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Are you not glad I have suffered misfortunes, bad service, insects and other hazards? Now I know what to do and what not to do, how to do it and where to do it, and on this page I want to tell you all about it.


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Yay Travel

No Cash for that Trip?

You are dreaming of going on a trip and may even have spotted some great deals but just do not have the cash to book your holiday now. The solution, if you do not have a mountain of debt or long-term cash flow problems, is to pay for your airfare up front, early, really early when it is cheaper, and then to pay deposits on the places where you wish to stay - remember that not all places allow you to pay deposits only.

 

Then each month pay the balance on one or more of your places of accommodation. Ideally, you should pay one or more of the balances only the day before or the day when you receive your salary. That way, you will be able to know you will survive the month rather than first paying the balances and worrying that you might not have enough money to put food on the table.

 

Despite the suggestions above, please remember the most important rule: be financially responsible. If things are really tight or if you are already paying off many expenses and debts from previous holidays or other purchases, cut back immediately, and think about a much more affordable holiday closer to home, even if you have to drive to get there. You could still have loads of fun.

Category: Money Issues

28 Apr 2013 | 10:52 AM | Posted by: Yay Travel

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Yay Travel

Prepay, prepay, prepay!

When you are on holiday, if you are anything like me, you might see something you like or see a nice restaurant or attraction and tell yourself you have enough money for that and for other things you booked before you left home. The danger is that after pay for all these wonderful experiences, you suddenlyfind yourself without money to pay for accommodation or for a reservation or show or something that you had booked before leaving home.

 

To avoid getting into this mess, prepay for as many things as you can. That means: pay for all your accommodation in advance, pay for restaurant reservations in advance (it is usually the posh restaurants that let you do this), pay for transfers in advance and pay for tours in advance. Then take as much money as you can afford with you. You will now have the peace of mind that most of the important things, including every booked activity, has already been paid for and that the money you have with you is just an added bonus for all those extra nice things and experiences you might see along the way.

Category: Money Issues

28 Apr 2013 | 10:25 AM | Posted by: Yay Travel

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Yay Travel

Where to Eat at Johannesburg's Airport

If you find yourself taking an international flight from the main airport in Johannesburg, be advised that at the moment there is a larger variety of better quality restaurants before security. Unless you have to run for the gate, do yourself a favour and go eat at one of the restaurants where the locals eat. Then you are ready to go through security.

Category: Airports

28 Apr 2013 | 10:16 AM | Posted by: Yay Travel

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Yay Travel

Have an Empty Seat Next to You on a Plane

Some airlines physically remove or, in some or other way, make seats on a plane unavailable to passengers. Have a look, for example, at this American Airlines seat map. Notice how in rows 16 and 17, the middle seats are blocked out. That means you will not be seated next to another passenger if you sit here.

 

Of course, not all airlines block out seats. You can then start taking a bit of a gamble, which will pay off on occasion. Go for the rows towards the back of the plane. A lot of people rush to get seats in the front. To be honest, for the most part, those seats are overrated. Many people try to stay away from the back of the plane, therefore you have a better chance of not sitting next to someone. Be careful with this strategy though on long-haul flights as you may find yourself sitting on top of a toilet for hours. This is likely to be the case on popular routes.

 

Another gamble is to book the middle seat. The idea is that if a family or couple wants to sit together, you have effectively blocked the whole row for them. They will then need to look in a different row. There is the possibility that one or two people travelling alone will be booked into the seats on either side. It could also happen that two people who want to sit together ask if you would be willing to move to another seat to accommodate them. Under such circumstances, you can decide how assertive you wish to be.

 

Another strategy is to try to get a seat in the row behind the emergency exits. For some reason unknown to me, depending on the airline, these are more likely to have empty seats than other rows.

Category: Air Travel

28 Apr 2013 | 09:53 AM | Posted by: Yay Travel

Posted by:
Yay Travel

Where to Find Locals and How to Connect With Them

When traveling to foreign places, your best guide to discovering a city is through its residents. They know the best kept secrets of the locality, which can likely be those not disclosed in your travel guide!

 

If you are lucky, you just might find a friendly and generous local that’ll introduce you to a group of other friendly and generous locals. Before you know it, you are being led to one remarkable spot after another. If you are even luckier, you just might get a nice dinner with new found friends at the end of the day.

 

I always tell friends not to pass up on the opportunity to meet the "locals" of the destination they visit. The "locals" will not only show you the best spots, they will also give you a rich insight into the very soul of their community – the culture of its people. It has always brought a treasure of great memories with extraordinary individuals. In fact, some of them are a part of my network of friends that I continue to stay in contact with.

 

Where do you find "locals" and how do you connect with them? I’ve learned from my long years of traveling that most do not hang out in the same places the tourists do. You may have noticed that in the tourist spots you mostly find just a handful of local guides, a throng of tourists and a bunch of souvenir vendors. The same goes for restaurants catering to tourists where the food is over-priced and the crowd is composed of travellers whose knowledge of the area is limited for the most part to what is stated in their travel guides.

 

Go instead to parks, markets, coffee shops and bars near a local neighbourhood. It is where the locals usually chill out with their families or their friends. Be friendly. Smile at them and greet them. You should remember that locals usually take pride in their home towns and are most likely to show you the best parts of their region. So, a sincere interest and appreciation of the area and customs will win you a lot of friendly faces and some great destination suggestions.

 

If I find someone who looks interesting, I always make it a point to ask for directions from them – even when I know exactly where I’m going. It’s an effective way to start a conversation. You can also ask for suggestions on which part of the town is worth exploring.

 

Also, one of the best places to meet friendly and helpful local folks is in a church. If you are a churchgoer, visit a local church. The members are always happy to meet a new face and will go the extra mile to extend a helping hand.

 

Finally, a charity event, a concert or a Sunday market also provide great opportunities for a local connection. Go where the locals go and mingle. You will find out that it is a very satisfying, rewarding and enjoyable way of experiencing a new region.

Category: Other

18 Apr 2013 | 03:05 AM | Posted by: Yay Travel