Have you finalised your emigration, or are you heading on a glorious holiday abroad? Perhaps you are ready to pack your bags and head off into the deep blue yonder, eager to discover something new? Whatever your situation, travelling abroad is exciting and equally daunting! Besides worrying about what to pack in your suitcase, the never-ending ‘to do’ and ‘things to check’ lists can leave you feeling in serious need of a stiff klippies and cola to steady your nerves! That’s why the FinGlobal team have put together this handy list of travel tips to help you on your way Saffa style!
Emigrating from South Africa
Firstly, for those emigrating from South Africa, the emigration road will have been tough, but not as tough as the long flight you are about to embark on with all your worldly possessions in transit. Up until now, deciding what to pack in your suitcase has been the least of your worries! However, after wrestling prized possessions into boxes to ship across the pond to your new home, your next decisions will have been what to leave behind and what to sell.
Decisions, which up to this point have been complex and probably fraught with much emotion, but now it’s time to pack for the actual flight. This is what we at FinGlobal like to call your ‘maiden flight,’ the exciting part. The part you have been waiting to do for months, if not years! So, grab your trusty duffel bag, and let’s delve into some essential flight tips and tricks, aka South African travel tips! Minus the padkos, of course!
Before you go
It’s safe to say that at this point, all your pre-emigration requirements will have been sorted by the FinGlobal team! However, there are a few things you need to do to ensure a safe and stress-free flight. These include the following:
Passport / Documentation
Ensure your passport is well within date; some countries insist you have at least six months on your passport before entry/departure. It’s also a good idea to print two copies of your passport photo page in case your passport is lost or stolen. Keep one copy in your hand luggage and leave the other with family or friends back home; that way, everyone has access to backups!
If you are emigrating, you may need to carry a small amount of emergency cash on the flight and for the first few days while sorting out your new bank account. However, each country will limit how much money you can carry on the flight and expect you to declare amounts over this. Check the cash limit for your country of destination before departure. You can exchange your South African Rands at the airport on arrival in your new country of residence.
Use a money belt or anti-theft bag to store important documents, credit cards or cash on your person. There are quite a few on the market that prevent potential pick-pockets from their usual means of income – grabndash.com! Also, keep essential items in separate places. For example, if you carry your cards in one place, keep some cash in another part of your luggage to ensure you have access to funds should your cards get stolen. Unfortunately, travellers, especially stressed-out Saffas emigrating, present would-be thieves with the prime opportunity of making a quick buck – hence the need to be safe at all times!
You will want to remain in touch with family, friends, and contacts in your destination country. A flat phone battery isn’t going to be of much use in this situation. Instead, we suggest purchasing a universal plug converter that can be used in multiple electrical outlets or a portable phone charger (power bank). In addition, on arrival in the new country, you will most likely need to purchase a new sim card for your phone to work. Most airports have mobile providers on-site or sim card vending machines should you wish to buy a ‘pay as you go’ sim immediately.
Long flight tips
Now that you are ready to hit the airport, let’s take a quick look at some long flight tips guaranteed to make the long haul much more comfier!
The following essential items are a must for your hand luggage:
- Neck pillow, earplugs and eye mask – some international flights are longer than 10 hours, and you will need to get some sleep.
- Headphones, iPad/tablets, books – entertaining yourself and the kids during a long flight is essential as there’s nowhere to go once you’re 33,000 feet in the sky!
- Hand sanitiser, wet wipes and water bottles – keeping clean and tidy on a long flight can be challenging, and remaining hydrated is important.
Other important factors to consider:
- Mobile hot-spotting or downloading messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Viber or WeChat are good options for those who still need to purchase a new phone plan.
- Plan your transportation. If you are being met at the airport by someone, that’s great; problem solved. However, if you don’t have anyone to meet you, you may need to investigate the types of public transport available to use. Some countries such as the UK or USA have excellent public transportation systems ranging from taxis to buses and underground tubes. However, others may only have taxis or require you to hire a vehicle. Research local or public transport before you leave, as many offer traveller discounts or day passes.
With these trusty South African travel tips, you can conquer the daunting but uber-exciting prospect of emigration and all it offers. Or simply use them the next time you decide to dip your toe into unknown waters beyond our sunny horizon!
Expert advice for SA expats right here at FinGlobal
For friendly emigration advice tailored to suit your unique needs, look no further than the FinGlobal team. We assist you with every step of your emigration plan, right up to hopping aboard your final flight across the seas.
However, our assistance doesn’t stop there. We support expats long after they leave with queries regarding pensions, retirement annuities, financial emigration, forex, etc. With FinGlobal, you can expect professional, accredited advice based on more than ten years of experience. Contact the team today to discuss your immigration requirements.