You can’t beat Thailand for a glam, Instaworthy, bang for your bucks’ holiday. Don’t forget the selfie stick.
“Of all the places I've visited in South East Asia I reckon Thailand's the best pick for female travellers,” says Leigh van den Berg, a Capetonian blogger at lipglossismylife.com living the Instaglam life in Thailand for the last four months.
“I've always felt incredibly safe and, because Thailand's tourism industry is very well established, most people speak English and you have easy access to any product or service you could want,” says van den Berg.
Top tips: “Free Wi-Fi is abundant but it's best to buy a 'tourist SIM' at the airport that gives you unlimited 4G Internet access. It's super cheap and gets set up for you within minutes. This way you're never out of touch and can use your phone as a GPS to get around on foot.
“While it's perfectly safe to walk around on your own, day or night, I recommend downloading an app called ‘Grab’ for longer journeys and days when it's too hot or pouring with rain. It's Thailand's version of Uber and, surprisingly, costs less than tuk-tuks and metered taxis. A 10-minute trip is about R30,” says van den Berg.
Want to travel with your taste buds? Food tours are becoming increasingly popular and give the foodies a chance to eat, drink and Instagram #lunch #travel #blessed together.
Top pick: Kickstart your gastronomic adventure in the hottest culinary destination of the moment, Melbourne Australia, on Trafalgar's Food and Wine Discovery tour.
Starting at the end. Impossible to capture in 10 images. Well, what a meal (4.5 hours) at @cellercanroca today and realised (via a blog post on Food and the Fabulous) that we ate here last almost 8 years ago. How can that be?! While the classic olive tree is still here and many dishes dedicated to the sea ((pssst the latest version of Palamós prawn is exceptional. Had tears in my eyes)), it’s a different space in my opinion in terms of refinement and fun. More of both and I’m all for the latter. As you can expect, lots of attention paid to the desserts and the encyclopaedic petit fours trolley. Very kind, gentle service which is what sets many of the Spanish/Catalan/Basque restaurants apart from others in...oh, you know the countries I’m referring to. Had an exciting wine pairing (mix of very old wines and classic styles with biodynamic and natural wines). More on Intsa stories soon. Thank you for inviting us into the kitchens @jordirocasan and your warm reception.
The party animals
If your idea of the perfect getaway includes partying from dusk till dawn with your besties, then a cruise is just the ticket. Dance the night away in the onboard clubs while days can be spent lounging next to the pool.
Top pick: Try a cruise. Departing from Cape Town or Durban, in a matter of hours you could be sailing to sunny Mozambique or Mauritius. With onboard entertainment, activities and food included (and special drinks packages on offer), these cruises make for a great value-for-money girls’ weekend away.
The luxury divas
Appreciate the finer things in life? A luxury river cruise in Europe is for you.
Top pick: Voted the number 1 river cruise line in the Travel and Leisure 2018 World's Best Awards, a Uniworld cruise ensures you’re not settling for anything but the best. Channel your inner Frenchwoman on this 8 day Uniworld cruise taking in the best châteaux, vineyards and scenery France has to offer.
The solo travellers
Just because you prefer travelling solo doesn’t mean you can’t find your travel tribe along the way. “You can meet so many people when you're travelling alone. Be open to chatting to locals or fellow travellers at the airport, hotel or when you're out exploring,” says Tarryn Liddell, a South African who has visited 34 countries, many of them on her own.
Top pick: Europe is almost a rite of passage for the solo female traveller. Hop on a Busabout tour which gives you the best of both worlds – the ease and safety of travelling in a group and the chance to do what you want when you want.
Top tip: “Buy a portable charger, so you don’t need to worry about running out of battery when trying to find your way. Also, it’s a personal choice but I don’t drink much when I’m travelling solo. I like to know I’m in control and know how to get back to my accommodation,” says Liddell.
Heart racing, adrenalin pumping… if that sounds like your dream holiday, then you’re an adventurer. And the most epic holiday for the South African female adventurer? Skiing.
Top pick: Hit the slopes for an incredible two weeks in the Austrian Alps with other young and fun adventurers on Sure Travel's Contiki skiing package. You’ll never forget the magic of falling snow or the icy wind rushing past as you whizz (or tumble) down the slopes. And for those aching legs après-ski, there’s a hot tub calling your name.
The city gals
If you’ve watched (and re-watched) every Sex and the City episode, hop on over to New York.
“It’s the ultimate city. How many songs have been written about New York? The concrete jungle where dreams are made. What I loved about it was the energy - you really can feel the go-go-go of the city in your bones,” says Natalie Roos, a travel blogger at tailsofamermaid.com who recently made the most of every minute of her 36 hours in New York.
Top tip: “Plan ahead. Decide what you want to see and do, and then check Google Maps to build your itinerary around what’s close together,” advises Roos. “Stay as vigilant as you would in SA. If you’re travelling alone, keep your friends back home in the loop about your movements,” are Roos’ safety tips for solo female travellers.
‘The world is a book and people who don't travel only read one page’ NO! Have you seen the Rand? Travel is not cheap, and it isn’t everyone's priority. I’m privileged to go to so many cool places, but even then, I’m shook by the cost. A few people asked me about travel tips. Note - I don’t travel 5-star! On my travel to-do list: art, old buildings, food. This might not be everyone’s #TravelGoals, but it’s what I love! Here are some of the ways I’ve saved money: PLAN How detailed are our plans? We map everything down to the closest café (walking distance), to the cost of a coffee. If we’re traveling between cities, we’ll book intercity trains in advance. Understanding cost on a micro-level helps you see where to save. Imagine waking up, discovering you are 5km’s away from a cup of coffee that’s going to cost R70. Public transport If in Western Eu./ USA, I only uber for airport trips. The Metro card is your friend! In Berlin, I bought an unlimited weekly card for EUR30 (+- R460) which I used on subways, buses, trams. One night I used uber and it cost EUR23 (+- R350). Google how to use the Metro in different cities if you aren’t confident. Airbnb I know people have had bad experiences and I’m thankful it hasn’t happened to me. I’ve just booked an Airbnb in the 10th city. Do your research. I only book with superhosts, send emails and ask q’s, and read every review. A lot of info you won’t find in the apartment listing. I book the entire apartment wherever I stay and Rand for Rand, it’s ALWAYS cheaper than a hotel. You’re not at home Accept you can’t live your ‘normal’ life when you’re traveling on a budget. Popping into a cafe to grab a coffee? Think twice. Once, in London, I went to get a coffee, greeted the cashier and she was so blown away by manners that she gave me the coffee for free. The Rand had just hit R23 to the pound and that coffee would’ve cost me almost R60. I cried, guys. Let me know how you’ve saved money while traveling? #TravelTuesday #TravelTips #TravelOnABudget #BallOnABudget #Berlin #AfricansTravelToo #Travelnoire
“Don’t wait for the perfect time to travel. Don’t wait for the perfect boyfriend to travel with. If you have a dream to go somewhere or see something, you just have to do it!” says Roos.
We couldn’t have said it better.
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