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Dec'08-Jan'09 UK to JHB Cheap Flights & Best time?

London
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Dec'08-Jan'09 UK to JHB Cheap Flights & Best time?

Family of 3. My wife and I and 5 year old daughter would like to fly to JHB in December'08. I am looking for advice on what dates & days to fly. We plan on spending a month there.

1. Is it cheaper to fly on a Tues-Weds and is it cheaper to fly at the beginning of the Dec month or better to fly Christmas day/ New year? Should I buy tickets now or in 3 months when I have my owne money?

2. Which agent to book with? I have read about STA Travel and will be calling them on Monday.

3. Also travel insurance. What sort of cover/ company should I go for?

4. Would anyone know if I can use my British driving license there?

Any advice appreciated

London, United...
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1. Re: Dec'08-Jan'09 UK to JHB Cheap Flights & Best time?

Hello,

1. It's always cheaper to fly on a weekday, and prices will definitely drop on Christmas Day and New Year's Eve/Day (note that the number of flights on Christmas Day is reduced as well).

Many people book their accommodation (especially for safaris) before they book their plane tickets -- you will be travelling at peak season so if you want specific camps or lodges this may be the best plan for you, particularly as family rooms are few and tend to go quickly. The more flexibility you have with your dates, the higher the likelihood of getting the camps and lodges you want. Once you have your accommodation, you can just monitor the flights and grab them once you see a good price.

Airfares follow a logic (or lack of logic) of their own, so it's impossible to predict whether they will be cheaper now or later. I think the best strategy if your dates are flexible is to use Sidestep, Kayak, or both to monitor the fares, and grab them when they're good.

2. STA Travel are great if you are a student or a teacher and can qualify for those fares. Even if you're not they're pretty good. Another one to check is Flight Centre. And always check online with the airlines directly -- nowadays it's getting very hard for agents to compete with the online fares. You should be able to get a reduced rate for your daughter.

3. This is highly dependent on your comfort level and whether you have pre-existing conditions for which you want coverage -- some people want total coverage and others prefer to have minimal coverage. STA do have decent travel insurance which is designed for longer trips as they insure a lot of gap-year students. If you pay using a credit card (highly advised) you may get some coverage from the card company; also check your home contents insurance as sometimes there is travel coverage on those policies as well.

4. Yes you can use your UK licence -- driving in SA is on the left like at home so you should be fine.

Cheers,

Julian

2. Re: Dec'08-Jan'09 UK to JHB Cheap Flights & Best time?

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