The end of June usually signals around a three-week holiday or school vacation for public schools in South Africa, which means South African moms and dads are wondering what to do with their precious darlings for the duration of the winter season, that does not include stretching their eye muscles from excessive iPad screen time, TV viewing, movies or video games.

The cool thing about cooler weather is that the kids don’t necessarily seem to feel the cold, unless it’s at the start of a school morning wake up call procedure.

They will stay warm running around easier in winter than overheating in the summer and you might have a tougher time attempting to bundle them up with your idea of keeping them warm amid protests of ‘but I don’t feel cold’ as you try to zip them into a long sleeve with your cold trembling fingers.

For moms and dads, the good news is that travelling in and around South Africa is a beautiful season of winter holiday fun, with numerous destinations country wide and convenient available flights waiting to take that edge off the holiday boredom with a little help from SAA.

For those seeking a bit more warmth, Durban has fantastic fun outdoors opportunities that can take the edge off the Johannesburg chill. Cape Towns landmarks and pretty vistas continue to dazzle us, so bundle up warm, get on some great hiking shoes, pack those oranges and perhaps even a warm chocolate milk and get your gorgeous families and well travelled backpacks out and into some clean fresh air and enjoy some great quality family time.

Handy packing tips for travellers include the following;

  1. Always roll your clothes to save space in your luggage.
  2. A good bag, particularly duffle bags, go a long way towards easier handling at airports, packing into boots and storage holds.
  3. The higher the quality of the fabric or material for your bag will help it to last longer for future trips.
  4. Try buy bags that have extended space zippers, they give you that extra few kilo’s when you need it, and hold your bag’s shape safely as a double zip.
  5. Always tie a bright personalized ribbon or item to easily identify your luggage amongst the crowds.
  6. Plan your outfits ahead of time and pack neutral interchangeable colour choices on your trip.
  7. Pick lighter shoes as these are the heaviest items.
  8. Pack a small portion of your toiletries and buy the rest wherever you arrive, it will save weight.
  9. Bring vacuum bags for dirty laundry to help travel lighter on the return trip.
  10. Try not to do washing on the last few days of holiday as wet clothes end up smelling in your luggage and adding to the weight.
  11. For ladies and gents bring more tops to the leggings/trouser ratio and one or two smarter items you can co-ordinate for smarter occasions.
  12. Keep a scanned copy of all your documents before travelling and give a copy to friends or family back at home.

For South Africans determined to experience a European summer, SAA can help you get there in style. For summer the rules are simple; light clothes, swim wear (plural), tons of sunblock and after-sun (which should be available at any store in case you run out or they are too heavy to pack), flip-flops or sturdy sandals and water shoes for pebbly beaches, handy water-proof bags for small cash denominations at the beach and on boats, goggles for kids are great (if they wear them), and eye-drops for relief from all day swimming fun.

Some user friendly meds include; Ask your house doctor for general anti-biotic for pesky bladder infections that people are prone to from swimming vacations, a good probiotic to assist smooth out any unusual foods for tummies.

The rest is simple, soak up the sites, be present, be aware of phone/camera scams, but overall take your South African charm to the rest of the world, and make some beautiful memories abroad.
SAA-bringing you to your dream destination and looking forward to bringing you home to loved ones here on SA soil.