The Best Laid Plans for 2019

The new year has arrived, and it’s time to balance the checkbook, look at the calendar, and see where in the world I will spend my hard earned money this year. Of course, we would want to take advantage of the numerous Philippine holidays, that maximize our travel dates. We also have to know the best deals in town prior to travelling. So here are some TIPS, if you will, to help you lay out your best laid plans for 2019 travels!

1. Prioritize your bucket list.
We all have a bucket list in mind – – whether it’s hunting for northern lights, visiting Game of Thrones landscapes, or a holy pilgrimage to Jerusalem. The thing is, we need to know if we can actually make these trips a reality. Aside from budget, there’s the days needed to do the trip – – can you get off that long from school or work? So timing is important – -maybe do It during school vacation or the Holy Week. But rates will then be high.

What to do? List down the estimate costs beside each dream trip you have in your list. List down the number of days, too. Friends who will want to join you. Add as many data points as you can, until you can finally prioritize them from most doable to least doable, and then you would have a starting point for the year’s travels!

Photo credits: @johann_tiu via IG

2. Mark down the travel expo dates in your calendar.
Why? Because the tickets are soooo cheap. If you have the patience and opportunity to shop around in the travel expos, you will find deals that are way better than any app or online booking site out there. There are major travel expos happening yearly and although they haven’t announced their dates this year, they are sure to happen so stay tuned to their social media pages and do this as your 2nd step.

3. Consider local.
Lately, it’s been the trend of Filipinos to travel to other parts of the country, because it just makes so much sense. Ease away from the traffic of the city, take a few days off to recharge, without the need for spending a lot. Going local doesn’t need to be less exciting, too. There are a lot of things you can do in our country, you just need to know what you want! Another tip for you is to arrange to meet with friends who live in that area, or if you have no one from there, be sure to pack your Go Pro stick and be ready to make new friends.

Photo credits: @biyahe.roy via IG

4. Be safe and secure.
Have you ever travelled across the world, and had your wallet stolen? Or inadvertently losing your passport? How about your phone being snatched? Sadly, these are real hazards when you travel, and depending on your destination, you have to read up about traveller’s feedback so you would know how to avoid all the local MOs. One of the things you can do is invest in proper equipment, such as RFID safe wallets, no-slash backpacks, and hidden waist wallets. They are usually considered exagerrations, until it actually happens to you. Also, keep a photocopy of your passport and credit cards (front and back) with you always, to be left in your hotel safe. That way, when your bag is stolen, you can access your card details when you cancel via toll free numbers, and you have a copy of your passport to show the Philippine embassy in the country you’re in.

5. Read up about your trip and know the facts.
Ever hear about the person who bought so much stuff, thinking that the exchange rate was 0.14, and later realizing it’s 1.4? It has happened. Wrong train schedules, causing mishaps on the trip itinerary. Getting stuck somewhere you thought you could get an Uber from, then realizing later on that Uber doesn’t work there. Plan your trip from beginning to end, and ask all the questions in between. Read up online, ask people who’ve been, and get ready to discover. The smart traveller always knows before he/she has to learn from bad experience.

6. Prepare the right clothing and footwear.
Disasters sometimes happen to travellers when they don’t pack well. For example, heading to cold weather and not packing enough warmers and heat pads. Or hot weather and not bringing enough shirts to change the sweat soaked ones. Footwear also needs special mention, because it matters. You don’t want to slip on an icy cement road, just because you thought you could just wear sneakers (you risk slipping and hitting your head). Or long walks through the desert and your shoes have holes in them, which is not a smart shoe to wear. Just make sure to take time and think about your gear, it will definitely help to be prepared.

Photo credits: @makoysworld via IG

7. Plan for your WIFI.
Nowadays, it’s as important as gold or jewels – – internet. Will you use your mobile carrier? Will you order a wifi device from the airport? Hotspot from your local friend? Or buy a local SIM? Whatever suits you, make sure it will work – – you will hate yourself if you have no access to the internet, because you will for sure do everything with your phone.

Photo credits: @the.restless.pinoy.traveler via IG

There you have it – – some tips to help you with your plans, so you can avoid all the travel pains. Here’s to your upcoming magical moments!

Contributor and cover photo credits: @angjonas via IG

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