Monday, March 19, 2012

16 Travel Tips from 3+1 Travel Bloggers

Yes, you've read that right! 3 awesome travel 1! plus me! :) In this post, I will share to you what I have learned during a travel talk and I will also give my personal tips for travel newbies out there. So here it goes...

Last March 10, 2012, I attended a talk about Exciting Travels on a Shoestring Budget at AIM, Makati this was organized by Asia Society Philippines. This event is a special one because I met 3 of my favorite travel bloggers—Anton Diaz of Our Awesome Planet, Ivan Henares of Ivan about Town (I thought he is the son of Vicky Belo! Wahaha), and Nina Fuentes of Just Wandering. I had fun listening to their stories and tips on how to travel on a budget with some of my high school friends who happen to be there as well.

Photo courtesy of Asia Society Philippines' Facebook page. Click the link to view more pics.
The talk was short but meaningful. It inspired us, the participants, to travel often. For me at least, I felt that I need to explore my country too because there are so many things to see here in the Philippines. As the cliché goes, It’s more fun in the Philippines right?

The 3 speakers all have a common theme on how to maximize your travel experience without draining your wallet so much and of course, make your travel memorable. Below, I have summarized their points and I have added my personal tips as well!
1. Be patient. Wait for a promo airfare- Need I say more? Wait because you can save A LOT if you do. Would you believe that all of my travels are either 50% off or Piso fare? Ex. For Korea, you will pay around 20-30k for a regular round ticket fare. But if you get a promo ticket it’ll be around 7k (year 2011) for 50% off or only 3k pesos if it’s a piso fare promo. So patience is a virtue!
2. According to Anton, plan 1 year ahead. But for me, you can plan at least 3-6 months before J
3. Hunt for deals but always be careful for scams. You can try or and other sites for a cheaper accommodation deals. I booked our BKK hostel through and realized that prices are lower as compared to the hostel’s official website!
4. Stay in local Inns, Guesthouse, Youth Hotels with dorm type rooms, and Hostels. Nina said “hotels are great! But hostels are not bad either.” That’s true because you will be out the whole day anyway and you will just need a decent place to rest. BTW, book your accommodations early especially if the hotel does not require you a down payment.
5. Research, research, and research!
6. Travel with someone to divide the cost. This is what you call “strategic planning” mwahahah >=P
7. Insist on local food…
8. …But you can always bring some crackers, noodles, foiled-pack foods to save money. Personally, I suggest you do this for your domestic trips because basically you know the taste of our local foods already as compared to international cuisine.
9. Get a day or multi train passes for rapid transit. In my experience, these special passes have discounts to various establishments or tourist spots so why not purchase one?
10. Walk, walk, and walk some more if you can and plan your route too.
11. Backpacking is worth a try according to Nina. It is really fun and for me, it’s a challenge to only bring the essentials haha but backpacking is one way to cut your travel costs instantly.
12. For Anton, “allot Php 500 monthly for your travel fund so you can spend it without the guilt.” For me, my boyfriend and I commit ourselves to set aside around 2-4k a month for our joint travel fund. Too much? Uhhhmmm actually it’ll depend on how much you are willing to set aside. You can set aside as little as 100 maybe to as big as 5k or more. You know your monthly payments so do the math and sacrifice a little.
13. Bring a tumbler. Refill this whenever there’s an opportunity to do so…like in restaurants haha! My college friends and I always do this :)) Oh! And if you like, buy water bottles in supermarkets because prices are a lot cheaper! During my Cebu trip, I bought a water bottle for Php 8 only VS Php 15-30 (price in establishments).
14. Bring your school ID, senior citizen ID, passport, or birth certificate when you visit tourist spots because sometimes they give special discounts or research destinations carefully to maximize your chances of visiting an attraction when it’s free.
15. Choose your travel tours wisely. Not all tours are good deals so always weigh your pros and cons first before booking.
16. If you are on a road trip. Park along the road (if allowed) to save on parking fees haha! (This is what I usually do in MOA haha)
I hope these tips will help you plan your next budget friendly trip! Always remember 3 things:
1. “Mix cheap and some luxury during your trip. Do not deprive yourself all the way!” –Nina Fuentes

2. “Try to save money but don’t be stingy because if someone will ask you “what did you do?” you will not be able to share anything. Just make a lot of your money!” –Ivan Henares

And more importantly….
3. “Measure your Experience VS Cost. This is the formula to know if your trip and your decisions are worth it… Return of Experience = value of experience divided by Cost” –Anton Diaz
Because at the end of everything… what matters most is that “you were able to go after the things you want while you’re still in your prime.” –Anton Diaz, 2008


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