Holidays don’t always take many months to plan. There are times when you will need to take a trip immediately and have very little time to prepare. Imagine that you were planning to travel later in the year but an awesome travel deal comes along and it’s only valid for the next two weeks. You wouldn't want to loose out on a perfect deal just because your travel documents are not in order.
It could be a last minute discounted package, a family emergency abroad, or work related trip, having your travel documents in order will help in a case where you have limited time for preparations.
So here are a few essentials we should all have ready, whether or not we are planning to travel soon.
1. Get your unabridged birth certificates for the kids
A consent affidavit from an absent parent or guardian listed on the birth certificate. Find out more about new requirements for children travelling through South African ports of entry on the Department of Home Affairs website
2. Make sure your passports are ready
Keep track of when your passport expires and get a new one immediately, even if you have no immediate travel plans. You should never find yourself having to urgently apply for a temporary passport. This will cost you more money and time.
3. Get your international driving licence
You like taking road trips. If you love going on self-drives and exploring your destination on your own pace, then get your-self an international driving licence. In South Africa, international driving permits (IDP) are issued by the Automobile Association of South Africa
. Always ensure that you have both your original driver’s licence as well as your IDP with you when you go on holiday. Keep copies (preferably certified copies) separate from the originals.
4. Get informed about Visa application process
Know your destination this year? Some countries have very strict Visa rules and you sure don’t ever want to be held up by customs officials at the airport. It’s better to find out about visa and passort rules early as it can take time to get your visa approved when going to some countries.
5. Photocopies of your travel documents
When you’ve got all your travel documents, make sure you make certified copies of each. Make two photocopies of all documents in case of emergency or if your documents are lost or stolen. When you travel, leave one copy with someone close to you and provide them with your itinerary and contact details. Carry the other copy with you, stored separately from the originals.