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From what to do around your house, to detailed guides, to finding luggage and checking your vehicle safety. We've put together some useful advice designed to make your trip easier and safer.
08 August, 2016

Planninga long trip abroad or round our country? From what to do around your house, todetailed guides, to finding luggage and checking your vehicle safety... We’veput together some useful advice designed to make your trip easier and safer.

Camping and Caravanning

At the AA, we understand that South Africans love camping. That's why we're working harder to make getting out there easier for you!

There are many good campsites (and some great ones!) in South Africa. However, there are also some run-down campsites, so it's best to use one of the AA Quality Assured resorts or AA Travel partners - Forever Resorts, ATKV Resorts or SA National Parks. That way you'll be assured of a well-maintained campsite and an enjoyable trip!


Camping Dos and Don'ts
  • Before you go, read up on the area you intend to visit so you can prepare properly for the conditions you're likely to encounter.
  • Always check that tents and other equipment are in working order before you leave home. Be extra sure to test lighting and cooking equipment.
  • Once there, minimise your impact on the environment by using existing sites and tracks.
  • Always dispose of rubbish in the bins provided. If there are none, take it home with you.
  • Build campfires in designated areas where possible.
  • Respect other campers and their space. Abide by the campsite's noise guidelines and curfew and keep music to a minimum, especially at night.
  • Check if your chosen campsite permits pets before you take them along.
Safety Tips
  • Use electric lanterns rather than paraffin or candle-powered lamps inside the tent as the latter two are fire hazards. Glow sticks are ideal for children.
  • When using paraffin or candle-powered lanterns inside the tent, always keep them clear of the fabric and ensure the tent is properly ventilated.
  • Avoid pitching tents beneath overhanging branches that could break in windy conditions and crush the tent, possibly causing injury to its occupants.
  • Always ensure campfires are properly extinguished before going to bed.
Checklist

Need guidance on what to take and what not to forget? This useful checklist will provide a starting point for your packing and planning.


Driving Abroad

Ignorance is not an excuse for not following road laws, and being a foreign driver will not give you a 'get out of jail free' card. Almost every country has its own unique set of regulations, so do some research before heading off. This should prevent any unpleasant encounters with the traffic police and could make the difference between a disaster and a hassle-free trip.

First Things First: International Driving Permit (IDP)

If you intend driving in any country you’ll need to have a valid driver’s licence. Some countries do not recognise your national SA driver's licence, but officially recognise an International Driving Permit (IDP). Other countries might honour your valid driver's licence but require a local language translation from either an embassy or consulate. The IDP satisfies both of these requirements.

Also keep in mind, where the local government may not require an IDP for legal driving, car rental companies may request that you produce a valid IDP for rental purposes. Various motorists have reported that where car rental companies did not request an IDP for rental purposes they did have problems when they were involved in accidents. Authorities and rental companies may, at any point, dispute your driver's licence. The IDP serves as an official document and constitutes proof that the holder possesses a valid driver's license. Obtaining an IDP is therefore highly recommended and essential in non-English speaking countries.

Whatever you do, always ensure that you do have both your valid driver’s licence as well as the IDP present. Always keep copies (preferably certified copies) separate from the original, in case the documents are lost or stolen.

Rules of the Road

Never assume anything. Rules and regulations vary greatly from one country to another and a minor offence may get you into major problems. Alcohol levels in countries differ, so ensure that you’re aware of the legal limit.

Global Blood Alcohol Levels and Fines

Familiarise yourself with basics on speed limits, road signs, parking regulations, use of seatbelts, compulsory items required in vehicles, the legal driving age and accident procedures.

Global Seat belts/Child restraints

If stopped at a roadblock, be courteous and responsive to questions asked by the authorities. Do request an officer’s identification card and if it isn’t displayed then do not provide payment for any speed fines or ‘offences’. Ask the officer to follow you to the nearest police station and resolve the matter there.

Rental vs. Private

Different rules apply at each country border. When travelling across borders you will be required to produce the vehicle registration papers or the rental agreement. Confirm that you have adequate insurance cover and whether you need to obtain additional Third Party insurances (required in Africa) or pay road permits or taxes. Vehicles that cross any border are, by law, required to display the distinguishing sign to indicate its country of registration.

Various things should be considered when renting a vehicle. Confirm if your rental vehicle has breakdown cover and the procedures to follow in time of need. AA Members travelling internationally qualify for certain reciprocal benefits.

International Car Rental Advice

Are We There Yet?

Avoid petty arguments about directions. Invest in a decent map and study it before you travel. Better yet, it could be worth your while investing in a GPS navigational unit and purchasing and downloading the country map prior to your trip. Tom Tom provides a global solution. If buying is not an option, consider renting one.

How Far?

Most countries use metric measurements consistently, but be sure that you know how to do conversions so that you don’t accidently speed. When travelling in various countries, you’re often required to convert kilometres per hour (km/h) to miles per hour (mph), the same with driving distances.

Conversion Table

A quick guide to remember: 1 Mile = 1.61 Kilometres.

Fuel

Refuel as often as possible but bear in mind that in some countries the fuel price is not fixed and there can be a considerable difference between fuel prices on major motorways compared to smaller intersections. Enquire from the locals what type of fuel is available, how the fuel pump is operated and the method of payment to ensure you don’t run dry.

Some countries have attendants while other allow for customers to pump fuel before settling the bill. Many countries have pay-at-the-pump or prepay facilities. Always ensure that the vehicle is filled with the appropriate fuel. Fuel dispensers are also known as bowsers (in Australia), petrol pumps (in Commonwealth countries), or gas pumps (in North America).

International Fuel Pricing


What Will Be, Will Be

Whatever happens, chances are you’ll upset a local driver. Respond with an apologetic smile and a friendly hand signal. Partial use of your hand or fingers may inflame the situation further. Always keep doors locked, and valuables out of sight.

Whatever you do, make sure that you enjoy your well deserved holiday, and if all else fails - call a cab!


FIA Guide for the Disabled Traveller

Which countries have a disability parking card scheme? Where and when can it be used? What parking privileges are available? Will the parking card of a visitor from another country be recognised? The answers to these questions and others for around 130 countries worldwide can be found in the FIA Guide for the Disabled Traveller.

And to mark this year’s UN International Day for Persons with Disabilities on 3 December 2011, the FIA is launching a major update of its online guide for disabled travellers so that it is now also accessible in French, German and Italian.

CLICK HERE to access the FIA Guide for the Disable Traveller.

“The FIA’s guiding principle is to ensure safe, affordable and clean mobility for all. Our comprehensive online guide helps disabled drivers in their day-to-day mobility by providing information on their right to parking privileges worldwide,” said Christian Scholly, Chairman of the FIA Legal & Consumer Working Group in Brussels.

In line with this initiative, the FIA is also supporting the European Disability Forum’s 2011 campaign on ‘Freedom of Movement’. The campaign aims at combating the barriers to freedom of movement experienced by persons with disabilities wishing to make use of their right to work or study in - or simply visit - another Member State.

“Mobility is one of the most important pre-conditions to social inclusion as it enables citizens to remain independent and active in their local communities”, said Mr Scholly, who added, “We fully support the European Disability Forum’s campaign on free movement for all: in our view, persons with disabilities should face no additional burdens in their day to day mobility.”

Knowing which countries accept the parking card of a disabled visitor from another country is essential information for disabled travellers; and so is being aware of the local parking rules and concessions, which vary between countries, and even within countries.

The FIA’s advice to disabled travellers visiting another country is:

  • Check the country’s entry in the FIA Guide for the Disabled Traveller to see if your parking card will be accepted - and what kind of local parking rules are in place.
  • Because there can be local variations that we are not aware of, when you arrive check again if your parking card can be used - local people, police and parking officials will want to help, so don’t be afraid to ask!
  • Take advantage of the parking concessions only if you are sure your parking card can be used.

Health Matters

Medical assistance can be very expensive when you’re travelling overseas or in our neighbouring countries. Here are some pointers that’ll help in times of emergency, save you money and ensure a hassle free trip.

Vaccinations

You could be refused entry into a country if you have not had the correct vaccinations, so make sure you have your injections in good time. Certain types of vaccination and preventive medicine have to be administered well in advance of your departure.

SASTM Announces Changes in Yellow Fever Policy

The Department of Health has informed the South African Society of Travel Medicine that as of October 1, 2011, all travellers from Zambia will be required to show proof of yellow fever vaccination (unless in possession of a valid waiver certificate). Travellers transiting airports in countries with risk of yellow fever transmission will also be required to show proof of yellow fever vaccination, regardless of the amount of time spent at the airport.

All travellers from yellow fever risk countries who are unable to produce a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate at the port of entry will either be refused entry or quarantined until their certificate becomes valid, or for a period of not more than six days. Those with an exemption certificate due to medical reasons will be allowed entry and required to report any fever or other symptoms to the health authorities and be placed under surveillance.

Yellow Fever Policy Change

Minor Treatments

While you can't insure against misfortune and accidents, you can foresee the minor surprises with some degree of probability. It's always good to have something handy to relieve headache, diarrhoea and insect bites. Invest in a first aid kit - choose the size that will suit your trip or travel mode.

Daily Medicine

Make sure you have enough medication for the whole trip. You should also take the name of your medicine and your doctor's instructions/prescription with you. Depending on the country you are travelling to, you may need to get a doctor to write an explanation/or the prescription in English, French or Spanish, stating that the relevant medication is for personal use. Leave a copy with a friend or relative in case you need your prescription to be faxed to you while away. Always keep vital medication in your hand luggage, particularly if you have diabetes and use insulin.

Travel / Health Insurance

Medical assistance can be very expensive, and if you’re involved in an accident, could run into millions of Rands. It is vital that when travelling internationally you advise your medical aid provider, and ascertain the rules of the scheme, in case you need to seek medical assistance while on a trip. Purchase travel insurance that will suit the destination that you are travelling to and the activities that you will be participating in.

A Short Checklist to Assist You:
  1. Travel insurance and proof of health/medical insurance.
  2. Vaccines and updated international vaccination card.
  3. Your daily medicine.
  4. Copies of your prescription for daily medicine.
  5. A travel medicine chest including painkillers plus products for diarrhoea, insect bites, travel sickness, sunburn and infection.
  6. A first aid kit including plasters, bandages, tweezers and scissors.
  7. Insect spray or other mosquito repellent and sunblock cream.
  8. Contraception.

Stretching your Rand when Touring Europe

You can make your Rand go further when travelling overseas, despite the current economic climate and exchange rate. By travelling smart, you can turn that dream overseas trip into a safe, smooth and affordable reality. Following these simple tips could make your Rand go that much further.

Use ATMs rather than travellers cheques

You will get your cash cheaper and faster using an ATM. Just keep in mind that while ATMs give the best possible rates, they do come with transaction fees. Minimise fees by making fewer and larger withdrawals. Store the cash safely in your money belt. The Visa Cash Passport is a great way to store Forex safely: you can pre-budget your travel spend and, if necessary, it can be topped up by your family back home or via internet banking.

Shop cheap and interesting

Do most of your shopping and gift buying in the cheaper countries where gifts are more interesting or visit local markets to ensure that your shopping Rand stretches the farthest.

Adapt to European tastes

One of the great facets of travelling is adapting to and sampling local foods and specialties. Not only do you broaden your culinary horizon, but you are also certain to get the best quality, service and value.

Consider driving as a group

Four people sharing a rental car travel more affordably than four individuals buying four rail passes. Even at approx R11 per litre, cars get great mileage when the distance between sightseeing destinations is short. A single two-hour train ticket can cost you the price of a full tank of fuel. Remember to obtain your International Driving Permit (IDP) from the AA before leaving South Africa and allow some budget for Europe’s many toll roads.

Pay with local cash

While credit cards get you a good exchange rate, many places offering Europe's best deals, from craft shops to bed and breakfasts, will only accept cash.

Explore no-frills flights

Use main line carriers into Europe or the UK, and then use Europe's highly competitive no-frills airlines such as Ryanair, Easy Jet and a host of many others to get you from one city to another, faster and cheaper than by train. You can generally book the flights yourself either by phone or online. Be aware, though, that low cost airlines often use smaller airports located further away from the city centre, which will cost you a little more in extra time and money.

Go business

Plan your stopovers carefully by utilising business hotels during weekends throughout the year and during the European summer as they offer vastly reduced rates over business off-peak periods. For example you can get a fancy business hotel room for the price of a cheap one-star hotel, which equates to getting a 300 Euro double room for 100 Euro.

Don't over-tip

South Africans are used to tipping (we even pay car guards). However, most times a service tip is already included in the bill or not expected. Ask locals who are customers rather than the employees of a restaurant for advice.

Buy Museum or City Passes

Passes save time and money. The Paris Museum pass, for example, allows you three separate visits as well as saving you time by not having to queue. A pass also covers you to visit sights that might not be worth a separate expense. The London pass allows you to visit 55 attractions at one affordable price!

Use the “home-base” strategy

This is a clever and, in most cases, an economically better way to make your trip itinerary smoother, simpler, and more efficient. By setting yourself up in a central location you can use that place as a base for day trips to nearby attractions. The hotelier will often give you a better rate for a longer stay, you don’t need to lug your luggage around and you get to talk to locals and find the best places to shop and eat, as well as the most cost-effective modes of transport.

Remember AA Members are part of the global Show Your Card & Save programme that allows for discounts at various outlets worldwide! READ MORE

The key to making your trip more effective and to stretching your Rand is to research and plan what you want to do. Visit an AA

Travelling with Pets

We understand that sometimes you and your 'best friend' are inseparable! A trip with your pet can be rewarding but equally challenging if you don't plan ahead.

If you're planning a road trip, ensure that your pet is comfortable and used to the speed and sound of other vehicles as these can be daunting. At all times your pet's comfort should be observed when making travel arrangements.

Tips for keeping your pets safe on the road
  • Ensure pets have food and water available at regular intervals. Invest in a portable, collapsible dish made from tough nylon.
  • Remember to take your pet's supply of food with as you may not be staying near a pet store or shop that stocks its favourite brand.
  • Plan your route and make regular pit stops to ensure that pets get adequate exercise. Ensure to always keep pets on a leash when entering or exiting the car so that they don't bolt into oncoming traffic.
  • Ensure good oxygen flow (without sticking their heads out of the window). Car window vents fit into the window groove and can be adjusted to your needs.
  • Invest in a carrier box or other restraining device. If a carrier box is used it should be well ventilated and lined with a blanket or other suitable covering so that the pet can grip the floor or the container and feel comforted. A blanket, straw or other bedding that has a familiar smell is suitable.
  • The durable Four Paws Safety Sitter is fastened around your dog's chest and under its front legs. It then attaches to the car seat belt. Car Safety Nets are fitted to windows and prevent dogs or cats from climbing into the front while you're driving.
  • Never leave a pet alone in the car; this could cause stress, affect the health of the pet and they could possibly damage the interior of your vehicle.
  • Keep in mind the volume of your music; whilst you may enjoy the music pets' hearing are far more sensitive and could find it distressing.
  • Most of our pets have tags but does it help if the address is 500km away. Ensure that you have a mobile phone number on the tag or add an additional 'I'm on my holiday' with two mobile numbers to ensure a speedy return.
  • Don't scold an animal for being sick. The best is to ensure that the car has suitable coverings that can be removed and washed. It's advisable to keep wet wipes and paper towels handy.
  • Be prepared for injury or illness. Enquire at your local vet for a first aid kit that provides solutions for small injuries. Don't attempt to give your pet drugs that are manufactured for humans. Consult your vet for any medication required, including car sickness tablets and mild sedatives, if necessary.

Vehicle safety factors

Many breakdowns are caused by minor problems that can be solved if you have the right equipment with you.

By keeping the following items handy, you can save yourself a lot of trouble and expense.

  • Fire extinguisher.
  • First aid kit.
  • Aerosol tyre inflator - contains gas and latex to seal tyre punctures.
  • Flashlight.
  • Jump leads.
  • Tow rope.
  • Spare ignition keys - preferably stored in a magnetic case somewhere on the outside of the car, e.g. behind a bumper or inside a hubcap.
  • Warning triangle.
  • Strong adhesive tape.
  • Jack.
  • Wheel spanner.
  • Compact tool box.
  • Vehicle technical handbook.
  • A cellular telephone is also considered an essential item especially for women travelling alone or with children.

Most essential products are available at your local AA Acredited Sales Agent, alternatively e-mail us at aasa@aasa.co.za to purchase these items.

Have a look at our useful checklists before you go on holiday.\

LUGGAGE ADVICE

About the Bag

Here are a few things to consider before buying a bag. Begin by evaluating how often you travel, the type of destinations you visit as well as the mode of transport you use. The answer to these should impact your choice.

Branding

Is going branded such a good idea? Well-known expensive bag brands are international signs and may increase your chances of being robbed - leading others to assume you have a laptop or camera. If you decide to remove the name tag, do this as soon as you have purchased your bag, before the colour fades.

Specs

Begin by visiting a reputable store. Don't underestimate the information that can be acquired from the luggage tag. Valuable data relating to the frame, fabric and weatherproofing should be listed. Guidance from a salesperson may also be insightful.

A fibreglass inner frame is strong and light weight. Inner structures may also be made of aluminium or durable moulded plastic compounds. Keep in mind your luggage weight restrictions when inspecting them as a weighty frame will make a case heavy before it's packed.

Fabric is of utmost importance. Though some fabrics are durable and marvellous looking, they can be far too heavy. Will you be visiting exotic destinations known for monsoons? Most luggage is not waterproofed on the outside and is only treated on the inside with moisture resisting sealant. A good alternative is purchasing a Luggage Glove that not only protects your luggage against general wear and weather, but also provides additional security. Nylon fabric is rated in deniers which is a measure of the thickness of the fibre. The higher the denier, the stronger the fibre. Make sure that you take a cover with at least 400 deniers.

The bag joints should be covered with nylon piping or material to reinforce seams and absorb wear and tear. Taped seams are excellent, reinforcing the zipper and bag connection.

In addition to checking seams, examine the bag's zippers. Zippers should be double-stitched, sturdy and smooth-running. Inspect the construction of the seams and zippers. Seams can obstruct the zipper, causing it to catch.

Handle construction is very important. The handle system should be protected, sturdy and comfortable. For a duffle bag a shoulder strap is one of the most important items on the bag and certainly the most used. Make sure that it is of good quality, padded and comfortable. Purchase a bag with metal hooks as they are stronger and will last longer. Check that the strap length is adjustable on both ends and that the pad that is attached to the strap is completely movable. The pad should have enough room to pass over the loop locks and should be rubberised and padded to prevent slippage and cutting into the shoulder. Make sure if feels comfortable on your shoulder before purchase.

Wheels should be spaced widely, firmly bolted and recessed into the bag's frame to provide some protection for them. Ensure that the wheels roll smoothly before you buy new luggage.

Security

Think about how you will secure the bag. Putting a padlock between two zipper tabs will simply not do. Rather look for overlapping zipper tabs or a built-in lock. When opting for the latter ensure that it is a combination lock and TSA-approved. You don't want to misplace keys or find a bag ripped to shreds because an inspection officer could not open it.

When travelling remember that any time that you fly with checked luggage, you run the risk of having individual items or even the entire bag stolen, lost, damaged or delayed. Old luggage tags from previous trips on various airlines should be removed. They can confuse the bag handler, leading to delayed or lost luggage.

Tips
  • Limit the number of tags on your bag - they can get caught in the conveyor system and cause damage.
  • Always ensure that you put your contact information on the inside and outside of your bag.
  • Include a copy of your destination's address inside the bag as it will help rerouting your luggage when lost.

Luggage Glove

Luggage GloveAre you concerned about the safety of your luggage when you're travelling by air? The new Luggage Glove may provide the solution...

This stretchy glove fits over nearly any trolley suitcase and is completely lockable ensuring that no one can steal anything out of your bag, or slip anything in it.

The Luggage Glove contains a TSA combination lock, which keeps your travel gear safe and is authorised for entry into the United States. It comes in four easily identifiable colours, so finding your luggage on the carousel at baggage claim is a breeze.

Even better, it provides additional protection for the fabric of your luggage which reduces wear and tear as well as a light protection against weather.

Various luggage sets as well as Luggage Gloves are stocked by the AA's AA Acredited Sales agent.

For more information on the nifty glove visit www.luggageglove.com.


Luggage, lipstick and liquid

Whether you're travelling domestically or overseas, what you are allowed to take, and it's weight and size can quickly becoming confusing. Here's some insight...

Luggage

When travelling domestically, you are allotted a maximum of 20kg for economy class and 30kg for business class. If you are travelling with children, they qualify for the same luggage allowance, but infants are only allowed 10kg. There is no enforced rule on the size of the luggage you check in, but it needs to be a sturdy bag or suitcase that locks. When taking hand luggage, the bag needs to fit in the overhead compartment or under the seat in front of you (expect emergency exits). The sizes of the carry-on baggage vary slightly by carrier and aircraft type and layout. When purchasing new luggage it will always state if it is regulation-size hand luggage.

When travelling internationally the same basic rules apply - 20kg for economy class, 30kg for business class, and 40kg if you are travelling in first class.

If you are travelling from South Africa to the United States and Canada a different concept applies, known as the 'piece concept'. The rules behind the piece concept are for first- and business class. Two pieces of luggage per passenger weighing 32kg (70lb) each and maximum dimensions of 158cm (62 inches). Economy class is two pieces weighing 23kg (50lb) each and maximum dimensions of 158cm (62 inches). If you intend to go shopping in the States, you can benefit from the higher luggage allowance.

Lipstick

For many of us travelling overseas it still is a glamorous occasion, even after a long international flight we like to look our best on landing and going through customs. Bottles of foundation vary in size so try and take a sample with you and keep the bigger bottle sealed in your checked in luggage. Not many cosmetics are more than 100ml. If you don't want to take your entire make up bag with you bear in mind that there is duty free shopping on board.

Liquid

When travelling domestically there are no restrictions on the size of the bottles allowed in your carry-on luggage.

Travelling internationally there are restrictions. Since 11 September 2001 security regulations have been changed. Any sharp object will be confiscated and the amount of liquid you are allowed to take on board has been severely restricted.

The following measurements are allowed as per international safety regulations:

  • 100ml sealed bottle of gels and lotion, foams, foodstuffs and pastes.
  • Anything bigger than 100ml will be confiscated and you will travel without them.
  • Anything smaller than 100ml is allowed.
  • All liquids need to be placed in a sealable zip lock bag and needs to be able to close (If it's too full and cannot seal it will be confiscated).
  • Larger amounts of prescription liquid medications, baby formula and diabetic glucose treatments must be declared at the checkpoint for additional screening.

The following guidance is provided to ensure the health and welfare of certain air travellers. Permitted items:

  • Baby formula and breast milk if a baby or small child is travelling.
  • All prescription and over-the-counter medications (liquids, gels and aerosols) including KY jelly, eye drops and saline solution for medical purposes.
  • Liquids including water, juice, liquid nutrition or gels for passengers with a disability or medical condition.
  • Life-support and life-sustaining liquids such as bone marrow, blood products and transplant organs.
  • Items used to augment the body for medical or cosmetic reasons such as mastectomy products, prosthetic breasts, bras or shells containing gels, saline solution or other liquids.
  • Gels or frozen liquids needed to cool disability or medically related items used by persons with disabilities or medical conditions.

We suggest you check the airline's website before departing for updates and specific regulations.

For more information on luggage and travelling restrictions visit am AA Acredited Sales Agent store or visit the airline's website.

Travel Light

Travelling light not only saves you time, it can save you money and energy too.

When travelling, we tend to overpack and often end up taking two or more suitcases with us. With many airlines now enforcing the "one suitcase" policy, another bag can force you to pay additional fees, adding unnecessary expenses to your journey.

By packing light you not only save money, but also energy - try dragging along unwanted kilograms of baggage when using public transport. Unnecessary luggage can force you to rent a larger car and there are security risks involved in keeping track of more than one bag.

To assist you in minimising these problems, planning is essential and there are a few packing tactics that you can employ to ensure that you 'travel light':

  • Compose a packing list that will match your itinerary, whether for business or leisure travel. Coordinate shirts or blouses with bottoms and stick with solids and versatile basics. Rule out any clothes that do not match other items.
  • The best way to fit all your clothes is by rolling pants and shirts. First fold each item in half, then simply roll. To try to maintain any creases by starting on the bulkiest end of the article of clothing.
  • Gear up to make an awe-inspiring impression out of a basic or mundane outfit by accessorising it with a vibrant tie (for him) or a floral scarf (for her). Multihued accessories can liven up just about any attire. Try and minimise bulk by checking your space and, if necessary, edit outfits... ruthlessly.
  • Try and stay in the same colour scheme with most of your attire, in case you have to layer up for warmth.
  • Be shoe smart! For men, any leather rubber-soled shoes can make the day and night transition, easily. For women, a pair of flip-flops, strappy sandals and comfy wedges can serve all casual, chic-dressing needs.
  • If you need to take a jacket or coat, do not pack it into your suitcase, but rather wear it or carry it onto the plane.
  • Place your underwear in a transparent bag on top of your other items so that, if necessary, security can access the bag without ruining your efficient packing method.
  • Keep your luggage free of extra kilograms by leaving the heavy irons and hairdryers at home.

The key to making your trip more effective and to stretching your Rand further is to research and plan what you want to do. To purchase maps, travel accessories and other essential gear visit your closest AA Accredited Sales Agent store.

TSA Approved Locks

Planning a trip? Make sure that you're familiar with the lock requirements of the country you intend to visit.

If you plan on travelling to the US, make sure your luggage locks are TSA-approved. TSA-compliant locks are now mandatory in the US. The US's Transport Security Administration (created in response to the 9/11 attacks) is responsible for screening all airline luggage passing through the US.

The TSA screens every passenger's baggage before it is placed on an airplane and while their technology allows them to electronically screen bags, there are times when they are required to physically inspect a piece of luggage. TSA baggage handlers possess a classified tool that opens TSA-approved padlocks and combination locks.

In the event that they are unable to inspect your luggage for security purposes, you run the risk of having your lock and/or suitcase destroyed and the TSA cannot be held liable for the damage. The UK and New Zealand are expected to follow suit shortly. Be sure to enquire with your airline and purchase the correct locks.

The AA Acredited Sales agent stores are stockists of TSA-approved padlocks, combination locks and luggage straps as well as luggage sets and Luggage Gloves.

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