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Mastering the Key to Minimalist Packing

back view of couple holding hands looking on to a train at a terminus

There’s nothing quite like the thrill of planning for a holiday. While the current health situation has put a damper on everyone’s travel plans, for the time being, there’s nothing wrong with planning your dream holiday and prepping for it once travel restrictions finally ease up. And when it comes to planning for a holiday, there’s one part that you either love or hate: packing.

Packing for a holiday is an entire beast on its own. You either love it or you hate it, and chances are the people reading this article you fall into the latter camp. Well, fret not! Packing for a trip can be a bit tricky, but below are some top tips you can incorporate into your own routine.

man at airport watching a plane take off with legs on a small travel bag
Image credit: Unsplash

Rely on a small and sturdy bag
If you have a tendency to over-pack, you might want to consider downsizing your luggage. Starting off with a huge suitcase can make you feel like you need to fill it to the brim, so opting for a smaller bag can help minimise that temptation. Travel writer Brandon Schultz has made a list of the best road trip backpacks that are godsends for minimalist packing. Day Owl’s The Backpack takes the cake for its sleek design full of hidden pockets, while the Adventurist Classic is — you guessed it — a classic pick that works with anyone’s style.

Plan out a capsule wardrobe
The term “capsule wardrobe” is all the rage nowadays with people wanting to downsize their closets, but this mindset works for travelling too. The key to mastering a capsule wardrobe is picking a few pieces that can easily be mixed and matched together so that you’re relying on an all-star rotation of three to four tops instead of bringing 10 tops for 10 separate outfits. Going for high-quality items is also your best bet, as this ensures you can re-wear a certain piece without a fuss.

back view of couple holding hands looking on to a train at a terminus
Photo Credit: Unsplash


Don’t forget at least one evening outfit
Going for a night out is always a must during any trip! Once you have your capsule wardrobe in place, make sure you have at least one evening outfit in tow. Thankfully, you don’t have to bring an evening gown or anything too fancy. Pretty Me’s guide to best dress styles recommends a sleek sheath dress or a figure-hugging wrap dress to flatter your body while still making a statement. This tip needs to be highlighted, as one great evening outfit can help you really make the most of a destination’s best restaurants and bars.

Opt for multi-purpose products as much as possible
Whether it’s a shawl that doubles up as a scarf or a reversible top, opting for multi-purpose products helps you pack smart. And this tip doesn’t just apply to clothes, as you can even find multi-purpose skincare and beauty items to keep you glowing even while travelling. As the name suggests, Lano’s Everywhere multi-cream works as a moisturiser, hand cream, and eye cream all in one convenient tube! You can also find beauty sticks that work as eye shadow, blush, and lipstick.

Go through your electronics list
Electronic devices can be extremely bulky, and that’s without considering all the charging cables and adaptors you need to bring! It’s worth going through each electronic item that you’re planning to bring, and ask yourself if it’s really worth it. If your goal is to disconnect from your responsibilities, it might be best to leave your laptop at home. If you really want to bring a camera to shoot photos, consider bringing just one other lens at the very most.

Image Credit: Unsplash

A packing list
When the moment finally comes to pack for your trip, you will want to make sure you include everything that you are going to need. It wouldn’t be a fun experience to get to the airport, all excited for your trip, just to realize you left something as simple and as important as your ID at home. That’s why we have created an all-inclusive packing list to help you out on your travels.

While our post on How to Have a Holiday Without Leaving Home highlights how you can have fun right now, planning for your dream holiday can make you feel a little more optimistic about the future. Practising minimalist packing helps reduce the fuss that comes with travel and ensures you get to focus on what matters most: making memories.

Article was written by Camilla Hope

Exclusively for b4i.travel

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South Africa opens international leisure travel – with restrictions.

South African Department of Home affairs crest - img

The South African Government has officially opened up international travel to and from South Africa under its level 1 restrictions. There are however restrictions on leisure travel from a number of countries that still pose a higher risk. For all approved countries, if you are looking to skip a mandatory 14-day quarantine, you will need to provide a negative COVID-19 certificate, not older than 72 hours (before departure) and that has been certified by a registered medical practitioner.

Countries still under restrictions

Albania Argentina Armenia
Austria Bahrain Belgium
Bolivia Bosnia and Herzegovina Brazil
Chile Colombia Costa Rica
Croatia Czech Republic Denmark
Ecuador France Georgia
Greece Guatemala Guyana
Honduras Hungary Iceland
France Georgia Gibralta
India Iran Iraq
Ireland Israel Jamaica
Jordan Kuwait Lebanon
Luxemborg Maldives Malta
Mexico Moldova Montenegro
Nepal Netherlands Morth Macedonia
Oman Palestine Panama
Parguay Peru Portugal
Puerto Rico Qatar Romania
Russia Slovakia Suriname
Switzerland Ukraine United Emirates
United Kingdom United States Venezuela

Any person from a country listed as having a high COVID-19 infection and transmission rate, who wish to undertake business travel into South Africa, may with effect from 01 October 2020, in writing, apply to the Minister of Home Affairs and demonstrate reasons for their request to enter the Republic for business purposes during the period of the national state of disaster.

Such applications must be directed to email [email protected] 

*updated 30 September 2020

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Airbnb Aims to Reduce the Spread of COVID-19 With New Host Cleaning Protocols

Airbnb has announced that under the guidance of the US Centres for Disease Control (CDC), hosts have the option to follow a new cleaning protocol. Those who elect to take part will be required to put in place a 24 hour minimum intermission period between bookings at each property in a bid to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Labeled an “enhanced cleaning initiative,” hosts will gain access to detailed guidelines for improved hygiene practices during the pandemic, as well as preventative measure recommendations, such as the use of approved disinfectant products and personal protective gear like masks and gloves.

An Airbnb spokesperson explained that the initiative caters to the concerns of both guests and hosts. Guests can be assured that every measure has been taken to ensure that their stay is safe, and hosts are able to gain access to the resources needed to implement further precautions.

Since the onset of the pandemic, Airbnb has unsurprisingly taken a massive hit to sales, and recently had to take a reported 1$ billion from investors in order to stay afloat. That hasn’t stopped CEO Brian Chesky from looking ahead, stating confidently that he believes there will be a large upswing in the travel industry once global pandemic regulations have lifted.

Last month saw hosts criticising the company’s cancellation policies, stating that the guidelines were unclear, which lead to Airbnb establishing a $250 million fund to refund hosts who found themselves out of pocket after refunding guests who cancelled their bookings. There has been speculation that the announcement of the improved cleaning protocol and host support is a direct reaction to the criticism received at the start of the pandemic, but the effectiveness of the initiative remains to be seen.

Source: https://www.businessinsider.co.za/airbnb-24-hours-between-rentals-limit-covid-spread-2020-4?r=US&IR=T

b4i.travel simplifies your communication needs when travelling and takes the risk out of high international roaming costs. We offer a range of pre-loaded, pre-activated and pre-registered world travel SIM cards so you’ll be connected when you arrive in the country you are visiting. Tourists, students and businessmen have been talking like a local in South Africa, USA, Europe with b4i.travel since 2010. It’s time to ‘Explore your world’.

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The Future of Travel After COVID-19

It doesn’t take a great deal of imagination to picture what airports around the globe currently look like; desolate ghost towns, the shadow of their formerly bustling selves a mere memory in the face of a global pandemic. But as with all things, no matter how seemingly insurmountable, this too shall pass, and that means that a gradual return to international travel can and will occur in the coming months as social distancing protocols and regulations ease. So what will a resumption of travel activities look like post COVID-19? Let’s have a look.

Cheap Flights… At First

Expect airlines to offer outrageous price cuts and ticket deals once regular travel is deemed safe in order to encourage passengers to put their health fears aside. That said, airlines will also be forced to retain certain social distancing measures, which may entail leaving certain seats empty to reduce capacity, and this will ultimately lead to a gradual increase in airfare costs after the initial price cuts.

Reduced Convenience

Route options and all day flights will almost certainly be reduced in favour of peak time travel and increased layovers. There will also be health screening at airports which may cause delays and longer queues when checking in and boarding. Such screening is already being instituted by Emirates at certain airports, and we’ll soon see other airlines following suit in order to promote passenger and staff safety.

More Automation

Decreased interaction has been a major change in curbing the spread of the virus, and this trend will likely continue for the foreseeable future. While physical barriers have been a speedy fix to the problem of face to face interaction, expect further automation of check in processes, eliminating human contact and the risk of transmission. This will include biometric identification measures and digital baggage scanning.

The End of Budget Airlines

All airlines will be competing for seats which may see a closing of the price gap between luxury and economy airlines. The potentially reduced sales for cheaper airlines may result in their demise, after which the remaining highend tickets will likely see a revert to their usual prices with the budget competition effectively eliminated.

No More #Wanderlust

Younger travellers will likely not have the budget for luxury travel once the pandemic subsides. Heading into the age of social distancing, Millennials and Gen-Z were already facing high debt and low savings, so expect to see older generations dominating flight ticket sales.

Inflight Experience

Aside from the expected improvements to cabin hygiene and disinfection procedures, there will also be major reductions to the variety of inflight refreshments. Food will be fully packaged to avoid contact as well as reduce the costs associated with increased menu options. It will likely be a long time before we see a return to the range of options and luxuries we’re used to.

COVID-19 has certainly impacted all areas of our daily lives, and the effects of the virus will continue to be felt long after its general eradication. While I’m sure many of us are looking forward to being able to travel freely and safely, it’s important to remember that our actions as individuals are paramount to containing the spread of the virus. As always, stay safe and be kind to one another.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeremybogaisky/2020/04/23/coronavirus-airlines-air-fares/#a673b511193b

b4i.travel simplifies your communication needs when travelling and takes the risk out of high international roaming costs. We offer a range of pre-loaded, pre-activated and pre-registered world travel SIM cards so you’ll be connected when you arrive in the country you are visiting. Tourists, students and businessmen have been talking like a local in South Africa, USA, Europe with b4i.travel since 2010. It’s time to ‘Explore your world’.

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How to Have a Holiday Without Leaving Home

You were dreaming of lying on the golden sands of a tropical paradise. Maybe you were counting down the days until you boarded a plane for a tour of Europe’s cultural hubs. Perhaps you’d even started packing your bags for your cross country roadtrip… And then coronavirus happened, dashing all hopes of travelling for the foreseeable future and forcing us all into a staycation of the not-so-typical variety. But we’re here to tell you that there’s no need to avoid all the fun and relaxation of a holiday altogether! Here are some holiday activities that you can recreate right from home.

Pick a Destination and Get Creative

Decorate your living room with posters, cutout and decor reminiscent of your dream holiday destination. You can get really creative with this and the internet is a hive of crafts and ideas to turn your home into a country or destination of your choice. You can also dress as you would if you were on vocation – sandals, beach hair, pyjamas; anything goes! It’s your holiday.

Relax With a Spa Day

 No vacation is complete without a little self-care, so give yourself the at-home spa experience. Get your robe and slippers on, set the mood with some calming music, and give yourself a facial complete with clay mask and cucumber slices. If you have someone who’s willing to massage your back and shoulders at the cost of a small bribe, capitalise on the offer! It’s all part of the relaxing experience and will leave you feeling calm and invigorated for the rest of your at-home holiday.

Take an Online Class

Travelling always involves trying something new, so take advantage of the online classes currently available. Learn a new language or learn a traditional dance style. You can even watch some recipe videos and present an authentic foreign dish for the whole family to try.

Enjoy Some Time Alone

You’ll never again have so much free time in your schedule, so make the most of it. Read a book, listen to a new podcast, pull out your old arts and crafts box, knit a sweater, play an instrument, build a puzzle, colour a picture, meditate or simply catch up on sleep. The opportunities are endless!

Take Pictures

We all know that if it’s not on Instagram, it didn’t happen, so be sure to document your stay-home holiday with plenty of pictures for social media. ‘Expectation vs Reality’ shots are a great way to make light of the social distancing regulation impacting everyone’s holiday travel plans. Be sure to tag us in your ‘staycation’ pictures so we can see what you’re getting up to!

There are lots of typical holiday activities that can be replicated from the comfort and safety of home during this unprecedented time. Take advantage of the free time to bond with your family members, spend some time having fun and relaxing, and get into holiday mode. Most importantly, remember to be kind and stay safe.

Sources: https://www.realsimple.com/work-life/entertainment/vacation-at-home-quarantine, https://www.iol.co.za/travel/travel-tips/how-to-plan-a-holiday-at-home-45646961

b4i.travel simplifies your communication needs when travelling and takes the risk out of high international roaming costs. We offer a range of pre-loaded, pre-activated and pre-registered world travel SIM cards so you’ll be connected when you arrive in the country you are visiting. Tourists, students and businessmen have been talking like a local in South Africa, USA, Europe with b4i.travel since 2010. It’s time to ‘Explore your world’.

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Emirates To Offer On-Site COVID-19 Testing For Passengers

In a press release published earlier this week, Emirates announced that they would be working with the Dubai Health Authority to introduce additional COVID-19 precautions, including rapid on-site COVID-19 testing for passengers. The innovative move had already had its first trial run earlier that day, with passengers set to depart for Tunisia being the first group to undergo the new testing procedure.

The testing station was conveniently set up at Dubai International Airport’s Terminal 3 in the Group Check-in area, and results of the quick blood test were available to passengers within 10 minutes. Emirates Chief Operating Officer, Adel Al Redha, confirmed that the tests were conducted by DHA officials, and thanked the Authority for their involvement in and support of the project. He went on to express plans to increase the testing capabilities so as to aid passengers entering countries where COVID-19 test certificates are required upon arrival. He reiterated that the health and safety of staff and passengers remains a top priority for the airline.

doctor taking a finger prick sample of a person for testing
Source: businessinsider.com

“We are glad to work with Emirates on the successful implementation of rapid COVID-19 testing at the airport for departing travellers,” said HE Humaid Al Qutami, Director-General of the DHA. He said that the DHA were proactively working with various bodies, including various government organisations and the private health sector to tackle COVID-19. “We believe strongly that the most effective solutions require close partnerships with other public and private sector organisations.”

Emirates has instituted a number of protective measures since the pandemic was announced by the WHO. All employees are required to wear gloves and masks and use sanitiser frequently. Barriers have been placed at all check-in desks to ensure both passenger and staff safety during any interactions. Passengers are also required to wear their own masks, both while onboard a flight, as well as in the airport.

image of an emirates service desk and a customer with a face mask
Source: reuters.com

The inflight experience has also been modified to allow for social distancing protocol. Magazines and reading materials are no longer available, while cabin baggage is limited to a laptop, briefcase or handbag only. Food continues to be served during flights, however packaging has been modified to reduce contact. All aircraft are subject to thorough cleaning and disinfection after each journey.

While many other airlines have suspended services during the pandemic, we hope that the same strict procedures will be implemented as flights gradually resume and things return to normal. For now, stay safe and be kind to one another.

Source: https://www.emirates.com/media-centre/emirates-becomes-first-airline-to-conduct-on-site-rapid-covid-19-tests-for-passengers/

b4i.travel simplifies your communication needs when travelling and takes the risk out of high international roaming costs. We offer a range of pre-loaded, pre-activated and pre-registered world travel SIM cards so you’ll be connected when you arrive in the country you are visiting. Tourists, students and businessmen have been talking like a local in South Africa, USA, Europe with b4i.travel since 2010. It’s time to ‘Explore your world’.

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Take a Virtual Step Into Nature With These Live Streams

The peaceful respite of nature is something we all take for granted but have surely been craving while huddling indoors due to the coronavirus pandemic. While the soothing tinkles of a river or the various cries of wildlife may seem to be another world away at the moment, technology affords us a natural experience of a more virtual kind with live streams from some of the most famous wildlife reserves across the globe. Here are a few of our favourite picks to get you back into nature while remaining firmly indoors.

Katmai National Park & Preserve, Alaska

This live feed focuses on the Brooks Falls area of the park where brown bears convene to catch fresh salmon from the stream. There seems to always be action happening on the feed and during sundown hours, a highlight reel plays until the live stream picks up again at dawn. At the right time of year, you can also spot a few fluffy cubs.

The Kruger National Park, South Africa

South Africa’s premiere National Park is currently closed due to the National Lockdown, but the live stream videos scattered throughout the park are still operational. You’re bound to catch sight of some of the indigenous wildlife (especially in the absence of the regular tourists) on one of the feeds, particularly those around the watering holes.

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

The Yellowstone park is giant, spreading across three states. It’s famous for its erupting geysers, including the aptly named Old Faithful which erupts precisely every 92 minutes. You can catch the eruption on this live stream direct from the park to your computer screen.

The Nature Conservatory, Australia

Take a dive down under with this live stream of one of Australia’s coastal coral reefs. This feed shows one in the Port Phillips Bay area and it will give you all the Finding Nemo feels! Great to keep little ones entertained for hours.

Smithsonian’s National Zoo, Washington

Located in Washington, DC, the National Zoo brings hundreds of thousands of tourists to its exhibits every year, and the age of social distancing hasn’t changed a thing. Viewers are now able to watch the famous panda enclosure through a live stream. Tian Tian and Mei Xiang will steal your heart within minutes, even from hundreds of miles away!

Ngala & Djuma, South Africa

WildEarth and travel company And Beyond have teamed up to bring viewers sunrise and sunset live streamed game drives through two private game reserves in South Africa. The drives are 2-3 hours long and run on a schedule so you can plan to fit one into your quarantine diary.

Monterey Bay Aquarium, California

This Californian aquarium runs an ongoing “Jelly Cam” so that you can watch the soothing movements of its resident jellyfish. There are also live stream cameras of a variety of other exhibits, including sharks, penguins and sea otters.

We hope that these live streams allow you to bask in the wonders of nature while keeping safe at home during these uncertain times. You may find yourself still turning in long after things have returned to normal for a virtual reconnection with the natural world.

Sources: https://www.forbes.com/sites/lavanyasunkara/2020/03/16/stuck-at-home-connect-with-nature-through-these-invigorating-live-feeds/#515bf2f77f60, https://www.businessinsider.co.za/best-webcams-south-africa-2020-4, https://www.insider.com/live-animal-cams-zoos-aquariums-watch-from-home-2020-3#the-aquarium-also-has-live-views-of-other-sea-species-like-penguins-sharks-and-otters-4

b4i.travel simplifies your communication needs when travelling and takes the risk out of high international roaming costs. We offer a range of pre-loaded, pre-activated and pre-registered world travel SIM cards so you’ll be connected when you arrive in the country you are visiting. Tourists, students and businessmen have been talking like a local in South Africa, USA, Europe with b4i.travel since 2010. It’s time to ‘Explore your world’.

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Top Podcasts for the Vicarious Traveller

Let’s face it, there’s only so much Netflix that can be watched. And while being in quarantine has its perks, even these start to get a little dull after the first few days. If you’re itching to get back to exploring the world around you, we may have an isolation-appropriate alternative: travel podcasts. We’ve rounded up some of our tops picks to get you started, and we believe you’ll still be tuning long after isolation procedures have ceased.

Flight of Fancy

One of the most diverse travel podcasts on offer is Ben Groundwater’s Flight of Fancy. The 30-minute episodes make for perfect bite-size listening as Ben interviews various travellers and experts on a range of topics, from healing heartbreak through adventure to shady and treacherous border crossings.

image of a lady on her couch, with a laptop and earphones plugged in

The Budget-Minded Traveler

This series is great for those who yearn to travel the world but may not have a world-class budget. Not only does host Jackie Nourse offer invaluable budget-friendly travel advice and her guests also offer great stories that speak to the inimitable adventure rush that often comes along with penny-pinching expeditions.

Women Who Travel

This podcast was originally a Facebook group which organically grew into the weekly episodic it is today. Hosted by the editors of Conde Nast Traveler Magazine, these experts give insight on what it’s like to be a female traveller, from feminist road trips to the stories of refugees. This one is great for making even the most-timid crave the taste of adventure.

Travel Genius

Travel Genius is aimed at both frequent and beginner travellers. It’s packed with travel hacks, from packing light to getting flight and hotel upgrades. Travel experts also weigh in, so you know that these tips are verified for you to use on your next globe-trotting expedition.

EcoLust

Sustainable travel has been a huge trend over the past few years and this podcast is 100% dedicated to helping you live and travel more eco-consciously. The episodes are about an hour-long, so grab a snack (preferably organic) before you settle down to listen to an episode.

image of a phone with earphones plugged in and a podcast playing next to a cup of coffee.

The Indie Travel Podcast

Hosts Linda and Craig have been on a non-stop global trip since 2006, and their prime aim is to encourage people to live life as one long, debt-free adventure. Their 14 years of nomadic experience have made them masters in just about every area of travel, and their 350 episodes give you plenty of options to pick what you’re most interested in hearing about.

Zero to Travel

This podcast is more for those who take a philosophical approach to travel. Host Jason dives into what travel is, how it affects us, and how we could be doing it better. There are also a few episodes dedicated to answering listener questions, as well as some unusual travel techniques.

We know it can be difficult staying indoors with limited social interaction, but podcasts are a great way to feel like you’re listening to an extended voice note from an old friend. These ones, in particular, will give you a much-needed taste of the world outside while in isolation and are a great jumping point to start planning out your next holiday once travel restrictions have lifted. For now, sit back, relax, stay safe and be kind to one another.

Sources: https://www.contiki.com/six-two/best-travel-podcasts/, https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/best-travel-podcasts/

b4i.travel simplifies your communication needs when travelling and takes the risk out of high international roaming costs. We offer a range of pre-loaded, pre-activated and pre-registered world travel SIM cards so you’ll be connected when you arrive in the country you are visiting. Tourists, students and businessmen have been talking like a local in South Africa, USA, Europe with b4i.travel since 2010. It’s time to ‘Explore your world’.

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Learn a New Language With These Amazing Apps

Self-isolating can quickly start to take its toll on our productivity. Being trapped inside for extended periods of time soon destroys any sense of routine and purpose, as days begin to bleed into one another and you start to wonder if watching too much Netflix will really make your eyes go square. This is why it’s important to keep both your body and mind active while trapped indoors, and what better way to get a practical mental workout than by learning a new language? We’ve rounded up some of the top apps for language learners to keep you engaged, entertained and productive while under lockdown.

Rosetta Stone

This app is unique in its methods in that it replicates an immersive experience. Instead of translating from your home language to the target language, the app transforms to communicate with you only in the target language. It also makes use of speech recognition to track your level of fluency and proficiency and even has AR integration where users can aim their mobile camera at an object to receive the translation in the target language in order to improve vocabulary.

image of a man holding a phone with a laptop next to him

Babbel

Babbel’s minimalist layout and activity-based learning technique are similar to taking an online course. Each lesson is only 15 minutes long and includes vocabulary lists, flashcards, exercises and quizzes. There’s also a listen and repeat component, and the app makes it easy to track your progress towards fluency.

Mondly

This app is perfect for first-time second language learners! Not only does it teach vocabulary, but encourage your progress through gamification, leaderboards and speed drills. There’s even an AR integration which allows your virtual teacher to pop up on your screen and appear to be “standing” right in front of you. It also caters for a variety of learning styles, using audio, images and in-app games to help you remember translations and phrases.

Duolingo

Duolingo is perfect if you haven’t yet decided on a target language and want to dabble in a few options before you commit to one. You work your way through various levels, but if you aren’t consistent in your practice, Duolingo will push you back a few levels when you next log on. It’s also easy to track your proficiency by monitoring your weak areas, and you can revisit previous lessons if you’ve forgotten a thing or two.

Memrise

Memrise is a great option if you’re wanting to learn to be more conversational in your target language. Short videos are included as part of the coursework so that you can see how the vocabulary and phrases you’re learning are used in daily situations. It also helps you to spot patterns, making it much easier to pick up new things.

image of a lady learning a language on a couch and holding coffee

Busuu

This app takes a holistic approach right from the beginning, asking you what language you want to learn, why you want to learn it, and it encourages you to set a goal to be completed within a certain timeframe. There’s also an introductory placement test which ensures that you get placed at the right level, which is great if you’re not a complete beginner. When you log in for each lesson, Busuu also reminds you of weak areas from your previous lessons that should be revised.

While we can’t guarantee you’ll be flying across the world to be immersed in a foreign culture anytime soon, you can still get a taste of new culture by learning a foreign language. These apps are just a few of the ones available that make learning a new language easy, fun and accessible. Make sure to try a few of them while you’re self-isolating, and remember, stay safe and be kind to one another.

Sources: https://www.fluentu.com/blog/apps-to-learn-languages/, https://www.cnet.com/news/best-language-learning-apps-of-2020/

b4i.travel simplifies your communication needs when travelling and takes the risk out of high international roaming costs. We offer a range of pre-loaded, pre-activated and pre-registered world travel SIM cards so you’ll be connected when you arrive in the country you are visiting. Tourists, students and businessmen have been talking like a local in South Africa, USA, Europe with b4i.travel since 2010. It’s time to ‘Explore your world’.

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Take a Mental Holiday With These 10 Travel Books

The COVID-19 pandemic has left many of us holed up to prevent further spread of the virus. While the idea of lounging at home with nothing to do may have sounded like a dream mere months ago, it can rather quickly lead to boredom, frustration and a general case of cabin fever. While we can’t encourage you to escape to the outside world just yet, there’s nothing stopping you from disappearing on an excursion of a different sort. Lose yourself in an adventure and take a mental holiday with these 10 travel books.

Into The Wild

Christopher Johnson McCandless’ wanderings through the Alaskan wilderness are told by Jon Krakauer in this biographical account. McCandless faces the very human emotions of loneliness, persistence and, ultimately, peace as he goes on a journey of self-exploration amid one of the cruellest and most desolate landscapes in the world, and by the closing page, you’ll be planning your own post-COVID19 backpacking trip.

Eat, Pray, Love

Elizabeth Gilbert’s memoir-style account will have you in stitches one second, and bawling the next. Wanting to escape her life as a modern American woman is all too relatable, and she promptly whisks you along on her escapades, first eating her way through Italy, then learning how to pray in an Indian ashram, and finally coming to terms with self-love in Bali. The autobiography functions as both entertainment and inspiration for every reader.

bali - flower arrangement

The Alchemist

This classic tale follows the forays of a shepherd boy as he travels from Spain to Egypt, chasing his dreams and adventure! Author Paulo Coelho puts a philosophical spin on a simple story, and the pages are littered with quotes sure to inspire wanderlust in even the least intrepid reader.

The Great Railway Bazaar

Paul Theroux depicts his sojourns while following the famous and now obsolete Hippie Trail from London to Asia for over 4 months. His narrative takes place during the 1970s and it’s interesting for the modern reader to reflect how different the world was almost half a century ago.

The City of Djinns

This historical account of India’s capital outlines Delhi’s rich history, complex culture and key characters. While non-fiction may not be your first choice when it comes to escapism, William Dalrymple’s story-telling flare is unmatched and will transport you right to the bustling streets of Delhi.

India farmers market - show casing fruits, vegetables and spices

Down Under

I say the name Bill Bryson and you’re already reaching for the phone to call your local library. In Down Under, Bryson gives an all-inclusive account of life in Australia, told in his usual jocular tone, and touches on everything from geography and climate to the pioneers who first dared to navigate the notoriously desolate landscape.

Vagabonding

Rolf Potts’ tale of bravery and acceptance is loved by many. While on the surface a story of escaping the drudgery of daily life to go to new places, learn new languages and meet new people, the deeper meaning is to escape the comfort zone, accepting and loving each new experience, good or bad, with the goal of growth. A must-read for those feeling the effects of isolation!

Lost on Planet China

In a country as vast and populated as China, it’s easy to get lost! J. Maarten Troost seamlessly entwines travelogue with humour, while still depicting China’s ancient cultural heritage and social idiosyncrasies that often leave tourists baffled, yet somehow remain endearing.

China - ancient Chinese building on the waters edge

Blue Highways

William Least Heat-Moon takes his reader on a tour of the various aspects of the rural American countryside. Featuring memorable encounters with locals and vivid descriptions of the highways that weave between America’s small towns, you’ll feel as though you’re in the passenger seat alongside Heat-Moon until the closing page.

Into Thin Air

Jon Krakauer (sound familiar?) now steps into his own exploring shoes in his personal account of the Mount Everest expedition in the mid-1990s. The trip turned into a disaster when a severe snowstorm combined with heightened competitiveness and resultant overlooking of safety procedures, finally culminating in the deaths of eight climbers. The story takes the reader on an emotional rollercoaster and will have you itching to turn the page until the very end.

We hope these reads will help you pass the time in this climate of isolation and social distancing, and keep your travel bug alive and well for when the global situation reaches stability and resolution. For now, stay safe and be kind to one another!

Source: https://www.holidayme.com/explore/these-10-travel-books-would-be-your-perfect-companion-this-holiday/

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