Your holiday to Cape Town is fast approaching and it’s time for you to pack your bags. Knowing what to pack when travelling to a new city can be an overwhelming activity for you and your family. To help reduce your stress levels and ensure that you have all the necessary items packed, we have put together a short list of items you should be sure to include in your luggage.
1. Clothing for a Variety of Weather Conditions
The weather conditions in Cape Town are notoriously unpredictable so it’s important for you to be prepared. You can often see all four seasons in just one day.
- If you are travelling in the summer months (Nov-Feb), you can expect hot, dry days with cool nights with some high winds in between. Make sure to pack your swimsuit so you can enjoy the beautiful beaches but also make sure to bring a light jacket.
- Autumn in Cape Town (March-May) is one of its most beautiful times of the year. It’s not as touristy but the weather is still mild and enjoyable. As it starts to get colder in May, make sure to pack a warm jacket and windbreaker just in case.
- When travelling to Cape Town in winter (June-August), the wind starts turning from the legendary South Easter (or Cape Doctor) to the North West and it can be a force to be reckoned with. But while it can get quite chilly with occasional rain, the temperature can rise up to 25 degrees celcius and you’ll forget that it was winter at all. Layering with sweaters and shirts is recommended at this time, with closed-toed shoes a must.
- Visiting Cape Town during the Spring (Sept-Oct) is an excellent time to visit for those less interested in purely outdoor activities. Spring showers often come for short times at sporadic intervals. There are plenty of nice days in between but it is recommended that you still pack water-resistant clothing as well as a warm jacket to layer with other light clothing.
With the varying weather conditions, you should pack in a hat and sunglasses to protect you from the African sun. And make sure to add a few pairs of comfortable walking shoes to your luggage. As there is so much to do and experience in Cape Town, you want to enjoy these activities without being held back by your footwear.
2. Electronics and Power Supply
As you and your family will still want to keep in contact with friends and other relatives back home, don’t forget to pack in your cell phone or tablet. You will be able to purchase a local sim card or connect to wifi once you have landed. There are plenty of apps that you’ll also want to use, so don’t forget to buy data.
As a picture is worth a thousand words, your camera is a must when visiting the Cape. You will want to capture the breathtaking views as well as the incredible experiences you’re going to take part in. Be sure to pack extra batteries to keep your camera going throughout the day.
Depending on where you are travelling from, most likely you will need to bring a few power adaptors in order to make use of your electronics such as your cell phone, camera and laptop (a rule of thumb is that anything with a motor can be used with an adaptor). South Africa sockets require 230 volts, 50hz and most often an M plug type. If you’re unable to find the necessary adaptor, you will be able to find these once you arrive at Cape Town International Airport.
3. Travel Documentation
When packing your carry on bag for your trip, be sure to keep your travel documentation where it is easily accessible. This includes your driver’s license, passport, flight details, accommodation information and any required visas. Give a certified copy of all this information to a relative so should anything happen, you still have some sort of verification.
If you’re travelling with children make sure to include a copy of your identification information as well as your accommodation information in their backpacks. South African laws about travelling minors are ever-changing, so make sure to check with the Department of Home Affairs in case there are any regulations that pertain to you.
4. Toiletries and Medical Essentials
Your toiletry bag can include your regular items. Should you run out, there are plenty of retail stores for you to top up on your supplies. As there is nothing worse than getting a sunburn, be sure to pack in your preferred brand of sun cream as well as after sun lotion. This ensures you’re protected from the rays of the African sun.
In terms of medical essentials, a small first aid kit should be packed in. Depending on the activities you are doing while visiting the Cape, the first aid kit will come in handy in fixing up those small nicks and cuts.