Travel Tips to keep costs low
- Book your flights as far in advance as you can. Early bookings are generally better priced.
- Off-season bookings are cheaper.
- Flights with multiple stopovers can be a cost-effective way to see many cities and may be cheaper than direct flights.
- Prices might be lower when you stay longer before returning.
- You can build multiple segments and create your own travel tour.
- Selecting a major city hub as your end destination improves the likelihood of finding flights and finding them cheaper.
- Selecting dates 3 months in advance improves the likelihood of finding good flights with ample seats at lower prices.
- Read the fare Rules! YOU need to ensure that your travel plans adhere to the flight rules. Some fares are ONLY valid if you stay in a certain hotel, book a car with it, or travel alone. The rules also provide information on cancellation fees, stopovers allowed and passport issues.
- The flight agent will check your flight request and should phone you if there are problems with your request if it doesn't match the flight rules.
- Plan your trips by looking at weather predictions, the smoother the weather, the smoother the ride.
- Find out in advance the time zone for the arrival city, the rules regarding bringing in foreign currency and policies regarding passports.
- Let your medical practitioner suggest precautionary medicine if you travel to remote areas.
- Update your insurance to make sure it would cover you for your trip.
- Arrange for accommodation/care for your pets while you are away!
- Mark all clothes and baggage. Inform your neighbours about your travel plans.
- Ask your bank about Travellers cheques.
Fighting in-flight fatigue
The health tips listed below are recommended for all passengers and are designed to improve blood circulation.
- Exercise your legs at regular intervals while seated to improve blood circulation e.g. alternate the stretching and flexing of the feet.
- Deep-breathing exercises are recommended.
- Short walks, preferably once every two hours, are excellent for circulation.
- Increase your normal intake of water and or soft drinks before and throughout the flight.
Any passenger who is aware of and / or affected by a medical condition of any nature whatsoever has the duty to seek medical advice from his/her own medical practitioner before embarking on an intended flight, in order to determine whether the medical condition could be worsened by air travel.
South African Airways cabin baggage
For safety reasons, cabin baggage must fit into approved stowage spaces, either the overhead luggage bin or under the seat. In order to ensure compliance to the above legislative requirements, the following procedures will apply in respect of:
First and business class allowance
SAA will accept two pieces of cabin baggage, each not exceeding a total dimension of 115cm and 7kgs in weight.
Economy class allowance
SAA will accept one piece of cabin baggage not exceeding 115cm and 7kg in weight.
On most major airlines, a proportion of passengers who have booked seats do not present themselves for their flight. If you have a booking on a flight but know that you are not going to be able to travel on the flight, please let the airline know as early as possible. Knowing that you are not going to use the reservation the seat can be offered to another customer who otherwise would be unable to travel.
In order to minimise the effect of "no-shows" most major airlines overbook services. Whilst all airlines make every effort to provide seats for for which confirmed reservations have been made, no absolute guarantee of seat availability is denoted by the expression of reservations, bookings, status OK and the timings attached to them. Compensation schemes are operated for passengers with confirmed reservations who are unjustifiably denied carriage because of non-availability of seats. Details of these schemes are usually available at check-in.
Whether you are a first-timer or an old hand, here are some useful tips to enhance your cruise:
- For port visits you can order a "box lunch" to take ashore. Ask what is available and discuss it with your steward. Take along some "wet wipes" to use before and after eating.
- When going ashore for several hours, take a bottle of pure ship water. (Bring the bottle and plastic cups from home as it is also handy to have on the plane)
- Never drink tap water or have ice in your drinks in Mexico or some Caribbean Purchase bottled or canned drinks ashore.
- Keep the daily activity sheet with you. There is such a variety of activities going on in different places at different times, it's hard to remember what is happening. No need to carry the whole sheet - just tear off the daily programme part.
- Take your own medical kit, even though there is a doctor on board. It should contain analgesics, sticking plaster, remedies against runny tummy, motion sickness and colds, an all-purpose antibiotic, vitamins and your usual medical prescriptions.
- Bring a list of whatever medication you are taking currently- a valuable aid to the ship's doctor in case of emergency.
- Woman should pack a cardigan, stole or shawl to put on in the lounges or theatre. Air-conditioning is often set at freezing!
- Check the ship's daily bulletin to check the "drink of the day". It is less expensive than other drinks and you can shop around. The various bars on board often have different prices for the same drink.
- When ashore observe the usual safety precautions against pickpockets and thieves. Do not wear flashy or expensive jewellery. Men should not keep their wallets in their hip pockets; woman should keep their purses close to their bodies. Do not put your handbag down when taking photos.
- Curb your weight gain by using the stairs instead of the lifts. Keep in shape by walking around the decks every day then you don't feel guilty about indulging in fancy desserts or the midnight buffet.
- At outdoor buffets avoid creamy foods like mayonnaise that has been exposed to direct sunlight. Exotic or unaccustomed food ashore could also ruin your cruise and street-vendor fare is especially risky.
Name changes on tickets
Please take note that once your ticket has been issued in your name, it is not possible to change the name on the ticket. Please make sure that your name/s you provide for the reservation corresponds with your name/s on your ID/ passport document.
Valuable tips with regard to travel insurance
Medical opinion is that a pregnant woman should not travel at all in the last three months of pregnancy. Some feel the first three months also have their risks. Some insurance policies exclude cover for the first three months and almost all exclude cover in the last three months of pregnancy. Cover for the middle trimester is usually provided.
Most products exclude any cover when a passenger is injured or killed as a result of an act of terrorism. There are some products that do cover these but but attract a much higher premium because of greater risk.
Default insurance protects the client in the event of a service provider going into liquidation. Default insurance was withdrawn after September 11 and is no longer available in South Africa.
The insured person is covered for cancellation claims from the date of purchase of the policy.
"Free" insurance -cover on your credit card
The cover provided by your credit card is more restricted than when a policy is purchased and there are usually high excesses before a claim is covered.
Skiing, scuba diving and other adventure sports
Most policies do cover skiing on a skiing holiday and scuba diving if the client is licensed or accompanied by a licensed instructor. Other sports would require special risks cover and should be applied for.
Foreign laws and customs
You must be aware that you are a guest in a foreign country, where the customs may be different than at home. The local people may find your behaviour offensive. To avoid inconvenience, make preliminary inquiries on local laws and customs and respect them. It is not important that you are a foreigner, what matters is that you may have committed a minor offence or criminal act. Even your hobbies, such as taking photographs or watching planes, trains or objects, may in certain circumstances be undesirable or offensive.
Alcohol - in some countries it is prohibited by law to import, sell and/or consume alcohol.
Drugs- If a drug related charge is made against you, the least you can expect is a high fine, but you also risk a long prison or even a death sentence. Never accept packages from strangers or casual acquaintances who ask you to only deliver the packet to someone abroad.
Losing documents and money- in case you are robbed or you lose your money, documents or anything else, inform the local police immediately and insist that they draw up a record or put down your statement. Describe accurately the stolen or lost objects and name their value.