Aug 11, 2009

Travel Vacation: some tips

I am actually not a traveler. I don't travel that much because my being a mom does not permit me to do so. However, whenever I have the chance to go on a vacation, there are several steps that I usually do to ensure that I have a secure and carefully-planned trip. And yes, I do grab those promo flights!
  1. Plan ahead. It may seem an overused piece of advice but the reason why it is being said again and again is obvious, it is essential to plan ahead. Not only will you have the chance to check out for promos and save some money but you can also make sure that you will actually use up the promo ticket you bought because you have time to schedule your activities so they will not interfere with your vacations plans. I had a friend who hurriedly bought a very low-priced ticket online for Singapore. She did it so hurriedly because the promo was ending soon and she wanted to join my other friends. However, because she was not able to fix her timetable before she even made the purchase, she ended up having to refund the payment and was not able to join the group. She had other works pending and she felt it was quite not reasonable to have a leave. Sadly, she was only able to refund around half the price she paid and because the payment was made online through credit card, it actually took months before she got her money back. Because she did not plan ahead, she ended up wasting her money. In addition, if you carefully plan ahead, you get a chance to look around for options, for affordable accommodations, and you get to read reviews, so you know which to chose, also where to shop, where to dine. In short, you can have information where to get the most value for your hard-earned money. Planning ahead is indeed my number 1 tip!
  2. Do visit travel blogs and discussion boards. They really help not only in providing you information on where to shop and dine but especially in planning how to go around your destination so the use of your time is maximized. This is very helpful for tourists who do not want to get confined on strict schedules of tour packages and who prefer to have flexibility in their schedules. From the research that you make, you can get information on which tourist attractions are located near each other so you don't waste time moving around trying to locate the place you want to visit.When I was planning my own vacation, the travel and leisure forum of the was really helpful. Click here to go there.
  3. Do get a travel insurance.Especially when you got a promo ticket that takes you to fly during rainy season where normally you would encounter typhoons (well, this is the very reason why you got a cheap ticket in the first place because it is not a peak season). It really helps cover many unexpected expenses and inconveniences just in case. One convenient way to get an insurance is to purchase it when you book your accommodation. When my hubby and I went on a vacation trip to Macau, I booked through They have a partnership with an insurance company and that fast tracked all the steps. I'm sure there are a lot of travel agencies like this. For around P2,500 pesos or about US$50 for both of us, we got covered in case of flight delays, cancellation, missed connection, lost baggage, death, etc. That is why when our flight got cancelled (Tiger Airways had its first ever cancelled flight in the Philippines because of the typhoon Frank) and was rescheduled the following day due to a typhoon, we got covered and we got a payment more than enough to get back what we incurred when we had to book for a hotel in Clarkfield, Pampanga (because Tiger does not land in Manila) and for not showing up in our hotel (Metro Part Hotel, Macau). Photos of our hotel shown above. Click here to see my photos of Macau.
  4. Create a what-to-bring list. You don't want to leave your camera behind, or your medicines if necessary, and you'd probably want to bring clothing that matches the climate of the place where you're going. So do some research and create a list that is reasonable. To prepare yourself for sudden changes in the weather, always bring with you a folding umbrella and a shawl. The shawl is very helpful, whether you're trying to avoid the glaring heat of the sun or if you want to be warm in case it gets cold. And don't forget to grab a map at the Tourism Center once you arrive at the airport of your destination, it's free and you definitely need it to move around. Then you might want to keep it as souvenir later!
  5. Don't forget to set roaming ON before you board your plane. Parents like us especially should always do this to stay reachable in case of emergency. Also, it is important that you leave the phone number of your hotel to your kids and other household members just in case something important comes up.
  6. Do bring something to munch. There will certainly be times when you get so excited sight-seeing that you forget to eat when there's a restaurant nearby. We had an experience getting so starved because we were so busy looking around that we ended up eating our dinner (i.e. instant noodles) in 7-11 at 11:00 in the evening because we could no longer find a place to eat.
  7. Lastly, HAVE FUN AND EXPLORE! Leave your work behind. That is the only way to have a memorable and exciting vacation.

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