A-Z guide to your New Year’s celebrations

Experience teaches the wise that crazy festive seasons like these register the highest numbers of road accidents. This is because of the sudden increase in the number of travellers, which exerts more pressure on the transport infrastructure. Also, cases of reckless driving under the influence of alcohol will be up.
A chef serves food at Meze Fresh Restraurant. / Courtesy
A chef serves food at Meze Fresh Restraurant. / Courtesy


Experience teaches the wise that crazy festive seasons like these register the highest numbers of road accidents.

This is because of the sudden increase in the number of travellers, which exerts more pressure on the transport infrastructure. Also, cases of reckless driving under the influence of alcohol will be up.  

We love the bus medium for our travels because it is cheap, flexible, and widely available to most destinations.

There's something about long bus trips; being away from all the stresses and distractions of your everyday life, losing yourself in a good book or allowing yourself to simply relax as mile after mile rolls past you.

When choosing a seat, remember for your own comfort that the back row does not recline. If you travel by night and plan on reading, the very front seats may not have working overhead lights. If you like to get up and down a lot, you will need to pick an aisle seat to avoid bothering any passenger that might sit next to you. If you don't like to be inconvenienced, take a window seat.

Any time the bus stops, know that it may depart without you if you are not back before the scheduled time.

Bargain for everything before parting with your hard earned cash, and be on all your senses when buying anything from vendors, right to the tout carrying your luggage to the bus terminal, to the vendors selling snacks and soft drinks.

If you intend to travel by private means, make sure your car undergoes routine mechanical inspection before embarking on the journey, paying particular attention to things like the tyres and brakes.

If you intend to lease a car, make sure their mileage policy is favourable to you so as to avoid extra charges. Book the smallest car that you will need. Drive cautiously and stay totally alert.

How enjoyable your trip down to the village or to the beach will be is a lot dependent on how well you plan your finances.

Draw a rough budget of how much you will need to spend on travel, on buying gifts, and on miscellaneous items while at it. For instance, if coming from town, people in the village generally expect you to do little financial favours for them.

To avoid getting into unplanned expenditures, it is paramount that you move with small denominations of money. Desist from pulling large amounts of cash out of your pocket, as this will draw unnecessary attention.

Use an ATM card instead of carrying huge sums of money.

Are you planning on a gate-away New Year’s Day? If so, pack only clothing with dull colours to cut down on washing while away. Coordinate your clothes around one or two basic matching colours to reduce on the number of shoes and accessories you have to carry along.
Digital camera

With the proliferation in this technology, it is now possible for almost any family to own a small digital camera just to capture those precious moments. Remember to carry along camera accessories like batteries and memory cards. But what the heck? That smart phone is actually good enough for the job. 

Double check before leaving the house that you have all necessary essentials to travel with. The best way to ensure you’ve packed everything necessary for your trip is to make a list of your daily needs for one week. List everything from your medications to the ATM cards you use. When it comes to time for packing, refer to your list so you don’t forget anything important.

The further your trip, the more chances of being afflicted by fatigue. So consider having ample rest the day before.


The common trend with most people is to buy food on the go (in super markets or from vendors) but the last option especially isn’t a good idea. Vendors may pass on substandard products to you since the vendors hardly have to worry about repeat sales.

If with kids, make a "goody bag" for each of them, that contains a variety of fun activities, snacks and beverages. Include inexpensive toys that would not be missed if lost, crayons, activity booklets etc.

For the ladies, you might want to consider carrying along some of your less flamboyant handbags, not the ones you carry to those corporate parties.


Make sure it contains all the items that you may suddenly need while in transit. 

Identity card

You will be shocked at how many people see no need to carry along their workplace or school identification cards while travelling to party. But this is the only way you will be identified in case of any problem.  

It’s New Year’s Day, for crying out loud, so keep the mood light especially if with company. 

Taking a long bus journey with children in tow can be challenging, but with a little planning, you and your child can enjoy the ride with minimal fuss. Avoid travelling at the eleventh hour to help prevent having to wait for the next bus when one is full. You could also consider night travel so that your child will sleep through the ride.

This has been known for its natural antiseptic qualities. Lemon juice dabbed on insect bites will take away the itch, burn and help dry it out, so no need to worry about all those crawling and flying insects.

This will largely be dependent on one’s health condition, but a few items are a must; antibiotic cream to apply to any physical injuries, anti-diarrheal medication, band-aids and bug repellents.

You may need to jot down a few things like requests for favours especially if travelling up country.  

Do not accept any sort of offer from anybody you have just met. Many people have fallen victim to spiked food and ended up losing valuable belongings. 
Playing cards

This is one of those family-oriented games that can engage the entire family. There is a host of other options like Chess, Ludo and Draughts. 

These consist of a small wad of cotton wrapped around either one or both ends of a small rod, usually made of either wood, rolled paper, or plastic. 

The most common use for Q-tips is to clean the ear canal and/or to remove earwax, hence it has come to be known as ear pads.

You could call it an itinerary. This should basically lay out a rough sketch of how long you intend your stay to be, and what activities you wish to undertake.

One may need a pair or so of these to deal with the typical upcountry setting with its network of murram roads and the resultant dust they whip up.  

If on a tight budget you could settle for this option as opposed to hiring a cab.

Some people find it a little awkward to move with a stash of panties in their bag. But together with bras, tights and vests, pack these first.  

Water born diseases, malaria and fever may be a menace especially rampant upcountry, hence the need for this. 

Guys, to secure the safety of your wallet, make sure you always keep it in your front trouser pocket, not in the inside jacket pocket or back trouser pocket.

Since the fronts of your thighs are very sensitive, it's difficult for a pickpocket to get it out without you knowing.

Before you zip up those suitcases, make sure you have a rough idea about the weather conditions that await you.
The way you spend your money and expend your energy on Christmas will determine the quality of your New Year’s Day plans. 

You’re almost there, so sit back, relax, and unwind. 
Zip up!
You won’t believe how many small articles are lost in transit by people who haphazardly pack their travel bags. Make sure all the zippers on your bags function properly. For maximum safety, you could secure the zip with a small padlock.

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