Saturday, June 13, 2015


Preparing for a trip is a trip itself. For budgeted travelers like me  (I save up my allowance for my trips!), I have to do my own research to get the most out of my precious (you know how hard it can get to control yourself in buying sale items or what nots) money. Here are ten tips I want to share with you:

1. First and foremost, register or like the facebook pages of Cebu Pacific, Airasia (or any airline), Agoda,, and airBNB to be updated on their sales or promos.

2. Gather your family or friends you want to travel with and discuss your top 5 travel destinations, dates possible, and budget. Seat sales come and go so fast that once you see it, you've got to book it! There is no time to waste for "I still have to ask permission" or "I am not sure yet," its like shooting the ball in a do or die match. Make a facebook group or something to alert everyone when there is an available seat sale already.

3. When I travel, I usually book my flights first (since its the bulk of your expenses). The dates of my trip would really depend more on the dates of the CHEAPEST flight available. Usually, promo fares are months before your travel period (giving you more time to save up for your accommodation, tours, and pocket money- stagger your expenses so that you won't feel too burdened with your expenses, you'll just be surprised to see yourself in a trip you felt not paying for).

4. Book/Reserve your hotel in advance, too. Or maybe a few weeks after buying your tickets (to allow you to save up for it). It is not enough for you to search for the CHEAPEST room available, you have to consider the location of your hotel (it may be cheap but too far from all the places you want to visit so you end up paying more for transportation) and the hotel ratings (read all the previous customer's comments there is to know what to expect). You can reserve via Agoda which has a 'Book now, pay  later scheme' or that allows you to cancel your reservations for free. Of course, you've got to wait for good deals over these websites, too.

5. Research the best places to visit and eat at (I love reading blogs so that I get to read a more personal experience rather than a paid advertisement or something). Its true that you won't get to visit all the things the place has to offer in one visit, so you really have to choose the places you want to see and experience during your trip. Considering your budget allotted, you would get an idea whether to get a group tour or not, almost always it is cheaper to travel without a tour group (there are a lot of apps in the internet that serves as a guide for a walking tour) but of course if you're in a country who can barely speak English or you're on your own, please d0 get one! If you're traveling with a big group, you can try to search if it is cheaper to rent a van instead of paying for a group tour or renting several tuktuks or tricycles that can not fit all of you.

6. You can opt not to pay for your baggage allowance yet when you book your flights. When you're nearing your trip already, pack your baggage days earlier so you'll get to weigh your baggage and see if it can still fit the free 7kgs allowance of your basic fares, and most importantly, it is least likely you'll forget something.

7. Having said that you have to pack your baggage earlier means that you have to do your research on what to bring like what clothes to wear- if its cold, bring your favorite jacket, if its a conservative country, then wear something that is deemed appropriate there (We're the one's visiting their land, so we got to respect them and their culture). Consider the activities that you'll be doing (think hiking = bring a pair of rubber shoes, ya get me right?). Don't forget your essentials too like your toiletries, first aid kit (Pain relievers, Paracetamols, Erse Flora (for diarrhea), anti-histamines, antacids, and your personal medications), and cameras and chargers.  Always remember not to overpack (bring at least 2 pairs of shoes and a bag that can go well with your outfits), bring only what you need, and leave space for your shopping.
If it helps, download a packing list like this one that will suit your needs the most! Not only will it help you pack prior to your trip but also on your way back, you would not want to leave your favorite swimsuit hung in your hotel balcony.

8. Have a picture/photocopy of your passports, tickets, reservation forms, and everything else that you think you need. Also, a copy of your hotel's address in writing that the taxi driver can understand in case you get lost. You never know what mishaps can happen, and it is always always better to be prepared.

9. It is almost impossible for you not to shop especially us Filipinos who are somehow 'required' to bring home a pasalubong. So set aside some money for shopping so that you won't be tempted to take some money from your food and tour budget, and emergency money. And since you're going on shopping, pack a foldable bag to load all the things you'll buy.

10. Lastly, start your trip by getting a lot of good rest and coming early to the airport to avoid the hassles and inconveniences of long lines and ugly seats (you can get the best seats on the plane when you check-in early in the airport!).
I hope that these tips will become useful to you as it is for me! Enjoy your trip! :)

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