Home Lifestyle Here’s how you can book a last-minute break

Here’s how you can book a last-minute break

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Year-end fatigue is real, and often we don’t realise how much a break is needed. Without planning, a trip this time of the year can be a nightmare, especially with the amount of tourists visiting South Africa.

Experts share tips on how you can squeeze in that last-minute much-needed break. Picture: Supplied

These tips from travel experts can help secure a last-minute place to stay.

Try lesser-known areas

Trying to find a booking at almost any holiday spot is wild this time of the year, so make your way to towns or villages that you can explore. Every province has a few hidden gems that are waiting to be explored.

Tshepo Matlou, head of marketing and communications at local online booking platform Jurni, said: “The new generation of travellers is looking for authentic experiences. They want to stay in places where they can interact and connect with locals.

“Local is lekker! and people are seeking to add unique experiences to their stays, for example eating locally sourced foods. If you’d like to feel like a local, rural travel is a guaranteed a special one.

“Small B&B’s and guest houses in the surrounding areas is way to experience the passion these owners have for hospitality, making you feel right at home.”

Be flexible around dates

Be open to mid-week bookings. It could help secure a booking. Matlou states that some establishments offer better mid-week prices than the weekend. For example, make your check-in date a Sunday rather than a Friday or Saturday.

Laure Bornet, GM, KAYAK EMEA, which manages cheapflights.co.za, adds that moving your check-in day to Sunday can potentially save up to 29% of the hotel rate compared to doing it on Thursday.

Flight bookings

Flying in the middle of the week – on a Tuesday or Wednesday, for example, will deliver the cheapest prices.

“If you’re flying to Cape Town for New Year, the average flight price will increase to about R3,539 over the New Year period. But to Durban, it decreases to an average of about R1,915, which could support efforts by the east coast to bring SA travellers back to its Indian Ocean shores.

And if you’re travelling to Johannesburg for New Year, the flight price will also increase to around R2,613, on average,” Bornet advises.

Booking a flight a midweek day can save you money. Picture: Tim Gouw/Pexels

Enjoy a day-cation

Many of you won’t be able to get leave at the last-minute, as others have already booked their days off. However, there’s nothing wrong with a day-cation.

Spending a day like it’s a vacation can do wonders for your mental and emotional well-being. Hotels allow visitors to enjoy daycations, where you can laze around the pool reading your favourite book while sipping on mamosas.

Laze around the pool reading your favourite book while sipping on mamosas. Picture: Armin Rimoldi/Pexels

Research where your local Radisson Hotel is and enjoy a spa treatment or a leisurely breakfast.

The choice is yours as to how you’d like to spend the day. You can even make your way to your favourite beach spot and spend the day in tranquillity.

Don’t forget the “finer” details

With load shedding and high crime rates, there are quite a few things to take into consideration. Don’t forget to organise a pet sitter and check up on your house while you’re away.

Make sure that valuable items like laptops aren’t visible if a burglar peers through a window, and store jewellery and important documents in a safe or a locked cupboard.

Unplug your television, computer, toaster, and other appliances to protect them from power surges that may occur due to load shedding.

As much as trying to organise last-minute travel can be stressful, it can also be rewarding.

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