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Old 06-07-2012, 06:38 AM   #16
familygoboston
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Originally Posted by NoraG View Post
Just to clarify...Did you do the S. Africa ABD? And were specifically told not to bring roller bags as carry-ons? My mom and I have gone over this several times and we called ABD, but they were less than helpful on this matter. They just said that the carry ons had to fit under the seat. I too thought there could be problems with roller bags, but have read conflicting things on other boards. I know it depends on the airline, but we wer told ABD does not book our internal flights until we arrive, so we can't know which airline we will be flying. If rollers will be a problem to carry on, I would very much like to know ahead of time. We'll pick another bag to us for sure. We'd prefer to bring carry-ons that can actually both be carried on since we each have toiletries and medication we'd like to have with us at all times when flying. You could have roller checked bags, right?
Im Sorry- I should have made it clearer! No, my trip was not ABD so our luggage recommendation may be different than ABDs. Our trip had us on v small planes (sometimes 4 or 8 pax) so we had different rules. But the weather and packing would apply in either case. I much prefer a roller and was sorry we couldn't use them!
I agree with Say Hello- carry vital meds and documents with you, during our trip we occasionally saw a bag on a landing strip long after the plane had gone Now that is v unlikely to happen on an ABD trip where you have guides looking out for you during your travel legs ( another advantage to doing ABD) but if you can't be with out it, you'd want the POM having it in your lap when you take off!
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Old 06-07-2012, 10:30 AM   #17
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You have all been so helpful. I definitely carry my meds in my purse-they cannot go under the plane. I know for some it doesn't matter if their bag is gate checked, but for me it's a stress I do not want to have. I am allergic to the preservative in contact lense solution, so I use a special solution and if I didn't have it I'd have to wear my glasses the whole trip. Not a crisis, but something I prefer to avoid. I'm also had my luggage put on a flight I did not make it on. So, for these reasons, I think we'll go with us each carrying a small duffle that can go under the plane seat. Not having the stress of worrying whether the bag will be gate checked is worth having to carry the bag around the airport, at least to me. My travels tend to be more eventful than uneventful, so my caution probably stems from that.

Fleece socks sound wonderfully warm, but I don't think I could get them in my shoes!

I'm looking into a whale watching tour. It looks like ABD included it in previous years, but not this year. Boo! Anyone know who they used? I'd like to use a good company, but wasn't too pleased with what Viator offered. I'd really like to be out on the boat watching the whales. I'll look into the Hop on/Hop Off tour and the Township Tour. Those sound very interesting.
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Old 06-07-2012, 11:04 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by NoraG View Post
You have all been so helpful. I definitely carry my meds in my purse-they cannot go under the plane. I know for some it doesn't matter if their bag is gate checked, but for me it's a stress I do not want to have. I am allergic to the preservative in contact lense solution, so I use a special solution and if I didn't have it I'd have to wear my glasses the whole trip. Not a crisis, but something I prefer to avoid. I'm also had my luggage put on a flight I did not make it on. So, for these reasons, I think we'll go with us each carrying a small duffle that can go under the plane seat. Not having the stress of worrying whether the bag will be gate checked is worth having to carry the bag around the airport, at least to me. My travels tend to be more eventful than uneventful, so my caution probably stems from that.

Fleece socks sound wonderfully warm, but I don't think I could get them in my shoes!

I'm looking into a whale watching tour. It looks like ABD included it in previous years, but not this year. Boo! Anyone know who they used? I'd like to use a good company, but wasn't too pleased with what Viator offered. I'd really like to be out on the boat watching the whales. I'll look into the Hop on/Hop Off tour and the Township Tour. Those sound very interesting.
I totally get your caution. The more I fly, the more cautious I get! On my recent vacation, Delta kept trying to push people to Gate check their carryons to make it easier (since the flights were full). There was NO WAY I was going to do that unless forced! I've found that Delta has a tendency to "Gate check" your bag all the way to your final destination! So rather than pick up your bag as you exit the plane, and having it with you for any layovers (or missed flights or airline delays) it's heading to your final destination, and will get there whether you do or not. And I had 2 layovers on this flight! What's the point of having a carry on if they're going to do that? (Well, except so far they don't charge for a Gate-checked carry on... so far!) I always carry on enough stuff to last me a couple of days if my checked baggage doesn't make it to my destination. It's staying with me!

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Old 06-07-2012, 11:09 AM   #19
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Socks - I took Polypropylene Sock Liners, and actually wore pantyhose or tights under my jeans on morning drives. One morning our daughter wore her pyjama bottoms under her fleece pants - and it turned out one of the ABD guides did the same thing.
We had extra time in Cape Town - we did the Hop On Hop Off bus - and never actually hopped off....http://www.citysightseeing.co.za/
We also did a township tour which was eyeopening, but also kind of a shock to the system. I am glad we did it as it was a side of Sth Africa we did not see at all with ABD - and a side of the world I have never seen. I found it on TripAdvisor, things to do in Cape Town.
Have a great time!
Did you do the township tour offered with the bus tour or with a private company? I've heard mixed reviews of the tours, so I would be interested to know what township you toured and the name of the company. Thanks!
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Old 06-07-2012, 11:17 AM   #20
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We toured Langa with Siviwe tours -http://www.townshiptourscapetown.co.za/ - they picked us up at the hotel - it was just the 3 of us
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Old 06-08-2012, 08:11 AM   #21
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Asking for a small spoiler...

NoraG... I'm hoping you can (before June 27) give me a small spoiler to the trip... I have packed my ABD binoculars, and my ABD water bottle from previous years. I would love to save even that much weight... can you let me know which ends up in your "welcome" gift? You can personal message me so no one else gets a surprise spoiled, if you get a chance.

thanks
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Old 06-10-2012, 03:58 PM   #22
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Carry Ons

Okay... anyone know if I fly on South Africa Airlines... can I have a carry on and a personal item if I fly economy class? I can't find anything on the SAA website... other than I can have one carry on as long as it is under 18 pounds.

I want to have my meds (my daughter NEEDS to have her meds) but I don't want to have to root in an overhead bin if I NEED to get her meds... I've never been on an airline where I have to worry this much about how much my backpack weighs... Anyone???
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Old 06-11-2012, 06:25 AM   #23
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Okay... anyone know if I fly on South Africa Airlines... can I have a carry on and a personal item if I fly economy class? I can't find anything on the SAA website... other than I can have one carry on as long as it is under 18 pounds.

I want to have my meds (my daughter NEEDS to have her meds) but I don't want to have to root in an overhead bin if I NEED to get her meds... I've never been on an airline where I have to worry this much about how much my backpack weighs... Anyone???
Figment, did you use a TA to book this? Maybe you could ask them about it. Also, every flight I've been on, if you have 2 items you will ave to put one overhead. Best to make sure your most important items are right at your feet if you need quick access.

We decided to carry everything on. My DH was so panicked about this being strictly enforced that he literally packed his camera backpack (which is the size of a good sizes roll aboard suitcase) and then tried to pack his clothes in a "personal item" sized tote. It was ridiculous packing 2 weeks worth of stuff in a bag the size of a ladies tote bag, but he wanted all his photo gear as his top priority! We flew Delta to SA from Atlanta and they never checked anything, so when we got to the airport in SA, he bought a large duffle for his clothes (very nice with the SA flag, that he now uses it when traveling to hot spots so he doesn't advertise he's an "American").

So here is our one experience: no one on SA airlines for our flight to Botswana even looked twice at the size of the bags, and he was really carrying 2 carry on sized things rather than one carry on and one personal item. We had the same experience flying back. This was during the Olympics, so I have no idea if rules were more relaxed, but that was not our experience in SA; we thought security was extremely high at OR Tambo during that time, and still no one looked twice at what size the bags were, although they were checked through many times!

Of course I have no idea if you will have the same experience; the problem with security and baggage rules is that they are enforced by different people every time, and I have never found them to be consistent! Thats why I would try to find an answer from someone official rather than taking advice here. It worked for us, but I'd hate for you to be disappointed.
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Old 06-11-2012, 02:59 PM   #24
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On our trip last year we did SAA from London to Cape Town and on the internal flights. I don't recall any stringent checking (which I have encountered on some airlines), but as familygoboston said, it can depend on the person and the day....
I think on the internal flights - or at least the one from J'burg to Kapama, the overhead bins were too small for bags with wheels.
I always pack our carryons so we have the stuff we really need in a couple of smaller bags, and can give up a larger bag if they make us....
Hope that answers your question
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