Traveling mermaid - adventure awaits
 
View of table mountain

View of table mountainThe lovely city in South Africa. There really is so much to do in and around Cape Town. I have had the privilege to explore its surroundings earlier this year. Even though it is my home country, it is a little hard to get it in my schedule. Well, I finally did it and it was a blast! We, my better half and I, only had a limited time to be tourists but we made it count? Here is how you can get the most out of your Cape Town vacation…

Booking is key

So we booked our flights on the whim. Our pre arranged plan fell through on our off days and we decided to just make it a normal two weeks at home and work on the house. Less than a week before our plans changed.

We only booked our flights a few days before the trip. This is easier because it is domestic flights. We got the flights at reasonable prices. Some airlines lower their prices closer to the time to try to fill the flight, this was a bonus for us. So off we were to our Cape Town vacation!

View from the top

We are fortunate to have family members in the area, but we flew to Cape Town with no plan at all. We didn’t book for any accommodation nor did we book a rental car. Our plan was to see what is around and book the cheaper options. But I can tell you now, do not leave these bookings for on the arrival.

It so happens that the day we landed in Cape Town all the cars were booked for a big conference that’s was happening that week and the cars that were available ended up to be very expensive. So please pre book if you want to go the car rental route. Most airline sites have a combo option for a flight and rental of the car, this makes it a little cheaper.

And if you go the more adventurer route like we did… don’t worry, there are more option.

Day 1 – landed and stranded!

Okay, maybe stranded is a little harsh. So we were at the airport on the first day of our vacation with no car and no plan. It was no train smash luckily. There are so many nice coffee shops in the airport, so we sat down to get our bearings. While sipping on my cappuccino, I looked through Airbnb, it’s a very secure booking site and you can get an app for it in IOS. You can see the properties available and also see the hosts and the rating of other people on the hosts.

We were able to make a booking for that night at a property close to the promenades, but still no way to get there. Luckily Cape Town has Uber, also available in app form or the phone. The nice thing about uber is that you never have to carry cash around. You do your booking on the app, the app tells you a little more on the driver picking you up, the car registration and the estimate pick up time.

Table mountain

Table Mountain ViewTable mountainSo finally we are on our way. We dropped our bags off at the B&B and caught another uber to the iconic Table Mountain, with no time to waste. And it was magical! the view from the to is amazing and breath taking. We went late afternoon, hoping to see the sunset but the sunsets later in Cape Town then what we are used to, but we still enjoyed it to be on top of on of the wonders of the world!

When we got off the mountain we caught another uber to the Victoria & Alfred waterfront mall for dinner. The views were amazing. Definitely a go to place, if not for the shopping but for the views. There were sea lions swimming around in the harbor and chilling in the sun, something that I was not used to. What a good first day we had!

Cape Town waterfront

Day 2 to 4 – exploring

Hop on hop off busWith an early start we decided to head back to the waterfront. There is a hop on hop off bus service with routes going through the hole of Cape Town. We did it and we loved it. Cape Town is full of iconic sites and theses buses travel passed them all and stop at designated spots. You can decide where you want to jump off and there are times specified at each site when the next bus will be there to pick up again.

I would recommend this to everyone, we had a great time and saw so many new places. We climbed off at Hout Bay where we’d took a short boat trip to the sea lion island. I’ve never seen so many of them clustered to get her in one place. We also stopped off at the world of birds wildlife sanctuary.

Mariner's wharfHout bay

 

After completing the circle we got our bags and headed up north to Langebaan where we spent a few days. From there we went back and forth to the little towns and harbors around. We saw Kraal Bay, Saldana Bay and few more smaller Bays along the coast. Each destination as beautiful as the last. This area is filled with old style coffee shops, small towns and a lot of history.

Day 5 to 9 – explore some more

Red berry farm Mid way through our Cape Town vacation we traveled back to Cape Town and took the Bloukrans bus to Tergniet. Here we had more advantages to see more small towns and iconic spots. There is big strawberry farm in the area, Red Berry Farm, you pay per bucket and get to pick your own delicious, juice and sweet strawberries. Not to mention huge! It’s a must go to place if you love strawberries like me.

 

Penguins at Betty’s bayWith our Cape Town vacation almost coming to an end. We took the bloukrans bus again towards Cape Town but we hopped off at Summer set west and took a day trip to the coast to Betty’s Bay where we saw the penguin colony at the Stony point nature reserve. It’s one of the most successful breeding colonies of the African penguin. One word… breathtaking.

Memories were made

And so our Cape Town vacation came to an end. Even though there are many more places to be seen, we saw a lot and made memories that will last for ever! We will most definitely go back and explore the places we were not able to see. But this just shows that you can make the most of it from no plan at all to one big adventure.

View of table mountain

 

 

 

Bucket list

It can never be too early to start thinking about your trip. The excitement of counting down the days, packing your bag months before the trip. I am sure you will keep talking about your trip till your friends want to strangle you with envy. But this is pretty exciting stuff! Who can go on a world adventure and not feel the adrenaline pumping?

So with all this excitement, did you use the right steps to plan your world trip? There are a few things you will need to consider when you want to start to plan your world trip. It could be a scary thought and a little over whelming. So many choices but where to start. Let’s start by putting one foot in front of the other, we will get through this together.

Start by creating a bucket list

Bucket list

What is it that you will want to see? What draws you to that specific place? Will it be worthwhile to add it to your trip?

Make a list off all the places you would like to see. It doesn’t have to all fit in now, but create a bucket list of the places you want to go to and what you will do there. The event will be crucial to your planning as certain activities only happen in certain seasons. For example:

  1. See the rodeo in TexasLumo party Sodwana Bay
  2. Go to the Rio carnival
  3. Join the beer festival in Germany
  4. See the northern lights
  5. Hiking in Canada

The options are endless and you can tailor it to your own needs and wishes.

Would you want to go for site-seeing or would you want to experience different cultures? What parts of the country would best fit your expectations? Ask all these questions to yourself before deciding on a spot to get the most out of your trip.

Location, location and location.

 

I am a very visual person. So the best thing to help me plan my trip is a vision board. If you are like me then this next part will start the traveling adrenaline within you, start feeling the excitement when you will be seeing your trip in your mind’s eye.

So you have made your bucket list? Okay, so the next step is to get hold of a world map (a big detailed one will be my first preference). Now mark all the places on your bucket list on to the map, see where I am going with this?

This can help you see how close the activities are together and help route out your trip. Use google maps to help if needed. I would even go a little further and take a yarn to connect the dots of the routes that I will be taking.

Keep in mind of what season you will be traveling in to make sure you are at the right spots at the right time. You will also know how to pack for your trip then.

Plan your world trip timeline.

The timeline will differ from person to person. If you have only small windows in your life to fit in your travels, that is okay. Concur the world one trip at a time. This may take a hole lot longer and might turn out a little more pricey as you will have to return to base and start all over again on the next trip.

If You will have some time to take off, great. You can hop from one destination to the next. Try to keep with your bucket list at first, the rest will follow. The more places you are going to see, the more people you will get to meet and the more recommendation you will be able to get for places to go and ways to travel.

Budgeting.

This will be the most important thing of the hole trip. You need to know how much you will need to save up for food and accommodation. If you are going to have a quite tight budget, try looking at “Best Buys” in the area or coupons. You can wine and dine at little to no cost if you just do your research before heading over.

Keep your eyes open for daily deals and specials. A lot of airline companies have combos for flights, car hire and accommodation. It works out a little cheaper but also try to get your hands on pop up deals.

Dine where the locals go. They would go to places they know are best for their money spent and where the good places are.

Find out what currency will be used and compare it to your own currency to bring in perspective. It is easier to compare a product if you know how to convert it into your own currency. Download a currency converter on your phone so you can have the knowledge at a touch of a button.

Have fun!

The most important rule is to have fun! This is the time to make memories, turn any situation into an adventure. Make friends where ever you go and leave a foot print of yourself behind. Dance under the stars, swim with dolphins and be the free person that you want to be. Enjoy and safe travels!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scuba diving Sodwana Bay

About the mermaid

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“Always remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think and twice as beautiful as you’ve ever imagined.” – Dr Seuss

Where the adventure begins

I’ve always had a love for adventure, the outdoors and the surrounding nature. I never wanted to have an office job. Why be cramped in a square box if there are so much more out there?

Scuba diving Sodwana Bay

I had a few career options on my list but it ranged from Veterinary to the hospitality industry. So the decision was made to get out there and see what I am made of and what really suits me. This is when my passion for travel intensified, I enrolled in a career course to become a scuba diving instructor. I met a lot of amazing people, heard a few interesting traveling stories and got the opportunities to travel myself.

I might not see the world yet, but I am certainly going to try. There are so many options and so many people to still meet. Even though I decided to remain in this industry, my love for helping animals did not go away. You get to experience marine life and realize how many more animals there are that need our help.

Traveling is also a core ingredient in the diving industry. Most divers want to experience diving across the world. Most scuba diving instructors have the dream to go abroad. I love my country but I also love to see different places, so I will try to see it bit by bit.

The heart of travel

Let’s see the world! Let’s go to extraordinary places and meet more amazing people. Join me on my journey, learn from my mistakes or take my excellent tips to create your own great memories.

Our world, our future

I want to touch the hearts of every person reading my blog. There are so much out there to experience, and I believe it is our duties to protect what is out there.

By letting you join me on my adventures, I hope to create awareness on certain issues. We have the power to help protect our beautiful destinations and the wonderful creatures in it. By doing this we will always be able to return and still be amazed by the beautiful and breath taking views, the heart-warming moments and the memories to create with your loved ones.

Then the other goal I hope to achieve with this blog is to create happiness and help people have fun!

If you ever need a hand or have a questions, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to help you out.

All the best,

Stina Lee

www.traveling-mermaid.com

When magic hits the water then you might get a glimpse of the mermaids tail glittering in the sun as she makes her way across the oceans.

Traveling is something on a lot of people’s minds. There are so many options out there and so many factors to take in to account. My personal mission is to travel the worlds. But that takes time and time is money, so you need to have a stabile income to know that you can afford all those airline tickets, accommodation, food and still have some money in the bank to tour around and maby get that souvenir to take back to your family…

Well, don’t get disheartened yet. There are many ways to reach your goals. It just takes some forward planning. Let me take you with on my journeys and give advise on things to do and not to do. Let’s get to know the world together and learn the tricks of the trade.