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Remapping your travel experiences post Covid-19

Listen to our interview with Paolo Giuricich, head of Travel by Investec, as he discusses the new world of travel.

Domestic travel

Everyone enjoys a trip in our own backyard – a visit to the bush, the ocean or a buzzing town is always a great break.

While domestic travel presents less challenges than international travel, you should still book for your trip in advance and prepare for some delays.

  1. Book your domestic ticket at least 10 days in advance (last-minute flights are usually fully booked or exceptionally expensive)
  2. Check-in online as soon as it opens
  3. Arrive at the airport at least two hour before your flight
  4. If you are planning to rent a car over the festive season, book now to avoid disappointment.
Woman standing in an airport que

International travel

As the borders open and South Africans look to explore global destinations, you must be aware of potential challenges, delays and other issues impacting travel in a post Covid-19 environment.

  1. Arrive at the airport at least four hours before your international flight. Keep in mind, that online check-in doesn’t guarantee your seat on the airplane (pre-seat yourself if possible)
  2. Be aware that travel documents need to be physically verified at the airport and this takes time
  3. To avoid baggage issues or delays, travel with hand luggage only
  4. If you are checking luggage into the hold, pack a few essentials into your hand luggage in case your luggage is lost or delayed
  5. Liquids, gels or pastes in your hand luggage must not exceed 100ml (place into one clear resealable bag to go through airport security scanners)
  6. Check for any departure delays before you arrive at the airport
  7. Select comprehensive travel insurance that includes inconvenience benefits such as loss of baggage and cancellation or travel delay.

Visa delays

We know that visa processing remains a challenge for South African passport holders. Staff shortages, massive backlogs and lack of appointments are the main reasons for visa delays. South African travel industry representatives and airlines alike are engaging with embassies to alleviate these issues.

The US remains the trickiest with waiting periods for visa appointments up to six months; it is best to book US visa appointments for the first available date and continue to check their website for earlier slots. As a precaution, book flexible air ticket classes that allow for date changes.

For most countries, a lead time of up to 10 weeks is required for issuance. Consider various “walk in” options available at certain visa handling agencies.

We also recommend travel to visa-free or visa-on-arrival countries such as Mauritius, Maldives, Thailand, Singapore, Brazil, Namibia and Botswana, amongst many others.


Doing your own travel research

The internet has enabled us to take control of our travel arrangements. It is easy to search and compare options across suppliers.

  1. Always research the supplier behind the travel transaction. Book with a reputable supplier who has an excellent after-sales environment to ensure that you will be supported should an issue arise
  2. Purchasing additional travel insurance is important to ensure you are covered for unforeseen events such as illness, loss or theft of baggage, cancellation or travel delay. Read your policy carefully (especially the exclusions)
  3. Check cancellation policies and terms and conditions (for flights and accommodation).