Effortless Easter escapes

We’re two months into the new year, and by now you’re probably starting to look at when you can book your next getaway. The good news is you won’t have to wait long: the Easter holidays are just around the corner!

Running from Friday, 7 April to Monday, 10 April, you can enjoy four full days away, just perfect for a mini break with family or friends.

“It’s never too early to start planning for your next vacation, especially if it’s during the holiday season,” says Shaun Lamont, managing director of First Group Hotels and Resorts. “In South Africa, we’re blessed with great weather at this time of year and people travel from all corners of the country to make memories with their loved ones before the cooler winter days set in. As a result, it’s one of the busiest times for travel.”

So, don’t leave it to the last minute! Here are Sean’s five tips for a stress-free Easter getaway:

1. Do your research: Whether you’re doing a self-drive holiday or hopping on a plane to go further afield, spend a bit of time researching where you want to go and everything you want to do before you leave. Get the kids involved, too! From the bush to the beach and beyond, let them research destinations and activities on the Internet and get them excited.

2. Choose your ideal getaway: Are you planning a romantic getaway with your partner or a fun-filled family holiday? From surfing to hiking or simply soaking up the sun while sipping a cocktail, the type of holiday you’re planning will influence your destination of choice. Perhaps you want the option to do everything. If so, holiday resorts offer a wide variety of entertainment and attractions.

3. Start budgeting now: If you included the kids in the planning stages, chances are you’ve got a list a mile long of everything they want to do! Putting a budget in place can help you manage your finances and ensure your holiday is as stress-free and full of fun as possible. In South Africa, we’re fortunate to have a huge selection of affordable accommodation options, and self-catering holidays in particular are more economical and allow you to stretch your money further.

4. Book your spot: Avoid the rush! By booking flights well in advance, particularly ahead of peak times such as Easter, you can often get cheaper rates. More than that, it will ensure there are no last-minute disappointments due to full flights. When it comes to accommodation, do your research online and then contact the hotel or resort directly to make your booking. From all-inclusive rates to holiday discounts, they often run special offers that can help you save.

5. Plan your activities: Once you have all the basics sorted, it’s time for the most exciting part – planning something special to do each day. Find out what local attractions, as well as on-site activities such as special meals, spa treatments, picnics, horse and hiking trails, are on offer and book these in advance where possible to avoid disappointment.

“Don’t forget to allow time for spontaneous stops and a bit of fun along the way, too,” says Shaun, who encourages people to keep their Easter traditions alive even while they’re on holiday. “Do an Easter egg hunt, plan a special breakfast or lunch, but most importantly, be present in the moment and use this time away to truly connect with your family. Making lasting, magical memories are what holidays are all about.”

For some exciting Easter holiday destination ideas, visit www.firstgroup-sa.co.za.

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