Travel

5 Ways to cope with travel anxiety

Planes booked. Hotels booked. Sightseeing list prepared. Cash passport read! Everything is ready and you just cannot shake the feeling that something bad is going to happen? I get that feeling too almost every time I have long trips. Sometimes you even find yourself creating Final Destinations scenes on the many things that could go wrong and eventually leading to your death. I do that too!

During most of my travels I was fortunate enough to have my partner help with a lot of my travel anxiety such as checking delays, tracking where I am to make sure I don’t miss my connecting flights, local transport and all. I do however think that if you will be traveling alone, it can be so stressful to even get on that ride to the airport especially when you think you are carrying something that might be confiscated at customs like wine bottles (which it usually is not a problem).

If you are planning a trip soon anywhere within the country- a girls’ getaway to a resort or a “baecation” or maybe you are brave enough for a solocation, here are a few things I have tried to keep me feeling calm and like I have everything under control:

  • Find your calm technique: I knew watching a lot of movies was gonna help me somehow one day. I learned my breathing technique from Ninja Assassin (which reminds me, I need to watch it again tonight), on breathing from the low point of your stomach. That way, you get to take deep breaths and it works for me whenever I am feeling like everything is getting too wild for me to control.
  • Know your pulse: Just like fitness, when I need to practice the first technique and I know I am way deep in within anxiety, I check my pulse and start doing my breathing exercise. Sometimes travel anxiety is not cause by a fear of flying, it is caused by being too excited because you are so overwhelmed that finally you are going somewhere and you don’t know what to expect but it is a good thing because you have been dying to leave.
  • Never panic: Panicking will NEVER solve any issue, it just escalates the situation from bad to worse. There have been a few time I nearly missed my flights and throughout, I tried with so much difficulty to stay calm and when I made it, I realised that if I panicked, everything would have just been a sh*t storm. Just don’t over think things.
  • Healthy eating: Always make sure that you are hydrated and not eating junk food that might even cause bloating. Temporarily stay away from the sweet stuff because they can be very bad for you.
  • Keep to your fitness routine: If you are a yogi, dedicate some of your time during your vacation doing anything and everything that has to do with fitness at least for 30 minutes a day- even if it is just walking. I made the mistake of not committing to any sort of fitness movements and it was a bad idea- not only did I become lazy, I lost track of time doing nothing and felt tired 80% of the time.

I hope that these 5 easy tips help with your anxiety or any type of stress you might be going through over your next trip. Everyone has their own techniques from categorizing the items they need or luxury to help with packing, meditation and other methods. We all function differently and what works for one person might not work for the other.

Please share your techniques and hopefully I might learn a thing or two.

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Africa, Travel

Victoria Falls, Zambia

Imagine going on an amazing holiday only to find out that the airline providing the a connecting flight sold you dreams and then find yourself stuck in the middle of home and nowhere. On Monday I left Europe with the hopes that I will be home in time for a one man brunch and my bed. Instead I found myself with others stuck in Zambia courtesy of Kenya Airways (the story will be told another time).

Sometimes getting lost can lead to unexpected adventures. 

I met a group of people who were coming back from different corners of the world and we decided to use the opportunity to visit Victoria Falls.

Flowing from the Zambezi River over a cliff and into the Boiling Pot before flowing through a series of gorges is Victoria Falls, located in the western area of Zimbabwe. This is where you will find the Devil’s Pool, a natural infinity pool, is on the edge of a sheer drop. Spanning the river is 1905 Victoria Falls Bridge. The surrounding Zambezi National Park is home to white rhinos and elephants.

Myself and other companions entered Victoria Falls from the Livingstone side in Zambia where you can see a quarter of the waterfall and even though it is not everything, it is worth visiting!

What you will need:

  • We had to find transport which picked us up from the hotel and drop off back and also entrance fee fee into the park which totaled to 280 Zambian Kwacha.
  • Due to the intensity of the waterfall, the water hits the ground and there’s mist and little showers by the waterfalls, you will need a raincoat.
  • Because the ground is wet, make sure you were good shoes because it gets slippery.
  • For those scared of heights, you will need to cross a bridge that is high up to get to a different side to see more of the falls.
  • Take your time and just breathe in the freshness of the waters and surrounding.
  • There are monkeys everywhere, get your camera out.
  • Make sure you have cash, it is easier than finding a card machine.

What you need to know:

  • Zambia is hot! People who are like me, buckle up because you are going to be sweating your tits off.
  • Visit the falls super early when there are less people around then you get to really enjoy it. They open at 6am and close at 6pm.
  • Wear comfortable clothes. Zambia is great because even the gravel roads have names, something you don’t see in South Africa.
  • There are lots of lodges, it should be easy to find accommodation close to the airport.
  • Livingstone is 5km away from the Zimbabwe boarder and 200km from the Namibia boarder.
  • It is not expensive but the Kwacha is stronger than both the Rand and Dollar.
  • Zambians are beautiful people- I mean of course, you are in Africa anyway!
  • You will most likely fly with Kenya Airways, prepare yourself.
  • I had beer from there and it was really good for someone who does not enjoy beer, I think you will love this one.
  • 52% of Zambians speak Bemba and some words are similar to those in other South African languages (e.g: There is a street called ‘Mosi-oa-tunya’ translated to “the smoke that thunders” which happens to be another name for Victoria Falls.

I would like to thank the people I was with who put the idea to visit the falls in action. I never thought I would one day visit Zambia- even though it was not planned, I loved it.

Travel

The cash passport.

You have booked your flight. Got your visa. Bags packed. Now what?

At this stage you are probably thinking of calling your bank to notify them of “irregularities” that will be taking place in your account because you will be swiping your life away and living your best life. Well, not exactly! In most cases, banks block your card if they see unusual activity on your account even if you notify them prior to your travel. Great banks will even inform you of what to do in order to avoid that but hey.

A cash passport is a method of banking almost anywhere around the world without using your official bank card but rather transferring your monies from your bank account to a temporary card which can be used anywhere in the world. You have access to a maximum of 4 currencies on your card which are transferable as you travel and as you shop- NICE RIGHT!

I am with FNB and they somehow offer the quickest process for the cash passport, however, I could not apply for mine in time. Did you know FNB charges you R70 a transaction outside the country? That is a lot of money! That is a cheap burger and drink.

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You are required to have a minimum of $100 which is about R1,500 to start using your card. You can also reload it anytime you want, online. This card is valid for 5 years and the currencies can be changed every time you travel so which means you don’t have to apply for another in order to have a different currency loaded.

Service providers to apply for your cash passport:

  • FNB
  • Standard Bank
  • Western Union
  • Educonnect
  • Travelex
  • ABSA

Ever used a cash passport card before? How did it go? How were the charges?

You may ask how this is different to any credit card like American Express-

Please comment with your thoughts in the comment section.

Travel

How I Booked Cheap Flights to the Netherlands!

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As we catch flights and feelings, can I take this moment to tell you about how I got to book a flight for R5451 from Flying Bargain from Cape Town to Amsterdam! Yes, I know!

I have recently did my first out of the country, over the ocean trip to the Netherlands where my man stays full time and the process was so tedious but being someone who makes sure they travel under budget, this time around I made sure I stay really under budget. I am a cheapskate when it comes to paying for things, I mean if I will always find ways to do things for free or not pay a lot. I shakedown the system to have fun haha.

As my man and I started planning travel trips for the winter (his winter), I started planning my “shakedown” strategy on how the hell does one buy tickets under R6k. I watched all these sites like a hawk. All of them from StaTravel, Travel Start, Student Flights… then a friend of mine sent me a text telling me about his new venture, a third party online flight center. Homegirl did her thing and waited and waited until one day when I was totally minding my own business and there it was!!!

A flight from Cape Town International Airport to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport for less that R5,5K. At first I thought it was a joke and had asked people on twitter to keep a lookout for me. But that was it! I spoke to the man, and told him the story and I am always lucky that my man is always ready for such emergencies. At first we spoke about our finances as I could not afford the flight at the time and we had to negotiate. He was to buy my ticket with a credit card and I would pay him back (I kind of did). And there I was honnies, a flight and feelings richer all thanks to http://flyingbargain.com/

Here is the price breakdown:

  • Flight +taxes R5841
  • Travel Insurance (VIP) R552
  • The flight package allows two bags which with an extra bag would have been an extra R40 . 

Accommodation is not included in my travels because I have accommodation already sorted and all I need to save for is Christmas spending (gifts, cross country and other lifestyle activities including food.

Visit http://flyingbargain.com/ for flights, car and accommodation rentals. They still have some specials on. Plus the trip would have cost me so much less if I was flying from Johannesburg. Better luck next time I guess.

Capture 2018