Travelling after the pandemic

Table mountain as the backdrop to the city of Cape Town

Cape Town Sunset

Travelling is more than experiencing a place we’re visiting. It’s about connecting with new people, exploring new cultures, and meeting new friends. Travel is a mixture of emotions and experiences. It can be an adventure, a learning opportunity, or both. It motivates you to live more than your daily routine. It can get you out of the city on a date with your lover or friends. Travelling will change how you see the world and open its doors to new opportunities.

There are many reasons why people go on vacation to a different place. Some choose to escape everyday life and stress, while others do it for fun and relaxation. But whatever your reason is, one thing remains true: you want to travel.

 

Traveling after the Pandemic- Covid 19

The Pandemic has transformed the world of travel. At the peak of the Pandemic, traveling ceased as International borders closed and canceled flights. Global Tourism Organization stated that 100% of destinations implemented travel restrictions. 

Tourism Council and World Travel, established various protocols for Airlines, shops, and hotels. Now in traveling, there is a must-use of masks. Infrared and thermal scanners are now installed at different places. 

Today, many countries are emerging from lockdown. And the world’s largest industry which accounts for almost 10% of world GDP, is now looking towards the new normal. It’s a welcome sight to see many travelers dreaming about beaches and mountains again as they were stuck in their homes for months.

Travel Restrictions in South Africa eased.

In South Africa, travel is opening up after Covid-19. If a family has traveled to one of the three African countries where the outbreak was most severe or at risk. So, they must still be careful and stay healthy while traveling. There is no limit on how many travelers can visit other countries as long as they put into effect that:

  1. Weigh your luggage
  2. Wash your hands
  3. Cover your mouth while coughing
  4. Don’t touch your face
  5. Call ahead of time for pickup
  6. Stay away from crowds.

 

Best destinations to travel in South Africa

Have you missed the Pandemic? And want to go on a trip or travel around a beautiful environment. Then you are just in the right place!!! This blog will tell you about South Africa’s most beautiful places. And how you can make your trip memorable.

Where to go in South Africa? Look no further; we’ll tell you where the most beautiful adventurous destinations in South Africa are.

Why should you visit South Africa?

South Africa offers you a wide range of options to plan the most adventurous and memorable trip for you. There are several popular destinations that you can visit in South Africa. Such as Cape Town, Johannesburg, Bloemfontein, Port Elizabeth, Durban, Pretoria, Stellenbosch, etc…

 

Johannesburg

Best Places to visit in Johannesburg

Johannesburg is said to be the city of Fashion, the city at the heart of nature. With approximately 5 million populaces, it is among South Africa’s largest cities. It offers much to discover in the country’s economic center: great Malls, Restaurants, and Nightlife. A beautiful landscape surrounds it.

A great way to see Johannesburg is by car. How about a drive over the iconic bridge known as “Nelson Mandela Bridge”? This architectural landmark leads to the colorful districts of New Town, which is near the central business district.

 

Neighbourgoods Market

Neighbourgoods Market is a trendy place where you can get every possible type of food. There is no better way to start the weekend than at Neighbourgoods Market. A place where you get every type of Johannesburg meat every Saturday. There are many different things to try here. Neighbourgoods Market has a little something for everyone.

 

Apartheid Museum

The 1970s marked the beginning of the end of apartheid. Johannesburg played a significant role in that period. Thirty years later, South Africa even has their fifth black president. This Apartheid museum shows the awe-inspiring history of the country. Absorbing and quite an emotional shock for all who visited the apartheid museum is a must-see. This Museum presents history in a contemporary and inspiring way. Museum used various media to tell the story of apartheid and democracy’s road to freedom. It also has unique rooms dedicated to the 1976 Soweto uprisings and Nelson Mandela.

 

Maropeng Museum

Innovating and interactive, Maropeng Museum is a national treasure. Let your curiosity get the better of you and go back in time. This Museum is located in the Cradle of Humankind near the Sterkfontein Caves. Be sure to get the kids on the underground tugboat ride, where they find many showcased items.

Johannesburg is home to a variety of shopping destinations. We can find both local and international clients. It delivers when it comes to shopping opportunities. Big Malls featuring every high street brand imaginable are right next to small local boutiques as worthy of your attention.

 

 

 

44 Stanley

You can visit many places in Johannesburg, but 44 Stanley is a hidden treasure. Located in the heart of Johannesburg, 44 Stanley is one of its best-kept secrets. 44 Stanley is a former industrial area. It has a variety of places that excites. The area has 25 specialty boutiques, restaurants, and design studios.

 

South African Breweries

South African Breweries is among the most prestigious breweries on the continent. The process here starts with brewing the hops. It is the only place in South Africa besides George where hops are grown.

The traditional beer of Johannesburg is onboard tea. Tasting this famous tasty beer is an essential part of the tour.

 

Market Theater

The Market Theater is one of Johannesburg’s most famous theatres. Theatrical history is infused into the theatre. Grammy and Tony award-winning musicals like Serafina have graced the stage. You will find this theatre in the middle of the Newtown cultural precinct. Its stages have seen South Africa’s most famous actors, so book in advance for a glorious evening out.

 

Signature Restaurant

The signature restaurant is one of the city’s most trendy and exclusive. But what fascinates me more is the live band game to enjoy. The signature restaurant has an international kitchen of which they are proud. Their cuisine has a creative interpretation. It is one of the most exciting places in Sandton. It offers a unique mix of comfort and sophistication. You can enjoy the magnificent sunsets through the floor-to-ceiling windows.

South Africa is famous for its dramatic landscapes and swooping vistas. An exciting way to see this is through a hot-air balloon. A balloon ride is a great way to see the African wilderness from above, as there is no distraction from engine noise. The experience of drifty where the wind takes you is unique.

There is something about Johannesburg that makes you want to stay. Like the beautiful people and incredible sights.

 

Cape Town

Why Visit Cape Town

One of the most multicultural capital in the world is colourful Cape Town. Situated on South Africa’s Cape Peninsula, the city is the second largest in the country. Spectacular mountains are tumbling towards the sea where the Atlantic and Indian oceans meet. In Cape Town, there are a variety of things we can explore. But one of Cape Town’s most significant benefits is the nature that surrounds it. It would help if you climbed up Table Mountain as it provides a spectacular view of the city. They also have a cable car if hiking isn’t for you. Up here, you can also see the iconic layer of clouds covering the mountain’s peak. 

Lion’s Head Mountain

Another great hike is the lion’s head mountain. If you time it right, the Sun will set as you reach the peak. It’s one of the most rewarding hikes around. 

Bow caps adorn a colorful neighborhood in the city. Each hose has a unique color. This place is a photographer’s dream. You can go there and discover on your own. Even the residents give you free walking tours, from which you will learn more. 

Cape Town surrounds by beautiful beaches. But, one of the best for catching some waves is Llandudno Beach. It’s a small spot and an excellent place for a chill. If you are not interested in water sports, you can always have fun playing at the shoreline. 

 

Travel to Cape of Good Hope

We have a couple of recommendations if you are looking for a great memorable day trip. The first is to drive from Cape Town to the Cape of Good Hope. It is considered one of the most splendid drives as there is so much to experience. Take the Chapman’s peak route. Your First stop should be Hout Bay. There is a lookout point where you can see the entire Bay.

Further down, you will reach Nord Hurich beach. It is a massive beach with incredible white sand. It will be super windy here, but an excellent place to stop for a nice view. You will come across Table Mountain National Park. It is a beautiful area preserved with natural beauty. When you reach the Cape of Good Hope, you will have completed one of the best days of traveling.

Kirsten Bosch Garden

If you don’t have time for a full-day trip, we have you covered. Check out Kirsten Bosch Garden. On the slopes of Table Mountain, it is considered one of the world’s best botanical gardens. Walk along the overhead canopy walkaway for the best experience with stunning views.

Kayaking with Dolphins

Another Great Experience you can have is Kayaking with Dolphins. For this epic adventure, you have to leave from Victoria and Albert waterfront. There is no guarantee you will see dolphins. 

 

Why Visit Bloemfontein

The city of Bloemfontein is one of the three capitals of South Africa. It is the city of roses. The city of splendor in the province is known for its dry landscape. It is the most popular stop for ones traveling from Johannesburg to the cave. Besides, it serves as the nation’s judicial capital. The city offers a comfortable and peaceable regime which is an escape from typical bustling South African cities. With several graceful museums, the historical buildings capture the essence of country history.

 

Port Elizabeth

The city of Port Elizabeth is located on the southeast coast of South Africa. It is famous for its friendly atmosphere. Here the locals are very relaxed, and they welcome vacationers. A bustling coastal city with sunny shores, Port Elizabeth has a relaxed coastal vibe tempered by a thriving metropolis. The drive into the city is remarkable, with splendid sights of white sand seashores. In addition to having the best summer weather in the world, this region is known as the water sports capital of South Africa. Great beaches are the reason tourists love to visit here. 

 

Pretoria

Pretoria is laying 50 Km from Johannesburg, South Africa’s undivided capital. It is an attractive place to travel from its luxuriant roads that align with the enchanting old construction to its multicultural populations. There are many museums in South Africa that display various cultures and people.

Jacaranda trees line the streets in early summer in Pretoria, giving it the name Jacaranda city. In addition to many embassies, museums, and monuments, it is home to many international embassies. Here the weather is slightly warmer.

 

You can visit many more places when you arrive in South Africa. This blog shows that something here makes you want to stay here for a long time. When someone arrives in South Africa as a tourist, they don’t want to leave. The friendly people and breathtaking scenery didn’t allow you to return to your respective countries.

 

Are you planning to visit South Africa now???

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine: What to know

COVID 19 is the coronavirus caused by the virus SARS-Co V2 has quickly cornered all sides of the globe. Over 2 million people have died thus far from the virus that millions of people have contracted. Medical experts and researchers have been working tirelessly 24 hours 7 days a week to produce an effective safety vaccine that was ready for use by December 2020. This blog post takes an in-depth look at the different types of COVID-19 vaccines and how they work, how safe they are, and how to get one.

Which vaccines have approval?
Multiple vaccines are now available in different countries. In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) needs to approve the vaccines. To prove that they are safe and effective, they first need to pass through three phases of tests. Tens of thousands of participants are involved in phrase 3.
At the time of publishing this article, two vaccines have FDA approval in the U.S.:
• Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine
• Moderna COVID-19 vaccine
Developed in Germany, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine received approval from the FDA in the form of an ‘Emergency use authorization’.

43,000 people were involved in a phase 3 trial with around half receiving a placebo and half receiving two doses of the vaccine, 21 days apart. The final results proved that the vaccine was 95% effective at protecting against the COVID-19 virus.
The vaccine developed in Cambridge, MA, Moderna, received approval for emergency use in the U.S. in December. 30,000 phase 3 trial volunteers received a placebo or two doses of the vaccine 28 days apart. The results indicated that the vaccine was 94% effective.

Other vaccines
Vaccines that have been approved for use in different countries:
• The Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine (United Kingdom)
• Coronavac, developed by Sinovac (China)
• The Sputnik V vaccine (Russia)
• Covaxin, developed by Bharat Biotech (India)
The Novavax vaccine is in phase 3 trials as is Janssen’s COVID-19 vaccine. Both vaccines were developed in the U.S.A.
Keep up-to-date with the latest developments using the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society’s COVID-19 vaccine tracker.

Are the vaccines safe?
There are several approval trial stages before any of the vaccines can be approved by a country’s health authority. The FDA and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the U.S.A. work hard for public safety. And vaccine trials involve an ever-growing number of volunteers. Phase 3 had tens of thousands of participants.
The exact long-term effects of any new medical vaccine are unknown in the early stages. It is key to balance the potential risks with the known dangers of developing COVID-19.
A patient who has had a COVID-19 vaccine injection may experience flu-like symptoms and other side effects like:
• pain at the injection site
• swelling at the injection site
• fatigue
• headache and muscle pain
• a fever
The body’s immune response is intensified after the second dose of the vaccine because the side effects may be worse.
The CDC did a great job by allowing participants to keep them informed about any side effects through a smartphone-based app called V-safe. This information is valuable to monitor the vaccine’s impact on the participants and assist the ongoing work towards safety.
The vaccine should only be dispensed from a licensed healthcare professional and must follow every guideline. Patients may get the vaccine from the local hospital, clinic, or pharmacy. If you have had a previous allergic reaction to vaccines, you will need to alert your healthcare worker before they administer the vaccine. If you have an immediate allergic reaction, see your doctor immediately.

Getting the vaccine
At the moment, vaccine doses are limited and for this reason, the vaccine will only be administered to healthcare workers, people aged 75 years and older and first responders. More people will receive the doses as it becomes available. The Vaccine is free and the government will distribute it to hospitals and clinics.

Types of COVID-19 vaccine
Researchers have used various approaches to developing different types of vaccine, including:
• whole virus vaccines
• recombinant protein subunit vaccines
• replication-incompetent vector vaccines
• nucleic acid vaccines
Let’s explore these types in more detail:

Whole virus vaccine
These are known as ‘inactivated’ or ‘weakened’ virus vaccines containing dead or inactivated forms of the virus. These vaccines do not contain live viruses and therefore cannot cause an infection. The manufacturers of the COVID-19 vaccines are Sinovac, Bharat Biotec, and Wuhan Institute of Biological Products.

Recombinant protein subunit vaccine
This vaccine is designed to trigger the body’s strong immune response. The vaccine cannot cause an infection because it does not contain a live pathogen. Researchers are working hard to make a ‘Recombinant Protein Subunit Vaccine’ that targets the spike protein which the new coronavirus uses to latch onto and infect cells. Nanoparticle technology is being developed by a company called Novavax.

Replication-incompetent vector vaccine
This vaccine carries genes that the body can express to provide immunity. The vaccine produced by Astra Zeneca has been approved in several countries, is a replication-incompetent vector vaccine. A harmless, weakened adenovirus is used to provoke an immune response. The virus was discovered in chimpanzees and was then redesigned to be more suitable for humans. This type of virus which can be found in other vaccines also reacts with the body to produce a strong immune response. An Ebola vaccine got approval and may provide the basis for further development of other vaccines.

Nucleic acid vaccine
This is an mRNA-based vaccine that involves injecting genetic material called mRNA into live host cells. Each vaccine is manufactured to isolate a particular pathogen. In the COVID-19 vaccine, mRNA has information for manufacturing coronavirus spike protein. The vaccine initiates the immune system and the body produces antibodies to fight the virus. Pfizer, BioNTech, and Moderna have manufactured this vaccine. Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are already available for use.

How do vaccines work?
Vaccines have a clever little trick up their sleeve. They influence the immune system to make antibodies to defend against diseases. In simpler terms – they make the body believe that it is already infected with the virus. And all of this is achieved without making the patient ill.

Once exposed to the vaccine, the body develops immunity to the disease. The body can fight off the infection such as the coronavirus if it occurs.
The immune system must remain stable and not be thrown into overdrive. The goal for researchers is to develop a vaccine that works without unwanted side effects. Safe vaccines are an absolute must for all patients especially those with pre-existing conditions such as allergies and diabetes, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, and senior citizens.

Preventing infection?
While this vaccine is still in production, people need to take the necessary precautions to keep themselves safe from COVID 19.
Follow these easy steps for reducing the risk of infection:
• Wear a face-mask in public
• Washing your hands with soap and water as often as you can – for up to 30 seconds
• Use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
• Cover a sneeze or cough with a tissue or elbow
• Avoid touching your face
• Regularly clean and disinfect surfaces people frequently touch
• Avoid handshakes
• Stay away from sick people
• Maintain a 6 feet social distance
• Avoid crowds
• Be aware of symptoms like a high fever and a cough
If people need emergency care for COVID-19, call in advance to let the clinic or hospital know about their condition.
Follow these recommendations for anyone who may have been exposed to the virus:
• Contact a healthcare worker
• Keep track of your symptoms
• Isolate by staying away from others
• Seek emergency medical care
Some common COVID-19 symptoms include:
• High fever
• Persistent cough
• Loss or change of smell or taste
Throughout the world, COVID-19 has become a major health scare and challenge.
Medical scientists and governments are working hard to develop and administer vaccines and educate the public on other preventive measures.
The ultimate goal is for all people to have the COVID-19 vaccination. While waiting for the vaccine to become available, you should follow all guidelines from public health and medical experts.
So, now that you have discovered more safe ways to travel during COVID, you can now reserve your seat and book your flights to some amazing spots around the world. www.lowpriceflights.co.za
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When will Europe be open for travel?

People walking the streets of Europe

This is a developing story. For up-to-date information on Covid 19, visit the World Health Organisation during travel on Coronavirus. We can’t help but ask our selves during this time, how we will be able to travel to Europe where we can enjoy the long summers loitering along the Seine or busking in the Mediterranean. It was on March 17 that we realised the Coronavirus pandemic had gripped Europe, as European Union Leaders agreed to impose travel restrictions on most tourists entering. This list is being continually updated and the European Union has said countries not on the list are so because they have not brought Coronavirus under control. There are currently 10 countries on the list which are:

  • Rwanda
  • South Korea
  • Thailand
  • Tunisia
  • Uruguay
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Georgia
  • Japan
  • New Zealand

(Morocco, Algeria, Serbia and Montenegro have since been removed.) It’s not a legally binding list. Nevertheless, there has already been some aberrance. Germany is only allowing certain countries on the list. However, there has been some exceptions to the European travel ban which include families, passengers in transit and students. Within Europe, internal borders have begun to open up on June 15, with certain rules and restrictions in place. Airlines have been left exposed to the maximum of the travel restrictions and have started to add flights to their international capacity. US airlines such as Delta, American and United plan to resume flights which will feature London, Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Paris. Below is a breakdown of how different European countries have decided to approach travel in Europe and beyond.

 

Take a coronavirus test if you want to travel to Croatia

Landscape image of the city in Croatia

A negative nasal swab test for Covid 19 is required in Croatia for all non-European tourists who enter Croatia as tourists, business travelers or as students, can travel freely. The test results must be no more than 48 hours old prior to arriving at the border. If you fail to provide a result, there is a mandatory 14 days of self-isolation at your own expense, which can be less if you take the Covid 19 test within 7 days of entering Croatia and pass with a negative test. The test costs around R3854 and you can expect a result within 1-2 days.

Croatia takes these self-quarantine measures very seriously with the Croatian heath department monitoring and enforcing the quarantine with individual fines of up to 8000 Croatian Kuna (about R20,100.00) and 120 000 Croatian Kuna (R300,000.00) for repeat offenders. Before arrival, tourists are advised to go online and fill in the travel form and they must provide proof of their hotel accommodation. Once the form is filled and sent, travelers will get a confirmation and instructions about rules and regulations for traveling within Croatia. The majority of airlines now require all passengers to wear a mask. But before that, check out Low Price Flights South Africa. There are no direct flights to Zagreb. But you can find cheap flights from Johannesburg to London.

 

France is welcoming travelers

City scape of Paris

From June 22, France eased all of its travel restrictions for those coming into the country from within Europe only. France opened its borders to inter-European travelers on June 15 and later to those coming from Spain on 22 June. EU members as well as those from Andorra, Liechtenstein, Vatican, Iceland, San Marino, Norway and Switzerland can now all enter France without restrictions. UK visitors have to undergo a 2 week quarantine. France made the decision that from July 1 it will open its doors to travelers from outside Europe as long as those countries have been granted access by the European Commission.

 

Tourists from those countries can enter France, book into hotels, enjoy the amenities and tourist sites throughout France. Face masks are now mandatory in some outdoor spaces in Paris as the Coronavirus cases experienced an uptick. It has now been declared that face masks are necessary for anyone of the age 11 and older using public transportation, in a taxi or enclosed public space. All museums and important landmarks that are open will require you to wear a mask even in cafés, bars and restaurants will open with these public measures in place. Only night clubs remain closed with cinemas and other entertainment venues have been allowed to open. Visiting France is now much cheaper thanks to Low Price Flights South Africa with cheap flights from Johannesburg to Paris.

 

Italy reopened to travelers on June 3

Florence with buildings

Italy became the earliest and first country to open its international and regional borders on the 3 June. This only applies to people arriving from European Union member countries within the Schengen Zone including the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland. The microstates and principalties of Andorra, San Marino, Monaco and the Vatican are also added.

 

This new government decree has made a law for people who test positive for Covid 19 or have had close contact with a person who contracted the virus, will have to be held in quarantine for at least 2 weeks. It is very difficult for officials to determine exact details of how they would check or confirm tourist’s contacts. Thermal scanners will be used for temperature checks at Fiumicino and Ciampino airports on all passengers departing from Rome. Visiting Italy is now much cheaper thanks to Low Price Flights South Africa with cheap flights from Johannesburg to Rome.

 

The United Kingdom’s quarantine laws need not apply to all travelers

London Bridge

It is not recommended that you travel to the United Kingdom but it is also allowed. If you travel to the United Kingdom from one of the countries on the exempted list, you will not be required to self-isolate for 14 days. Travelers coming from nations that are not on the list have to follow the rules and abide to the 14-day quarantine rule that was placed on 8 June. The list of countries exempted includes Australia, , Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Switzerland, Turkey, Vietnam, Finland, Jamaica, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Austria, Bermuda, Croatia and Cyprus. The list is being updated on a regular basis. Travelers from within the United Kingdom and Ireland are exempt as well the 14 British international colonies.

 

The British government has made it clear that the list could be updated at any time as the situation evolves. International visitors and British citizens returning home and tourists traveling from countries that are not on the list, must present UK Border Control with their phone number, address of where they will be staying whilst in the UK in self-isolation for two weeks. There are hefty fines for failure to self-isolate and could see fines of up to R21 458 and if you fail to provide correct details, this fine will go up to R68667. The UK government provided guidelines on a Coronavirus fact sheet from 4 of July as a guideline to businesses allowed to open as long as they follow the Covid 19 rules. This includes restaurants, pubs, museums, hotels, vacation rentals, cinemas, retail stores, galleries, theaters, and concert halls. Flying to Britain is now much cheaper thanks to Low Price Flights South Africa with cheap flights from Johannesburg to London.

 

Germany has eased restrictions for some European countries

castle-Germany

If you were in Europe, you were allowed to travel to Germany from 16 June without restrictions. The only country that was exempted was Spain which had to wait till 22 June. Germany has eased its restrictions on travel for tourists coming from seven (Montenegro was dropped) of those countries: Australia, Thailand, Tunisia, New Zealand, Georgia, Canada, and Uruguay, based on European Union recommendations. Japan, China and South Korea now enjoy easier travels to Germany since they’ve been lifted, but expect reciprocal travel benefits. Flying to Germany is now much cheaper thanks to Low Price Flights South Africa with cheap flights from Johannesburg to Berlin.

 

Spain has reopened to European travelers

Barcelona

Spain is at the moment only allowing Spanish nationals, residents, visa holders and those people coming from European Schengen countries. Spouses, parents, descendents of Spanish nationals, essential workers, students, and passengers in transit are also being allowed to enter the country, as they are. Spain went into a state of emergency on 14 March and ended on 21 June bringing to an end the severe lockdown rules. However, Spa9n has seen a surge in the Coronavirus numbers. The Spanish government issued a law to make all people, 6 year and older, to wear a mask in all public spaces especially in areas where social distancing cannot be maintained. Flying to Spain is now much cheaper thanks to Low Price Flights South Africa with cheap flights from Johannesburg to Barcelona.

 

Greece to open to more travelers

oia-Greece

On 13 July the government was said to be evaluating on whether to open its borders to more travelers or not in the summer. Up until now, they have not made an official announcement. In early May, Greece slowly opened up its economy after almost six weeks of very tights lockdown restrictions which saw the banning of all movement across the country. On 15 June, the Prime Minister set into motion the official start of the Greek tourist season and since then countries with low rates of virus infection were allowed to enter.

 

A regularly updated list can be obtained through the Greek Tourism Board for all travelers coming into Greece by land, sea or air. Some changes have been made like on 15 July when all travelers are required to show their Covid 19 test results not more than 72 hours old. Passengers are told to fill in a Passenger Locator Form 24 hours before arriving into Greece. On this form they must provide detailed information on their departure, duration of stay and a Greek address. Flying to Greece is now much cheaper thanks to Low Price Flights South Africa with cheap flights from Johannesburg to Athens.

 

Portugal has reopened for travel

city-Portugal

Portugal went into a state of emergency on 14 March and ended its lockdown on 2 May. People can now get back to watching movies at the cinemas, theatres and shopping centres. At the moment, citizens from the European Union and even Lichtenstein, Iceland, Switzerland, Norway and the United Kingdom can all enter by air according to Portuguese authorities. Passengers from the following countries will be allowed to enter: South Korea, Australia, Rwanda, Thailand, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Canada, China, Georgia, Tunisia and Uruguay.

 

Add to the eligibility of travelers from Portuguese-speaking countries or with large Portuguese communities like those you find in the United Kingdom, Canada, South Africa, Venezuela and USA. Due to the ban of Europe by the US, only Portuguese citizens and family members can enter Portugal from the USA. Hotels and other tourist venues in Portugal displaying the blue and white label for doing their part of keeping clean and safe during this Covid 19 crisis are to be noted by tourists and visitors alike. Portugal reopened it 500 plus miles of coastline to some strict regulations. Flying to Portugal is now much cheaper thanks to Low Price Flights South Africa with cheap flights from Johannesburg to Lisbon.

 

And in other places in Europe…

Map of Europe

On 31 of August a travel ban to Sweden from non-European Union countries is set to end. Sweden does not require travelers to quarantine. If you travel from the European Union, the United Kingdom and Switzerland to Sweden, there are currently no restrictions. Denmark allows most countries from the European Union with the exception of Malta, Romania, Belgium, Luxembourg, Spain and Bulgaria. Denmark is open to travelers from Georgia, Australia, Canada, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Japan, New Zealand and Uruguay.

 

Iceland has opened its borders to citizens countries outside the European Union that includes New Zealand, Rwanda, Thailand, Tunisia, South Korea, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Morocco  and Uruguay. Iceland has given travelers three options upon landing in Keflavik Airport; If they results are negative they may continue with their travels, or go for a 14 day quarantine or provide proof that you have tested negative for Covid 19 in the past 72 hours. Ireland requires passengers to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival as there are no travel restrictions. On 1 July, Malta opened its airports to international flights from Europe and welcoming all other destinations 2 weeks later. Turkey has lifted all of its Coronavirus restrictions on 12 June which means that international visitors can simply arrive and be subject to a medical screening.

So, now that you have discovered more safe places to travel to, you can now reserve your seat and book your flights to some amazing spots around the world.  www.lowpriceflights.co.za

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10 most overlooked countries people need to travel to

Female tourist walking through a busy city street

It’s time to rethink your travel plans. We know Covid-19 has made a huge dent into your dream holiday. So, we thought we’d share some of our favourite destinations from around the world just to keep you dreaming along. Have you thought about the places you’d like to go to when everything starts working again? Be it long days on a tropical beach or a bustling city or something to tick of your bucket list. And then there are those singular experiences where you put away the camera and fully immerse yourself at the moment. We’ve looked far and wide, dug deep into our treasure cove of adventures and came back with experiences without the scourge of over-tourism but with an abundance of journeys, safaris, beaches, culinary adventures, indigenous music and more.

 

View of Panama City with traffic

Panama

Get your innermost desires for adventure revved up with these remote islands and untouched forests. Often referred to as the hub of Central America, Panama is also overlooked as a vacation destination. Instead, it’s the Panama Canal that takes centre stage in a country where two oceans collide with two continents, scenes to breath-taking beaches, rich culture heritage, tropical wonderland packed with mountainous cliffs. Many tourists make the mistake of passing off Panama for Costa Rica, its highly rated neighbour to the north. In many ways, Panama is one up on Costa Rica in many categories. There are more mountains and island retreats like the San Blas Archipelago which houses a labyrinth of over 400 islands, almost all of which are unnamed, uninhabited and are surrounded with coastline made up of entirely coral.

 

Panama maintains a higher level of internet connectivity with its business-friendly city, Panama City. When you venture outside the city, musicians and dancers take part in regional festivals throughout the year. Here you will discover that the culture is reflected in traditional products, architecture, cuisine and festivals. If you decide to venture into Panama City during the festive season, you’ll be greeted with the Christmas parade known as El Desfile de Navidad celebrated with floats, a full marching band and women dressed in dresses called pollera and men wear the traditional montuno. You can’t leave Panama out of your dream trip as it will certainly surprise you with its treasures.

 

Beautiful architecture of Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall

Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall

Taiwan

Taiwan gives you a surprise quick-fire introduction into eastern cuisine, culture and nature. If you’re travelling to East Asia, then Taiwan should be high up on your list of places to visit. It’s one of the great culinary delights of the world with over 300 buzzing night markets to feast from. The Shilin night market is the largest of its kind and you’ll find it the capital city Taipei, where Taiwanese cooking takes a whole new turn in flavours and experiences for street food. Enjoy the taste of fried milk balls, pork paper, charcoal meatballs or even something out-of-the-box? Try The Modern Toilet restaurant where food is served up in mini toilet bowls.

 

Taiwan is served up to guests with just the right mix of attractions to its size, small enough tour comfortably but just large enough for nature to expand into. Its infrastructure is modern and the high-speed network of trains will get you around effortlessly to explore the near 700 000 exhibits from China’s imperial collection at the National Palace Museum. Whilst you at it visit the ultra-modern National Kaohsiung Centre for Arts, the world’s largest performing arts centre. If you want to relax and destress, there are never-ending geothermal hot springs to take away aches and pains or find peace and harmony amongst the nine national parks.

 

Fisherman on boat of the island Caper Verde

Cape Verde

The beautiful warm beaches provide a great backdrop to music and multiculturism. The Cape Verde islands seem like they are adrift at sea some 350 miles off the coast of Senegal. If it’s an idyllic tropical paradise you’re after, then Cape Verde ticks all the boxes with its sweeping mountain vistas, sparkling beaches, colonial towns, shipwrecks and whales in its crystal-clear waters. For any traveller, it’s the multiculturalism that gets the top spot of interests. It’s hard to believe that these lands were once arid and uninhabited when the Portuguese landed there in the 15th century.

 

Cape Verde certainly had its struggles to maintain and grow to forge a truly modern society and culture across its 10 beautiful islands, each as unique as can be with their own character. Nowadays, it’s where you’ll find the rich and warm goulash of Senegal, the colonial past of the Portuguese, the festive spirit of Brazil, the egalitarian ideology of Ghana and wine mastery of French. And this is all set to Morna, a soundtrack of the national music style that combines joy, sorrow, struggle and celebration.  This music suffuses the complex beauty of the islands singing to the struggles of its past and the light of its future.

 

Yurts with mountain backdrop

Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan is probably the most beautiful mountainous country you’ve never heard of. And once you’re there, you’re probably on top of a mountain. About 80% of the country is covered by a range called the Tian Shan or ‘Heaven Lake’ in Mandarin Chinese and most of it is at least 1000 metres above sea level. The Tian Shan and its geological features vary from peak to peak but somehow all of this a held together by its exquisite beauty. You can choose to roam the countryside by foot or by horse and embrace then nomadic lifestyle by living in a yurt and feasting and warm stews. You discover how mystical and wonderous this country truly is.

 

This central Asian country from its capital Bishkek to the never-ending landscapes rewards exploration and effort. Kyrgyzstan is home to the World Nomad Games which is an international competition the mimics the Olympics with sports like Horse racing, belt wrestling and Kok-Boru – in which horse riders fight for a goat carcass. It’s unlike any sporting event you’ve ever seen. Lake Issyk-Kul is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Kyrgyzstan with numerous hotels, resorts located along its northern shore.

 

Woman at festive parade

Ecuador

This magnificent landscape is known for its diversity despite being a small country. Ecuador’s neighbours, Peru and Colombia took advantage early on to promote themselves in a tourism race for over two decades with the former renowned for its award-winning restaurants and Columbia for its white sandy beaches. Ecuador found itself in a rather unique situation of being sandwiched between the two countries whilst boasting its own style of ceviche and gorgeous inviting coastlines which are super easy to manoeuvre. The local currency is the dollar and the language is Andean Spanish, to be spoken nice and slow for clarity.

 

The Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve will take your breath away with its natural beauty of the floating forests together with its towering peak of Cotopaxi or taunt your tastebuds at the sprawling indigenous market of Otavalo and the quaint architecture of Quito. Ecuador can be best described as a compact country with diverse landscapes and ideal for people who have a fear of missing out. You won’t be missing out with activities like swimming in the Amazon basin watching blue-footed boobies and enjoy the delights of munching on beef empanadas in their dozens. Indulge your senses with a deep dive into one of the smaller cities like Cuenca or even a little village town of Loja where you can breathe in the splendour of an Ecuadorian plaza or visit historic buildings from pre-colonial times or even enjoy a hike in the surrounding countryside.

 

Montenegro

This place can be best described as a stunning mini version of Italy with some of Europe’s most stunning beaches. Its neighbour, Croatia gets a lot of the attention and tourists, but Montenegro is as beautiful as a blue diamond and is every bit as gorgeous but without the crowds. Just of the Adriatic Sea, this tiny country feels huge but is slightly smaller than Connecticut, meaning you can get a lot more done in a shorter period of time. The lush coastline harbour some of the most beautiful white sandy beaches in Europe where parts of it rival the party scenes of swanky Ibiza or Cancun.

 

Caper between the ancient Venetian like towns of Budva, Kotor and Perast sporting its armour and fortifications, alluring red roof tiles and sumptuous seaside restaurants. There’s more to Montenegro than its sun-filled sandy white beaches, try and head out to the country’s less travelled inland regions with its pristine mountain ranges, crystal clear lakes and old wild forests. The great Tara river canyon feels like it’s been purpose-built for white water river rafting down its iconic river or you could choose to hike through the Biogradska Gora National Park – a haven for skiing during the wintertime.

 

City of Sighisoara

Romania

Now, most people think of Dracula when it comes to Romania or its wacky underground theme park for those who are in the know. Let’s be clear, there much more to Romania than Count Dracula and its mystical misty Transylvania. Take a tour through its medieval towns, World Heritage sites and mysterious architectural wonders, Romania is a treasure trove for any wannabe archaeologist. But not surprisingly most tourists target in on the myth of Dracula and vampires instead of its rich cultural history, leaving Romania somewhat of the map of places to visit when compared to other Eastern European countries like the Czech Republic or Hungary.

 

Romania is a relatively inexpensive place to visit with endless adventures to explore, like a visit to Salina Turda, an underground theme park situated in the world’s oldest salt mines with the added wellness benefit. There’s space for sports underground too, like Badminton, soccer and mini-golf, a museum and a 180 seater amphitheatre alongside dry and wet saunas, sunbathing and joy rides. Sighisoara Citadel is a well-preserved UNESCO medieval town and you simply can’t afford to miss. This town is inhabited to this day and boasts original medieval architecture, cobble lined streets and ancient landmarks that will make you feel like you’ve travelled through time

 

Lebanon village and mountain

Lebanon

You’ll be surprised at what you can do, ski, jet ski or just party. Once you visit Lebanon, you’ll discover a vast amount of pleasures to explore that you could pack into your itinerary that seems almost unreal and you’ll also discover just how diverse the country is. Just visiting Beirut on your own could keep you busy for days on end. If it’s your first time in Beirut, then a must-see is the Beirut National Museum with its collection of relics pre-dating recorded history up until the Arab conquest. You don’t have to go so far back in history when you visit Biet Beirut, a bullet-marked museum which shares its past memories of the civil war the derailed the ‘Paris of the Middle East’ from its decadent reputation.

 

Beirut takes art overs on an epic journey of enchantment with its growing roster of galleries of which the opulent Sursock Museum should be the one you visit. But move further out the Beirut bubble, the rewards are even greater. Get it right and you could be skiing in the mountains in the morning and skiing in the Mediterranean by the afternoon. Take a tour to one of the sustainable wineries like award-winning IXSIR in the hills of Batroun or explore the Grand Sofar Hotel which is an abandoned retreat for the rich and famous. The hotel now stands as a grand monument after it was restored as an art exhibit. Feel like partying the night away? You’d have to leave the city for that and head of into the mountains. 6000 feet up, the Frozen Cherry will keep you going from dusk till dawn.

 

Buddhists with orange clothing in Nepal 

Nepal

Go to the world’s rooftop and let that journey enlighten you on the way there. Nepal is wedged between India and China making the beautiful little Himalayan dominion more than just a quick stopover but land you’d want to pay a little bit more respect to. International currencies like the dollar go far and relationship with tourists are lukewarm to friendly while nearly half of the locals speak English which eases you into the culture as you drop into the cultural cauldron of Kathmandu. The country inherits a strong spiritual vibe from India and although most people are Hindus, Buddhist culture permeates throughout the countryside giving travellers a chance to meditate on its strong spiritual vibe.

 

Bhaktapur is an ancient city not far from the bustling capital where a stunning range of religious sites can be toured in a day trip for quiet reflection. Later, you can explore the rural dwellings of the Annapurna mountain range, drink tea with Yak butter, trek around the city of Pokhara or give it a serious go to get to the base camp of Mount Everest. The Chitwan National Park offers tourists an alternate to trekking to Mount Everest to view the one-horned rhinos, monkeys, leopards and tigers – all the while riding on top of an elephant.

 

Worlds deepest sinkhole in Belize

Belize

If you’ve never heard of it, you will now as it has the best scuba sites in the world amongst a jungle paradise located in Central America. Wake up to the chirps of exotic birds in your bungalow as you wake up to endless possibilities and adventures. Swim in hidden waterfalls or test your skills in the Great Blue Hole, an underwater sinkhole visible from space or explore decaying Mayan ruins and get blessed by a shaman. You will find yourself hiking amongst jaguars and monkeys.

 

And the best part is that all your guides and operators speak English. Silk Caves offers a great spot for snorkelling which is a tiny island 22 miles offshore with only palm trees and grill. There’s a wide variety of coral and tropical fish around the Belize Barrier, the largest reef system in the Northern Hemisphere where you bound to find nurse sharks loggerhead turtles.

 

So, now that you have discovered more places to travel to you can now reserve your seat and book your tours to some amazing spots around the world.  www.lowpriceflights.co.za

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The ultimate guide to choosing an airline seat

Rows of economy seats on a plane

Economy seats on an Airbus A 380

Going on a long-haul flight can be an adventure in itself from choosing your seat, meal options, upgrades, airport lounges or just meeting someone different from some other part of the world seated right next to you. Airlines give you a fair choice when it comes to your meals and we all pretty know what we like or don’t like, making that an easy choice. But when it comes to choosing your seat from dozens and dozens of rows, that could be a daunting task especially if you’re new to flying. Reserving your seat is not always straight forward and the airline could change planes which changes the seat numbers and seating configuration. Or the airline’s ‘system’ may have decided to reallocate your chosen seat to another passenger. However, many airlines offer you the choice when you book on-line which may ensure you get your seat. So, which is the best seat from the economy, premium economy, business class or first class? This may be a matter of personal choice. We’ll break that down for you and help you choose the right seat for you and your budget.

 

Front, middle or rear of the aircraft?

Again, your own personal preferences may come into play here but on a widebody aircraft, you will generally find that the seats in front of the engine, usually in front of economy, are the quietest. The back of the cabin tends to be noisier due largely to the engine. Another advantage of starting out in front as this is where most airlines start their meal service so you will never run out of options like you would if you were in the back.

 

Aisle, middle or window seat?

In most cases, the middle seat is the least preferred with you having passengers on either side of you and this can be a bit bothersome should you need to get up and go to the restroom or just stretch your legs. The window seat is the best option if you’d like to get a little bit of sleep as you could lean against the curved cabin wall for a little more headspace. On larger aircraft like the A380, the window seat gives much more space to lean against and bit more to stretch your arms into. The aisle seat is perfect for those who want to get up regularly and walk around or if your need for the restroom is more regular. The aisle seat comes with some cautions too, like getting up for your fellow passengers and getting knocks and bumps from passengers as they walk past. The service trolley can also cause you some bruises as it squeezes past you. Aisle seats are great provided passengers and cabin crew using the aisle don’t bump into you all the time.

man sitting in aisle seat on a plane

Aisle seats are popular to most passengers

An Exit Row or Bulkhead seat?

Exit rows seats can sometimes be more expensive and airlines may prefer giving these to taller passengers. You get extra legroom which is a bonus for long legs but there are downsides to the exit row. No hand luggage or bags will be allowed by your seat or in the footwell area during landing or take-off. If the overhead bins are full, you’ll have to hope for an accommodating cabin crew to take your bags or luggage and store them away to be returned once the flight is over. If you’re looking forward to watching your favourite movie on an exit row screen, you won’t find any screens on the back of the seats in front of you. Instead, there will be a video screen stored in the armrest of the seat similar to that of a food tray. The seats are spaced slightly differently and due to this design-layout, you may find the actual width of the seat is smaller than the regular seats. You just have to get used to handling the cumbersome nature of the seats folding trays

Bulkhead seats are situated right behind a solid cabin wall divider with no seats in front of them but where a bassinet is provided for families with babies. So, as you can imagine, this part of the aircraft can be a little noisier. The legroom might appear generous with no seats in front of you but try stretching out and you’ll discover it’s not easy like in ordinary seats. Bulkhead seats give you the extra bother of a fold in tray food tray which can be problematic if the food tray is left out for long periods.

There is an issue for areas like bulkhead seats and exit row seats, is that passengers seated elsewhere tend to congregate in these spaces to chat or just stretch their legs making it a rather busy place. Some seats appear to offer good legroom but can be sued as a cabin cross over or passengers using the restroom.

 

Avoid the Toilet and Galley areas!

There’s the obvious fact of sitting next to the toilet that could be of the odours wafting across your area especially during mealtime and a flushing toilet on board an aircraft is extremely noisy. This can prove bothersome in such a high traffic area where the repetitive noise of a flushing toilet can be hard to endure even for the most saintly. At night the constant opening at the closing of the washroom door with its light can be distracting when you consider that many people congregate at this area. This doesn’t get any better if you choose to sit opposite the galley where the constant traffic of the cabin crew can be noisy even as they prepare for meals before and after.

 

Legroom Space

On many long haul flights, some passengers will find that their foot space is taken up by the control box for the inflight entertainment system. The manufacturers are gradually making improvements in this area but don’t expect any quick results. The inflight entertainment system in most airlines is most often situated in the aisle seat although they can be found in the middle and window seats.

 

The Seat Pitch

The seat pitch is the one area that you should pay careful attention if you’re in the need of much-wanted legroom. The greater the pitch the more the legroom. However, with seat space at a premium for airlines, don’t expect a great pitch angle over the number of seats that can fit onto an airline. So it’s not surprising that seat pitch has a standard, like in economy class long haul fights has a seat pitch of 31 – 32 inches. While smaller airlines can afford a little more at 33 to 35 inches of seat pitch. The higher the seat pitch the fewer seats an airline can fit into its cabin and it is unlikely you’ll find fewer seats being sacrificed for seat pitch. The newer slimline seats offer more legroom at a seat pitch of 32 inches comparing to the old sets of 34 pitch seat. The new slimline seat has been making its appearance of newer aircraft replacing the 33-inch pitch seat.

 

What about Airline Cabin Classes?

Airlines have introduced cabin classes as a way to give passengers different experiences at varying prices and there are various factors that determine cabin classes. Cabin class is determined by the number of passengers allowed, the comfort of your seat, the type of food served and any other additional extras that may be offered.

 

What are the Different Cabin Classes?

Long haul flights can have up to 4 cabin class and that depends on the aircraft you flying. These 4 classes are economy, premium economy, business class and first class. You’ll discover that some aircraft have fewer classes depending on the size and seat configuration.

A small 30 seater aircraft may only have just one type of cabin and that’s economy. However, another aircraft which seat just 12 passengers may be a private plane that is equipped for VIP’s will have seats configured like first-class giving you the best seat no matter where you sit. And then there are the larger airlines which departs from the traditional 3 class cabin to add in an additional premium economy class for those economy class passengers who want to upgrade to a little more.

For the world’s largest and most highly rated airlines like Emirates and Etihad Airways, who often to extremes in terms of luxury providing select guests with their own private suite. This cabin is different from first-class in that it has proper sleeping quarters, lounge and access to a private chef.

 

About the Different Cabin Classes

Window seat

Economy Class

These seats offer passengers all the basic comforts and amenities for their flight. Usually, this can vary depending on the type of flight be an international long-haul or local domestic departure. On larger aircraft such as a Boeing-737 or Airbus A380, the seat configuration of Economy Class is 3-4-3. On a Boeing 777, there are 385 seats in this cabin class compared to the 42 seats in Business Class.

Economy Class International flights

This class of seats on an international flight offers you all the comforts of an economy seat that just lacks personal space. The seats are adequately comfortable and you are provided with a meal menu with some options to choose from, free drinks and Wifi which can either be free for a specific duration of time of paid for. Each seat has personalised screens with hours of free entertainment. If you’d like a bit more space, then it is possible to check-in much earlier, preferably on-line and chooses your seats either right in front of the cabin class, exit rows or aisle as we have gone through earlier. Window seats are great if you want the view or extra space to lean against the curved wall but can be bothersome if you want to go to the loo or just stretch your legs.

You can be sure that meals on international flights are served hot together with light snacks and something to drink. If your dietary requirements differ from that of the menu, you can notify the airline up to two days prior to departure. Most international airlines provide an extra amenity kit for extra-long flights which includes the basics that are needed for a comfortable flight, such as night mask, socks, earphones, toothpaste and a toothbrush.

Domestic Flights Economy Class

Domestic economy flights have fewer amenities on offer but instead offer a seat at a price you simply can’t get anywhere else. In South Africa, budget airlines like Mango and FlySafair offer you cheap seats instead of hot meals and personalised screens. The short duration of these flights of a couple of hours means that you don’t miss the additional extras of a long-haul international flight. You can buy snacks and drinks on-board and even pay a little extra for priority boarding which include early boarding and snacks.

 

Premium Economy Class

Premium economy class is only offered by a few of the large international carriers like Emirates, Virgin Atlantic and Etihad and what they offer is truly remarkable for a premium economy class seat – that has created a demand for a gap between economy and business class. The price is exactly in-between that of the economy and business class and has attracted passengers who simply can’t afford business class but can have a similar experience. Here you are greeted with a welcome drink as you sit down on your seat, and given an amenity kit that may include a few more items than in economy class. You may find the packaging a bit more expensive and may include a pen, earplugs and soap.

The most attractive feature of the premium economy class is definitely the extra seating space. Seats are wider with more elbow room space and a very comfortable headrest. Depending on the airline, your seat can recline much more than economy class. If you’re flying overnight on Lufthansa, you might just be given access to business free of charge. When it comes to meals airlines such as British Airways, offers you a 3-course meal served in fine china and linen napkins making this the best seat money can buy.

 

Business Class

Business-class can make you feel like a VIP starting at ground level as a business class come with its own check-in queue at the airport and priority boarding is a must. There’s even a lounge where can go to enjoy extra comfortable rest with some light snacks.

You’ll soon discover the magic onboard as most airlines will offer you spacious leather seating that reclines to a fully flat bed and if not, it will be one of the most comfortable seats you’ll have on-board. And when it comes to the food, you’ll be spoilt for choice from a larger menu specially prepared for you. There free drinks and even your headphones are special like Qatar Airways with its special noise-cancelling headphones that are only available to Business and First Class passengers.

Throughout the various stages of the flight, the lighting changes to match the mood going from awake to dinner to sleep. A little more about the airport lounges where you can expect fine dining, spacious areas for work or rest, bathrooms and showers and sometimes even a spa. Business-class tickets are expensive and expect to pay anything from twice and up to three times the price of an economy class ticket.

 

First Class

Emirates first class

Emirates First Class onboard the Airbus A380

When it comes to first-class, it’s luxury all the way. If you have the first-class then you access all the amenities at your beckoning, extra special services and an experience like no other. You get the standard priority check-in and boarding but some airlines go the extra mile by offering you a complimentary chauffeur and pick-up service from your home or hotel.

You a get personal service from the air hostess and will assist you to turn your seat into a comfortable bed alongside widescreen TVs, personal desk lamp and a number of facilities. If there’s one thing that will excite on-board a first-class seat it has to be the amenity kit. You could have amazing perfumes or deodorants such as those found on Air France.

Mealtime is an extra special experience where you can only expect the best. There is often a private chef to take care of any special requests or whip up something special. Passengers are seated in individual pods and there are between 10 and 12 seats available.

 

Private Suites

Private suite on boad Songapore airlines

Private suite onboard Singapore Airlines

This is the ultimate experience for those looking to fly in a class of their own where privacy and luxury go hand in hand. It’s the most expensive seat that actually doesn’t buy you a seat but a whole cabin with a bed, lounge and a luxurious chair and comes with your own bathroom. To top it all, you get your own personal assistant who sees everything. Currently, there are only 3 airlines that offer this exclusive private suite and they are Singapore Airlines, Emirates and Etihad.

 

Should you upgrade?

This is a question of affordability vs comfort or could even be a combination of the both i.e. the most comfort at the best price. Or you can take another pragmatic view such as ‘how long is the flight?’ The longer the flight, like 5 hours and more the more you’ll appreciate the comfort and conveniences of comfortable seating and better services. If your budget allows it to take the upgrade. An economy seat with smaller seats and less to offer is good for the short-haul flight of around two hours and more if you don’t mind seating in-between two passengers.

For most travellers, first-class might be out of reach and too expensive but an upgrade from economy to the premium economy might be the more affordable option. As for an upgrade from Business to First Class, there are fewer changes in amenities making less attractive from business to first class. So, now that you know all about the different seat positions and cabin classes, we hope we’ve made it easier to choose your seat for your next flight when you book through us on www.lowpriceflights.co.za

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Where you should travel local after the lockdown

The South African rand is at an all-time low and that’s great news for visitors coming into the country and not forgetting our local exporters of all our great wine, fruits and nuts. These are exceptional times we are living in with a national lockdown extended to the end of April, there’s no telling what we could expect thereafter. One thing is for sure it will take us some time to get the South African economy back into full swing.

This lockdown has no doubt stretched our imagination into keeping ourselves busy and the children occupied. I’m sure there are hundreds of places you could be than just in one place every day for 5 weeks. We often think about all the great destinations we’d like to visit internationally and strike it off our bucket list. But we at Low Price Flights thought we’d put together our very own bucket list for after the lockdown and we thought we’d keep it local to Sunny South Africa.

It would do our local economy good, keep airlines in the skies and stimulate the tourism industry with our much needed Rands. Besides over 16 million international tourists seem to think it’s a good idea visiting South Africa. So whether you drive from George to Joburg or fly from Cape Town to Durban, let’s explore the most amazing attractions locally.

Johannesburg

Named the ‘City of Gold’ after the discovery of this rare precious metal in 1884, Johannesburg as it became known later, thrived into a vibrant metropolis. Gold is not the only thing the city became famous for, it also became home to the largest man-made forest in the world. Today ‘Joburg’ as it is commonly known, is residence to over 4.4 million people and is the economic and cultural hub of Africa. The new modern and cosmopolitan atmosphere lends itself perfectly to the arts and cultural district of Maboneng. A creative hub, a place of inspiration and business, restaurants, pubs, bars, street cafés and entertainment. Take a deep dive into the past with a visit to the Apartheid Museum and Vilakazi Street in the South Western Townships, commonly known as Soweto. And if it’s glitz and glamour you’re after, then the Sandton nightlife scene has all there is to offer.

You should take a closer look with the following tour guides and companies:

Johannesburg and Soweto Full-Day Tour

Cradle of Humankind and Sterkfontein Caves Tour

Sun City and Pilanesberg Full Day Tour

 

Cape Town

This is the oldest European establishment in South Africa and one of the most beautiful cities in the world which is often referred to as the Mother City. Cape Town enjoys a mild Mediterranean climate with its spectacular natural setting, white sand beaches, picturesque mountain views and vibrant cosmopolitan culture. Glide up on the cableway to the flattened mountain top of Table Mountain or take the hour-long hike up Lion’s head. Visit its most popular spot, the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront where you can feast of some of the finest food served by world-class chefs, shop and be entertained. Take a trip down an unforgettable past on Robin Island and explore its many stories and a trip to the Cape Malay Quarters will yield a colourful tapestry of culture, wine and fine food. And while we’re on the subject of wine, the Cape is renowned for producing the world’s finest wines and these can be sampled on ‘The Wine Route’ a very popular tour as one can imagine.

Cape Town was named World Design Capital for 2014 and in the same year, both The New York Times and The Daily Telegraph named Cape Town the best place in the world to visit.

You should take a closer look with the following tour guides and companies:

Cape Town tours and activities

Cape Town day tours

Ashanti Cape Town tours

Kabura travel tours

 

Durban

This sub-tropical spot is situated alongside the warm Bengeula current on the east coast of South Africa. It’s the warm current together with its tropical climate that makes Durban warm all year round with little or no sight of winter. It’s Summer all year round. This makes it perfect to enjoy the long golden sandy beaches with its multitude of attractions and African markets along its coastline. Try a visit to uShaka Marine World with a shark tank dive or snorkelling with tropical fish. Or take to the beaches with swimmers and surfers or huddle along the pier with anglers trying to get their best catch of the day. Durban offers world-class venues like the Moses Mabhida Stadium where you can get a birds-eye view of Durban on top of its arch and if you feel a little lucky, then make your way to Suncoast Casino with its flamboyant nightlife and restaurants. If you feel like spending your money elsewhere then The Gateway Theatre of Shopping, the largest mall in Durban and one of the biggest in South Africa offer plenty of choice for the discerning eye.

Durban also forms an excellent base if you a trip to the Drakensburg and Shakaland and Zulu culture day trip.

You should take a closer look with the following tour guides and companies:

Hluhluwe Imfolozi Safari Day Tour

Durban Safari Tours

Durban Day Tours

Segway

 

Kruger National Park

Kruger National Park is the oldest and biggest park in South Africa covering some 20 000km2 making it the same size as Israel and that’s huge! You’ll need several days to explore all of the park in the hope of seeing the big 5. Kruger is home to more than 145 mammal species including the big 5 which is named so because they are the 5 most difficult animals to hunt on foot. Although, no hunting is permitted on the park! Here you will find lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and Cape buffalo making up the big 5 and others like hippopotamus, giraffe, zebra, warthog and many antelope species. There are 101 ways to explore the park with its dizzy array of paths that cross over each other but you can opt for a luxury lodge with private safari rides or even a hot air balloon. The park has more to offer other than wildlife, it is home to Bushman rock art and many archaeological sites like the reconstructed Iron Age ruins of the Masorini Village. While there are many guided game drive tours, a self-drive game tour is highly recommended on the famous Sabie and Crocodile river routes where you also likely to catch sight of many species of birds.

You should take a closer look with the following tour guides and companies:

Classic Guided Kruger Park Safaris

Sanparks

Kruger parks tours

Kruger Park Safaris

 

Sun City

Sun City sometimes called the Lost City, is a luxurious resort complex with Casinos, golf courses, luxury hotels, family entertainment and more. This resort was imagined by the hotel magnate, Sol Kerzner who dreamed of an ancient kingdom and lost tribe that lived in the legendary ‘lost city’. The resort was built in the depths of an extinct volcano in the Pilanesberg mountain range. There are two internationally acclaimed golf courses both designed by golfing legend Gary Player and one is host to the annual Million Dollar Nedbank Golf Challenge and the more scenic Lost City golf has become famous for the 40 or more crocodiles visiting the 13th hole. The Sun City Resort boasts one the best gaming entertainment facilities in South Africa with an impressive array of slots machines and over 40 tables to choose from. And if this is not for you, you can choose from many bars, restaurants and clubs or just go watch a movie. Children have a large choice of arcade games to keep them busy. However, the most famous attraction is a man-made beach with white sands and a wave pool that can generate waves up to 2m high hundreds of kilometres away from the natural ocean. It’s just one of the great attractions with rides, slides and food court.

You should take a closer look with the following tour guides and companies:

Sun City Tours and Holidays

Sun City Resort Tour

Sun City Tour Packages

Sun City and Pilanesberg National Park – Full Day

Travel lockdown in South Africa

South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday made a historic announcement to approve a countrywide lockdown which will result in only certain sectors of businesses can remain operational.
The president said: “All shops and businesses will be closed, except for pharmacies, laboratories, banks, essential financial and payment services, including the JSE, supermarkets, petrol stations and health care providers.”
“Companies that are essential to the production and transportation of food, basic goods and medical supplies will remain open. We will publish a full list of the categories of businesses that should remain open.”
According to the president, the following service sectors will need to be operational during the lockdown:

Essential services
1. Electricity – constant electricity supply without load shedding
Public companies and private organisations, their employees and suppliers that are essential to the generation, transmission and distribution of power will continue to work as normal.  This is to include municipalities, suppliers of logistics, feedstock and maintenance crew are all required to continue to work and provide security of electricity supply. 
2. Water and sanitation
Public companies and private organisations, their employees and suppliers critical to the safety of water supply in bulk, potable drinking water and sanitation must continue to work to provide critical water and sanitation services.  Municipalities are also included alongside those who are involved in the supply of materials, chemicals and equipment. 
3. ICT Infrastructure
The president said they have engaged extensively with the ICT sector and are convinced that the networks will be stable during this lockdown cycle. It is during this time that ICT industry collaboration will be critical to secure that the public remains connected and serviceable. The sector includes: data centres, fibre optic providers, towers and antennae will continue to operate at full capacity.
The industry leaders will cooperate and use various data points to provide prognostic insights into the spread and impact gesture of the pandemic which will give the South African government and the public’s ability to be aggressive in measures that flatten the curve and social and economic impact of the virus.  ​
Social media platforms will allow people to remain connected as these platforms are critical to the circulation of up-to-date information. However, all South Africans are reminded that online security is important and to be attentive to cybercriminals who will during this period try to exploit any unsuspecting individuals. 

Protecting our healthcare system
President Ramaphosa said, “This nationwide lockdown will be accompanied by a public health management programme which will significantly increase screening, testing, contact tracing and medical management”.
This indicates that neighbourhood health workers can focus on screening more people and testing for the Covid-19 in high-density, high-risk areas.
To ensure hospitals can cope with the influx of patients and are not overwhelmed, a Centralised Patient Management System for severe to critical cases of Covid-19 will also be take effect. Mild cases of the virus will receive Decentralised Primary Care.
Informal settlements and rural areas will be provided with emergency water supplies, using storage tanks, water tanks, boreholes and communal standpipes so that people have access to clean water to maintain good hygiene.

Travel restrictions
The president has tightened on some travel measures whilst there were already restrictions in place for travellers coming in and going out of the country.
South African traveller that arrive into the country will automatically have into isolation for a 14-day quarantine period.
It is with great regret that international travellers coming in from high-risk counties will not be allowed into the country.
Those travellers who landed from high-risk countries after 9 March are to be isolated to their hotel room for a 14-day quarantine period.

Economic relief
The president restated and emphasised the drastic impact Covid-19 will have on the economy, which could cause the loss of many 1000’s of jobs and may even lead to the closure of businesses.
Ramaphosa announced an economic plan to help soften the impact on South Africa against the virus. There will be a solidarity fund to support people whose lives have been severely disrupted by the virus.
The fund is already active and anyone can contribute cash to www.solidarityfund.co.za.
The government has also pledged to assist small businesses in the informal sector who will suffer from the lockdown with a safety net fund.
Ramaphosa said, “To alleviate congestion at payment points, old-age pensions and disability grants will be available for collection from 30 and 31 March 2020, while other categories of grants will be available for collection from 1 April 2020”.

Flights cancelled
Comair will suspend all Kulula and British Airways flights in South Africa from 26 March. 
The shut down comes as part of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s decree to put the country in lockdown from Thursday. Comair employees will stay at home from 27 March to 17 April and will resume duty from 19 April. Comair will do its best to accommodate customers who are wanting to travel over the next two days and seats will be subject to availability.
Passengers can change to travel dates for free if they wish to do so and only a fare difference may apply. Passengers can cancel their flight and will get a credit to the value of their flight valid for 12 months. For more information on their commercial policy, please visit their websites, www.kulula.com or  www.comair.co.za.

SAA suspends all international flights
South African Airways (SAA) has immediately suspended all international flights until 31 May 2020 in response to the travel ban.
There has been a substantial decline in demand for air travel and the situation has caused many airlines across the world to cancel flights. SAA will only operate on its regional and domestic routes.
SAA operates in three markets that are listed in the travel ban as high-risk countries. These are Washington DC and New York, JFK, London, Heathrow and Frankfurt and Munich. SAA operates flights to Perth and São Paulo which have not been declared high-risk.  All of these flights are now cancelled. 

UAE suspends flights
Emirates Airlines has announced it will temporarily suspend all passenger and transit flights. The decision will take effect in 48 hours of which cargo and emergency evacuation flights would be exempt.
Emirates will continue flights to South Africa, the UK, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Australia, the US and Canada. The country has also stopped granting visas on arrival and forbidden foreigners (who are legal residents who are outside the country) from returning.

SA Express to suspend operations
As of 18 March, SA Express has suspended all operations indefinitely as a result of the operational challenges including the Covid-19 outbreak. Passengers with confirmed flight bookings will be accommodated on alternative flight arrangements while non-essential staff will placed on compulsory leave. The airline said it will use this period to review and streamline operations for improved efficiency.

Airlink changes
Airlink has amended its flight schedule to comply to the South African’s new travel ban and Covid-19 outbreak.
Airlink’s changes are automatically done in the reservations system. All passengers to check their flight details using the ‘Manage My Booking’ function on Airlink’s website or through their travel agents. 
Passengers with tickets between 18 March and 30 September 2020 can make changes to their travel dates. Airlink will facilitate one free date change to their reservation.

Worldwide flight restrictions
Here are some of the changes that are happening globally to the airline industry.
Algeria announced on Monday a suspension of all scheduled flights with Europe.
Austria Airlines said that it will suspend all of its flights from Thursday due to a sharp drop in demand as a result of the Covid 19 virus. 
British Airways and Spanish aircraft Iberia will reduce flight capacity by 75% between April and May.
Portugal will close its border with Spain for a month and that includes suspending air travel. 
France will reduce long-distance train schedules, bus and plane travel only a few international flights will be maintained – including to the US and Africa.

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