From Philadelphia to Cape Town

business travel cape town

I originally came to Cape Town, South Africa, for the first time in 2006 and then returned in 2015. Coming from Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Honestly a lot of Americans just aren’t very well educated in the affairs of the African continent. I can’t tell you how many of my countrymen refer to Africa as a “country” ! Anyway, ignorance set aside, I myself, was not sure exactly what was in store for me. Would there be lions roaming the outskirts of the city ? Was there electricity available everywhere ? I had pretty much resigned myself to the fact that Internet access would be almost impossible. I have to laugh at myself when I reflect on how ignorant I was at the time.

Cape Town International Airport was recently awarded the prestigious award for best airport on the continent and is extremely sophisticated. On arriving and proceeding through the immigration formalities at the airport, I knew my conceptions of what to expect were totally incorrect. Driving into the city, I saw no lions, no zebra or elephants. My taxi driver was friendly and very knowledgeable of the city, pointing out landmarks and interesting things to see along our drive from the airport to the hotel.cape town accomodationThe Twelve Apostles Hotel was breathtaking. An award winning 5 star hotel, recently voted the fourth best hotel in Africa, set against the backdrop of the Twelve Apostles mountain range. Boasting over 70 rooms and suites this boutique hotel is perched in a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Overlooking the pristine Atlantic Ocean, where incidentally, I did watch whales later on, while sipping a glass of Cape wine, the Twelve Apostles is truly a luxury 5-star hotel. I checked into my Superior sea-facing room, put my bags down and freshened up. Then I tested the internet connection. Blazing fast fibre optic internet, what a relief. The room was scented with the aroma of freshly cut indigenous flowers and just oozed style and comfort. Then I realized it had been more than 8 hours since my last meal on the flight over from Philadelphia, so I decided to investigate the hotel’s culinary offerings.

I entered the Leopard Bar, the African sun, was burning a fiery orange, sank slowly in the afternoon sky over the Atlantic. I had decided to try out the “Tea by the Sea” on the recommendation of the concierge. I settled into a comfy reclining lounger and awaited my afternoon snack. Oh my word, what a spread! Finger sandwiches, Chocolate brownies and Cream scones along with all the rest of the goodies that make up the “Tea by the Sea” platter. I got stuck in, enjoying a refreshing cup of Earl Grey tea.

Contented after my meal and feeling comfortably lazy, I gazed out at the Atlantic, sky on fire, excited about what delights the morning had in store for me.

Why Travel Insurance is Imperative

Travel Insurance can seem to be, just more money, another expense. Can you really take the risk of leaving this out of your travel package? You are going to be far from home in another country, you want to be able to focus on the relaxing and adventure. Who knows what could happen. Taking out Travel Insurance can put your mind at rest, if the something does happen, you are covered. Here are a few more reasons to take out travel insurance.

travel-insurance

Getting injured or suffering from illness on a trip

This is not what you want to happen on your holiday trip, but in an emergency or if you need to go and see a doctor, insurance plays a vital role in helping you out.  Having to get medical care overseas can cost a pretty penny; average costs may range from a couple of thousand pounds and up. Travel insurance is particularly important in cases where you may be planning an overland tour in Africa or Safari because of the risks involved.

Lost luggage

Standing to collect you luggage at the airport, travellers might have the unlucky experience in never seeing their goods again. This is made worse if you have to be somewhere for a wedding or a very important meeting. Luckily the insurance covers lost, stolen or damaged goods. You will be reimbursed for new clothes or items you lost.

Cancellation of flights

You are standing at the airport, excited to be going home for Christmas. You are all ready to board the plane when they announce that the flight has been cancelled due to poor weather conditions. In this case the travel insurance can help to fund a new flight to return home or will pay for your stay in a hotel.

Personal Liability

If for some reason you are on holiday and you are borrowing a car from a local friend you met, when you accidentally crash into the vendor cart on the corner. What a mess and a big problem if you are the driver. Personal liability insurance can help with this scenario, the insurance covers any property damaged or if you caused any injury in the accident.

Left without a passport or credit cards

You are having so much fun at the beach, but when you get back to your hotel room you can’t find your purse or passport. Having no travel documents or money, could turn into a holiday nightmare. This is where insurance is a life line; insurance companies will be able to pay the replacement costs of a new passport or credit card. This can also include having to get into contact with the consulate or the bank and ensuring the documents or credit card is delivered safely to you.

What are some things that aren’t covered?

Unfortunately if you are over the age of 65 and you have some sort of medical conditions, most travel insurance companies will not cover you. When it comes to health issues in general it is always best to be honest when initially filling out your insurance form. If something does occur and you left this out, your policy may be invalid. If you are planning on going on safari or any other kind of adventure tourism, be sure to check with your insurance provider that you have adequate cover.

Taking on an adventure holiday, participating in some really dangerous activities? In this instance the standard insurance cover will not be good enough and you may have to get extra cover.

Cover for travel insurance can vary so it is important for you to fully understand and read your policy before signing. There are a few other events that can be covered in extreme cases:

  • A terrorist attack: before your departure an incident occurs in the country you are travelling to and the airports have been closed. It is definitely not wise to travel now, but can you get your ticket refunded?
  • The company you are flying has just declared bankruptcy. How will you get your money back?

In all these cases if you decide to take out travel insurance you can be confident and happy, knowing you are protected traveling to your destination. Don’t become a statistic make sure you are prepared and ready to enjoy yourself with no worries.

Airport and Hotel Psychology

Many people don’t understand the difference between a psychologist and psychiatrist. In layman’s terms, a psychologist is a qualified medical professional who consults with you over a period of time and may use a variety of modalities (Freudian, Jungian) to address your difficulty. A Psychiatrist on the other hand, is a qualified medical doctor who specializes in conditions of the mind and is able to scripts for prescription drugs, where a psychologist is not able to.

The psychology behind having a hotel conveniently situated close to an airport is obvious. People are by nature always seeking the easiest options, the shortest route to travel, the quickest way to complete a task etc. So having a hotel situated very close to an airport, taps into that psychology –  the psychology of convenience. For many business travelers in town for one night only, it makes perfect sense to stay as close to the airport as possible. Check in, attend a meeting, have dinner, return to the hotel for a nap and then fly out next morning. It keeps travel to a minimum and you avoid the worry of missing a flight because you’re caught in unexpected traffic. On the topic of psychology, traveling away from home continuously, always being away from family, spending a lot of time on one’s own can lead to depression. Depression can creep on slowly and often remain undiagnosed until it reaches a critical point of helplessness. Depression is not uncommon among business professional who are required to move from country to country, airport to airport and hotel to hotel through the course of the year whilst doing their jobs. These businessmen will often put down their lethargy and feelings of fear and anxiety to the stress that they endure as a result of the pressures the experience as a result of their work. They certainly would not be quick to consider a visit to a psychologist.

On one of my trips to Cape Town from Philadelphia, I started feeling uneasy on the plane already, I started feeling an immense anxiety that I could only imagine was the onset of a panic attack. On landing at Cape Town International Airport, I checked into the nearby hotel and immediately searched the Internet for a psychologist. I was desperate and in no shape to attend the meetings I had scheduled for the next four days. I scanned through the search results and settled on Dr Anita Prag, southern suburbs psychologist. Her website was decent and informative and had the testimonials from past clients that set my mind at ease. Never having been to see a psychologist before, and now doing so for the first time in a foreign country only seemed to add to my anxiety. I made my way Anita’s practice in Bergvliet in the southern suburbs of Cape Town. It was a warm and friendly setting and I began to feel that I had made the right decision in coming to see Dr Prag. I found Anita Prag to be a warm, down to earth person with whom I felt quite relaxed in relating my feelings of anxiety I had been experiencing over the past twenty four hours. Anita had a soothing yet reassuring manner that allowed me to open up without feeling embarrassed or awkward. We discussed my career, my work schedule, my medical history and any other personal issues that I was dealing with in my life. It’s incredible how just voicing your fears and concerns to another human being and bouncing some of the sometimes crazy assumptions you may have made, can help. Anita was very good in getting to the underlying cause of my anxiety, which by the way was completely unrelated to work. I really had not expected much from a one hour consultation with a psychologist in a foreign country. After leaving Anita’s southern suburbs psychologist practice, I felt a great deal better having been given a lot of insight into my anxiety and the underlying causes. I would thoroughly recommend anybody away from home, in Cape Town, that needs help, to go to Anita’s website at http://www.anitaprag.co.za/.

I think that as men, we often feel that talking about our feelings and god forbid, go and see a psychologist, shows weakness. We couldn’t be more wrong. We all need help from time to time.

Looking for Affordable Dentist near the Airport ?

There resident dentists in some of the luxury hotels in the proximity to Philadelphia’s airports as well as decent dental practices situated in walking distance to many of the others. There is nothing worse than suffering from chronic toothache when away from home, whether its for business or holiday travel. Toothache will bring even the toughest of the tough to their knees unless treated. Let’s face it, nobody like having to experience a tooth extraction or root canal even at the best of times! There are not many among us that really enjoy visits to the dentist. I get a queasy feeling in my stomach just thinking about the sound of the dentist’s drill. So, what on earth are we expected to do when travelling and we are suddenly hit with searing pain of a tooth that needs urgent attention ? Finding a dentist that you feel comfortable with and trust is the most important thing. It’s normally best if you can get a friend or family member, somebody whose opinion you trust, to refer you to a dentist that they can recommend. This is not always easy when you’re away from home. With the advent of the Internet and the ability to search online with a few clicks, there are ways and means to get pointed in the right direction provided you trust the website doing the referring. Just last week, one of my colleagues travelled to Cape Town International Airport and stayed at a nearby hotel. A day later she experienced debilitating toothache. After searching online she came across a few articles about claremont dentist, Dr Pramond Singh. There were many dentists to choose from but Tiffany, my colleague, liked what the articles had to say about Dr Singh and made an appointment to see him. Even though he was fully booked for that day and had no slots available, he arranged to see her during lunch hour after hearing that she was not from South Africa, away from home and in urgent need of a dentist.

Struggling with the pain and surviving on a diet of pain killers, Tiffany arranged for a taxi to take her from the Airport Hotel to Dr Singh’s practice in Belvedere Rd, Claremont. According to Tiffany her experience with Dr Singh was “world class”. It is not uncommon for travellers from first world countries like the United States of America to expect the worst from service providers in foreign countries. “Dr Singh was a most caring a gentle dentist. Not only did he go out of his way to accommodate me when his schedule was already fully booked, but he also treated me with the utmost care. It’s rare that you find a dentist capable of administering a local anesthetic by injection, without causing some pain. I was concerned that I may need to have the tooth extracted, but fortunately that was not the case. Dr Singh’s dental practice was equipped with all the latest dental equipment and technology. In fact, I think it was better equipped than my regular dentist’s surgery back home. If you are ever travelling in Cape Town and are looking for a dentist based in Claremont, look no further than Dr Pramond Singh. He truly is a world class dental surgeon capable of developing a good rapport almost instantly.

Normally our articles are about the quality of hotels, the amenities they offer, where to make reservations or the best car rental agencies close to the airport. It’s really not often that we write articles about dentists on our website, but Tiffany’s glowing review of Dr Singh deserved a mention.