It’s human nature to feel that the only places worth visiting are far away – and yet millions of tourists flock to South Africa every year to visit settings that are virtually in our backyard. So why not get together with a few friends and plan a day-trip to somewhere in your city or, at most, a couple of hours’ drive away?
Being a weekend tourist gives you an opportunity to appreciate the many wonders of our country. As an added bonus, the short ‘holiday’ may even convince your brain that you’ve had a longer one, so that you start the next week feeling more refreshed than usual.
Here’s how to go about it:
Decide where to go
Pop into your local tourist information centre or search Google for tourist sites in your area. These useful websites may give you some ideas:
Take note of how far away it is and how to get there. Will you need a car or can you get there by public transport? Be as flexible as possible and be sure to leave time for a detour or two just in case something catches your eye en route.
Check whether there’s an entrance fee
You don’t want to go all the way there only to discover you can’t afford to get in. Not surprisingly, many tourist attractions are aimed at tourists with overseas money to spend. Having said that, there are also many places that are very reasonable or which even offer locals a discount or out-of-season specials.
Decide where to eat
There is almost always food available at tourist sites, but if you’re on a budget, you may want to plan ahead and take your own (just check if there are any restrictions on that first though). Packing a picnic is fun and may save you a small fortune.
And finally, get into the tourist mindset: take it easy and make the most of your day out. Remember that it’s as much about the journey as it is about the destination!