Who would have thought our 2020 New Year's resolution of travel would be limited to walks in the backyard and trips to Woolworths. No tropical nights in Bali or the Contiki we've been saving up for. Not even that long weekend trip to Cape Town seemed realistic a couple months ago (And for the most part, doesn't even feel realistic now, 6 months into lockdown!) 

King Shaka Airport in Durban empty during COVID19 lockdown

Since early March the effect of COVID19 started to ripple through the travel industry - yes, that's even before lockdown. At that point, international flights became almost non-existent and domestic travel seemed to slowly decrease in volume - I mean the whole reason COVID19 came to South Africa was because of travel, so it's completely understandable that even before lockdown, people started to feel uneasy about hopping on a plane filled with strangers. When the initial 21 day lockdown began on 27 March, and the complete standstill of airports and planes hit home. And of course it wasn't just us all the way down here in SA, the whole world experienced what might even be the biggest standstill in air traffic since air travel became mainstream.

View of Durban, flights to Durban, FlySafair


As of right now, 4 August 2020, flying is still only reserved for essential travel - with leisure travel not being permitted. While a naughty few (*cough* me) have found sneaky ways to get around legislation, the flight and travel industry are far from their pre-Corona levels.

Johannesburg city, joburg city, airport in Johannesburg

I recently took my first domestic flight since lockdown began (With my last flight having been 9 March 2020 - feels like a lifetime ago) and boy was it different to anything I've experienced before! I thought I'd share a few tips for anyone travelling on what to expect and hopefully it will help take away the anxiety.

I flew DUR - JHB return with Flysafair (Mango Airlines also operates on this route and a few other airlines operate on different domestic routes).

Durban airport, FlySafair plane

TIPS FOR FLYING DURING AND POST COVID19


• Firstly, it’s not as bad as you think BUT don’t get too comfortable - you still need to make sure you sanitize as much as possible! I carried a hand sanitizer and aerosol sanitiser to sanitize my hands and clothes after coming into contact with surfaces

COVID19 coronavirus vending machine COVID19 essentials

• There are very few flights a day - only 5 at most on the DUR - JHB route but I booked the day before so it's not imperative to book in advance however with there being so few flights, the flights that are operating tend to be quite full. • You’re only allowed to enter the airport if you’re flying and the first thing you do when you enter is hand in your (Already filled in) health declaration and get a temperature check.

Air travel during COVID19 in South Africa

• The airport is probably gonna be empty. Like resembling a zombie apocalypse empty. Don’t freak out! • Leisure and nonessential travel is still not permitted and legally you do still need a permit to travel - there are lots of different types of permits for whatever reason you need to travel but the most common is a business permit filled in by your employer • There’s a no contact policy - you scan your own boarding pass and instead of handing in your ID at check in, you hold it against the clear petition for them to see. They also ask you to remove your mask for them to confirm your identity. Apart from that you wear your mask the entire time at the airport and during the flight😷

Social distancing in South Africa

• Most restaurants and facilities like lounges are closed. At King Shaka, the long stay parking was also closed - rather check in advance and don’t assume everything is operating as normal • On the flight it isn’t a given that you’ll have an empty seat next to you, some airlines give you the option to book the seat next to you to ensure that it’s empty

Full Safair flight during Covid19 •On the plane, services like inflight magazines and drinks and food may not be available onboard
I hope this helped you. Lets support the travel industry as much as we can in the coming months❤️
The Girl Boss series aims to highlight the achievements of women just like you and me who are doing amazing things. Hopefully their stories will inspire you as much as they inspire me. This week we chat to Valencia Bogdanovic, a qualified cosmologist and content creator/blogger behind Style Your Confidence Now.



As featured on the prestigious lifestyle TV series Top Billing, Antbear Eco lodge truly lives up to its expectations!


One thing I definitely missed during this lockdown (And I'm sure most of us can say the same!) is travel. Having been stuck in the house for literally months, I craved the feeling of being free in the outdoors and getting some fresh air. I recently traveled to Antbear, an ecolodge in the Drakensberg, over a weekend to get a taste of what travel will look like post-covid.  The first thing I can say is I was definitely right about wanting to experience the freedom of the outdoors - being out in nature in the middle of the mountains was literally the most freeing experience and took me to such a happy place, away from the daily stresses of this pandemic. 



Affordable Drakensberg accommodation, Drakensberg hotel, Antbear Lodge


I started the South Africa Small Towns Holiday Guide Series as a way to show off the best small town getaways in SA. Too often people focus on the big cities for holidays and don't take advantage of the amazing small towns. 

I've discovered some hidden gems all around the country, all near major cities, which make them perfect for day trips or long weekend getaways. 

To start off the series I have a Midlands Meander Travel Guide, Hartebeespoort Travel Guide and KZN South Coast Travel Guide. Next on the agenda is possibly a Stellenbosch Travel Guide and Clarens Travel Guide so let me know if you enjoy this series!



I started the South Africa Small Towns Holiday Guide Series as a way to show off the best small town getaways in SA. Too often people focus on the big cities for holidays and don't take advantage of the amazing small towns. 

I've discovered some hidden gems all around the country, all near major cities, which make them perfect for day trips or long weekend getaways. 

To start off the series I have a Midlands Meander Travel Guide, Hartebeespoort Travel Guide and KZN South Coast Travel Guide. Next on the agenda is a Stellenbosch Travel Guide and Clarens Travel Guide so let me know if you enjoy this series!



Do you know what's really annoying?  Seeing pictures on instagram of all these insanely beautiful, exotic places while you're busy studying for exams.


No seriously, Yas is a place and it's paradise!
When asked what to do for my 21st birthday, I didn't even have to give it a second thought - Turkey had been on my bucket list for the past 2 years. So after a very last minute thought, my mom and I booked our flights and were off to Turkey! In the next few posts I'll tell you a bit more about my adventures and what I got up to in Istanbul and Cappadocia.

Here are some travel tips and advice for planning your trip to Istanbul!




WHAT UP STALKER! This week I have so much to tell you guys I figured I would dedicate a whole blog post to all the randomness. First, I had a super successful Guest Post month in May, where some amazing people wrote epic posts for the blog. I've also been contemplating making the biggest decision ever - changing the blog name! In the meantime I've been up to some fun stuff like writing a super personal blog post owww.indirasinnerbeauty.com. As you could guess, I've been on the edge of my seat with this whole Qatar - Gulf fiasco. Despite all of this, I've also found time for some Netflix and chill (Well, just Netflix minus the chill). So here you have it, everything all you stalkers wanna know summed up in one post!

As for me, well I recently finished exams and have a few adventures planned for July (winter vacay whoop whoop) so I'm going to be posting travel posts. Confession time: I've secretly always wanted to be a travel blogger/vlogger! I thought what better time to try it out then now. It's also an awesome opportunity for me to start vlogging.


 

  Face maskcheck - New Uber Technology that helps confirm drivers are wearing a face mask

This push notification, along with a few others, came up on my phone over the last few days from my Uber app. And just in time too, now that alcohol is back on sale I need a girls night with some cocktails and that means I need Uber to the rescue.



Over 6 months into the pandemic and life goes on - but it's a little far-fetched to think things are back to normal. Something as simple as Ubering, as effortless as it was pre-pandemic, might bring about a bit of apprehension now. Is our favourite ride-hauling app still safe to use during cover-19?

Uber recently launched their #RideSafeWithUber campaign that brings about changes to the Uber experience to bring both drivers and riders a bit more piece of mind.  As I was briefed on the campaign and Uber's efforts, I was thoroughly impressed by the attention to the smaller details (And things that didn't even cross my mind) that they've decided to implement. 

So, what has Uber decided to do to ensure our safety? Here are the main new additions to your Uber ride experience:




Pre-trip 

  • Drivers will thoroughly sanitise their vehicles before or after every trip to ensure that the strictest measures in hygiene are adhered to and keeping the community safe

  • Sanitisers reimbursement: Drivers are reimbursed for their purchase of a sanitiser or disinfectant of their choice.

  • Interactive Safety Checklist: You'll receive a reminder before each trip to follow hygiene best practices like washing your hands before getting in the car, sitting in the back seat and opening windows for ventilation. (Drivers also receive their checklist that must be completed before taking trips)

  • Mask Detection: Uber has launched a new in-app tool that detects if drivers are wearing a mask or not. Drivers are asked to take a selfie to confirm that they're wearing a mask before going online and riders receive confirmation of this.

  • Free Masks for Riders: A partnership with YES foundation ensured that drivers are provided with free masks to wear on-trip.

On-Trip


  • No Cancellation Penalty: No penalty cancellation before a trip commences whereby either the driver or rider isn't wearing a mask

  • Seating: There is now a maximum seating capacity in place of 50% per vehicle and encourage riders to sit in the backseat to encourage social distancing between riders and driver

  • Contactless Payment: Riders can now prepay for their upcoming trips with Uber Cash, creating a stress-free way to travel, further adding to the convenience this payment method offers. Digital payments help ensure the well-being of both the rider and driver by limiting unnecessary physical contact and it is the encouraged method of payment should travel be necessary. Debit/ Credit, EFT and barter payments are still available! 


Post Trip


  • Safety and Hygiene Feedback:  Both your driver and yourself will be asked to leave feedback in the app regarding safety and hygiene. On the other hand, drivers will also be able to leave feedback if a rider was not wearing a mask or removed their mask.

Personally, I had a few Uber rides since the start of the pandemic and I felt safe every time. The drivers I've had followed protocol 100% but it's also important to realise that a lot of the responsibility rests on us - we are the ones that need to ensure WE'RE following protocol too. But at least we have the peace of mind of knowing that we can Uber our way around town and still feel like our safety is being prioritised. So thanks Uber, and happy travelling guys!



This post is sponsored by Uber South Africa.
If you follow me on Instagram (@lifebyashasingh - do the things!) you'll probably already know what I wore on my UAE trip. With Dubai being such a popular holiday destination, I know this is something most people aren't really sure about.  So I'll break it down for you and show you what I wore.



August's theme of Women Empowerment is in full swing! Every Friday this month you can expect an interview with another #girlboss and get to know what keeps these Queens motivated to do the mostest! This week we chat to Sheena Deepnarain, a South African actress and blogger, living in Johannesburg. 

Unicorns, Rapunzel and a magical land of fairy chimneys and hot air balloons filling the sky at sunrise - what do they all have in common? They're all fairytales - or so you think! 
Cappadocia (meaning: "the land of beautiful horses") is very much a REAL PLACE in Central Turkey that has the most otherworldly feel. 


Black Friday may be long gone, but truth be told many of us haven't finished Christmas shopping yet. I mean, empty stockings and Christmas trees are a real struggle fam. We're also presented with so many options, that finding the right one can be difficult. 





Known as the city where east meets west, the only city in the world in two continents - Europe and Asia - is none other than incredible Istanbul. Awe-inspiring architecture, rich history and immersive culture, Istanbul is a true gem and a must see city.

Sunsets over the Bhosphurus with the stunning silhouette of grand mosques - that's the image in my head when I think of the city.




Accomodation in Istanbul, Turkey

Where to stay in Istanbul?


Choosing where to stay was possibly the most time consuming decision I had to make when planning the trip. I took about 2 hours to plan the itinerary and yet I spent weeks deciding where to stay! There are lots of options for accommodation and many are similar however choosing an area to stay in can be difficult.

So basically it comes down to 2 options Sultanahmet (the old city) and Beyoglu (modern Istanbul). Eminönü and Fatih fall under the old city while Beyoglu consists of Taksim, Sisli, Besiktas etc. The two areas are actually neighboring, divided only by the Golden Horn body of water and Galata bridge.


The difference between success and failure is in taking the initiative. The Girl Boss series aims to highlight the achievements of women just like you and me who are doing amazing things. Hopefully their stories will inspire you as much as they inspire me. This week we chat to Rukaya Mansoor, founder of Woman of the World (WoW), a female empowerment initiative, and a qualified chemist at Esse Skincare.



When people think of KwaZulu-Natal they don't usually think of a holiday in the countryside. This often means they miss out on one of the best destinations in the province - the Midlands Meander. Nestled among the green, lush rolling hills of the Midlands is where you'll find Brahman Hills.

Time for another #girlboss interview! Get to know what keeps these Queens motivated to do the mostest! This week we chat to Dr. Rohini Bisaal, a dental surgeon, international model, brand ambassador for Miss Uniworld and dancer.

August's theme of Women Empowerment is in full swing! Every Friday this month you've experienced an interview with another #girlboss and got to know what keeps these Queens motivated to do the mostest! But why just stop at August? Women should be celebrated every month. So every second Friday for the rest of 2018 you can expect a new another one of these Girls Boss interviews - I hope it inspires you as much as it inspires me! This week we chat to Teshie Ogallo, a UCT student and fashion blogger who just this month launched her online store, STYLETECH by Teshie Ogallo.

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