Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice 2014 Top Destination goes to … Istanbul, Turkey

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Users of the Tripadvisor website, which provides traveller reviews of all things travel related, have voted Istanbul in Turkey as their favourite holiday destination of 2014.

With its fascinating contrasts of ancient and modern, Eastern and Western, land and sea, Istanbul is a feast for the senses.   The local cuisine is legendary and the local people are famous for their friendliness and warm welcome.  This is a city that has been ravaged by invaders over hundreds of years and been left with a staggering cultural diversity as well as being saturated by the art and architecture of its long term Byzantine and Ottoman inhabitants.  Therefore, it is easy to see why this is a favourite destination for Tripadvisor reviewers but what have they voted as the best of the best: the best of Istanbul?


Number one in the rankings of attractions was the city’s historic areas.  One visitor wrote that, “Istanbul is an ancient city and has an air of history coming out of its old walls and traditional streets.”

Another boldly stated that, “All the buildings we visited were wonderful.” Highlights include the magnificent Blue Mosque; the bustling, colourful and fragrant Grand Bazaar; the grand and impressive Topkapi Palace and the beautiful Hagia Sophia, a basilica turned mosque turned museum.


The Neorion Hotel, in the centre of Istanbul, was voted the best place to stay in the entire city.  Despite its many interesting features and amenities, such as a swimming pool, Turkish bath, massage spa, cultural library and “museum-quality” decorative arts, the feature that travellers praised most highly in their reviews was the outstanding customer service.


In the UK, we have a very different view of what a kebab house is like to the one which has been voted the best place to eat in Istanbul.  Like the Neorion Hotel, Gulhane Kebab House has been universally praised for its excellent service and friendly staff.  Although not every traveller was wholly impressed by the food, most agreed that it was excellent, with the chicken shish kebab seeming to be a favourite.

A recurring theme in the reviews of various features of this Turkish city is the friendliness and helpfulness of the people.   Other cities should take note if they want to be voted as Tripadvisor’s favourite destination.

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8 ways you’re paying too much for your travels

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When it comes to going on holiday, we all have our own idea of the perfect getaway. Yet, whether you are sunbathing or sight-seeing, we probably all have one thing in common: we spend more than we actually need to on our travels.
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Making really simple changes to the way you travel could be the difference between extra time in paradise, and an early return to your desk.

To help you out, we have compiled a list of ways you spend too much for your travels and some tips on how to save some serious money.

1. You always travel on a Saturday
Travelling over a weekend might be more convenient, but it can be a lot more expensive. Whether you’re planning a short getaway or a long holiday, you can make huge savings if you fly mid—week. Next time you’re looking at flights, check how much you could save by travelling during the week instead of a Friday or Saturday.
2. You use your everyday credit card to withdraw money abroad
It’s sensible to take a credit card on holiday with you. They’re an easy and safe way to carry money and they can be very useful in an emergency. But taking your everyday credit card might not be the best option. Most credit cards impose extra fees and charges for foreign transactions, which means they actually work out pretty expensive to use abroad.
3. You exchange currency at the airport
It’s always a good idea to have some cash on you when you travel, particularly if you plan on paying for taxis, tips or refreshments. However, you may not get the best exchange rate if you wait until getting to the airport before changing your currency. To save money, shop around for the best exchange rates and get your cash before you travel.
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4. You only look at direct flights
Flying direct is definitely the fastest and most convenient way to travel, but it can cost you a lot more. If you’re looking for a cheap getaway, you could make huge savings by opting for a stopover. Instead of seeing it as an extra hassle, make the most of your layover by having a look round a city you would never otherwise have visited, or even just spend a bit of the cash you have saved on some guilt-free duty-free.
5. You eat out for every meal
Eating out on holiday can cost a small fortune, particularly if you’re feeding the whole family. Instead of paying out for costly meals three times a day, try opting for accommodation that includes breakfast in the price. Making the most of the breakfast buffet can keep you feeling full for most of the day. Instead of paying for refreshments in pricey cafes and coffee shops, find a local supermarket and stock up on snacks and drinks to keep you going. If you do fancy eating out, try to eat at lunchtime rather than in the evening, as lunchtime menus are almost always cheaper.
6. You travel during the high season
Yes, we know, it’s really tempting to book a holiday during the summer. The weather is lovely and it feels like everyone else is jetting off somewhere exotic. However, you could save loads by travelling off-peak. Shoulder season is a great time to travel as it’s almost always cheaper and it’s a lot quieter than going away over the high season months. Plus, you can smugly skip off to enjoy some well-deserved sunshine abroad while all of your colleagues are digging out their winter coats and putting their heating on.
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7. You buy food at the airport or on the plane
Food at the airport can be really expensive. Check out our tasty pre-flight and in-flight meal ideas that you can prepare at home for a fraction of the cost of airline prices.
8. You hire a car at the airport
Hiring a car at the airport can cost you a small fortune. By booking it all before you go, you can pay significantly less for the hire of the vehicle. Book a shuttle with Airport Shuttle in Cape Town, Durban or Gauteng and it’ll save you cash for your trip!

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Blue Corner Wall, Palau, Micronesia – Palau Micronesia Diving Holidays


How to Dive Palau

Most holiday makers who come to Palau want to dive as much as possible. If you are the same then we recommend a Palau liveaboard as your best option. There is no easier way to get to see the whole region than on a boat that moves from one glorious dive spot to the next. For more information on the cruises and all the travel information you might need to visit Palau, view:

Palau liveaboards

The flexibility of movement also allows liveaboards to offer more dives per day (often 5) than a land-based operator can provide. Travel time to the sites from land on day trip boats can be an annoyance. The liveaboards all operate out of the town of Koror (where you fly into) and run trips of a minimum of a week long. As for the diving, there is a great variety including easy, shallow sites, drift, reef-hook and wreck dives. While Palau tends to attract more experienced scuba divers, intermediates can also enjoy many of the sites. Currents however, are often present so as long as you are comfortable in some current, you will learn how best to dive these sites and work with the current to allow you to enjoy the amazing shark and big fish action.

Blue Corner Palau is one of the most action-packed scuba dive sites in the world and promises up to 13 different species of sharks circling just beyond the plummeting reef wall.
– Minimum/ Maximum Depth: 25 feet (8 meters) to 90+feet (30+ meters); Plateau at 45-60 feet(15-20meters)
– Suitable for: Novices (when no current) up to Experienced/Advanced Divers only (when strong current)
– Location: 25 miles SW of Koror, Northwest end of Ngemelis Island
– Time/Distance from PDA: 50-70 minutes by speedboat

General Information: most dive magazines rate the Blue Corner as the single best dive in the world. The formation of the reef, sheer walls and the large number of schooling fish make it a truly unique experience. There are three mooring buoys located along the reef. The eastern buoy, the central buoy and the western buoy. You can dive this site from two different directions, depending on the current. Generally, divers will begin the dive while their boat is moored to either the eastern or western buoy. The central buoy is rarely used to start the dive.

Diving Season

Palau is a year-round diving destination and liveaboard safaris operate here every month of the year. Water temperatures are very stable throughout the year with most months averaging between 29 and 30°C. Only in February and March is it likely to dip below that range and even then only to 26°C. So 3mm full-length wetsuits are the most common exposure suit and hoods are popular in cooler months. Air temperatures are usually in the 20s (70 to 85F).

Despite its relative proximity to the Philippines, typhoons do not commonly strike Palau as it lies just beyond the main typhoon path. However, June to December is typhoon season and there are occasional storms and high winds that reach the islands of Palau. Typhoons (and their fringe effects) are least likely from February to April.

Unusually for a destination with nutrient-rich water and current, the visibility is often magnificent. During July to September it can drop to 15-20m, but otherwise it is often in excess of 40m. The visibility drops a little at this time due to heavier rains and stronger winds. General wisdom is that although it is always a good time to dive Palau, the very best conditions exist between November and May.

Several sought-after creatures are present in Palau all year long including blacktip reef sharks, eagle rays, hammerhead sharks, dolphins, whitetips and oceanic whitetips. Other creatures are a little more seasonal, although they too can be spotted at any time. Sightings of whale sharks and manta rays are more likely from January to April. Green and hawksbill turtles can be seen year round but most frequently during the April to July period.

Bali scuba diving, Bali Island – Indonesia scuba diving travel guide


Finding an accommodation in this part of the world is easy. It offers several accommodation options for the travelers. There are many luxurious hotels. You can enjoy luxury and comfort here. But if you want to enjoy something special, selecting a Bali villa will be a great idea. Bali villas are well-decorated and designed very stylishly. They are equipped to serve the tourists with all kinds of amenities. You can enjoy leisure and comfort in these accommodations. From pampering spas, luxurious rooms, private swimming pools, private kitchen, stylish pubs to delicious cuisines, Bali villas offer all these. Bali is one of the favorite destinations for many tourists. Many people from across the world prefer to visit this part of the world. It is truly an amazing place with beautiful valleys, stunning beaches, luxurious hotels and mind-blowing scenic beauties. This Indonesian island is located near the Indian Ocean. Bali offers a number of attractive tourist spots.

Nusa Penida – Exhilarating Drift Dives

One of the most popular dive locations on Bali is the area around Nusa Penida. An island just off the coast of Bali. There are plenty of dive spots to choose from here. Most of the dives are drift dives which can be quite exhilarating at times. Nusa Penida is the place to be for the famous mola mola (sunfish). The mola mola only comes up to shallower waters when the water is cold enough (usually between July and October). You can also find Manta Point here, manta cleaning station. The number of mantas you will encounter will depend of course, but groups of 7-8 mantas are not uncommon here. Bear in mind though, they’re not always there. Nusa Penida can have some challenging currents, so some of the dive spots are for advanced divers only. Other dive sites, such as Manta Point, are great for beginners too.

North-West Bali – Easy Diving and Impressive Wall Dives

The best known dive location in the North-West of Bali is Menjangan Island. This island in the Menjangan National Marine Park, offers some of the most beautiful scenery underwater. The walls are colorful, full of marine life and boast rich corals. You can see turtles, garden eels, barracudas and plenty of small fish here. It can be reached by boat and is also popular for snorkeling. Menjangan island has a handful of dive spots. As there is hardly current, dives are very easy here.

East Bali – Impressive Variety in Dive Sites

The dive locations around Padang Bay, Candidasa and Amed are all quite different. The Padang Bay dive sites are all relatively close to the shore and are great for exploring. You can encounter reef sharks, stingrays, sea horses, frog fishes and cuttlefish here. Dives here are usually easy, but the current can pick up at times. South East of Candidasa you can find some great dive spots. At Gili Biaha for example, you can look at reef sharks in the shark cave. Currents and surge can be strong in this part of the island, so these are dive sites for the advanced diver. Diving around Amed tends to be a bit easier as the current is limited there. It used to be one the best dive locations on Bali. Unfortunately Amed was heavily hit by El Nino. It is slowly recovering, but is not back to its former glory yet.

Diving on the Famous USS Liberty Wreck in Tulamben

The USS Liberty Wreck in Tulamben is probably one of the most famous dive locations on the island. The USS Liberty, a cargo ship in WWII, was torpedoed by the Japanese in 1942. It has been in the water at Tulamben since 1963. The wreck is covered with corals and houses a variety of marine life. The ship is about 120 meters long and you can swim through it. The current is usually mild here and it is therefore a great dive for beginners and advanced divers alike.

In case your goal is to surf and dive, come to Indonesia in April and stay until September. This is the safest period to surf or dive. There are good waves at Nusa Lembongan too, an island that is close to Nusa Penida. The island of the Gods has the best diving and surfing areas for advanced and novice divers. If you are not interested in these two activities, though, you can try water rafting down the great Ayung River. If you are planning to explore the world, Bali island is perfect. Even so, you should consider looking for a perfect Bali Villa For Sale or rental before you travel there.

Barracuda Point, Sipadan Island – Malaysia scuba diving travel guide


At Barracuda Point, off Sipadan Island, south of Sabah in Malaysian Borneo, it should be the eponymous, sharp-toothed fish encircling me. But, as yet, I see no sign of barracuda. Nor, while floating in the fathomless Celebes Sea on my earlier dive at South Point, did I see the hammerhead sharks I’d hoped to. Yet, in more than 600 dives around the world, I’ve experienced few locations with such bountiful marine life and Technicolor-bright reefs as Sipadan. The island is regularly listed among the world’s top dive destinations and has long drawn scuba experts, including the likes of Jacques Cousteau. “I have seen other places like Sipadan, 45 years ago,” reported the much-quoted documentary maker in 1989, “but now no more. Now we have found an untouched piece of art.”

Sipadan Island was at the top of Rodale’s Scuba Diving Magazine Gold List for ‘The Top Dive Destination in the World’. In fact it shared its top spot with 2 other destinations known for the amazing diversity of their marine life – the Galapagos Islands and Truk in Micronesia. Blue skies, clear waters, convenient diving and tropical scenery, but it is below the surface where this island really excels. The list of attractions is quite staggering and all the more exceptional as it involves plenty of big fish encounters – barracudas, large schools of jacks and marauding bumphead parrotfish. This is one of the big fish capitals of the world!. Everywhere you turn at Sipadan, you’ll see turtles, munching on the sponges and algae, or lazing on the wall ledges. If you take the time to look closely at the walls you’ll see a wealth of macro life and fish species to rival most destinations, although this is often overlooked due to the other major attractions vying for your attention.

Sipadan is a tiny, tiny island, and after being used in the same sentence as the Galapagos it became so crowded that it started to get a bit environmentally precarious, so all the resorts on the island were closed so you now have to go for a liveaboard or boat in from resorts on other nearby islands. Best visibility is between April and December when you can hope for up to 30m. Malaysia’s many beaches and reefs offer an abundance of breathtaking dive sites, a trip to Malaysia opens up a whole new world of underwater experience.

If you’ve spent the night at the airport you’ve probably had these thoughts

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We’ve all been there. Desperate to save money, we book the cheapest flights we can find, only to realise that it will require you to spend a huge amount of time in an airport. You probably shrugged at the time. Whatever, I can spend a night in an airport to save a bit of cash, you think. But then the time comes. And it looms over your trip like a black cloud, because the airport at night is a horrible scary place. Like something out of a zombie movie, it’s dark, there are tired people everywhere and going to sleep is just not an option.
Brace yourself, because you’re in for a world of weird…

The first few hours are a breeze. Shops are open, beers are flowing, people everywhere – this is going to be great!

You’ll think you’re real suave wandering through the store for the sixth time and trying on your ninth perfume until you smell like a gym locker room.

You’ve finished your book. You’ve watched everything on your laptop. You’ve never been so bored in your entire life.

After succumbing to delirium, you buy ridiculous airport clothes that only appeal to the sleep deprived.

You’ve never envied anyone more than those lucky buggers who are queuing for their flights.

That guy in the red cap looks creepy. Please don’t come over…

At some point you’ll realise that shops actually do close at the airport.

You’ll stare at the airport departure board every ten minutes in the hope that your plane has been moved forward 14 hours.

Eventually, you’ll begin to feel like the airport is your domain.

That moment will pass and you’ll be left crying alone near an empty departure gate.

You’ll find others who share your plight.

But abandon them after becoming tribal over some sacred power outlets.

You’ll lie on the stinking carpet questioning every decision that got you to this low point.

As night settles, you’ll begin to question your sanity.

You’ll start to suspect that everyone’s out to steal your stuff…

Years of Tetris will prepare you for sleeping wedged on an awkward chair.

But every noise is someone sneaking up on you…

Which means sleep is not an option.

When you finally board your plane, you can’t help but cry tears of relief.

Don’t want to spend a ridiculous amount of time on a stopover? Just spend that tiny extra bit of money and arrive at the airport on time. Airport Shuttle can get you to or from Cape Town International Airport quickly and comfortably – all at an affordable price!

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9 people you see in the airport security queue

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You know the feeling. You check in online, drop your bag and head towards the security checkpoint at a leisurely pace, passport and smartphone boarding pass in hand. You have so much time to kill; you consider grabbing a coffee on your way but then change your mind after considering the pitfalls of having to down the whole cup when you start to queue.

You’re happy with your decision and then you see it. A massive barely moving hoard of people that resembles an extra casting call for “The Walking Dead”. All you can do to pass the time without draining your phone battery is people watch, but let’s be honest, it’s more entertaining than anything your Facebook friends have to offer.

Next time you find yourself lining up for your much awaited flight, keep an eye out for these 9 people you always see in the queue for airport security.

1. The person bound for a stag or hen do
You hear them before you see them. They’re the ones you give the side eye to, but secretly envy as they head to Prague for the weekend they’ll never remember. They are usually spotted with an alcoholic beverage glued to their hand wearing matching tops and embarrassing hats. Straight after security check they usually head off for more Sambuca shots and that’s usually the last you’ll see of them (you’ll hear them on the plane, that’s guaranteed).

2. The person who refuses to admit their hand baggage is WAY too big
They swear it’s regulation and they’ve taken it aboard planes before, but you’re convinced this is an old wives’ tale they’ve rehearsed in front of a mirror as they lug it through the winding queue, nearly taking out every pole they weave past. They can also be seen struggling to cram their bag into one of the hand baggage size receptacles, hoisting it onto the conveyor belt using all of their leg strength, or later, arms flailing as they argue over the need to gate check.

3. The person who forgot to separate their liquids and gels
We understand last-minute packing – who hasn’t been there? And it can be easy to forget you have eye drops or a tube of lip gloss in your pocket, but did they really think that a jug-sized Marmite was going to make it through? No one wants to be in the queue behind the person downing the 2-litres of spring water by the bins – and no one wants to be in the aisle seat of a row with that same person later.

4. The person wearing way too many layers
We understand paying extra for luggage is a bit annoying, but going to extreme measures of wearing five or more layers, looks just, well, stupid, and these people unwilling to cough up the cash unpack their bags and start to put all their clothes on just to save some pennies. And to the annoyance of us queuing behind them, they don’t usually stop until they have about 8 layers of clothing on them and they look like a yeti. We wish them good luck in the summer season.

5. The person who doesn’t have to take their shoes off
We all put our shoes on one foot at a time, and we all take them off the same way. Unless you’re over 75 or randomly selected, in which case you’ve earned that elusive right to mosey through security without dirtying up your socks. But, everyone’s seen the person who’s let the power go to their heads, turning their noses up at all those folks begrudgingly unlacing. Remember, you were there once, too.

6. The person who insists on using five plastic trays
Save some for the rest of us. We get that you need your laptop and it’s required that you give it its own plastic tray, and maybe you don’t want your shoes touching your hat, but are your sunglasses too cool to share a tray with your jumper and your plastic bag of liquids?

7. The person too hungover to follow directions
These are easily recognisable, they smell of whisky and they avoid everyone and everything, hence they’re not paying any attention. They can only handle one task at a time, and right now their only mission is to propel themselves forward in a timely fashion. Soon they’ll be able to doze off (or continue drinking) in the relative comfort of their economy seat but until then, they still have a job to do- just to get through that security check as swiftly as possible.

8. The person bound for a Spanish beach holiday
Everyone has seen these super-eager Spanish Costa travellers – these chipper beach-bound early morning flyers are usually at the airport two hours early and checked in with time to spare as they skip to security with passport, boarding pass and carefully separated baggy of liquids and gels in hand all ready for their two weeks all-inclusive holiday of a lifetime.

9. The person wrangling a small herd of children
This multi-tasker can be seen juggling three handbags, a few nappies and a new-born baby, while simultaneously keeping three kids wearing Mickey’s ears and arguing over who gets the window seat in check. You’re getting tired just trying to avoid tripping over the little one who is playing in-between queue barriers. Your best bet is to avoid eye contact and prepare for an interesting flight.

Looking for a reliable shuttle service to get you to or from Cape Town International Airport quickly and comfortably? Contact Airport Shuttle today!

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5 tips for a couple traveling together for first time

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The first overnight trip a couple takes together can be a tricky one. Here are some tips to make the trip go smoothly.
Going on a vacation as a couple for the first time is a big deal in any relationship. This is the kind of thing that could galvanize the romance, or sending it send it off a cliff. To help you avoid that whole cliff thing we’ve put together a couple of simple tips to follow to make that first trip with your beau or lady love a great one.

1. Plan the trip together… make it a short one

One of you might be the “natural planner,” but resist the urge to let them take care of the itinerary. This is your first big foray into travel together, so plan it together. Pull out a sheet of paper, draw a line down the middle so each of you can suggest what you’d like to do on the trip. That way you can find a place that’s suits both of you perfectly. And make the first trip you take together is no longer than a weekend getaway. It’s a great way to test the waters to make sure you two can travel together comfortably without wanting to tear one another apart.

2. Stay flexible

You both know what you’d like to do on the trip, but don’t feel like you’re beholden to a schedule. Yes, you’ll want to reserve some times to do some things, like dinner at a romantic restaurant or to see a show. This trip is all about getting to know each other better, so just let the day take you wherever it goes. Besides trying to stick to a rigid schedule sounds a lot like daily life, and that’s NOT the point of any vacation. Go with the flow, my friends.

3. Split the expenses

Putting together a trip can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. Each person should be able to pick up some of the bill for a rental car, hotel, and some of the excursions you’ll be enjoying together. There’s also that pesky possibility that you may break up before the trip happens. Keep ahead of the curve on that sort of stuff by checking the refund policies on anything you reserve ahead of time.

4. Communicate

You’ve got the trip figured out, so what is there to talk about? Plenty, actually. Find out what kind of traveler your date is – quiet on the ride/flight, or if they are prone to being car-/sea-/airsick. It might seem awkward to do, but it could cut out some silent treatment or argument during the trip. And don’t feel bad about making your voice heard about not wanting to do something on the trip. You can only strike compromises on what to do if you speak up. No sense in pouting.

5. Don’t forget some alone time

You’re going to have a lot of fun with your partner for the trip, but it’s good to have some time to yourself. Make sure you both have some time to be alone on the getaway. Take a walk while your significant other relaxes in a spa. The time from one another will make you cherish the moments together that much more.

For a quick and reliable trip to or from Cape Town International Airport – Contact Airport Shuttle today and our drivers can get you where you need to be on time and at an affordable price.

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Every trip a woman should take before she hits 40

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Did you know, 40 is the new 20? All of which gives you even more time to check these 12 must-do vacations off your travel bucket list. Ready, set…go!
Hear us out, She Who Only Sleeps on Silk Sheets. You need to at least try camping (like in a tent…with a sleeping bag) once in your life to know if it’s absolutely not for you.

Load up the car, break out the map and queue up the playlist.

Buy a EuroRail pass, then take the train around the continent–and feel like you’re living in another era.

It doesn’t matter if you’re in Paris, France, or Paris, Texas. As long as you’re with your besties, this trip will be a memorable one.

Turns out they’re a lot less annoying when you’re not in the back seat asking “Are we there yet?”

Even if he turns out not to be the one, you should take one whirlwind vacation together.

Yes, it’s intimidating. But we promise that there’s nothing more liberating than going somewhere completely alone. (Think of it this way: You’ll never face a fight over what to do next!)

Save your money. Shell out for the seaside-facing room and seriously treat yourself. C’mon. You’ve earned it.

Go backpacking. Stay in hostels. Eat at roadside stalls. Heck, go a few days without showering.

You know, like the Egyptian Pyramids or Stonehenge. Then marvel at how darn old and crazy the world is and how many amazing things happened before you got here.

Like bungee jumping, or sky diving or going to a country where nobody speaks English. Do it to prove to yourself that you can…and for the Instagram.

Travel to where your ancestors are from. Whether it’s a small, winemaking town in rural Italy or a fishermen’s village in Southeast Asia. Who knows? You just might find a long-lost cousin.

For a speedy, reliable shuttle service to or from Cape Town International Airport – contact Airport Shuttle today!

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Chat up lines for the solo traveler

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Travelling alone is a wondrous thing. For the most part, it’s an opportunity to assess your life by having some genuine “me time” as you go your own route. But whilst having solo revelations upon a glorious mountaintop is all well and good; it’s always nice to share memories, especially when experiencing a new place for the first time.
 “I’ll show you my passport if you show me yours?”

Generally, when you are cooped up on an airplane as a solo traveler, the person randomly selected to sit next to you falls into one of four categories:

The crying child: Perhaps the least desirable category to be sat next to, especially during a long haul flight. Cue earplugs and eye mask.

The overexcited traveler: Normally forms part of a larger group scattered across the plane and is en route/returning from a holiday. So is perhaps fond of the on flight alcohol, is a tad merry and of course, is chatting a little too loudly to their mates across the aisle. Much like for the category above, earplugs and eye mask are a must.

The indifferent passenger: The most common of plane companions. They keep to themselves, are quiet but polite and well, ultimately forgettable the second you have stepped off the plane.

The unicorn: It’s very rare to find yourself sitting next to someone on a plane you find attractive, least of all someone you would consider to-be like-minded and potentially new friend material. Should this situation arise, you should most definitely make the most of this exceptional opportunity.
A casual toss of the complimentary packet of peanuts into their vicinity when they aren’t looking is always a good conversation starter…

“Whoops! Sorry, I accidentally dropped my peanuts by your shoes!“

Alternatively, if you find yourself on an indirect flight, pull out your itinerary, look perplexed and then ask your fellow traveler if they are in the same boat. If they are… well, great! Ask if you can join them when making the flight transfer for fear of getting lost in the foreign airport. If they aren’t travelling to the same final destination… never fear! You already have an in, so just keep asking them more questions about where they are headed and their reason for travelling. Everyone loves talking about themselves, so you are onto conversation gold.

However, if your target is a little on the quiet side, the peanut trick has failed and the travel questions have run dry; you may have to pull out all the stops. Ask if you can slip-past to use the restroom and then accidentally on purpose stumble onto their lap. If that doesn’t trigger a laugh, then blame turbulence and swiftly reach for the earplugs and eye mask.

“Nice place, do you come here often?”

It’s an oldie but a goodie: Stay in a hostel. When you are sleeping with strangers (in a dorm room of course!) It’s impossible not to get talking. Break the ice by asking your roomies in the morning what their plan is for the day. If following more or less the same route, suggest some extra fun things you’ve found to add to the itinerary. Being open and friendly, not to mention helpful is key. Once you get chatting, if all bodes well, you could find yourself some newfound tour buddies for the day.

Remember to play it cool though. If they don’t extend the invite on their day’s excursions, don’t just rock up to a museum they said they were hitting and appear lurking out from a behind a statue; because let’s face it:

A) They will think you are weird.

B) They will are likely to spread the word you are weird to the rest of the hostel dwellers post guitar sing-a-long in the common room.

If this occurs, it’s time to move hostels.

Not a twenty –something touting a backpack? Or perhaps you are averse to sharing a bathroom with fifteen strangers? Well, why not opt for guesthouses where you can rent just a room for a couple days rather than having the entire place to yourself. Get chatting to those hosting, prior to your stay so you know in advance whether or not you’d gel. And BAM! You’ve yourself some ready-made friends, not to mention accommodation, all waiting for you on arrival.

However much like dating, making friends when you are a single traveler can at first seem like a daunting endeavour. The trick is, of course, confidence. That’s the not-so-secret weapon. Couple that with the these smooth moves and you’re onto a guaranteed winner when it comes to meeting new people (well for the most part anyway…) You might even score yourself a love interest if you’re lucky!

Looking for a reliable airport shuttle to get you to or from Cape Town International Airport? Contact Airport Shuttle today!

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