Holiday dates and how to make the most of your time off
It might seem strange to consider booking your 2020 vacations in January – after all, we just got done with the December holidays! But the fact of the matter is that every single aspect of travel becomes easier when you plan it long in advance. Deciding where you want to go early in 2020 means that you’ve got more time to spend looking for deals, clearing your work schedule, coordinating meetings with your friends and family members, saving up for special vacation clothes, finding someone to look after your pets, and so on.
So do yourself a favour and get started early. Ask yourself what you want out of this new year. How much time do you want to take off? What’s your dream destination? Are you going to need a new bathing suit? And, of course, what’s your budget going to look like?
Before you answer those questions, you’re going to need to know what the school year looks like. Here’s a handy guide:
- 15 January – schools open
- 20 March – end of Term 1
- 31 March – start of Term 2
- 12 June – end of Term 2
- 7 July – start of Term 3
- 18 September – end of Term 3
- 29 September – start of Term 4
- 2 December – end of Term 4
And here’s a guide to all our upcoming public holidays:
- 21 March – Human Rights Day
- 10 April – Good Friday
- 13 April – Family Day
- 27 April – Freedom Day
- 1 May – Workers’ Day
- 16 June – Youth Day
- 9 August – National Women’s Day (the holiday will be on Monday, 10 August)
- 24 September – Heritage Day
- 16 December – Day of Reconciliation
- 25 December – Christmas Day
- 26 December – Day of Goodwill
Of course, you should be aware that life is unpredictable, and you may find yourself unable to take advantage of the holiday time available. You may find that a close relative gets sick and is unable to travel or you may get a promotion that requires you to work longer hours. These things happen. So it’s best to have one or two contingency plans. When you book a flight, check to see if you’re allowed to cancel it or delay it – you might save yourself a lot of money. Consider purchasing our cancellation and refund policy insurance that would allow you to cancel or change your dates of travel.
Another smart thing to do is to keep your friends informed about what you’ll be doing in 2020. You might need them to look after your cat or help you out if there’s a crisis and you’re not home to deal with it.
If you’re planning to travel abroad, remember to make sure your documentation is all organised well in advance and that you’ve sorted out international roaming for your cellphone. (About that – here’s a useful article about minimising the damage when it comes time to pay your phone bill: https://www.iol.co.za/travel/travel-tips/9-ways-to-avoid-shocking-cellphone-bills-overseas-2059559) You’ll also want to ensure that the area you’re travelling to is safe for tourists and that you take sensible measures to protect yourself and your possessions.
On the other hand, don’t forget that there are hundreds of wonderful travel destinations right here in South Africa.
Do you like outdoor activities? Maybe this could be the year you visit Cape Town and learn to surf. Or, perhaps, you could fly to Limpopo to bicycle around Mapungubwe National Park, one of our country’s most ancient and famous historical sites. Or maybe you prefer to remain indoors, in which case consider checking out what’s on this year at our theatres, art galleries, and museums. Or maybe you’re a social sort of person and would enjoy attending a music festival, expo, or a short summer class.
There are so many options available to you! Don’t let the year pass you by without exploring them.