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Saturday, June 16, 2012

Five Personal Tips for Managing your Travel Fund

Putting up a blog like this and having people appreciate my love for travel, I have had my share of people asking how I'm able to fund and save up for these trips. I'm a full-time employee but I don't earn millions (yet!) :) Most of my travel money come straight from my earnings.

Although most people think travel is not a cheap passion, I still believe, there are things one can do if they really are keen to make it to their dream destination. Like anyone else, I also dream of exploring not only our very own  sites here in the Philippines, but also discover the rest of the world. You heard it right. I'm definitely planning on conquering the world.

It's not easy, but with a bit of help here and there and the massive discipline and motivation, I'm sure many if not most, can also do it. 

So here are some personal tips I would like to share and which I also do. Hope this helps!

1. Save a part of your monthly income - It depends on your capacity but it doesn't matter how big or small as long as you could start and get the discipline to keep it going. You can set a small target for starters, and as you go along and pick up your pace, try and add more. You wouldn't notice how much you have saved in a few months time.

2. Get a separate account for your travel fund - As for me, since I'm planning for some bigger trips in a year or two, it does help to get a separate bank account. I don't mix it with my other accounts. It's also easier for me to manage. And basically, it does help for when you apply for visa to other countries as you have track record of a bank account you can show.

3. Invest - It's not just putting your money in the bank. Nowadays, there are insurance plans that also gives you the benefit of earning dividends. Maximize those. It's best to start when you are young. I personally have two of those at the moment.

4. Minimize use of your credit cards - I used to be a sucker for promo fares, that I abuse the power of my credit card. Luckily, there aren't much promo fares nowadays and I had a breather for my credit card bills. But it's equally important that you pay your credit card bills so you clear them as soon as possible. 

Imagine - instead of paying your credit card bills and interests, you would have spent that for a one way trip to Boracay!

When I travel especially overseas, credit cards would be very useful for emergency cases, when you do run out of cash. But as in spending, use it wisely!

5. Budget, budget - Personally, it is quite hard to keep within a budget for a trip. You sometimes go over your budget due to certain circumstances but it is a good practice to plan ahead and think about how much you really need to prepare for your upcoming trip. 

In the end, you will also be surprised to find out that you can make arrangements to save further and cut your costs.

I'm very much sure there are many other tried and tested tips. Do you have anything to add? Do share it! :)

This entry is written as part of the monthly Pinoy Travel Bloggers Blog Carnival currently being run by Journeying James. This month's theme revolves around the topic  "HOW TO FUND YOUR WANDERLUST". Go catch other helpful tips from the rest of PTB Members!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Ilocandia Series: Pagudpud

Sometime last holy week of 2012, the family decided to head up north to Ilocos to take our balikbayan aunt and uncle for vacation. The first thing that came to mind is Pagudpud. I've never been to this beach before and I heard a lot of people raving about how beautiful it was.

So I was really excited and looking forward to finally taking this trip!

We arrived in Pagudpud almost lunch time. We came from an almost 10 hour trip. It was a hot day and I was quite tired as well. All accommodations were fully booked so we didn't get to spend much time in the area.

I will have to come back as we didn't get to swim too. We need to head back to our relatives house in San Nicolas.

Overall, Pagudpud would be nice on a not so busy day. Unfortunately, it was holy week then and a lot of vacationers flock the beaches.

 I'll definitely see you again, Pagudpud!

 Its white-sand beaches and crystal-blue water makes Pagudpud a haven for tourists. Maira-Ira Point is also an emerging attraction with its secluded beach known as the Blue Lagoon, as well as kilometer-long Saud Beach. Access to this public beach is from a secondary concrete road on the north side of the Maharlika Highway just before approaching the Patapat Viaduct. On the way to the Blue Lagoon, a sea arch can be seen.Coconut trees line much of the town's coast. On a clear day, the Babuyan Islands are visible from Patapat National Park. - From Wikipedia

One day in Sagada

We arrived in Sagada around lunch time. I really liked the weather, nice and cool. Loved it!

We decided to try Yoghurt House. We've heard nice reviews about this place. And it's not just open for Yoghurt. There also other food to try and they all look delicious.

Pasta ordered by one of my friends.

Mixed vegetables and mountain rice, looks colourful!

I got myself a mountain tea! It's the best!

What a good looking clubhouse sandwich!

And this is my order...steak!

For dinner, we went to Lemon Pie House. The lemon pie tastes good! I had bought myself 4 boxes to take home.

There's more to see in Sagada. The rest of my friends went to the caving experience. I on the other hand decided to head back to Manila because I need to go back to work the following day.

My trip is from Sagada to Baguio then Baguio to Manila. It was a long journey but I was alright. Slept through it most of the time. I loved long journeys sometimes because I can just sit, sleep and wait. When I wake up I can just get off to another new adventure. 

To the Mountains of Banaue

Coming from a trip to the beach in Central Visayas, I came back to Manila, only to pick up another bag and start packing for another trip. This time to the mountains of Banaue, north of Manila.

I have no idea what's in store all I know is I would finally get that chance to see one of the world famous wonders - the Banaue Rice Terraces! It was known to be the 8th Wonder of the World.

We arrived in Banaue early in the morning and had breakfast at Las Vegas Cafe. It's not really the Las Vegas you would think.

After the fulfilling break, we head to take the jeepney that will take us further up the mountains. Along the way there are picturesque view so we would stop once in a while for photo op.

And finally, I'm in awe to see the Banaue Rice Terraces!

We rested for a bit and stayed at Mang Ramon's Hut. After lunch we went to trek going to the falls. It was one of the most tiring trek ever! But the sight and cool waters of the falls was refreshing.

I wanted to swim but I'm just too tired after the trek...haha!

After that tiring trek, we went back to our hut and had some merienda. The weather in Batad is very mild and cool, I got myself the known mountain coffee.

Further into night we just stayed in our huts to rest. Our feet and body were aching but it was all worth it. In the evening we had dinner and went straight to bed. We are leaving the next day for Sagada.

Before leaving, I put on the traditional Igorot clothing for photo op.

This is the jeepney we took from the saddle point going back to Banaue.

From Banaue, we travelled thru highways to Mountain Province then to Sagada.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Dumaguete Day 3: Life's a Beach

Our third day in Dumaguete was spent on lounging and relaxing at the beach.

Our friend suggested we go to Pura Vida. It is an hour away from the city. They also offer diving resort and has a pool if you don't fancy the waters in the beach! I loved that this day was very light, we only ate, swam, chatted and just had pure fun!

When we were there, we also noticed a lot of divers coming from a day of diving activity. It must be good. Maybe one day I will try it.

The place looks clean, very calm and relaxed.

So there goes my brief but very wonderful trip to Dumaguete! Woohoo! Off to the next blog.

Siquijor: Island of Fire and Dumaguete Day 2

Early morning of our second day in Dumaguete, we are bound to take the ferry to Siquijor. Unfortunately, we were late so we had to kill some time until the next ferry leaves.

I took this chance to drop by the Rizal stamp spot in Dumaguete. Yes! Another stamp achieved!

I can't remember how long the ferry ride to Siquijor was, but it was probably less than 2 hours. We were greeted by blue green waters. The sight was truly amazing.

We rested for a while and then headed to start with the island tour.

Our first stop is this mystic tree.

The rest of the group decided to go to the cave, but the rest didn't and stayed to wait.

After that, we head to the the falls called Kambughay. We had a quick dip and then we went to another beach.

We stayed overnight in Siquijor and the next day head to another resort. The beach was lovely. I can imagine Boracay without the massive crowd. Just sand and water.

Beware though, as there are some jellyfishes swimming as well. Don't get stung or else!

In the afternoon, we left Siquijor and dropped by the souvenir shops. We also passed by the Lazi convent.

Arriving in Dumaguete, we were hungry so decided to get lunch. We went to Neva's, well-known for their tasty pizza! I loved it and their servings were more than enough!

I ordered this for lunch...looks so delicious!

Neva's is just a short walking distance from Harold's Mansion.

The rest of the day we only stayed indoors and then at night head to have dinner at Hayahay Restaurant.