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Travel influencer Lisa Magwebu shares her top travel tips for first timers

The Brutal Fruit ambassador says being a global citizen has helped her appreciate herself and her background in different environments

Durban tops Lisa Magwebu's travel bucket list.
Durban tops Lisa Magwebu's travel bucket list.
Image: Supplied/Brutal Fruit

Travel influencer and qualified nurse Lisa Magwebu is feeling the effects of international travel restrictions probably more than most of us. Her face lights up when she talks about travelling again. There are places she wants to visit for the first time and others she wants to go back to for the umpteenth time. All bring a wide smile to her face.

Some of her Instagram posts show her sprawled out poolside in Phuket, Thailand, having breakfast in Rome, a beach day in Mauritius, and other international destinations most can only dream of. It’s a jet-setter’s travel journal in pictures. 

Magwebu started living out this childhood dream of becoming a flight attendant and travelling the world from 2013. Before that, she had qualified as a nurse at the University of the Western Cape, has a qualification in midwifery, and worked in the trauma unit of a day hospital for a year. 

“I got news about an airline from Saudi Arabia recruiting in Cape Town,” she says “and the interviews were the following day. The next day I was working a 7am to 7pm shift so I had to take my tea time to go to the interview. I remember I was dressed in my uniform with my applets. I think that was a huge advantage for me. One of the main requirements for being a flight attendant is [first aid].”

She couldn’t wait for the next chapter in her life once she heard news of her successful interview. That changed over time. “When I left the country, I really just wanted to leave. But spending a couple of years overseas made me really miss SA. For five years, I’ve been calling Saudi Arabia my home. South Africans have that spirit of ubuntu. We are generally warm, welcoming and friendly. We ensure human dignity when interacting with others.”

Top of her bucket list of destinations is Durban. With her busy international travel and work schedules, Magwebu has not had the chance to visit the city.

Her second must-see destination is The Bahamas in the Caribbean. “It’s a travel content creator’s dream,” she says “everything is picture-perfect there. It would be the perfect destination for me, especially after what we’ve been through with the pandemic and the hard lockdown. Just to relax and have a real vacation.”

London was Magwebu’s first travel destination as a flight attendant and she has returned to the city more times than she can count. But it’s still a place she is looking forward to visiting again, along with Paris, France.

As a seasoned traveller, her top three tips, especially for first-time travellers are:

Safe travel documents

“Always make sure your travel documents are kept in a safe place. You don’t want to lose your passport in another country.”


“Do your research about the country you are travelling to. You want to know the situation there — if there are any viruses, where you’ll go, how people communicate there and so on.”

Currency exchange 

“You don’t want to be short when you get there. You want to know exactly how much you’ll be spending.”

More than just content for her Instagram page, Magwebu sees the great personal advantages of travelling. “South Africans should consider travelling more because you grow, learn and broaden your horizons while travelling. You get wiser. It’s also an experience nobody can take away from you.”

This article was paid for by Brutal Fruit.