Everybody loves to travel, whether inside or outside the country. A person gets an opportunity to travel for several reasons: conference pertaining to a particular field (i.e. Medicine, Computer Programming, Education, etc.), concert with a choir (like I do), field work, a date with family or someone special, and “Just because.” We learn a lot from traveling like culture, time management and most importantly, packing smart. Yes, not just right but smart.
Without further ado, I would like to share some of my suggested tips when traveling, whether nationwide or abroad.
You have already decided to go on a journey. The only problems are, where and when? Here are some of the tips on planning your trip for personal reasons.
1. To spend less, scour through deals online. You can purchase coupons from websites like Ensogo and Groupon. Some airline companies also advertise discount fares on selected dates.
2. Early morning flights (between 4am-8am) are more recommended since there is less traffic on the way to the airport.
3. Search for hotels online which are cheap and at the same time, accessible to public transportation. Also go for those with bed-and-breakfast offers.
4. When traveling by bus, reserve the best bus seat (two rows away from the driver) as early as possible.
5. As much as possible, avoid traveling during peak seasons (i.e. Holy Week, Christmas) because both buses and planes get jam packed during these seasons.
Now, your electronic ticket, passport (for international trips) and visa (if needed) are ready. All you need is to prepare your stuff.
1. Better bring two trolleys when traveling by plane: one to be checked in and another to be placed on top of your plane seat. Avoid ones with excessive metal details since these add unnecessary weight in your luggage. I recommend you to use those made of nylon since they are lighter and more durable. Suggested brands: Delsey, Echolac
2. When traveling by bus, a backpack and/or duffle bag will suffice for two to three days.
3. In relation to number 1, be conscious of the weight limit of your chosen airline to avoid fees for excess baggage. Luggage scales are available at The Travel Club (located in malls like Glorietta, TriNoma, Shangri-La and SM Mall of Asia) and some SM Department Stores.
4. Attach a bag tag (with your name, address and contact number) for proper identification.
5. Speaking of baggage weight, go easy on bringing clothes made of heavier fabrics like denim and corduroy. Pack more clothes made of lighter fabrics like cotton. However, pack your clothes depending on the climate of your destination.
6. Bring a maximum of two to three sets of footwear: a pair of slippers when going to the beach/hotel and a set of formal shoes.
7. Pack your toiletries (including perfume) in your check-in luggage, as well as your makeup (especially liquid foundation). Cosmetics made of cream and powder can be put inside your hand-carry luggage.
8. Pack sharp objects (i.e. Swiss Knife, tweezers) inside your check-in luggage.
9. For the case of long bus trips, bring snacks. Also bring your lunch/dinner. You would never know when and where the bus will have a stopover.
This is now your big day. What’s next?
1. Arrive at the airport at least three hours before your flight to avoid long queues at both the check-in and immigration counters.
2. By arriving early, you can still have time to eat at the airport’s concessionaires (NAIA Terminal 3 has a lot of dining choices like Jollibee, McDonald’s, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, Mini Stop and many more.) and shop for some items. Also, you can still enjoy using the airport’s lounge (for Business Class passengers and Miles cardholders).
3. While waiting for your flight, keep an eye on your luggage.
4. When going for a long bus trip, arrive at the bus terminal at least an hour before your trip.
FRONT ACT (Transportation)
This is it!
1. Upon entering the plane’s cabin, show your boarding pass to the flight attendant and he/she will escort you to the seat indicated on your boarding pass.
2. For your safety, listen carefully to the safety measures demonstrated.
3. Lastly, enjoy your trip!
MAIN EVENT (Trip Proper)
Now you have arrived. You are now ready to conquer your dream destination.
1. Upon arrival at your destination, go straight to your lodging area so you can leave your stuff for the meantime. Don’t forget to bring your valuables!
2. When dining, try to explore the cuisine of the place you are visiting. Authentic cuisine is at its finest when visiting the place per sè.
It was only during our tour in China when I was able to taste the other types of Chinese Food. Chinese food is not just about those I have encountered in Binondo, Manila.
3. When traveling around, try to use other types of transportation aside from the cab. There are lots of them to choose from, especially abroad like trams, double decked buses and trains. In the Philippine provinces, bigger tricycles are available.
4. Don’t forget to buy souvenirs which make the place’s identity (i.e. Teas proudly made in China.). Nothing beats the original! Just make sure that your luggage will still meet the weight limit of the airline you chose for your trip back home.
5. Most importantly, don’t forget to visit the tourist spots. This is the best time to do your selfies! 🙂
So, there. Here are some of my suggested tips when going out-of-town and/or out-of-the-country. Bon voyage! 🙂