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The world may be on pause but your travel planning needn't be

Chances are your long-awaited holiday's been put on hold thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, but there's nothing to stop you planning the next one. Truth is, you could be jetting off to distant shores sooner than you think.

While many countries, including South Africa have travel bans in place at the moment, you can rest assured that these will ease up over time. Don’t be caught napping. Start planning your next travel instance right now.

Focus on the things you can do to ensure your future travels go off without a hitch. It’s all in the details when it comes to travel planning after all.

First things first

If you have to cancel your upcoming flights get in touch with your booking agent right away. Different airlines have different policies with regard to cancellations, so the sooner, the better.

It’s likely that you’ll have three options with regard to your airline tickets, namely:
  • Suspending your ticket

    Most airlines allow you to put your ticket on hold for future travel, as long as you use it within 12 months after it was first issued. This means you’ll have plenty of time to focus on getting the cheapest flights to your new destination.

  • Change your travel date

    If you know exactly when you’d like to rebook your trip, you can simply change your travel dates. Most airlines are offering this as a free service during the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Cancel your flight

    Rather don’t do this if you can possibly avoid it. You’ll most likely be liable for admin costs and cancellation penalties. That’s because the airlines want to encourage you to postpone your trip instead of giving up on your travel dreams.
Naturally, these terms and conditions are totally up to the relevant airline and could change at any moment as the pandemic evolves.

What happens if the airline cancels your flight

It’s unlikely that any airline will cancel your flight outright, although this can also change according to current events. Should your airline contact you about cancelling your flight, they will offer you flight vouchers in return so that you can travel at a future date.

Be sure to check the validity of these vouchers and start planning your next trip sooner rather than later. There’s going to be a high demand for tickets once travel restrictions end, and you don’t want to miss out altogether.

How long should you wait before booking your next holiday?

Since you’re probably stuck at home anyway thanks to lockdown and stay-at-home restrictions, now is the perfect time to start planning your next getaway. You don’t want to be stuck with an expiring airline voucher and nowhere to go. Make the most of these free moments to plan your next adventure.

Experts predict that most countries should start to open their borders again around the end of August, early September, so aim for that time frame while planning your travels.

If you’re reluctant to travel abroad after the recent drama surrounding international travel, perhaps it time you spent some time discovering the hidden gems of your own country instead. September is springtime in the southern hemisphere and a lovely cool time of year for exploring.

Nobody knows if the September school holidays will still happen this year, so you might be able to enjoy some peak season perks without the crowds too.

Some of the top things to do in the springtime in South Africa include:
  • Watching new life unfurl in the Kruger National Park as baby wild animals experience their first taste of the world.
  • Experiencing the beauty of Cape Town after the winter rains.
  • Seeing the wildflowers burst into bloom along the West Coast.
  • Free entrance to most of South Africa’s National Parks for a full week in September.
There’s also a good chance that some of April’s top events will have been moved to this later time frame, so it’s bound to be an exciting time for domestic travel all round.
  • The Splashy Fen music festival in Underberg has been postponed to 23 to 27 September 2020.
  • The Cape and Pretoria Homemakers Expos are still on the cards for the beginning of September.
  • FNB Art Joburg will go ahead as planned.
There are countless other things to do and see around the country later in the year. Now’s your chance to find out more about them all and discover your ideal domestic destination this 2020.


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