Escape Town – Best Of Bloemfontein
Escape Town

The Easter holidays are just around the corner – make sure you get a bit of down time, by planning your escape now…


Travelling with children



Kids can be bored, anxious, and restless when it comes to travel. Smooth those holiday travel blues by being prepped before you depart. Here’s how…


  • Get there early. Flying? Be well prepared, get there early so you can breeze though the formalities and spend quality time with your children before take off
  • Don’t leave packing t the last minute.
  • Include toys and games to keep kids busy.
  • Pop in a few surprises to be whipped out when things get stressful.
  • Keep everyone’s travel documents in one place and include a pen.
  • Use the travel time as an opportunity to engage with your offspring, whether its driving or flying, have a few appropriate games lines up – they can be as simple as I spy, twenty questions, or number plate spotting. Award prizes at stages in the journey for good behaviour, spotting famous landmarks, noticing interesting things etc.
  • Stop for breaks. It’s not always a race to get there – enjoy the trip, let kids stretch their legs, and do something fun en route.
  • Let everyone go wild taking photos on their favourite device, creating memories they can share with family and friends.
  • Make sure everyone is wearing a seat belt.
  • Have a refreshments box at hand and a plastic bag for the litter.
  • Pack a pillow or two for the kids to sleep on.
  • Pack an emergency bag wet wipes, tissues, change of clothes and most importantly a sealable plastic bag, especially when traveling with young children.

Nine great travel tips – in no particular order


Take Travel Insurance

  • No one ever thinks it’ll happen to them, but it can do. Bookings through credit cards usually offer generous travel insurance, as do many private insurance and medical aid schemes. Check out, before you go, what insurance you do have, and if necessary top it up.

Pack less Stuff

  • You don’t need half the stuff you think you do to travel anywhere. Pack it all and then halve it. This leaves you able to move, and more importantly able to shop when you hit your destination!

Back Everything Up

  • Keep both digital and physical copies of your passport, visas, driver’s license, birth certificate, health insurance card, serial numbers, and important phone numbers ready to go in case of an emergency. That goes for your pics too – back them up just in case.

Pack a Scarf

  • As all the worlds most seasoned travellers say, go nowhere without a generous scarf to – protect from cold/protect from sun/sarong/towel/bedspread/picnic blanket/tablecloth – you got it!

Take Lots of Photos

  • You’ll possibly only see these places & meet these people once in your lifetime. The ultimate souvenir, photos don’t cost anything, they’re easy to share, and they don’t take up space in your luggage.

Smile & Say Hello

  • Having trouble interacting with locals? Do people seem unfriendly? Initiate contact. Make eye contact and smile as you walk by. If they smile back, say hello in the local language too – a fast way to make new friends.

Slow Down

  • Don’t try to cram 6 countries into 6 weeks of travel or 8 museums into 4 days. The good stuff happens when you really take the time to explore and you learn about activities that aren’t in your guidebook and meet people who are eager to show you around. The very best travel experiences seldom happen within the first few days of arriving, wind down and spend more time in fewer places.

Eat Local Food

  • Think you already know what Chinese food tastes like? You’ll be surprised. Taste a bit of everything when you travel, especially if you don’t know what it is. Ask locals for recommendations. Eat street food from vendors with big lines out front.

Say Yes Often

  • Be impulsive and say yes when someone randomly invites you to meet their family, try a new activity, or explore a place you didn’t know existed. It’s these unexpected and unplanned situations that add spice to your travels and always turn into the best stories later. Accept the kindness of strangers when you travel — you’ll have plenty of opportunities.


Flying? Arrive looking gorgeous



Wanna look great after a 12 hour flight – yip, it’s possible. Here’s how:


  1. Remove Make-Up

Don’t worry about fussing with decanting and rebottling your usual make-up remover into a small travel bottle, grab a little flat pack of good all in one makeup removing cleansing wipes. Cleaning as they say helps prevent wrinkles too, so spend some time (you have loads of it) giving your face a thorough wipe-down.

  1. Mist

As we all know, flying is very dehydrating inside and out, so grab your favourite mist spritzer, and give your skin a good hydration boost. It’s also a great barrier between your face and all that nasty recycled air.

  1. Apply a Mask

No, you don’t have to sit like a ghost with peepholes, or queen of the mud wrestling champs. There are a hundreds of “sleeping” face masks that go on translucent and quietly hydrate for hours. (Ask for a sample from one of your five brands, the perfect travel size.)

  1. Hydrate

Now that your face is feeling hydrated, do the same with the rest of you! Though we know first-hand how tempting those mini-tipples can be, get yourself drinking as much water as you can too.

  1. Get Some Sleep

Pack a neck pillow, pop a tab (or half a tab) and when lights-out comes, make sure you join the sleepers. If you’re anti-sleeping pills for a particular reason try something else – even antihistamine tabs are great for dozing!

  1. Let’s Mist Again

Hopefully you’ve snoozed for a good few hours and are somewhat closer to your destination. Have another face wipe and mist while you’re waiting for breakfast.

  1. Apply Hydrating Face Oil

With clean hands (you can use those face wipes for that too), slather a liberal helping of oil onto your face, massaging it into your skin. Regardless of your skin type face oils actually work to add pure moisture back into your skin, rebalancing your skin’s modes of oil production and actually working to make you look less, ,

  1. Get Fresh Faced

Once your destination is only an hour or so away, it’s time to get organised. Mist and wipe down your face one last time to prep your skin, and apply a little moisturizer. (Apply eye drops while you’re waiting for your moisturizer to sink in). Follow this with a BB Cream or tinted moisturizer of choice to create a clean, even base. Follow with a little concealer (even if you usually skip this step) just under your eyes and beside your nose.

  1. Make Your Features Pop

Throw on some blusher – along your cheekbones. Colour in your lips and get those lashes looking long.

  1. Energize

Your hair will need a once over too. Treat yourself to a spritz of your fave on-the-go scent. And don’t skip a glug from a mini mouthwash as soon as you’re near a loo.



Photo: Pinterest


Always envied those people who seem to travel light and still have it all? Kate Emmerson, SA’s very own Quick Shift Deva, speaker, life coach and author of Clear your Clutter and Ditch your Glitch, shares a few secrets on just how to do it.


Packing is about THINKING and pre planning.

Spread everything out on your bed and then reduce by 20 per cent for a start. If you make that a rule, BINGO you have won half the packing battle.

Know where you are going and what the weather is – seems SO obvious till you forget to do it.

Layering clothes is king – giving you options to change looks from day to night as well as react to weather shifts.

For women – accessories / pashminas  (I always travel with three to create the illusion of more looks) transform an outfit, for men the tie or blazer does the same.

My nana was right! If you love folding your clothes, and have some important business meetings, USE TISSUE paper in between to prevent creasing OR create your full outfits for each day complete with accessories and pre – hang them on a hanger, cover total outfit in suit bag or those dry cleaning plastic covers. That way you simply open your suitcase and hang them in the cupboard and you do NOT have to think when on your business trip. Super snappy to unpack, usually allowing gravity to pull out a few travel wrinkles.

Try rolling your clothes for just one trip and see the difference – not just to creasing but to accessibility. That way you use your suitcase as a “shop” as everything is visible (can’t do that if it’s packed in layers, as you have no idea what is underneath the top layer). Aim to see 80% of your suitcase the moment it’s open and you have removed the top layer of jackets. Great if you are moving a lot and do NOT want to unpack every day. Roll items and place like with like.

Containerise – Separate smalls into separate bags or pouches – see through optimal so no searching – all socks in a bag, all undies, all tech gear, all medicines.

Pack your suitcase the same way each time so you never have to THINK where anything is.

If pushed for volume – use simple compression bags made for travelling  – you only need to roll your clothes in them to remove air and volume – no harassing the concierge for the vacuum cleaner to suck air out.

Always decant toiletries into travel size. You KNOW you usually use the hotels freebies too, so don’t pack too much. BUY MORE there to prevent lugging excess volume. Some travellers opt to take no every day toiletries and purchase them at the airport at the destination if weight is a challenge on a specific trip.

Pack some items that you are ready to ditch, that way you can leave them in your destination to create space for any new items you purchase.

And as Nana always said – pack clothes that need little ironing. The cobbled streets outside are always far more interesting than looking for the ironing board attached to the inside of that cupboard that takes you ten minutes to wrench from the hook!


Have a great trip with these best of bloem winners:


Best Weekend Getaway (less than 5 hours away) – Cape Town

Best Weekend Getaway (less than 3 hours away) – Clarens

Best Local Hotel – City Living Boutique Hotel



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Bloemfontein is limitless when it comes to possibilities. There’s something to do, eat, drink or buy every day of the week.

The Best of Bloemfontein Readers’ Choice Awards celebrates all this and more but, it also gives you the chance to tell us what and who’s the best of the best.

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