New start-up makes it possible for South Africans to satisfy their wunderlust.

With the world opening up once more, and South Africans eager to catch up on the celebrations we’ve had to miss out on during the past year, Wunderlust puts travel within everyone’s reach.

Wunderlust was founded on the belief that you shouldn’t have to miss out on special events or holidays simply because your finances can’t support your travel aspirations. With this in mind, the company makes it possible to book a flight and travel immediately, with the option of paying off the flight over 3, 6 or 12 months.

The service is all about convenience, explains Wunderlust co-founder Dylan Solarsh: customers search flights online, just as they would on any other travel website, providing some additional information around employment. Wunderlust takes care of everything else, including the credit vetting process (to qualify, customers must be over 18, a South African citizen with a South African bank account, and a decent credit score). Once your application has been approved, you may book your flight or package. The amount of the fare will be debited from your bank account monthly, according to the payment period you have selected.

As a ‘fly now, pay later’ service rather than a layby service, there is nothing quite like Wunderlust in South Africa, Solarsh informs.

He reveals that the concept was rooted in the idea of providing a service to support people who wished to travel, but did not have the funds to do so – a concept he conceived after seeing many of his own friends miss out on once-in-a-lifetime events because they could not afford to fly to the destination where the occasion was held.

Our service means that for those who want to travel, there is no excuse – you don’t have to wait until you have the funds to do so

Dylan points out that the market is ready for Wunderlust. “Many people are feeling trapped after months of lockdown. They’ve had time to look at their bucket lists and think about how they want to spend their time. Our service means that for those who want to travel, there is no excuse – you don’t have to wait until you have the funds to do so.” That’s an important consideration for many who have had salaries slashed in the wake of the pandemic, and who dearly wish to see family overseas or attend landmark occasions like weddings.

The flexibility of Wunderlust’s offering means that whatever their travel goals, they are well within reach. Those who wish to pay over three months can book a flight and travel within the next two hours; for those who are willing to wait a year or so, it’s possible to lock down a cheaper rate and ensure that they have more spending money when the time comes.

Dylan says that the offer is attractive to a broad range of consumers. He cites the very first Wunderlust customer as a case in point: “Our client became the first person in her family to fly when she booked a flight to join her family for Christmas in Port Elizabeth – a trip that saw four generations reunited for the first time in months.”

The 25-year-old has been working to consolidate South African operations so that the service can be taken to new markets – but, although he has his eye on the UK, US and Asia, he is more concerned about getting South Africans traveling first. “We’re making it possible for everyone to experience the world,” he concludes.