According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which tracks global travel regulations in real-time, some countries are easing border closures, however travellers from South Africa still face fierce restrictions.
Experts are now predicting that the third wave of Covid-19 infections in SA will see already strict travel bans extended and additional restrictions by the government to combat rising infections.
This means locals will again miss their usual June to August escapes to Europe or Indian Ocean islands like Mauritius and the Seychelles, says luxury travel expert and owner of Camps Bay Apartments, Elize Sewell. “The first lockdown saw many cancelled family holiday plans which not only left travelers disappointed, but also with the frustration of trying to arrange refunds or find alternative travel dates.”
“This year however, the savvy South African traveller should rather opt for a luxury staycation in a private villa, which even during a strict lockdown will afford an escape from the mundane lifestyle COVID-19 has forced upon us,” explains Sewell who shares insider tips on how to secure an enviable villa for a local staycation.
• Book midweek. The highest demand for rental properties is over weekends be it in the countryside or by the ocean. A great way to recover from Zoom fatigue is to give your colleagues Zoom FOMO. Show off your view, rim-flow pool, and beautiful interiors in your Zoom background or on your Instagram feed.
• Book last minute. Sewell says better rates and deals are available if you book last minute. “The trend now is to do everything last minute. Planning no longer stands for being super organized, as we have all seen what happened to our overseas plans for the European Summer.”
• Book directly with the villa owners or their appointed agent. Third party platforms like Airbnb and Bookings charges between 15% - 20% commissions. It goes without saying that these charges are added to the base rate. Go for the base rate instead.
• If you need to work from the villa, ask the villa owner to send you a screen shot of a Wi-Fi speed test. The time away should be relaxing, it is not a time to stress about slow or intermittent internet access.
• A great option for a group of friends who still want to live in luxury but cannot afford it alone, is to book a large villa like www.lionsview.co.za. With five 5 bedrooms, each room has a private working area, for those needing to combine work with a break.
You can either use the villa as a home from home or you can spoil yourself by outsourcing some ‘essential-luxury-lifestyle’ services.
• Book a private chef to come and cook amazing meals in your villa. Visit https://www.campsbayapartments.com/chefs/ for a list of some of Cape Town’s best private chefs.
• Ask your booking agent if they offer a shopping and kitchen stocking service - so you do not need to lift a finger once you arrive.
• Worried about confined indoor spaces? A beautician can do all your beauty treatments in your villa or in the garden. Personal trainers, yoga or pilates instructors can come and train you on your patio overlooking the ocean. Or ask for a masseuse to give you a relaxing massage on your deck by the pool.
Cape Town’s winter season can be wet; however, it is mild compared to many other cities. “Locals and those in the know love winters in Cape Town. The mountain, forests and waterfalls attract many visitors who enjoy the outdoors, and the water of the Atlantic Ocean is warmer than in summer. So why not join in one of Cape Town’s fastest growing morning activities with a fresh dip in a tidal pool or the ocean, followed by a coffee and a pastry to start your day on an invigorated note,” concludes Sewell.