Guide to Planning Your Ideal Trip to Cape Town, South Africa
When most people think of visiting a beach paradise, they think of walks along the coast with smooth sand below their feet as waves of crystal clear water rush up to erase the shoreline. They think of tropical skies shining down on thick flora, with flocks of birds landing to scavenge for food.
It might surprise you to know that South Africa is home to what is referred to as one of the most beautiful coastal cities in the world, complete with historic museums, world-class wineries, and views to compete with heaven itself. Welcome to Cape Town.
Once you’ve discovered the splendors that await you in this luxurious area, you’ll feel like there is no time to waste! Planning a vacation to Cape Town takes time to plan, but it can be done in just a few easy steps. Soon, you’ll be on your way to enjoying beaches like Camps Bay, Gansbaai, and Blouberg, visiting historic sites like the Castle of Good Hope, and enjoy stunning views of Table Mountain.
Step One: Create Your Vacation Budget
International trips to far away scenic beaches are not cheap. Luckily, there are many ways a smart traveller can save money for their big trip. There are likey many areas in your budget where you can cut costs. Once you know how much money you can spend, you can play around with the numbers and free up your budget to make more room for pampering and fun.
Some of the top ways to save money while traveling include:
- Skip the hotel and search for an AirBnB to stay in.
- Ditch the taxi and opt for public transportation or an Uber — Cape Town was actually the first city in Africa to offer this service.
- Don’t book your trip during peak tourist season; instead, go between February and April, when many tourists have left.
- Purchase a Cape Town City Pass for good deals on all your excursions.
When making your budget, try to be as realistic as possible. You can prepare best by pricing and purchasing the big and non-optional items for your trip in advance. For example, first get the airplane tickets, then the accommodations, then make a budget for food, drinks and lastly, sightseeing. When you know how much money you have for excursions, you can figure out exactly what fun awaits you in Cape Town.
Step Two: Make a Cape Town Bucket List
Now that you know how much money you will be able to to spend on touring Cape Town, you can put together your own Cape Town bucket list. Some activities to choose from include:
- An aerial excursion to the Cape Town Aerial Cableway.
- Overnight hiking in the mountain range.
- Day trips to soft sand and boulder cliff beaches.
- Visiting other tourist attractions, such as the Castle of Good Hope, the Company’s Garden, the planetarium, and the Iziko South African National Gallery.
- Driving to Franschhoek, Africa’s food capital, to explore some delicious eats.
- Spending some time at Cape Town’s world-renowned vineyards and wineries.
- Admiring the cliffs at Cape Point.
Every person likes to vacation in their own way, and since a trip to Cape Town is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for most, you need to spend every second living it up as best you can. For some, that may include the most lavish excursions to hotel spas, wineries, and the finest restaurants. History lovers will want to visit sites and museums, while explorers will want to discover activities without the use of a map or guide.
Step Three: Get Your Documents in Order
The last step of planning your trip to Cape Town is not as fun as the second step, but it is the most important. Without getting the proper documents in order, you won’t make it past the airport during your international vacation.
First off, you need to make sure you have an up-to-date passport. According the U.S. Department of State Travel website, you should allow at least 30 days, but hopefully more, to get your passport in order. Your passport should also have at least two blank visa pages per destination, but won’t need a tourist visa unless you will be gone for 90 days or more.
Next, the Department of State outlines that you will need a yellow fever vaccine at least 10 days before your arrival date. Additionally, you should consider purchasing travel insurance so that you are covered in case of an emergency. This will help you avoid losing money due to an unexpected trip interruption or medical emergency.
Further, medical insurance is a must. The only thing scarier than being in an accident or having a health emergency is doing so in a foreign country with no health insurance. Having insurance can provide you with peace of mind to help you relax and enjoy your vacation.
Once your travel document list is complete, you are ready to go! Paradise awaits you in South Africa, so don’t miss your opportunity to have a dream vacation.