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Published: June 24th 2017
Geo: 30.2676, -97.743
Got to love that budget travel.
We usually travel to Africa with at least one of our tickets covered by our air mile rewards. This year we did not have quite enough reward miles to cover both of us so decided to pay full fare at the best price we could possibly find and also get some air miles in return.
The route we take is Austin to Houston, Houston to Frankfurt, and Frankfurt to OR Tambo in Johannesburg/Pretoria. Robert does a lot of research and finds us the best deal possible. He will make the reservation on one day for the entire flight and then call back the next day and change the return in Frankfurt to allow us a stopover for a couple of weeks so we do some travel in Europe. There he also arranged for us to use some of our air miles with another one of the credit cards we had accumulated air miles with. More on this when we get to that portion of the story.
The ride from Austin to Houston was short and uneventful and had a short layover before boarding the plane for Houston to Frankfurt. The flight was not full and we
were able to share a middle seat and get some rest on the flight. Land in Frankfurt and have ten hours before our next flight.
The Frankfurt airport is a great place if you have that much time to kill. For the adventurous there are airport tours but are a bit pricey but there are plenty of places to stretch out and take a rest here and there. Don't do McDonald's in the US but easy place to sit and use the internet and actually be able to plug in while you do so.
There are showers available which are very nice way to refresh yourself and lots of different restaurants to chose from if you get hungry. We always like to go to an Italian place, Lucullus Nero for an early dinner because you can watch the planes taking off and landing.
One bit of advice for getting aboard a Lufthansa flight. First class and business class as well as people needing assistance or traveling with small children get on board first and then it is first come first get on! Of course you have your seat assignment but it is nice to make sure you have room in the overhead bin
for all of your things! We had gotten to the check in area early and so were some of the first to board and got to watch all the other people getting on board. The only downside to this flight was we were not able to get our seats beforehand and so were the window and middle seat and so had to disturb the aisle person several times to go to the bathroom. This is another thing that Robert does is get our seat assignments when possible. We go for two aisle seats across from each other or the middle and aisle seat so we can get up when we need to with out bothering anyone.
Landed at OR Tambo and cleared customs and immigration with no problem and past the dogs without being stopped. We had some fruit on the way and some nuts and those sometimes trigger the dog nose and we have to stop and be checked. All of our luggage made it without a problem.
Went to buy some data bundles so we could be able to use the internet in places where there is not free wifi. Do some research about the areas you will be traveling
and which one of the cellular internet service providers has service in the areas you will be traveling and buy your data bundles accordingly. We have a pocket wifi we travel with and to be able to get the data bundles loaded we have to have the person register the sim on a South African phone since we do not have a South African phone. The sim is then transferred to us. This does require research to get this done but in most major cities there are English speaking representatives that will be glad to help you but plan ahead and do your research!
Got our rent car and headed to Shoestrings for some rest and visit with our friends that run the place. Thanks to Google maps we were able to get to their place even though took a wrong turn out of the airport. Would suggest you use it to help you get where you are headed.
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