Perhaps this is the year you plan to visit family living abroad. How exciting! You must however ensure that your Rands are wisely spent by carefully choosing how and where to book. Without doubt the internet has made our lives much easier, and there’s a great deal of information available if you just “Google”. The pitfalls however, are also as great. Just as you can play a game of Solitaire or Scrabble against a machine, so can you book an airfare. The computer knows all the permutations to arrive at the lowest fares for the dates you have chosen. What it is unable to do, is let you know that by slightly altering your dates you could be moving from a high season fare to a low season, or perhaps just by moving one day your stop over could change from eight hours to two hours.
The travel agency in your local mall or shopping centre will also be able to assist, but their consultants have to deal with a whole range of enquiries, from local business trips, Mauritius holidays to coach tours of Europe and the likes. The travel girls in our worldwide head office, just a stone’s throw from Heathrow, only deal in family reunions between the UK, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, USA and Canada. For nearly 50 years the Friendship Associations have “stuck to their knitting” and specialised in reuniting family and friends throughout the old English speaking Commonwealth.
Not only will they be able to give you experienced advice about your planned holiday, but also give you some options on the fares available to make your dream come true. Maybe there is a special Fly-Cruise package to get you to or from your final destination. Practical advice too, like changing terminals in Heathrow, airbus links to major UK cities or a trusted B&B in London. So if you are thinking of visiting family or perhaps bringing family to South Africa contact them for a fare quote. Once you have made your booking they will be able to assist you further with car hire and hotel bookings, in fact almost anything you may also require. Take the first step to a family reunion and email firstname.lastname@example.org
Unless you have a valid British Passport you will need a tourist visa to travel to the UK. All applications, payments and appointments can only be made on-line, and no-one else may apply on your behalf. So in your holiday planning you will have to make provision for the cost of a visa and allow time to get the visa. For all information on obtaining a tourist visa valid for 6 months go to the UK Border Agencies website www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/countries/south-africa
As an international traveller you must also seriously consider Travel Insurance. If you are using a credit card to purchase your flights then you will receive a limited amount of free travel insurance from your credit card company. By paying an additional amount you can upgrade the free insurance to suit your real needs and you should contact your credit card company for the options available. If you have medical aid then some companies also offer free overseas travel insurance and they too will be able to give you all the details. You could also get very good comprehensive travel insurance from TIC who offers a range of products for passengers up to the age of 85 years. Contact them on 0860 100 484 or email@example.com or via their website www.tic.co.za