Top Travel Tips: How to Travel in Isolated Places

You must have heard about it already – an American missionary was believed to have been killed by one of the most isolated tribes in world – the Sentinelese.

This tribe who has a population of just about 40 to as high as 400, has lived in isolation for the last 60,000 years is found in the North Sentinel Island which is under the administration of India. The island though (which is surrounded by the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea) is quite close to Myanmar and Thailand than it is to mainland India itself – has it restricted to visitors by the government.

Moreover, the tribe is said to attack visitors with bows and arrows which was how John Allen Chau was believed to have been killed.

So, how did Chau get there? He paid Indian fishermen to get him near the island to where he could just paddle his way to the shore. The fishermen were charged by the Indian court, however, the body has yet to be recovered.

With that, make sure to get these travel tips right especially since many just loves traveling to secluded places. Here goes.

  1. Don’t. Just don’t. Hey, if you already know it’s an isolated place that is not open to visitors, then why go there? Curiosity and thirst for adventure has its limits – and this is one of them.
  2. Let people know where you are going. Yet for those who has made a similar decision as Chau, or if you were simply caught by fate – call your friends and family as to where you are. Whatever happens, at least, there’s someone who could help you out.
    Miracles happen. Try checking the place if there’s a phone signal, who knows??
  3. Use a drone first. If it’s possible, try to have an advance party, err, a drone to check out the conditions first before it’s too late.
  4. Know the language. If the place is under a certain country’s jurisdiction, then the inhabitants of that place probably speaks the same language (or perhaps has similarities) as the country who has jurisdiction over them. Knowing the language, even just a few words could bridge trust gaps.
  5. Know and respect the culture. Still, knowing a couple of foreign sentences won’t do much if you fail to observe the place’s custom. Thus, it is expected that you have researched about the place. Or at least have a sincerely friendly disposition that’s ready to adjust to traditions when necessary.
    Always do your proper greetings to the locals especially the chieftain
  6. Travel light. Especially in remote areas, it would certainly help to travel light. Oh, can you just imagine how hard it would be to carry ‘half of your house’ while crossing rivers on foot – or climbing mountains just to get to your accommodation?
  7. Wear your most comfortable yet modest clothing. Being mobile is crucial when traveling, especially when in lesser known areas. And aside from bringing minimal stuff, wearing light, modest and comfortable clothes would be best for emergencies.
  8. Have an escape plan. If you don’t have a map or a compass, or if Google maps is not applicable in that region, then it would help if you leave markers along the way. Yes, know the basic terrain of the place, so even if nightfall comes, you’d know your way.
  9. Be prepared. Now, if you do have an escape plan, you should also understand that running or swimming to escape danger should not be your first option. Try to locate the boat area or whatever while moving about. And it would also be good if you brought even a pepper spray – a head start could make a difference.
    A child blocking the door may be a sign from the angels, so take heed!
  10. Just don’t go. Okay, we may have given you useful tips above but the best tip would just really be not to go. These tips are for, you know, ‘just in case’. You see, stubbornness could just lead you to consequences that you may later regret. So. Final reminder.

Be safe. Stay safe.

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Top Travel Tips: How to Travel in Crowded Places

Whether you are heading to a beach or a crowded cemetery on All Saints’ Day – or whenever – and especially if towards the weekend, how do you travel and still enjoy when you are where a thousand others are?

Worry not, we got some practical suggestions that you can count on.

  1. Leave early to avoid traffic and be early to have an available hotel room ready, well, unless you have them pre-booked.
  2. Schedule and synchronize your activities yet be flexible to adjust your itinerary. Not only will this save money but it would give you enough time to enjoy your activities.
    Planning makes things easier when traveling to where a thousand others are
  3. If you want to check out the sites, consider joining tours not just to save money but to help minimize congestion as it’s scheduled.
  4. Make sure you have properly instructed your kids (and don’t miss putting an identification tag in their clothing). Like, don’t go with strangers – or do not go too far or get mixed up with the crowd. And have a time schedule and a meeting place if any ‘old-enough’ member would want to have an ‘alone’ time.
  5. Bring water, otherwise, know where to get potable water. This is just a no-brainer, traveling or not, we need water. However, for a place with water issues especially at a peak time, this should be an essential reminder for everyone.
    Potable water is an issue in some places, how much more when it’s crowded?
  6. Don’t forget your accessories (including fan, cap, scarf, sunblock, sunglasses, ointments and power bank) given that you did already bring your necessary clothing as it could be hot and even hard to charge your phone since the place is just filled.
  7. Wear shorts or jeans with a deep enough pocket for your wallet or money. And make sure your handbag or shoulder bag is always zipped and checked regularly, know how sneaky pickpockets are.
  8. Prepare the right amount of coins and bills at the outset and don’t forget to bring extra cash and some credit cards. Just imagine the wait (or hassle when paying for something) especially if the line is long while you are still trying to get those bills changed.
    And sometimes you are charged more simply because you don’t have smaller bills
  9. If you brought your own car, know where the gasoline stations are especially if you didn’t bring some gas with you. Else, if you just commuted then know the bus schedules; for with hundreds of people leaving your vacation spot (or wherever) daily, you could get delayed or even stranded.
  10. Secure your car (including making sure you have a spare tire, tools and flashlight) not just in getting a good parking spot but against possible carnappers, gas thieves and vandals.
  11. Do not leave your belongings unattended. If your group wants to look around or something, make sure one of you stays, otherwise, just try to bring your stuff with you.
    Take turns when you swim, else, leave your belongings in your hotel room
  12. Avoid swimming (or going to places) where it’s overcrowded, chances are the area is already a bit diluted (or even dangerous) that you’d have to wait a while if you want things (or the water) to clear up. Not to mention having a tight swimming or ‘selfie’ space.
  13. As always, it wouldn’t hurt to know where the lifeguard, police, information and health centers are – you will never know if you or someone nearby might need help.
    Crowded or not, be friendly, it’s good to know you could call for help when you need one
  14. Respect ‘culture’ and tradition. Not just custom but ‘everything’. Okay, you may have gone to a certain place for vacationing but then especially if you’re a tourist, it is important to be aware of the time you visited as there might be practices you need to observe. You could tell by the crowd.

Happy and safe travels!

Top Travel Tips: Where to Go during your Break

Okay, what if your semestral break (or vacation leave) is just around the corner, where would you actually have your next adventure?

Well, more than making sure you got the funds for traveling, your travel destination would largely depend on whom you are actually going with – or if you would just be doing some solo travel. And so, before we give you some suggestions, try to answer these to help you decide on where to go next.

Would you be traveling alone or ..?
  1. Would you be traveling alone, else, who would you be with? As we have said earlier, your destination would ultimately be decided according to who your companion is. Like, you can’t just go to the mountains if you’d travel with old, otherwise, grumpy people. All the walking and stuff could just irk them. Meanwhile, being near cliffs or rocky terrain could be dangerous for kids as well.
  2. How long is your break (as well as your companion’s)? Obviously, you can’t just go wherever if you only got a few days off. You got to consider the distance as part of travel time, so if it is far then you would be shaving off valuable vacation time on your itinerary. Too little time might not be worth the expenses – and energy.
    When traveling, time is of the essence
  3. Given that your companion’s availability has been considered, what about budget? Would it be shared or would either of you be shouldering everything? How much is the allotment? If one of you would be paying for everything then be a little sensitive, do not go overboard. Instead, suggest things as if it’s your money that’s being spent while still being able to enjoy the adventure.
  4. Now in deciding where to go, consider what places are in each other’s bucket list. Go for the one that has the most similarities, again given that the budget has been accounted for. Still, to make your trip more secure, enjoyable and cost-efficient consider the season, promos, current situation, reviews and recommendations from all your research. Yeah, do not just hop into the bus with no advanced knowledge at all unless you’re ready for the “what ifs”, whatever they may be. Well, just hope they’re not that bad and with more pluses than minuses, of course.
    Consider the season or where you have not been to yet
  5. Lastly, make sure the weather forecast for the whole vacation is just what you hoped for. Certainly, for while the weather may be unpredictable, any changes would more often than not be just mild unless there was a stormy forecast beforehand – so if you’re in season, that’s no problem. Just don’t forget your kits.
Some Suggested Destinations

While some ideas may be familiar, our suggestions have emotional depth and so, definitely worth the while – so here’s to more fun!

  1. Friend’s hometown. Especially if your friend has not been home in a long time, accompanying him to his hometown would not only be exciting but it would strengthen your friendship as well.
    It would be blast to visit far-away relatives every now and then
  2. Visit ‘long lost’ relatives. While this is similar to number one, what makes it different is that the first one is your friend’s family – while this one are your relatives that you haven’t seen like since grade school! So, wouldn’t it be a pleasant surprise for everybody then? This is like a reunion that doesn’t often happen, so imagine the fun and all those hurriedly put up stories.
  3. Location setting of a movie or drama. Now this is like bringing the big screen to life. Wouldn’t it be awesome to visit the place where your favorite movie was shot? It’s like experiencing déjà vu! Have those selfies at the exact spots, that’d be something.
    Lord of the Rings: Tongariro National Park (New Zealand) – The land of Mordor
  4. Favorite travel destination. While many travels to a certain place because of its renown tourist spot, wouldn’t it be cooler to go to a place with several tourist attractions? Say a beach, a mountain, an eco park and what have you all in one state or province. Like, five birds in one stone! Now, that’s what you call ‘va-ca-tion’.
  5. Popular, otherwise, remote beach. If it’s one of the top beaches in the world or at least the country then that would be great. Still, it would be equally if not more relaxing to be in a ‘remote’ beach, don’t you think? It’s like having your own private island! Just don’t worry if the signal is spotty, after all, you are there for a vacation.
  6. Historical or cultural site. In some ways, this is like suggestion number three yet although the site may not have been used in a movie, it doesn’t mean that the place is so-so. After all, there’s just so many beautiful sites around the world that governments and locals even need to promote them for all of us to know!
    World famous Boracay (Philippines) is about to formally reopen in two weeks time
  7. Trending attractions. These are the newly opened or renovated tourist attractions. Obviously, because it’s new or renovated, a lot of promoting would be done that it would end up #trending. The thing with this one though is that you would be with a thousand other people who could be there, too. Now, that could spoil the fun – so timing is important here.

Happy and safe travels!

Top Travel Tips: When NOT to Travel

There are actually many more scenarios that we could give travel tips on but for this issue, let us go the other way around first – and that is, when not to travel.

RESPONSIBILITY

If you have to babysit or attend to your sick grandma, or if no one could tend to say the livestock – or if your house is not secure and things like that, you can’t just travel. Someone’s just got to do these stuff. We cannot just leave things hanging back home while we enjoy the beach. Responsibility comes first before anything else, so make sure everything is set before getting on to your next adventure.

Responsibility comes first before fun
WORK OR SCHOOL

If you think about it, life on earth is really just either about studying or working unless you are idle or something which then makes you irresponsible in many ways. So if you are not on leave, a vacation or if your weekend is full, you can’t just go on some trip unless you do study or work remotely where you could just bring your stuff and recharge for even a day of fun.

Avoid a burnout, make sure you really got a couple of days free time before traveling
CALAMITY

While earthquakes on your chosen destination (or on your locality) are obvious untravelable cases, let me remind you that rains are different from typhoons. The former could just get you wet (but you could still have fun) while the latter could get you stranded and ruin your budget and schedules or worse, could cause an accident or even death – so why travel if the situation is not good?

Don’t just make ‘selfies’ out of flooding, danger poses in the form of manholes and live wires
SAFETY

Now safety is also different from calamity. While we just gave you samples of calamities, safety is basically about potential danger. Or something bad that has not happened but could happen. Like, you do not just travel to politically unstable countries where there’s so much protests going on as well as armed conflict or things like that, you could just get hurt. And clearly, you don’t travel to places where there’s war or to a known base of terrorists, that’s common sense.

Remember when Americans were warned not to travel to Europe last May 2017? Stay updated
EMERGENCIES

Calamity, safety and emergencies are similar yet different. While we already briefed you about the first two, emergencies are closely connected to responsibility. And while safety is for something that has not occurred but could happen, emergencies are something that just pops up when you’re all set to leave – which could either delay your departure or postpone it altogether.

You’ll never know what a day may bring – so be alert, fit and ready to help
FUNDS

If you don’t have enough money to fund your travel then why would you get on that bus? Unless you’re actually not planning to return but take on an opportunistic journey then we understand why you got out of that door. Still, traveling should only be considered when you have paid all your bills and responsibilities with enough on your emergency funds and ready for the next month at the very least. You would not want to get back home facing some personal financial crisis.

Really wanna travel? Save or make money on the go

Do not borrow money just to travel for fun. Work for it to deserve it.

HEALTH

Well, why would you travel when you’re not feeling well (or if you have a serious medical condition) anyway? Whatever you are feeling might get worse, who knows! Okay, while there are those who gets sick during their trip, that’s during not before the trip – which means they are already on the road that we expect them to have brought their first aid kits for this reason. Of course, unless you’re traveling to get cured (or as part of a therapy) then that’s okay.

Do not exert yourself if don’t really feel well
EMOTIONAL INSTABILITY

Have you gone on a trip to cure a heartache? Many does that too, and it’s fine, you’re just trying to heal. But don’t travel when all you would do is drink and drown yourself with alcohol in a faraway place. Definitely, you would get taken advantaged of. Like, you could easily fall prey to scammers, or you could lose your stuff or get your money and credit cards stolen – or worse, you could even get molested.

Do not travel if you would just keep getting wasted
CONFLICT

How about traveling with an ‘undecided’ mind? You know, there are cases like this, too. Like, you want to take advantage of the free time and the savings you have but you’re waiting for something that you don’t know when or if it would actually come. It’s like getting caught in conflicting schedules or interests. Something like that.

Evaluate and set time limits before pushing through or postponing your trip

This is tough actually. And all because of the uncertainty involved. Sometimes, you end up traveling only to be recalled – or miss out on what you’re waiting for. To prevent this from happening, determine the facts regarding what you’re waiting for. Like, what’s the deal? Call if possible. If you can’t get in touch and after all the weighing – still everything is vague – then decide based on its importance on whether to postpone your trip or not.

In all, we normally travel for business or pleasure yet are there other reasons that could prevent you from traveling? Let us know.

Top Travel Tips: Traveling with Elders

Wait. Don’t you think it’s about time to give your folks a treat? Like taking them somewhere fun?

Nahh, it won’t be a drag for sure – unless you are dragging someone who’s sick or bedridden, or pulling those who are uninterested at all. With that, here are our tips on how to travel with elders.

Give your folks a say on the next adventure

OneChoose a place not just of your liking but according to their personality as well. Popular and lively or serene and less visited? Beachy, mountainous or architectural places? Mostly youngsters and multicultural or a good mix of heterogeneous tourists? 

Give ample time for every activity

Two. Be safe. Choose activities in consideration to their health and condition. Like, could they hike long distances, climb mountains and stuff? Because even cliff jumping, zip lining and alike may already be dangerous for them – so go for the less adventurous ones unless a mix of these activities are really near, only then could you get into more adventurous activities for yourself as well.

If you brought the whole tribe, see if you could extend discounts for everybody else

ThreeNow one of the perks of tagging elders along with you is that they could avail of things at a discount – from fare to joy rides and in many cases, even entrance fees, food and lodging. Try to check out if any of these services could extend to the rest of the family.

Odor and heat not only causes dizziness but hot tempers as well

FourWithout question, try to book tickets in advance. You do not want to stress your folks or make them wait in long lines, they just don’t have the stamina or patience for that anymore. And even if there are empty seats that you could offer your folks, a crowded terminal with strong odors could only suck the air out of them.

Medication: Key factor when traveling with elders

Five. While children need shots before traveling; with elders, you just need to make sure they got their medication on hand. And yes, with an extra 3-day reserve supply just in case.

Portable blood pressure device: Better be safe than sorry

Six. As part of your first aid kit, bring their portable blood pressure device and a handful of aspirin. Remember, they could have a weaker stamina and immune system thus temperature changes could easily affect them, so bring socks and a small, thin blanket (or jacket) as well.

Elders got some stuff, too, so just try to make things easier for them

Seven. Elders do sweat less and obviously, this is because of the less energy that they expend in doing activities – still, that does not mean that they would not change clothes and so bring a bag. If you can not carry their luggage for whatever reason, at least give them a bag with wheels that they could easily pull around.

Emergencies, accidents or arthritis could happen, so check-in at lower floors

Eight. Be mindful that elders move and walk slower, so do not rush things but plan the whole vacation – from the transportation to the number of stops to the kind of accommodation. Oh yes, if the hostel doesn’t have an elevator then try to stay at lower floors.

Fresh air enhances respiration

Nine. Make sure your folks always have proper ventilation. Even if you’re traveling on a budget, at least have them stay in rooms with functional fans and windows.

While you could let your folks watch on your laptop, how could you use it then?

Ten. While younger people would be entertained by gadgets, that’s not always the case with senior citizens as not only could they be technologically challenged but they are more inclined to dramas. Thus, it would be better to bring a portable DVD player for what if their rooms do not have working televisions.

For longer stamina, keep yourself hydrated at all times

Eleven. Especially if it’s hot and humid, we do get thirsty – how much more the elderly? Do not forget to bring water at all times, whether during the trip or in your activities.

Don’t make your elders break their piggy banks – this is your treat

Twelve. Give them pocket money for the trip. Hey, even if they’re older, they got wants, too! Save their pride of having to ask you every time if you could buy them something, give beforehand.

If your folks are not ‘techies’, at least give them a basic cellphone

Thirteen. Make sure they got a working and loaded cellphone. Do we still need to explain why? Emergencies. Lost. Directions. Left behind. Needs. Whatever.

Make sure your elders are enjoying as well

Fourteen. Lastly, ask them how they are doing every now and then, and if they need anything else. See as people get older, they become more sensitive, so do appreciate their efforts instead of making fun of them. Learn to respect – you’re nonexistent if not for them.

Happy and safe travels!

Top Travel Tips: Traveling with Kids (before and during the trip)

Family trips are always fun, however, if your kids are still very young, traveling could also be just as stressful. Yet worry not, this could certainly be manageable of course if you have planned and prepared for this adventure in advance.

With that, let’s go through some kid facts, essentials and yes, what to bring and do during (and even before) traveling.

The importance of orientation (Photo: Can Stock Photo Inc. / 4774344sean)

First. Once the ‘vacation’ has been officially confirmed, go brief your children about it – not just the fun part but also the actual travel, the do’s and don’ts. Give them basic pointers and reminders upon finalization and repeat on the night before hitting the road.

While tablets and skin lotions could help, taking shots would give you more security

Second and especially if your kids are still like of kindergarten age, more so, going to a place with a different climate – make sure to have your kids vaccinated. A child’s immune system could be compromised in sudden temperature changes, humidity and all, than the one he’s used to – not to mention the health risk of being pestered by insects.

Bring only the essentials even for first aid kits

Third and as always, bring your first aid kit. It’s even more important now than it was in your solo travels. So don’t forget to include a pack of chewable ascorbic acid, paracetamol, an antiseptic solution, band aids, alcohol, bandages and some cotton. Obviously, they’d be useful for bruises, flu symptoms or even just for general cleansing.

Fourth. Wear comfortable clothes, you and the kids. You’re not going to a fashion show or a board meeting, so just try to wear something clean and comfy. But make sure your kids wear shoes or something with straps as very young kids could lose flip flops while traveling.

Wearing strapped footwear and having an ID – make sure your kids got them

Fifth. If your children are just too young for cellphone use then it becomes even more necessary for them to know their full names, their parents’ names, address, phone numbers and stuff. But wait, if they’re too young then how could they memorize these data? They don’t need to, at least not all of it. What you need to do though as a parent is to subtly ‘slip in’ some kind of ID into whatever clothing they’re wearing. And notify them beforehand not to play with it or throw them away in case they find it. Terminals can be crowded, so this is for their safety and your peace of mind.

The adventure begins when you get to see things

Sixth, try to seat them near the window. With this, the view could then entertain them at the same time reduce their discomfort that could lead to nausea or vomiting. However, make sure you also have a waste bag ready, just in case.

Seventh, who could miss bringing their gadgets? While planes, ships, buses and trains have movie showings on board, gadgets are still the preferred entertainment tool for traveling kids (even for many adults) of today. Especially helpful in keeping the spirits up during the trip.

Eating healthy starts with you, the parents

Eighth, chips, crackers and fruits. Hey, even before gadgets popped up in our lives and whether traveling or not, munching chips has always been a favorite – what more for kids?! But especially if you are in a long trip, make sure you got healthier choices, too!

Ninth, did we just overlook the ‘hand towel’? Yep, can’t just let your kids wipe on their clothes, spend a lot on napkins or waste too much alcohol, you see. Besides, hand towels would be even more valuable when traveling to hot or humid regions.

If only for motion sickness, chewing gum could help reduce it

Tenth, we almost forgot our fluids. Yeah, do not just bring any juice or water which could even trigger acid reflux, instead, bring lemon water or coconut water. These would help minimize the occurrence of nausea. See, while soda (this is carbonated!) and cold water works for some, it may not always have the same effect on every human.

Eleventh, talk to your children. Jeez, you can’t just let them be with a bag of chips and a tablet. Got to talk to them, too. Like, they might be bearing some discomfort or say even holding their pee or something. Let them know you’re there for them. Hence, don’t just sit still – talk about the views, tell stories or even play some games with them.

Sleeping reduces the discomforts of traveling

Twelfth. Neck pillow or some comfortable position to rest and sleep. How long would your trip take anyway? Thus at some point, you and your kids could feel tired and sleepy from excitement, yes, counting from the night before. By all means, let your kids rest and you, too.

Happy and safe travels!

Top Travel Tips: Traveling during the Rainy Season

It’s the rainy season once again but who says it won’t be fun to travel during this time? Ey, if you know how to take advantage of the weather, you got all those beautiful places in your bucket list that’s all for yourself. Yey! So, let the adventure begin!

FACTS AND TIPS

ONE. It may be the rainy season but that does not mean that it would rain the whole month, like all 30 days??

Tip: Keep up-to-date with the weather forecast and try to do your main travels when it is not raining.

TWO. Because it’s the rainy season, trip schedules are scarce, else, many times fully-booked. But depending on where you are going, fares could either be more expensive or really cheap.

Tip: From the moment you thought of going somewhere, check all possible ticketing sources first — online, terminals and even malls.

THREE. Be mindful that sea travel during this time could be more wavy than usual while road travel could be slippery and even foggy.

Tip: Don’t take anything acidic, better yet just eat soda crackers to balance acidity so as to keep you from throwing up. Still, be prepared for possible sea sickness or delays and do not forget to bring some motion sickness tablets or ointment — of course, also a waste bag just in case. If you’re traveling in your own vehicle, have your tank filled and make sure that everything is in good working condition — especially the brakes, lights, horn and tires.

FOUR. Roads outside cities are mostly clear of vehicles during actual rains, it’s usually within the city and those still on their way out that’s where there could be traffic congestion.

Tip: More than being updated with the weather, it’s always better to travel as early as you could. Research about your destination and its points of interest to save travel time as rain could affect things like visibility and could also cause vexation.

FIVE. Actual traveling means you’re just going to sit the whole time in a plane, boat, train, bus or car, so no need to be fashionable.

Tip: Wear something comfortable and better yet, just your ‘second-hand’ clothes since you could just sweat or get dusty. Bringing hand towels would be real helpful especially in tropical places.

SIX. Though traveling light is advised (even for year-round travelers, hey, would you actually want to carry half of your house?), you could end up carrying a lot more during this time if you are not mindful.

Tip: Bring disposables instead of your regular stuff, else, your least used items during your trip so you could just dispose them when you reach your destination or after each activity if they get totally worn out. Else, especially if you are a year-round traveler, only bring a few pairs of good clothes then just buy used clothing (in flea markets or ‘ukay-ukay’, here there are very cheap items) to serve as your everyday attire — wash and use them until they wear out.

SEVEN. One thing that makes traveling during the rainy season tough is that you have to secure not only yourself but your ‘unwettable’ belongings from getting, well, wet and dirty.

Tip: If you don’t have a waterproof kind of bag, segregate your things and place them in small plastics before putting them inside your lone bag (especially if you only have a week of adventure and during an LPA). This is no different from using a waterproof pouch for your cellphone. Now, if you would be away for more than a week then use, say, three bags. For your gadgets and accessories. For life’s essentials. For your clothing. Just monitor your laundry.

EIGHT. Rains bring in a different kind of thrill yet could cause you some inconvenience if you fail to bring ‘overlooked’ necessities.

Tip: Must-haves include 3-fold umbrella or jacket, flip flops, cap, flashlight, Swiss knife, first aid kit and extras like cash. Unless you are going to a cold place, ideally, don’t bring pants — it’s raining!

NINE. Be ready to get wet with rain if ever, it’s the rainy season after all. Yet while it’s fun, it could also cause colds and flu for some.

Tip: Make sure you thoroughly wet (quick shower if you got soaked) yourself when you reach your hostel. If ever, also be ready with your ascorbic acid and paracetamol — should be in your first aid kit.

TEN. Most small convenience stores could be closed during bad weather especially in remote areas, more so, if there is flooding.

Tip: It won’t hurt to bring a couple of canned foods and crackers or fruits just in case you got delayed in the middle of nowhere. And do not forget a bottle of drinking water!

ELEVEN. Wherever you may be, it is obviously more expensive to ask someone to drive you around (like, ‘pakyaw’ in the Philippines). Money spent here is some cash you could use for unexpected things.

Tip: If you want to save on tour guides or drivers, don’t hesitate to hike those short distances — hiking is an adventure in itself. Just politely ask the locals for necessary directions.

TWELVE. Renting a scooter or a bicycle is more cost effective than ‘pakyaw’, but your unfamiliarity of the place could waste you a lot of time and gas. Worse, it could endanger you (especially on wet roads) if you are unaware of broken bridges, flooding or fallen trees.

Tip: Be alert. Make sure your GPS is working, verify directions and be sure that your rented scooter is well-conditioned — brakes and lights work while tires are not flat or worn out.

Being genuinely friendly and respectful could go a long, long way.

Happy and safe travels!