Preparing for a trip to South Africa has its own unique considerations. Because of this, it is important that you properly prepare for your trip so that unexpected obstacles won’t stand between you and your travel expectations. To help you better prepare for your upcoming trip, Cape Studies has prepared a list of things to pack that will make your travel and stay even more pleasant.

1. Travel Necessities

Standard travel necessities include documents like your passport, travel visa, and international certificate of vaccination – which depending on your circumstances, may need to be shown to officials before they’ll grant you entry into South Africa. Also, pack any cash, credit, and ATM cards you will be using during your trip and any over-the-counter and prescription medications you currently take.

Photocopy your essential documents and store the copies (printed and electronic)separately, in case your originals become lost or stolen.

2. Seasonal Clothes

Check the climate in the areas you’ll be visiting and bring the appropriate clothing for the season. If you are traveling from the northern hemisphere, note that the seasons will be reversed from what you are used to, so take this into account while packing your bags. Don’t forget to pack sunglasses and a hat as well, because the African sun can be quite harsh – especially between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m.

3. Electronics

Many types of electronics are worth bringing on a trip to South Africa. A camera can help preserve your memories of the trip, while a cell phone or laptop can keep you connected with people back home. Regardless of the devices you plan to travel with, however, remember to also pack any corresponding chargers, plus a universal adapter in case your choice of accommodation doesn’t have compatible outlets.

4. Prescription and OTC Medications
We recommend you see your physician prior to the trip and provide yourself for your medication needs before leaving. Request a copy of any prescription medications you will be in need to get overseas and check for specific packing recommendations.

5. Carry on
Choose a carry on which you can use during short trips you take while abroad. Select wisely what to pack in it, some suggestions: Electronics and fragile items, medications, toiletries and a change of clothes, items that will make your trip more comfortable and entertaining. Don’t forget to label your bags inside and out and because things happen, take a picture of your bag and store a copy in your phone or print it. If you have to report a missing bag, having the photograph will help you describe it. It helps to have a unique and colourful luggage tag.

There are many things to think about when preparing for a trip to South Africa. After all, traveling to the country requires certain unique considerations. By following these recommendations of what to essentially pack before your travels, you’ll be much better prepared for your upcoming trip.

Safe and happy travels ahead!

Photo credit: Holly A. Jones.

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