I’ve always been a fan of hotels and sometimes the occasional guest house, but recently I decided to give Airbnb a try. If you don’t know what Airbnb is then here goes:
Founded in August of 2008 and based in San Francisco, California, Airbnb is a trusted community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodations around the world — online or from a mobile phone or tablet. Whether an apartment for a night, a castle for a week, or a villa for a month, Airbnb connects people to unique travel experiences, at any price point, in more than 34,000 cities and 191 countries. And with world-class customer service and a growing community of users, Airbnb is the easiest way for people to monetize their extra space and showcase it to an audience of millions.
So now that the introductions are out of the way, let me tell you about my experience. I booked my weekend getaway to Hermanus using the mobile app on my smartphone. It was a quick and easy process with a very simple booking. Viewing the images of the house as well as reading the reviews made the decision such a pleasure. I must admit, I always assumed that Airbnb was about booking a room in someones home (which is what put me off for so long). But I was surprised to find out that you could book entire homes as well.
I stayed at this amazing holiday home along the Bot River. It was perfect for a weekend break from Cape Town and oozed luxury. Here’s some pics! Join Airbnb and get travel credit towards your next holiday.
In approximately 7 weeks I will be basking in the sun on the warm tropical beaches of Mauritius. Over the next few weeks, I will be putting together some posts about what I’ll be packing in my bags. Summer ranges have hit our stores and I have already begun gathering my favourite items to take with me. I am huge fan of one piece costumes, kaftans and kimono’s. A must have item for every curvy girl!
1. Neon and White Embroidered Kaftan from River Island. R600
2. Floral print Kimono from MR PRICE. R120
3. One Piece Swimsuits from WOOLWORTHS. R350 – R399
4. KIMono’s FROM Cotton on. R299
Did you know one of the biggest impediments keeping people from travelling is not actually finances but anxiety? For many people, the thought of leaving their comfort zones and exploring the unknown is enough to cause a panic attack. Having these fears make it harder for people to travel for work and for pleasure. It is true, that travel anxiety if often due to life anxiety. The more anxious people feel in their daily lives the more likely they will experience travel anxiety. However, travelling is anything but frightening, it can open up a whole new world for you and allow you to actually control that anxiety.
During my early teens I traveled from Port Shepstone to Cape Town multiple times alone. I remember my first solo flight, I was more nervous to check in my luggage and go through security than writing my final exams. It was daunting to say the least but eventually it became second nature. Those solo missions definitely helped my travel anxiety and now the thought of visiting any place excites me way more than it scares me.
- Don’t make up scenarios – The narratives you make up in your head about something going wrong is all fiction. So, don’t waste your time worrying about what could happen.
- Planes are safe – You have more chances being knocked down by a car than dying in a plane crash. #EnoughSaid
- Take preventative measures – If you are worried about losing your passport or being hassled by strangers then take measures. Make copies of all your documents and store it in the cloud and purchase some pepper spray.
- Research – Do some research about the places you are visiting so you know what to expect when you get there. Something that I like to do is use Google Street view to check out the surroundings near my hotel, so when I get there, it feels like I have been there before.
- Get your body ready – Ensuring your body is ready for travel is one of the most important things you could do. Exercise and balanced blood sugar levels can be your best friend but most importantly getting enough sleep is key!
Remember, it’s all about baby steps. If your anxiety levels are higher than the norm, then begin with local holidays and extend yourself to global ones. Travelling definitely offers the soul so much more and it is not something you should ever miss out on.
We are super excited to announce the Lauren Louw has won herself a 2 night getaway to 3 Flavours Guest House in Pringle Bay.
We recently spent the weekend at 3Flavours Guest House in Pringle Bay. This 4 star guest house is perfectly situated to serve as a safe heaven from which you can explore the Overberg and surrounding countryside.
Upon arrival we were welcomed by Sarita who was the manager on call. She told us about the best places to grab dinner and also offered to book us a table. In our rooms, a fresh glass of juice and a bunch of fynbos awaited us. Most places offer welcome drinks and cold towels but never did I experience fynbos before. I think it’s such a beautiful touch and perfectly suited for the Western Cape.
This is truly the perfect place for someone looking to escape. The room has no TV which could be great or sad depending how you look at it. We were booked into the honeymoon suite so the view was absolutely to die for and we definitely did not need a TV, in fact it was so gorgeous that it didn’t even bother me that my phone was dead. Later that evening, Sarita organized in-room massages for both Jacques and I, which definitely kept us entertained.
Breakfast the next morning was perfect as we are not big eaters. It was light but perfect for us. 3Flavours is definitely a great place for couples looking for a break. If you have little kids I would be a little hesitant unless you have something to keep them entertained, although the pool in Summer time could provide ample entertainment.
Let’s face it, sometimes cheap is not always the option you go for, especially when flying. Sometimes spending just a little extra can ensure you get extra leg room, baggage allowance, more miles and just better reliability and trust. The South African airline space is not extremely competitive, with only a few operators dominating popular routes, you are not left with much choice and can sometimes fork out around R3000 for a single ticket (if you are desperate).
Introduce FlySafair and we now have a true low cost airline. When FlySafair launched I must admit I was very hesitant to fly with them. Surely there had to be something wrong with either the aircraft or the service for those prices?! Ticket prices were as low as R199 one way and that I just could not fathom.
This week I was forced to fly FlySafair and it left me very impressed! A round trip to Johannesburg cost less than R1000 – this blew my mind! It was far more cheaper than any of what the other airlines were offering.
So what’s the deal with FlySafair?
- Tickets are super cheap but you pay R150 to check in luggage (carry on luggage remains free) – no problem here as this is adopting major international models especially in the USA. It is the perfect solution for business travelers.
- You can check in online 24 hours before your flight and the process allows you to select seats including selecting the exit row. Extra leg room? Why, yes thank you!
- Pricing of snacks is affordable and on par with other airlines however the options are limited. It’s best to just grab something from the airport before boarding.
- It’s a pity but there isn’t a loyalty program as yet which means no airline miles. However I am certain this is soon to come.
- The flight attendants don’t seem to have tons of experience and the pilot does not make many announcements throughout the flight.
The price of airline tickets in South Africa are sky rocketing and I definitely see myself booking a lot more flights via FlySafair again soon. Will you give them a try?
Travelling can be so much fun. I have been blessed to visit a few places in the world and cannot wait to fulfill my Wanderlust of seeing so many more. Where have you been? Create your own travel map and share it with us.
It can be hard remembering all the places you’ve visited in the world but what can be even harder is remembering all the states. I used Map Loco to create a map of all the states in USA that we visited during our great American road trip in December. Create your own visited states map.
Most people are in the pursuit of happiness. There are economists who think happiness is the best indicator of the health of a society. We know that money can make you happier, though after your basic needs are met, it doesn’t make you that much happier. But one of the biggest questions is how to allocate our money, which is (for most of us) a limited resource.
Jay Cassano – Brooklyn-based staff writer for Co.Exist