I had the opportunity to travel to the beautiful island of Mauritius over the past few days and, I must say, there was a lot about international travel I did not know about.
Here is a 10-step beginner’s guide to travelling Mauritius:
- Be very excited when you finally book the tickets to Mauritius. Do it and get over it. I say this because, to me, an excited person is like a drunk person; they never really experience things for what they really are. Weird as it may sound, get over all the excitement before you board that plane so you can really experience everything about Mauritius fully and deeply.
- You won’t need your South African ID, only your passport. In addition, South Africans don’t need a visa beforehand. You will receive one upon arrival at the airport.
- If you are like me, you probably have body lotion, creams, hairsprays, etc, in bulk and bigger sizes. Leave these behind and take everything you may need in 100ml bottles. Anything bigger will make its way to the bin at the airport.
- You can double check it as much as you like, but there’s no error on the boarding and arrival times on your ticket. The boarding time will be SA-based and the landing time, Mauritius-based. While your flight will take four hours, your ticket will suggest to you it’s a six-hour flight to Mauritius and that your flight back is two hours long. South Africa is two hours behind Mauritius. Basically, you will briefly lose two hours of your life that you will get back on your return.
- Take your own adapters, especially if you plan to take your laptop with you. The three-pin plugs in Mauritius are smaller and rectangular. Even the circular ones are smaller. Only two-pin plugs are the same size as ours.
- Take sunblock and a hat with you. Mauritius is a tropical island. The place is extremely hot and humid – the positive side though is that there are beautiful beaches to enjoy the weather on. But pack light clothes, preferably in bright colours too. One thing I noticed about Mauritians is that they often wear white. In addition, most hotels in Mauritius have a dress code for dinner – so no shorts or slops.
- On activities: do it all. Parasailing gives you the top view of the beach; rum tasting teaches you the process of its creation and the history of the island and its people. However, if you’re a lightweight drinker, only focus on learning about the history and leave the drinking to those who can.
- Don’t only go to the beaches; go to the inner city and experience the people and their culture.
- Ensure you have reliable transport to take you wherever you may need to go.
- Save spending money for the trip. Things are expensive in that part of the world.
This is an article in an ongoing series about Mauritius.