As South Africans, this time of year is known for perhaps being the best time to take leave. We have many public holidays thanks to Easter weekend, Freedom Day and the upcoming Worker’s Day on 1 May.

This is the ideal time to take a well-deserved break – without doing too much damage to your pocket. From city breaks in the concrete jungle of Johannesburg to coastal relaxation in the Cape, here are three affordable getaway ideas for the upcoming long weekend.

1. Rediscover the city of Johannesburg
You don’t necessarily need to go far from home to experience a getaway. If you live in Johannesburg, consider a staycation as a break from your day-to-day. The Radisson RED Hotel Johannesburg is located in the trendy suburb of Rosebank, and provides the perfect home base for exploring the city. If you want to explore like a tourist in your city, you can hop on the City Sightseeing bus at the stop located at The Zone @ Rosebank. There are also great restaurants in the area including Luke Dale-Roberts’ Shortmarket Club and the Test Kitchen Carbon, located right across from the Radisson RED. For
those keen to explore a truly African marketplace, head to the Rosebank Art & Craft Market on Cradock Avenue. To save on your stay, the hotel is currently running a REDiscover Rosebank special, which includes dinner, breakfast and a two-course special menu with warm, comfort food. You can also look forward to bottomless bubbly, wine and beer between 17:00 – 19:00. The deal has rates starting from R2,827.55, and can be booked on the website.

2. Take a road trip – no matter where you are
South Africans are no strangers to road trips. In fact, Cheapflights.co.za a travel search site that compares flights, hotels and rental cars, reports an increase of about 267% in car rental searches since the beginning of this year compared to the same period pre-pandemic. Given the growing interest in domestic travel, road trips are becoming even more popular amongst South African travellers, with many opting to rent a car. One of the main questions people ask is when is the best time to book a rental car. The first thing to keep in mind is that car rental prices differ widely and there are a number of factors that determine the price on any given day. Prices can fluctuate because of the season, a particular holiday, the car category, the rental company and timing. The best strategy is to use travel search engines like Cheapflights.co.za/cars/ to compare online before committing to any single deal. If you know you’ll be renting during a high travel season when prices are likely to be the highest, it pays to book as long in advance as possible. When travelling with a big group or with kids, where you may need a minibus
or large van and extra amenities, starting the search early will avoid unnecessary price hikes during peak seasons. However, if renting during a quieter period or if you can be flexible with dates, it’s acceptable to book closer to the date the car is needed.

3. Soak up the last of the summer sun on the West Coast
For those residing in Cape Town, you are spoiled for choice when it comes to quick weekend getaways that don’t equal breaking the bank. The sleepy, picturesque towns of Langebaan, Paternoster and St. Helena Bay are all wonderful options to explore when planning your getaway. Beyond spending time on the beach, the West Coast National Park is a great place to visit either with friends or with the kids. With over 10 000 hectares of land, it is home to many wild animals including the Big 5 and lots of different plant life to explore. If you are looking for local dining experiences, check out the acclaimed Strandloper on the beach in Langebaan or The Noisy Oyster in Paternoster
for fresh seafood.