Your document checklist for Japan and the money myth of travels abroad

2019-06-10 06:00 - Saara Mowlana - PARTNER CONTENT
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A quick rundown on all you need to know for smooth travels to Japan. (Photo: iStock)

So, you’re heading off to catch a lekker match of ‘ruggas’ at Rugby World Cup 2019TM in Japan and need to get all your papers and financial goods in order.

From knowing exactly which docs you need to strap to your body, and which will merely weigh you down without purpose to knowing whether you need to carry wads of foreign exchange in your fanny pack of choice – prepping for a holiday can be stressful.

But, fret not, we’re here to help you prep for your Japan adventure without a hitch.

So, what do you need for a trip to Japan?

You’ll need…

  • A visa: South Africans need to apply for a visa at the Embassy of Japan in South Africa – a single entry visa can be obtained at a current cost of R360.
  • A valid passport and ID: When travelling anywhere, it’s vital to ensure your passport is valid and has a safe buffer zone of time before it either expires or runs out of stamping-page space. Be sure to check the validity of your passport well in advance, should you need to renew it and brave the dreaded waiting period of Home Affairs. However, avoid the queues, by considering sorting it out online instead. And if you’re a frequent traveller, you might want to consider investing into Maxi Passport.
  • Medical or vaccination doccies: Avoid having illness dampen your Japan and Rugby World Cup experience by ensuring you get any and all necessary vaccinations beforehand. Be sure to carry the medical docs that prove this should it be requested along your journey. The vaccinations to get before visiting Japan include: Routine vaccines, Measles, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Japanese Encephalitis and Rabies.
  • Currency knowledge: Japanese yen - ¥. The current exchange rate 7,64¥/R (taken on 7 May 2019 – subject to change and fluctuation)

Now that you’ve got all your doccies in order and know which ones you need alongside your ticket, what is the elusive money myth that you ought to be wary of?

Securing the bag of foreign exchange...

A major common misconception, particularly in the modern age, is that you need to be carrying and hoarding wads of foreign exchange during your travels to use for daily expenses abroad.

But, that’s not the case. Many Mastercard credit cards, like Standard Bank’s Mastercard, can be used when travelling abroad to help you pay your way comfortably and safely when exploring. Just be sure not to lose your plastic saviour and do ensure you have a bit of petty cash in the local currency as a safety buffer.

However, you don’t need to go and collect a silver-suitcase-worth of foreign exchange when planning your trip – all you really need is a simple Mastercard credit card.

So be sure to secure the docs first and set aside your stresses of securing the cash bag – just don’t forget to budget and save accordingly to pay off your credit smoothly.

This post is sponsored by Standard Bank BB produced by BrandStudio24 for Traveller24.