“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”
― Augustine of Hippo
I firmly believe that we were all created with an instinct to travel. Countries won’t be discovered, countless experiments won’t be tested, and food concepts won’t be invented without all these brave and adventurous people who travel.
I may not be traveling as much as most self-tagged travelers do. And though I regret that, I am always optimistic that someday, my family and I will be able to explore the country more and then some of our dream destinations abroad. For now, we just satisfy ourselves by trying to discover new spots within the city. They still count, I guess. Then once in a while, when budget allows us, we try to check-in for an overnight stay in a hotel. Fortunately, Manila has a very wide offering when it comes hotels, from budget hotels to extravagant ones. We try to choose those in the middle.
The farthest place we have traveled so far is HongKong and the nearest place we stayed in was at Great Eastern Hotel in Quezon City. In between those are our occasional trips to nearby provinces such as Baguio, visits to several hotels, and city spots, museums and toy stores. It’s very easy to wish to have more money and be able to go to more distant places but as the saying goes, we must always live according to our means. The important thing is that wherever we go, we always bring a piece of the place with us, some good photos and most especially precious memories.
Many of my friends and relatives are sometimes surprised how we can afford to travel several times a year. We don’t have that much income, we have monthly bills to pay and two daughters to send to a private school. I guess my only secret is that I plan ahead, so much ahead as in at least half a year in advance. I decided to put it in bullet list how we usually plan to make it easier for you to grasp.
1. I sit with my husband, ask him if he has particular plans within the year which we should consider in case we want to travel. When both of us agree that its possible within the budget to spare some for traveling, then it means we can go to step 2. It’s important that couples decide together when it comes to family travel because in the end, you will both figure out where your money went and why you have that amount left in your savings.
2. Since I now have a go ahead and I am certain that my husband wants to travel this year, I now start to watch out for cheap fare and hotel promos. Since I blog, it’s now easier for me to search and find promos. This goes with practice I think.
3. We start to go easy on spending and always have it on our consciousness that anytime soon, cheap air fare will be announced and we have to have the budget for that.
4. When the cheap air promo arrives, we grab them and choose the best schedule when we can maximize our travel time we spend on the trip to and fro. It really pays to be an early riser (3AM) since I get to see the promos faster than the public and I can access ticket websites easily. We also check destination promos to be able to save more (buy 1 take 1, early bird promos) on our travel destinations (shows, museums, concerts).
5. We make early itineraries and we carefully check maps to avoid delays. We also read travel and food blogs to know the perfect spots to eat and buy stuff.
6. When it comes to hotels abroad, we tend to look past the price. Since we travel with kids who easily get tired, we wanted accommodations which will give me more than the bed, specially shuttle buses. It’s important that we can easily go through and fro the hotel to avoid delays on traffic or being stuck because of lack of taxi. We also check if there are additional amenities on the hotel where we can enjoy our stay (pool, spa, jacuzzi, gym, play area, free breakfast, wifi)
7. We travel light so that we don’t have to pay for luggage fees. We eat before and after we travel, not during the flight. Airplane food are so expensive.
I’ve just recently found out about Airbnb and when I’ve read about it, it reminded me of the film “The Holiday” by Cameron Diaz, Jack Black, Jude Law and Kate Winslet. From my memories, the story revolves around these four personalities who live in separate places, do not know each other, and have met when the two girls decided to swap each others houses just for a change. With Airbnb, they allow members to advertise their homes and spaces for other people to stay in. They call it “hosting”. There are amazing photos all over the website of different houses and all sorts of accommodation you can imagine from all over the world. The hosts and potential guests can communicate with each other through the website and through feedback system. The hosts are then being rated by their previous guests according to their experience. I never thought condos can now be rented for staycations!
Airbnb looks very promising to me and made me more hopeful of better adventures for our family in the future. Who knows, in the future, when I have my own cozy house, I can also make money hosting my place for new friends. Inside the Airbnb website, one can also create a Wish List where she/he can compile all dream accommodations. This wish list can be shared with friends. You can also see the most popular places to stay and see why they became so. Creating an account is easy as well as the verification process.
Here’s what my profile in Airbnb looks like 🙂
Within my Wish List are the accommodations from countries my family and I dream of going to in the future, same places where some of our friends and relatives are. They too wish us to visit them and see beautiful places they have been to on their own countries. — Paris, USA, Canada, countries in Asia such Singapore and Thailand. I’ve also marked several places in the Philippines which I think should definitely be on our plans in the nearby future. I didn’t expect to see these beautiful spaces within the country with great reviews from their guests too!
One accommodation in the Philippines with great reviews:
“Airbnb connects people to unique travel experiences, at any price point, in more than 34,000 cities and 192 countries” — So true!!!
My family is still young and in our big book of travel, I will see to it that we will flip one page at a time.