Before you get on that aeroplane, check that your passport is still valid
By Paulus Nakawa, Manager Corporate Communications, Air Namibia
It’s been a long year and November took forever. Knowing that the holiday season is approaching is the focus point of employees, business owners, government workers as well as children and students everywhere. December is the holy grail of holidays for Namibians and we often start planning our time away months in advance. Hopefully saving for the holiday has also started months ago, as we all know about KeDedezemba! The starting point for the holiday season is actually travelling out of town.
Namibia is hot at the best of times, but being in Windhoek around Christmas time is simply unbearable. The coast beckons, or the north or South Africa and perhaps even further overseas to Europe or Asia. Anywhere where a gust of wind or slightly milder temperatures can be found. This often requires getting on an airplane, which around the holidays can bring with it its own set of challenges.
Travelling can be stressful and daunting. Especially if you’re not a frequent flyer or your flying with the family. It requires a bit more preparation and the more methodical you are about it all, the easier the process is and the quicker you will be in Cape Town’s Waterfront or perhaps sipping on glühwein with the family in Germany. The destinations and the possibilities are endless.
Just keep a few things in mind. Everyone wants to see their loved ones, friends and families and get away from it all. So, the flights start filling up quickly. Book your flight well advance. It will avoid disappointment and give you the best deals. Air Namibia allows you to fly both within Namibia to different towns and cities as well as use Namibia as the starting point for the rest of the world.
As everyone leaves on holiday around the same time in December, remember that the lines at check-in and customs may be longer than usual. No one likes to wait and being patient is not always easy, especially when you are about to slide into holiday or family mode. Therefore ensure you arrive at the airport with plenty of time to spare before the flight leaves. Families with children and those travelling in bigger groups also need to realise checking in may take quite a while. So, a good rule of thumb is to be at the airport at least three hours before departure. This way check-in won’t happen in a blind panic while pushed for time.
During the holiday season people are not just checking in luggage, but also Christmas presents and food stuffs for their loved ones. Bringing biltong or Amarula to friends and family overseas will definitely put a smile on their face. However, check if you can bring the things that you would like and whether they need to be in your checked luggage, or if they can simply come aboard in the cabin. Having to confiscate items because they do not adhere to the international aviation rules and regulations is not something we enjoy doing, but we do have to abide by the laws, simply to keep everyone, including the other passengers and flight crew safe.
Another aspect of holiday travel, especially for people that do not fly often, make sure your identification documents and all your travel visas are up to date and correct for the destination that you are travelling too. Nothing is more disappointing than finding that your passport is no longer valid, or valid for the legally required period of time of the country your travelling too. The same applies for the visas. All of this can be organised and checked well in advance of the holiday travelling in December. It actually adds to the anticipation and fun of travelling, knowing that you are sorted ahead of the actual holiday.
It will leave you stress and worry free and allow you to focus on what presents you will get and give and how you will go about losing those extra kg’s that you are sure to put on during this well-deserved Christmas break.
Season’s greetings everyone and safe travels!