don’t know how people sleep, coming was better because the plane was not full so I asked to sit on the empty seats so that I can lay down I was sick chest infection. (Not a nice way to end an amazing trip).
All in all, I will fly Emirates again and I pray for business class seats they are so spacious and they looked so comfortable and soft. Flying Emirates were really a life changing experience me and my daughter and I am really thankful the memory cards we got with each flight the friendly flight attendants took family photos for our daughter to cherish the experience forever.
What is your favorite airline and why do you love it?
This was the first USA attraction we visited upon our arrival, wow Studio Universal Resort in Florida is huge. So I decided that we must buy the park hopper in order to see the two parks in day boy did I regret that decision because by the time we have seen enough of Universal Studious we were so tired to see Universal’s Islands of Adventure.
We used the complimentary shuttle from the hotel so we arrived nearly in the afternoon and the shuttle was coming back to pick us up at 18:15 so we were time pressed. We did a lot of sightseeing and less riding because the lines were long because it was so full. We saw the Shrek 4-D show oh my goodness that was mega fun we all enjoyed it and we felt like we were in the movie, the seats moved, we actually felt everything from mist to water the special effects felt so real it was an awesome experience.
I so wanted to go on the Transformers The Ride 3D, but the line was so long we couldn’t because of time we were rushing to see Universal’s Islands of Adventure. As we walked through The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogmeade I was in awe I mean I was like a small child seeing candy and of course hubby was lost about what the hell I was mesmerized by (Hahahahhahaha) the building they were so detailed felt so real it was like walking into a Harry Potter Movie
It was breath taking and we went on The Hogwarts Express after an hour of waiting in line, I expected more I was really disappointed and the ride was really short. Everything Harry Potter was sold there from wands to capes it was magical well for me being a huge fan.
My advice is when you are planning to see Universal Studios do one park a day and go for a long time we had 9 days hence the park hopper.
What is your favorite part of the Universal Studios Resort?
I was really looking forward to visiting Disney World in Florida and this time we decided only to be seen Magic Kingdom we did not go to other parks. I must say it is a mission to reach Disney, when you arrive you take a complimentary transport to the train station and then take the train to Disney its a small trip on its own.
Oh my goodness it was packed like seriously full, every ride there was a huge line, we used the complimentary fast pass, but it was only for 3 things well it was worth it. It is crazy every little girl was wearing Elsa’s dress from Frozen so much that on my way back, I had to watch the Frozen Movie on the plane to see what is the fuss about (I understand now).
Disney World Magic Kingdom Trip was truly an amazing experience we got to see the castle, rode on different rides such as tea cups, enjoyed the peter pan flight, haunted mansion which my daughter hated, also took a boat ride and even saw some street entertainment.My daughter got to take photos with Tinkerbell, Elsa and Anna.
This time we only visited one park, perhaps next time we will take a long trip and we will get to see other parks like Epcot, Animal Kingdom just to name a few.
Have you ever been to Disney and what was your favorite part about it?
When I was planning our trip to Orlando, Florida, USA Legoland Florida Resort was not even an option all I was focused on was seeing the Disney World and Universal Studios. Legoland was kind of a last minute suggestion. I really enjoyed myself, it was not as big a Disney World but we got to see a lot of the place and rode on most rides it was amazing.
Legoland Florida Resort opened in 2011 and has a spectacular water park which unfortunately when we crossed over they were taking people out of the water because the was a lightening warning in the area. The Water Park looked fun and there were lifeguards visible at every corner.
I am happy because it was not as full as other famous attraction so fast pass was not really necessary. We enjoyed Friends to the Rescue’ Live Stage Show Lots of singing and dancing from the ladies. We also enjoyed the following rides DUPLO® Train, The Grand Carousel double Decker load of fun it was and my daughter enjoyed Royal Joust just to name a few.
I was in awe of the Miniland wow they made up amazing cities in mini leagues like Time Square and Statue of Liberty in New York, I am not a Star Wars Fan but damn that structure was super cool you have to see it to understand and you know that famous red bridge San Francisco bridge they built it too.
Traveling to countries that need a visa it is a lot of work indeed I found out while we were planning our visit to the United States of America, initially we wanted to travel in December 2015 but I was overwhelmed by the process that I quit the application process because a lot of people love to travel in December .
January came and we decided to try again because I was getting leave at work for the easter weekend and the schools will be closed by that time.
Tips for Non Immigrant Visa Application (USA)
1. For the tourist visa go to https://ceac.state.gov/genniv to fill in the online application each and every family member needs to fill out the form which for me it was two adults and one child. Always double check the information before submitting because once you click submit you cannot amend the application.At the end of the submission you will need to print out the DS160 confirmation which you will need to present at the embassy. You will required to upload the 50cm by 50cm photo, but if it does not meet their requirements don’t worry, you can take the correct ones when you go for the interview.
2. Now its time to book for the visa interview for this you go to https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-za/niv, here you will choose on which day, date and branch you want to take the interview. They have credit card payment and cash payment options for cash its strictly at the Absa bank. If you pay cash you need to pay first before you can book your appointment. Follow the instructions in order to avoid delay. Print out the instructions after booking the appointment they will have time and date.
3. Now you have your appointment set time to get your documents ready:
– If traveling with children you need the unabridged birth certificate
-If the other parent is not traveling you need the letter of consent from them otherwise you will not go anywhere.
-If the other parent has passed on take a copy of the death certificate with you.
– Take the latest 3months bank statement with you to prove your funds and affordability
– Do Not Book your flight.
– Get a letter of employment if employed and also stating that you have left to travel of days you have chosen on your online application. If you are a business owner take your company registration papers and tax clearance form SARS and just in case proof of address. ( It’s better to be over prepared than under prepared)
– Book accommodation I used www.booking.com the site offers pay later hotels you only pay when you stay and they have free cancellation. You will receive confirmation print it and take it with you.
– Take your DS160 form and two photos with you if you did their size specifications best place to take them its Kodak they are professional.
– The main purpose of the interview is to prove that you will return to your home country after the holiday or visit to the USA so if you have property better take the title deed with you.
For the interview be calm, answer honestly and smile
If they visa is approved you get 10 years tourist visa now you can complete your trip planning and go and tour where you choose. Hope my tips for the non immigrant visa application for USA are helpful.
I have a little traveler/adventurer in me, I have always wished to travel and see the world, then things I did not plan for happened to me had a baby and got married that meant seeing the world was put on hold. In my travel wish list I will be talking about countries I want to visit and this week its New York City in the United States of America. I am just so in love with this city when I see it in a movie or a magazine I swear I forget to breathe for a few seconds, I find their lifestyle interesting.
New York City has the most beautiful sites to see as per my movie knowledge of the city (hahaha). New York is the largest city in the world and here is my list of places I want to visit when I eventually visit the Big Apple:
The Central Park
The park offers tours and I must say the private horse and carriage ride sure sounds fun it lasts for 45 minutes and the coachmen will also be your guide as you ride through Central Park. See many famous historical landmarks including the Conservatory Water, the Wollman Rink, the Imagine Mosaic, the Conservatory Garden, the Central Park Reservoir, the Bow Bridge, the Central Park Carousel and the Central Park Zoo to name a few.
Statue of Liberty
Visiting lady liberty would be awesome she is the symbol of democracy given to America by France to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. I would take the Statue of Liberty evening cruise it lasts an hour and you can watch the sunset how romantic.
Remember how enchanting The New Year’s Eve Times Square Ball Drop Party in the movies wow this would be an unforgettable experience (Hope someone is taking hints, wink, wink). Hope it is as beautiful as it is to watch the ball drop like it is in the movies.
Considering that taking and visiting these attractions won’t come cheap I think these 3 places will be just enough.
Which country or city in the world would you love to visit?