Top cliched tourist photographs

Everyone is guilty of it! We all like to take that touristy photo in the destination its become famous for.

Here are a few of the more famous ones that have been seen from around the world.

1. Salt Flats of Bolivia, tiny people on vast expanse of white sand!

Image2. The Leaning Tower of Pisa, and trying to hold it up because its definately going to tip!

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3. Must. Kiss. SphinxImage

4. That’s one teeny tiny Statue of LibertyImage

5. Oh look, an Eiffel Tower toy!

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6. Cristo Redentor impersonator in Argentina

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7. Holding tightly onto the Taj Mahal

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8. Another tiny pyramid in Egypt

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Are you guilty of any of these!!! Send us you pictures!!!

 

Have no visa, will travel

The thought of seemingly endless queuing and bureaucratic delays is enough to dampen anyone’s wanderlust, but there are some countries you can visit without having to endure the ordeal of applying for a visa.
 
The following countries will accept South African citizens with no visa:
 

Australasia: New Zealand Image
 
Caribbean: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, US Virgin Islands.
 
Europe: Andorra, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Turkey
 
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Indian Ocean: Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles

South Pacific: Fiji, Micronesia, Nauru, Samoa, Tuvalu, Vanuatu
 

 

Americas: Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Falkland Islands, Honduras, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Panama, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela
 
There are some nice vacation spots amongst this lot, but before you plan on jetting off for the weekend or immigrating unobserved, you will have to arrange a visa on arrival in order to leave the airport in most cases and you will still need a passport.  All of these places have their own regulations with regard to allowing you access and it is best to make sure what the requirements are before you travel.  Your travel agent will be able to assist you with this or you can do some online investigating. 

Visa-free access does not entitle you to barge, willy-nilly, into a foreign country so bear in mind that the Emigration Officials at the other end have the final say as to who stays and who goes.  If you are not travelling as a bona fide tourist you may still require a visa.  Any type of business-related visit, even unpaid work, will require a visa.
 
Business aside, the types of visa that may be required are spouse visa, student visa, working holiday visa, diplomatic visa, courtesy visa, journalist visa, marriage visa and pensioner visa.
 
Always check with the relevant embassy before you travel as visa requirements are constantly revised and changed.

 

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Panama City

 

2013 Cape Town International Jazz Festival: What to Look Out for

The Cape Town International Jazz Festival has become internationally known as one of South Africa’s top music festivals. Tickets are sold out months before and hoarded more closely than most valuables. 2013 will be the festival’s fourteenth year running and the line-up promises a truly spectacular weekend of music.
Headlining at the festival, which is held on the 5th and 6th April at the Cape Town international Convention Centre (CTICC), will be Buena Vista Social Club and the Brand New Heavies.
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The Buena Vista Social Club recorded their first album in 1997 and stood back in amazement  as the album spread like wildfire around the world. They have successfully retained their popularity over the years. The Cuban ensemble will be featuring Omara Portuondo who also hails from Havana at the jazz fest. This will be the first time that the Grammy award winning group perform on South African shores.

 

The Brand New Heavies are an acid jazz and funk group from Ealing, West London. They began their music career in the 1980’s and will take jazz aficionados on a trip down memory lane with hit singles like ‘Never Stop’ and ‘Dream Come True’. BHN-panel-3-mirrorball
Other acts include South Africans, Jimmy Dludlu, who should need no introduction to South African jazz audiences and Errol Dyers, known for his quirky mix between Afrikaans folk music and the ‘Cape Town Carnival’ sound. This jazz guitarist is considered a pioneer of what is today known as Cape Jazz-Ghoema.
Tickets went on sale December 1st 2012 and are still available from Computicket at R440 for a day pass or R645 for a weekend pass. Tickets can be bought at Computicket outlets or online through the Computicket website.
Every year the Cape Town Jazz Festival fills the city with a buzz and sense of excitement as audience members and performers flock to take part in this celebration of all that is jazz. A not to be missed event if you plan to be anywhere in the proximity of the Western Cape at the beginning of April, but be warned, book tickets and accommodation early, the city will fill up.

Photographer-Johan-Samuals_-Manenbergs-Stage

If you are still looking for accommodation, visit www.flightsite,co.za for awesome specials!

Holi One Colour Festival is coming to Cape Town and Joburg!!!

We are very excited to announce that this awesome festival of colour is not only coming to Cape Town, but also to Johannesburg!

Inspired by the original Holi Festival in India, Colour Festivals have travelled around the world to Germany, the USA and Singapore – and now HOLI ONE launches in South Africa for the first time.

Thousands of people, dressed in white, will come together to share in music, dance, performance art and visual stimulation. Revelers at the open-air festival will soon be covered in brilliant hues as the air is filled with the clouds of brightly coloured powder at a countdown, every hour from 2pm.

Before you ask, the HOLI ONE coloured powders are safe, water soluble, completely non-toxic and environmentally friendly. You can expect a day featuring top electronic acts, exhilarating energy and packed full of throwing the colourful HOLI ONE powder in the air (and at each other).

Not only does this create an amazing visual experience for all those at the event, but it also expresses the freedom and the colour of everyday life. The motto for the HOLI ONE Colour Festival is ‘We Are All One’ and it encompasses the passion and showcases the diversity that our beautiful country represents.

Want to know more? See this awesome video of the festival!

Flightsite will be offering packages with tickets to the festival soon, so keep an eye out for details.

Details and pricing for the festival is as follows:

Cape Town: Saturday 2 March 2013 12pm – 8pm

General Admission: R190 from Webtickets CLICK HERE

General Admission including powder (5 colours): R290 from Webtickets CLICK HERE

Johannesburg: Saturday 6 April, 2013 12pm – 8pm

General Admission: R190

General Admission including powder (5 colours): R290

CLICK HERE TO BUY YOUR TICKETS

Durban, We will keep you updated!!!

This is a festival NOT to be missed!!!!

Steeped in history and racing forward: Why Russia is a “Must See”

Russia conjures to mind images of tall, beautiful women in fur hats and coats; stoic vodka drinking men huddled over a small table casting furtive looks over their shoulders; packs of wolves howling in snow laden forests; gulags and communist purges; fairy tale palaces and a landscape broad, wide and stark enough to deplete and destroy the German army in WWII.

It is exactly these rich and stark images that make Russia an incredible tourist destination. Russia is one of the BRICS nations, an up and coming economy predicted to soon be a global lead player. This translates into an energy in Russian cities that is difficult to beat, the taste of success and the smell of new wealth permeates the city streets. At the same time Russian cities are ancient, and history is at every street corner.

In St Petersburg you can visit the Cathedral where tombs of Russian Kings stretch all the Imageway back to Peter the Great. Sip a skinny cappuccino and admire Russia’s contemporary artists in an edgy Moscow coffee shop, and then pop over to the perfectly preserved home of Tolstoy to see the skin of a bear he shot himself still stored under the piano he played.

Why should I go to Russia?

If you are interested in art, architecture, history and culture there should be no need for argument as to why Russia is an excellent tourist destination. A trip around St. Petersburg will take you to the Winter Palace; the Church of the Spilt Blood where Alexander II was mortally wounded; and a range of contemporary art exhibitions boldly addressing the legacy of communism in Russian society today.

Russia, however, has a great deal more to offer, the Lonely Planet says it best when they describe the “diverse landscapes of icy tundra and sun kissed beaches, dense silver birch and fir forests and deep and mysterious lakes, snow-capped mountains and swaying grasslands – those famous steppes. Factor in ancient fortresses, luxurious palaces, swirly spired churches and lost in time wooden villages and you’ll begin to see why Russia is simply amazing.”

Russia is so much more than just the cities – the country, the landscapes, the regions all offer a different travel experience. So much so that seasoned travellers to Russia recommend you think of this land mass with its population of nearly 150 million as many different countries, all offering a different travel experience.

When should I go to Russia?

ImageConventional wisdom may well recommend avoiding the Russian winters, and for those with a real phobia of cold this is no doubt good advice. Russian winters are brutal, summers can be beautiful, but Phoebe Taplin, who lived in Moscow for five years writing for guide books on the city, highly recommends a visit in winter. In this time you can avoid summer crowds and have “the chance to explore the relatively empty streets, full of shining snow crystals, seasonal ice rinks and over decorated trees.”

To Taplin, Russia and Moscow in particular offers a very specific beauty in the winter time: “gold domes against blue and white, or cottages under frosty trees are all part of Moscow’s wintry charm.”

What should I do in Russia?

Russia has much to offer visitors to her lands, and a list of what to do and see in Russia could easily stretch into an encyclopaedic volume in four parts. For the sake of brevity, we will just list a few key locations

Moscow:Image

Approximately 150 museums

Preserved homes of celebrities like Chekhov, Tolstoy and Pushkin

Ride the metro

Visit the colourful markets

 

ImageSt. Petersburg

Art galleries

The Winter Palace (which forms part of a range of palaces which makes up the Heritage Museum)

The Church of the Spilt Blood

Cathedral of Tombs

Circus

Kalingrad – near the Baltic Sea this is an ancient city with striking scenery.

Visit the charming villages along the Volga River for folk art and good honest country fair.

Ural Mountain Range

Elista: A little Buddhist enclave in Russia.

Russia still strikes fear into the heart of many, especially those who lived through the cold war and the terror that time elicited. The country has however come a long way since its communist days, so too since its days of royal families and executions. All that history remains imprinted in the towns and cities, and beyond that, lies a natural beauty too vast and too powerful to bow to the vagaries of its human inhabitants.

Click here to see our awesome Russia packages! Go and experience this wonderful country yourself http://www.flightsite.co.za/packages/category/russia/

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Biding your time – when is it best to book a flight?

I remember sitting on a plane to Dubai, looking forward to my trip and feeling smug because my careful planning had resulted in a cheaper airline ticket. “Book your flights early” people say, “the longer you wait the more you pay.” Then the guy next to me, after a few glasses of wine too many begins to brag about how he bought this ticket last minute and paid only 2 thirds the amount I paid.
In that moment, my travel anxiety was born, when is it cheapest to book a flight?
It is always a gamble, says Kellie Pelletier a U.S travel expert, but a general rule of thumb is that the more seats are available, the cheaper the tickets. As seats go unsold in the time leading up to take off however; ticket prices will drop. A wise trick is to start looking early, around 10 weeks before the date of departure is best. Book online and monitor how fast the seats are filling up. Then based on this information you can decide if it’s worth it to wait it out or buy early.
There is a magic number however; studies by the Airline Reporting Corporation have found that on average people will get their flights most cheaply 6 weeks before departure date. A good strategy, according to Pelletier, is to start monitoring earlier. If at 6 weeks the flight looks like it is filling up, buy your ticket. If it is still looking empty at 6 weeks, and the price is too high, it could be worth waiting it out.
This only applies however in normal times, for peak holiday seasons, be sure to book as far in advance as possible.
While it is a satisfying feeling to get your flight at a discounted rate, there is always likely to be somebody on the flight whose ticket was cheaper, and somebody on the flight whose ticket cost more. It’s best to keep some perspective when airline bargain hunting or you may never get on the flight at all.

Secret to Cheap Flights
Often we plan our holidays according to a weekly schedule, and leave cycle that makes sense: finish your work week Friday, fly out Friday night or Saturday morning to return the following Sunday. Ideally try to get a few public holidays in there too to extend the leave. While in many cases this is the most rational option, or the only option, if you can avoid it you may well find it much cheaper to fly than you thought.
A few tips to reschedule your holiday plans could make all the difference:

  • Assuming you can, avoid travelling over school holidays, long weekends or over the weekend: People who have minimum leave or are tied to school schedules tend to be in the majority. Workday flights in school term are often cheaper.
  • Come home Monday morning rather than Sunday night: even if you do have to be at work on Monday, take the earliest flight possible and go straight from the airport to the office if necessary.
  • Ideally look for a late night flight, mid-week. These may not be pleasant but can be a bargain.
  • Try to book around 6 weeks in advance: studies have shown that most flights are cheapest 6 weeks before departure date. Best to start shopping around closer to 10 weeks before, but at 6 weeks you will get a good idea if prices will rise or drop leading up to departure.

There is a balance that needs to be weighed when looking at cheapest times to fly. They are so cheap because it is not nice to be at the airport at 5am or arrive home at 2am in the morning. This is why people avoid them. For some, the choice to spend more money on the vacation destination makes any sacrifice worthwhile, whereas others may feel a pleasant journey is part of the holiday. In the end, it comes down to personal preference.

Traveling South Africa: To Fly Or to Drive?
South Africa is a big country compared to its European or some Asian counterparts. In 2010 the country was filled with joyous European tourists who had rented a car and planned to visit the Kruger Park and be in Cape Town two days later for the World Cup game – big mistake.

ImageTo help you decide to take to the road or to the sky, here is an outline on a few popular destinations:
Johannesburg to Cape Town – it is almost always preferable to fly. This is a long distance, over 1 000km. If you are alone it is probably not safe to drive it in one stretch and better to stay over on the way. For this trip you are looking at a flight ticket price of between R1 500 to R 2 000 compared to around 14 hours of driving (where you need to factor in tolls and fuel costs).
Cape Town to Port Elizabeth – A flight will cost you anything from R1 500 to R 3000; the drive, on the other hand, is just under 800 kilometres. If you are not in a hurry, driving could well be the preferable option here. The road takes you along the Garden Route, undoubtedly one of South Africa’s most beautiful drives and could be done in a day, or stretched into two very pleasant days of sightseeing.
Johannesburg to Kruger National Park – Drive, there is no debate here. A flight could easily cost you around R2 000, while it is only around 500km from Sandton, Johannesburg to Kruger National Park. Stock up on water and snacks, and hit the road.
Cape Town to Kruger National Park – Flights could easily cost you up to R4 000 on this trip, which is hefty. The drive however is nearly 2 000km which could never be done in a day, and should not be done in less than two. If you chose to drive this could be a great trip to do over a week, seeing all of South Africa on the way. If you’re looking for the cheapest options however, bite the bullet and buy the flight. Another option is to fly into Johannesburg and then hire a car and drive the rest of the way.

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South Africa is a great country to explore and if you have the time and the budget it is always nice to take the long road there. If however you are balancing time and budget, best to compare flights with distance, you never know which might work out cheaper.

10 Luggage Tips from Seasoned Travellers
Every trip brings another luggage epiphany and once you hit the dozen long haul flight mark, you may well have your packing and luggage distribution down to a fine art. Getting to that point however can be a long and tedious process, which is why we can help you fast track it with 10 tips from travellers who have been there.
Packing your hand luggage: don’t be the person next to the conveyer belt with your suitcase open, clothes everywhere while you search for a warm pair of socks and a jumper. Mentally go through all the steps of boarding the flight, flight temperatures and remember to check the weather on the other side. Make sure your hand luggage has what you need.
Seal/plastic wrap your bag: just in case.
Contact Details: in case of a luggage mishap, make sure your details are in your bag
Don’t let your luggage hold you back: either bring a suitcase with wheels or, better yet a bag you can easily carry on your back. When you pack, imagine climbing 2 flights of steps carved out of stone with your luggage, then re-evaluate.
When in doubt, pack casual: unless you are going to Monaco or away for work, you probably won’t need more than one formal outfit.
Invest in a toothbrush holder: anything could happen in your toiletry bag.
Plastic wrap toiletries: pressure in the luggage cabin can make them burst open, it is best to keep the mess contained.
Don’t put valuables within easy reach in your backpack: it makes sense to keep your wallet and passport in the easy to reach pocket of your bag, but it’s easy to reach for criminals too, especially when it is on your back.
Have your bag stand out from the crowd: make it easily recognisable on conveyer belts.
Don’t leave your luggage unattended, even for a second: should go without saying but just in case.

It is almost inevitable that when you reach your destination you will open your suitcase and wonder, packing“what was I thinking when I packed?” Fortunately you can always buy socks, underwear, a new toothbrush and an adaptor at the airport. To avoid disaster though using a checklist helps, and always make sure your luggage is sturdy, safe and within your line of sight.

Secrets of Disneyland

Secrets of Disneyland

Disneyland, a place where dreams are made of and fantasies of your childhood are fulfilled. Where your imagination can determine your fun! It is known as the happiest place on earth!

But behind the magic is a place that no one really knows, but that makes Disneyland what it is today.

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Feline Security:

With 65 000 sqm of grounds to keep spotless, as well as keep free of unwanted pests, something pretty heavy duty needs to be used!

So, every night after closing time, 200 wild cats are let free into the park to help keep the rodent population under control.  Although this hasn’t actually been confirmed by Disney, its history dates back to 1957 where 100s of stray cats were found in Sleeping Beauty’s castle. After numerous attempts to get rid of them, Disney decided to rather take advantage of them. Today, they spend their days in special cat houses, although if you look carefully, you may see a furry face peering out at you!

Hidden Mickey’s:

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Everywhere you look at Disney, the Mickey emblem is there. But thanks to the very clever designers and engineers of Disney aka Imageers, Mickey’s Ears are scattered all over the park. Often these images are difficult to spot as they have been carefully camouflaged to blend in to the architecture and landscaping. No one really knows how many of these actually exist.

Cocktails behind closed doors:

You may, or may not know, that Disneyland is completely dry. Unless you manage to get your name on the very special list, at Club 33. A very secret cocktail lounge that is hidden away in the New Orleans Square. It has a very limited membership of only 487 and a rather long waiting list of about 14 years!!!! The club was originally designed as an exclusive spot to entertain possible investors but has since then hosted presidents, film stars and some very lucky guests!!!

Trick of the eye:

As with everything Disney, things are not always as they appear! A little something called forced perspective is used that creates optical illusions that make buildings appear smaller or larger than disney 3 they really are. Sleeping Beauty Castle looks a lot taller than its 77 feet and that’s because the bricks grow gradually smaller as the towers rise. The Matterhorn also seems bigger than it really is, because the smallest trees are placed at the top and the bigger trees are placed at the base. As you enter Main Street, the castles seem far away and the old fashioned shops seem to be several stories high! As you leave though, the very same street seems a lot shorter. Walt Disney reasoned that those coming into the park would be filled with excitement, but on exit would be far too tired to take things slow.

Always on Stage:

cinderella

At Disney, a cleaner is never a cleaner. They are all “cast members” So the vast array of cashiers, ride operators, garden maintenance and performers are all cast members. They are all trained to follow a very specific code of etiquette that maintains the magic of Disneyland. One of the don’ts would definitely be, don’t break character – ever. If you they are wearing a costume that belongs to Tomorrow land, do not step into Adventure land, as they may confuse visitors or destroy the parks image. If they are directing visitors, to always point with an open palm never the index finger. All the cast members are given a Disney ‘look book’ that specifies exactly how they may appear, no long nails, moustaches or coloured hair is allowed.

Visit www.flightsite.co.za for awesome specials to Disney, where you can experience the magic yourself!