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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!


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!

Top Travel Tips: Traveling Solo

One of the coolest things to do in life is traveling — especially if you are traveling with someone; obviously, you get to share those moments while making happy memories. But whaaat if you are traveling solo, how do you make it an adventure?

Well, here goes.

Don’t plan the trip. Like, once you have decided where to go, don’t spend weeks or even days thinking about the sights you would visit. Overthinking makes things sound like predestined, therefore, you already reduce the excitement in itself.

Group travel or traveling with someone  is especially recommended if you would be trekking

While joining tours would bring you to the place’s top tourist destinations, you don’t control time that if you would like to stay longer or just leave earlier, you can not just do that — and in some cases, you could even be spending more. So do the X and Os.

Focus on what to bring. Bring cards not just cash, some places (like remote beaches) do not have forex, so having a card or two would come in handy. Bring a utility kit that includes a whistle, flash light and a Swiss knife. These would be helpful for whatever emergency there is. Bring a small part of your kitchen — very small pot, matches, lunch box, spoon and a small plastic glass. These are especially useful if you want to go camping, or if you are still in the mountains and unable to return to your hostel for whatever reason.

Utility essentials

Being adventure-ready would also require a solar power bank, sunscreen (not just because of the beach but because you should be doing a lot of walking), first aid kit and flip flops not just rubber shoes. Insect or mosquito repellent? Many times all you need is to ‘smoke’ your area.

Utilize your surroundings. Example, if you have not booked in advance, leave your belongings at the airport or even at a mall’s baggage counter while quickly looking for hostels; obviously, this would make your search for accommodation more efficient.

You could pay extra for airport storage, so check the immediate pros and cons

In countries like the Philippines, connection is generally slow, thus, if you do not have any special booster, use the terminal’s WiFi (most people here have their minds set on their travels, that means less users) rather than local pocket WiFis which relies on location.

Bring a small tent. If there are no homestays or vacant backpacker lodges especially near the beach or resort you are eyeing, then having a tent would save your day, err, night. Don’t forget to bring a small, thin blanket or a big towel. Of course, you could always stay in more expensive hostels but aren’t you after adventure?

Camping out is good for the pocket, too

So try to get out of your comfort zone and blend in with nature.

Visit during the ideal climate. This is to maximize your visit, not to mention to keep you safe from accidents; for one, roads and mountains are slippery when wet.

Rain has its pluses, but also its minuses

Also, if the place you would be visiting is just within 5 kilometers, try taking a hike. You not only add more spice to your adventure or save on fare, but even stay in shape while traveling.

Be alert wherever you go. Avoid dark places at night, hey, the night is already dark in itself, don’t add to it by going to unlighted areas unless you’re in a secure place — ey, you’re alone, remember?? And especially if you are girl, avoid ‘hidden’ bars or places with no one around particularly at night — no matter where you are in the world, things happen you should know.

Renting a motorbike is very useful when ‘places’ are just miles away

While the safest choice in localities would be in places where families go to, it would not always be as enjoyable for adults, hence, do not hesitate to explore especially if you could hire a motorbike. Hope you have your international driver’s license with you.

Register with local authorities. Apart from immigration, if the places you would visit has things like local registration especially for foreigners then do register. This would prove invaluable, just in case, since again you are traveling alone.

Just let the locality know you are around as crimes involving tourists are rising in some places

Always be respectful. From laws to culture and traditions, be mindful. Don’t look (or have a look) either superior nor tentative as you could either cause resentment or invite scammers.

Always smile and learn to speak the dialect to connect better with locals

Be friendly yet if you can’t speak for whatever reason, at least smile or nod. This would keep you ‘safer’ and happier in your solo travels that you would treasure for life.

Happy and safe travels!

Top Travel Tips: Connecting Roads and Islands

There are travel tips and there are travel tips. While some makes sense to us, other tips naturally come from one’s personal experiences — whether he’s from media, or travels for business or pleasure — as not every situation is always the same, so…

Here are our top tips especially for land and sea travelers.

One. Get tickets ahead of schedule. This would not only lead to savings for early bookings but would give you more control of your traveling itinerary at least until you reach your final destination.

Always be prepared for eventualities

Two. If for some reason that some trips do not go as planned, do not stay in the place if you arrive late afternoon or so (unless you’re dead tired, part of your plan or it’s free) since it’s like you can’t maximize sightseeing time and all because you arrived with almost nothing to do but sleep. Sure, you could roam around at night, but wouldn’t it be nicer if you could see the places in broad daylight right after arrival?

Three. Thus, whenever you travel, try to always leave at night or early morning especially if you have not pre-booked.

Be easy-going and locals will be more comfortable with you

Four. And stay in every stop for at least 2-3 days to get to see, understand and appreciate the locality.

Five. Otherwise, if you happen to run short on budget or find the place not really that interesting then you could always cut your stay short. And that’s the advantage of arriving on every stop at mid-day, you got the chance to stroll after lunch and for whatever reason, you could always leave by late afternoon or nighttime.

Lost? You can always look at the map or ask for directions

Six. If you have not researched about the place you are going to, the first sights you would be seeing depends on where you are coming from or what mode of transportation you took. Else, initial activities would hinge on the proximity of the place you are billeted.

Seven. Know where important offices or establishments of the place you are at, or at least how to contact them. Immigration. Tourist Assistance. Police. Forex. Banks. Market. Hospitals. Hotels. Restos. Laundry shops. E-Loading stations and internet providers if ever.

Do not try to bring your whole closet but just necessities

Eight. Be reminded to travel light (yet make sure to have an extra shirt, underwear, cash, power bank and first aid kit just in case) and always secure your personal belongings.


Nine. Always respect local laws, culture and traditions. Do not vandalize nor harm property, and properly dispose your dirt.

Ten. Be friendly and try to learn the local dialect. Never get into arguments, deception or fights instead be helpful.

Efforts of trying to blend-in would always be appreciated

Eleven. Do not haggle too much. Even if you are a budget traveler, if you do travel for pleasure then it’s still a luxury compared to locals who are struggling to earn a living and put food on their tables.

Twelve. As the saying goes, ‘When in Rome, do as the Romans do”; thus, try to adapt to the place. Get involved if possible.

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” (Mahatma Gandhi)

They say traveling gives one a different perspective in life…

Happy and safe travels!

Bacolod City 2018 in Pictures

There are a lot of ways to get to Bacolod, of course — and depending on where you are coming from, travel time and fare would vary. But from Iloilo City, it’s just a little over two hours by fastcraft on a reasonable fee.

Anyway, though Bacolod’s pier is still a work in progress, it’s just a stone’s throw away from SM City Bacolod and the public plaza.

Bacolod City Port Terminal
SM City Bacolod
Bacolod Public Plaza

This means once you arrive, you could even immediately begin your adventure especially if you are under time constraints. And it’s okay though as when you are done, Bacolod got a sort of modernized bus terminal which is nicely situated along the highway.

Bacolod City Bus Terminal

So, let’s check on many of the pretty sights in the city.

Provincial Capitol Lagoon
A closer view, a different angle

While the Provincial Capitol Lagoon looks cool, who would not be amazed by the architectural beauty of Bacolod’s Cathedral as well as The Ruins (yeah, tho it may not exactly be within the city itself, it has always been synonymous to Bacolod) which we would be having a video or a series of photos about it — so, come follow us!

San Sebastian Cathedral
The Ruins
Stonehenge-like structure just beside The Ruins

Anyhow, just like my visit to Iloilo, I also wished I could have really seen one of Bacolod’s attractions which is the Baywalk. The concept is similar to Dumaguete’s boardwalk and Iloilo’s riverwalk but with a different appeal (just wondered why they placed an entrance fee to it, though just P20). Unfortunately, it was closed that time; and incidentally, the Negros Museum, too.

University of St. La Salle
Bacolod Public Market
The roads in Bacolod City

Still, if you are wondering how would your life be if, say, you were to relocate to Bacolod, no worry — they certainly got good schools, an adequate public market and pretty good roads along with renown malls like SM and Robinson’s for you to enjoy.

Robinson’s Place Bacolod

Now, it’s just a matter of taking that leap. Even for a visit, say the MassKara Festival celebrated every fourth Sunday of October!

Iloilo City Tour in Pictures

For those who have not been to Iloilo City, I tell you it’s one piece of big land. I mean, roads are just wide and more so, points of interests are like far apart. Try walking — and it would seem like forever before you could reach your destination. Seriously.

Most of their taxis are SUV types, maybe to compliment their roads

Just look at how wide their roads are! Okay, perhaps I am just not used to such wide roads in the country. So let’s go and explore!

While the Riverside Boardwalk and Esplanade is a must-visit when you are in Iloilo City, there are several other places that are just as fascinating — like the Molo Church. Or should I say, the Molo region as here you would find the Molo Mansion and the Molo Park aside from the Molo Church (also known as St. Anne Parish Church) and its convent. Wow, 4-in-1, sounds something like coffee! Haha.

Molo Church or the St. Anne Parish Church
Molo Park
Molo Mansion

And these pieces of art does not stop at the Molo region! Hey, if you are on the way to SM City, you would certainly appreciate Plazuela de Iloilo — and the Nelly’s Garden which is just further across SM.

Otherwise, you could also visit the Museo Iloilo which is just about 400 meters away from the Provincial Capitol of Iloilo.

Plazuela de Iloilo
Museo Iloilo is along Bonifacio Drive with the Provincial Capitol just behind it
Nelly’s Garden

By the way, you would need to book a tour if you plan to visit Nelly’s Garden. So in case you just showed up, do not be surprised if there’s no one at the gate. Hence, just better continue your exploration.

At the end of all this though, there was some place I actually wished to have checked out — more than the Ateneo de Iloilo which is just in between SM City and the Esplanade, I should have gone to..

The Iloilo International Airport could be reached in 31 minutes by car from Iloilo City proper

Yes, the airport. Guess I missed this one because it is already outside the city, like 20 kilometers from the city proper — Cabatuan, Iloilo.

And you know, I traveled by land and sea on this adventure so..

Iloilo Fastcraft & Roro Terminal

Anyway, did you know that this airport is actually ranked 12th Best in Asia by “The Guide to Sleeping in Airports”?! Really. It has even outranked the airports of Cebu, Davao and Clark in Pampanga.

Well, next time for sure.. I’ll be there.

Batangas City News Today In Pictures

Batangas City News Today: What we have here are choice pictures of one of the fastest urbanizing cities of the Philippines..

And a YouTube video below that explores our subject, Batangas City.

Port of Batangas

Did you know that the Batangas International Port is one of the busiest passenger and container terminals in the Philippines?

Batangas Provincial Capitol
A work of art on the grounds of the Provincial Capitol

While the architecture in Batangas capitol looks like other provincial capitols as well, the landscaping is good and spacious..

Downtown Batangas City

which could have also been used by the downtown only if. Hmm.

Ancestral House in the corner of Tirona and Atienza Streets

More than the famed kapeng barako and balisong, the city got some cool heritage or ancestral houses like this one..

Calumpang Bridge

And some landmark that I heard a lot as a kid, the Calumpang River; well, it’s the bridge in the picture but under it is the river. Haha.

Lyceum of the Philippines University -Batangas

One of Batangas’ top schools is the LPU — and it is just located in between Calumpang River and SM City Batangas.

Santissima Trinidad Church

Incidentally, Santissima Trinidad is just beside SM City Batangas.

Basilica del Immaculada Conception

What’s a Philippine province without a beautiful cathedral?!

Finally, here’s a secret that’s no secret..

Bus going to Iloilo?

Did you know that you could actually travel in a bus from Manila to Iloilo — straight?!? Yeah, you only pay around P1,500 for the whole trip that would carry your bus on a ship on the way to Iloilo City. Thing is, you do not really get to enjoy the places you pass by.

Life is an adventure. Stop and smell the flowers!