Xanet Scheepers

Compiled by Xanet Scheepers

Digital Lifestyle Editor


Three travel upgrades that really do give you bang for your buck

If you are travelling on a budget, upgrades and add-ons are most likely the last thing on your mind, but some of these little luxuries are really worth splurging on.


Going on holiday is a luxury for most South Africans these days, so when it comes to spending extra money on things that aren’t essential – like travel upgrades, they’re very hesitant to do so. But, says Anton Gillis, CEO at Kruger Gate Hotel, some upgrades and add-ons to your trip will give you bang for your very hard-earned buck.

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3 travel upgrades you should consider

Lounge access for international travel

The waiting game at the airport is probably the most-hated part of their journey for most travellers. Not only is it tiring, the chairs at the terminals are uncomfortable and the coffee shops busy and expensive when you spend a long time there.

Gillis says the wonderful benefits of having airport lounge access is that in some lounges you are able to shower and refresh yourself in between flights. The seating is also a lot more comfortable, plus you have free access to the lounge’s WiFi.

How to get airport lounge access

  • Travellers can access lounges when flying via business class.
  • Some banks offer access if you’re a customer using specific cards or credit cards.
  • You can opt to purchase a once-off entry at the lounge that suits you best.

Hotel upgrades

Staying in a hotel room is already a treat for most of us, but there are some upgrades that can really dial up the enjoyment of your experience. For example, prior to arrival, Kruger Gate Hotel offers guests the opportunity to add services onto their stay, such as shuttles, spa treatments or safaris.

The shuttle service is particularly helpful to guests who may be visiting the Kruger National Park from far flung destinations or even South Africans that are not familiar with the region.

“A shuttle service that picks you up from the airport to take you to your hotel, wherever you may be in the world, gives you such peace of mind and allows you to begin your holiday with ease. Landing in a city or town you’re not familiar with and having to find your own means of transport can be stressful, and once you’re situated at your hotel or accommodation you could rent a car for the duration of your holiday,” says Gillis.

Baggage travel insurance

Imagine arriving at your holiday destination, only to stand at the luggage conveyor belt with no sign of your suitcase in sight. Unfortunately, baggage do get lost, and even stolen, when moved from point to point at airports. So, paying a little bit extra on top of your already expensive plane ticket will just give you so much more peace of mind.

“Alongside protecting yourself with baggage insurance my biggest travel hack of the year is to add an Apple AirTag into your bag that will allow you to track the location of your belongings. The very first thing I do once an airplane has landed is to check where my bags are, and it’s great to feel relaxed and stress-free when you’re able to see that all your bags have made it to the airport,” says Gillis.

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