How To Travel And Still Save Money This Summer
- Book cheap or free flights.
Traveling requires money, but with enough diligent research, booking a flight doesn't have to hurt that bad. If you're disciplined and resourceful enough, you'll be able to find deals and discounts that can help you travel even when you're not raking in serious cash yet.
- Use your own resources.
My cousins and I wanted to explore the outskirts of Manila, but no one wanted to drive; we ended up joining a tour group instead. It was one of those tours that offered whole-day itineraries, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but we didn't enjoy all of the stops. In retrospect, we should have just coordinated with each other better and brought our own car so we could customize our tour. It probably would have been cheaper, too.
- Walk (don't be lazy).
For some reason, Filipinos don't like to walk. Yeah, it takes up a lot of energy; exercise always does. And yes, it's hot outside, but the sun won't kill you (as long as you apply sunscreen!). If you don't want to burn through your travel money, suck it up. In Puerto Princesa, tricycle drivers charge P100 for one ride, which doesn't sound like a lot of money, but again, it can add up.
- Make a list of all the free things you can do in one place.
This one's fairly obvious, but you'd be surprised by how much people value convenience that they just book packages to all the basic tourist destinations without even considering exploring new spaces on their own first.
- Try dorm-style accommodations.
Unless you're enjoying a nice hotel staycation, you probably spend most of your day touring outside. If you think about it, tulugan lang naman talaga 'yung kailangan mo. And most of the time, you're so beat, you pass out almost instantly anyway. What we're trying to say is, you do not need to sleep on something fancy while you're traveling. Dorm-style hostels are perfect for those who want to tighten the purse strings and spend more on meaningful experiences.
- Train yourself to not be a picky eater.
EAT. STREET. FOOD. You can't imagine how much money you save by filling your stomach with local street food. Do you know how many empanadas I've eaten in Vigan?! I also bought two more for the drive home. But if you really want to dine like a queen, my trick is to just splurge on one meal. Look up the one restaurant that's worth splurging on and eat your heart out.
- Visit off-season.
Have you ever tried visiting Baguio in December? Or Sagada? Or Tagaytay? Everybody's trying to feel the winter spirit, but the congestion is almost unbearable. Plus, businesses always jack up the prices because they can. If you don't want to overpay for travel, book a flight when it isn't peak season and spare yourself the headache.
- Plan before you leave the house.
Spontaneity is great, but not when you have no idea where you're going so you end up driving in circles for an hour and a half in Philippine traffic. Look at a map—ANY map—and check out all the spots you want to see to get a feel for the area before you attempt to ~*explore.*~ Not only will you avoid wasting a lot of time, but you'll also save a lot of money (on gas).
This story originally appeared on Cosmo.ph.
* Minor edits have been made by the Candymag.com editors.
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First. Pixie dust and paper cuts – these are the first things Wendy knew about Peter Pan. Aurora first met Prince Philip when she was sixteen. Learning how to ride a bike was also a first while I was growing up, but you are probably the first of too many. The first collection of dust and stars; maybe Luna will try to ask, who was your first? I might answer and tell her that it was you.
The first of too many stars in the sky. You are the first of too many fallen leaves during fall – and you will be the most anticipated snowflake as winter comes. A dark path that you can’t see without any light, hence, you were once the moon and there are the stars that shine so bright at night. Are we too early? Or we just really want to be ahead of time? Even in a glimpse, I would like to see the two of us connect as if we can reach the sky. There are other parts of the heavens you have never saw and other oceans you haven’t laid your feet onto – but the constellations will always wait for you. Close your eyes, love, close your eyes. Start counting backward: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Count backward until you see the twinkling lights that will guide you to the right path. To the right satellite; to the right person. A first.
There are many firsts – first love, first heartbreak, first sport you played, the first thing you do in the morning, the first thing you remember about the person in front of you. There are a lot. It’s actually up to us how we will consider something as a first. So, Primo, you are already a first of too many.
If you know me, and know me well, I am not the biggest fan of idyllic lifestyles. With a Type A personality, I act immediately upon whatever challenge that needs to be addressed. I actually enjoy keeping my mind preoccupied: doing university work in my favourite cafe then running errands around town, grocery shopping here, updating my accounts there, photocopying documents on the way down the street - all just in time before having a glass of champagne at the bar with my friends come evening.
And so, you could imagine my bewilderment when the next challenge to be faced was an extensive self-quarantine protocol. I didn’t know what to do when my greatest responsibility in this situation was to do nothing at all. My first few attempts to combat my consternation were very much rooted in distraction and imagination. My distractions involved conducting research, writing songs, calling family and friends, filming videos, and eating chocolate! My imaginations and fantasies were centred on travelling, shopping, even clubbing (which I rarely do) for when they find a cure to COVID-19. I did anything and everything that could be considered constructive in order to pass the time, mainly hoping I could just undertake the basic human necessities to survive - that is, eat and sleep the day through - until the next day comes, until the world is closer to becoming a better place, until quarantine ends, until my flight follows through, until I see my family and friends again.
Days in self-isolation and suspended flights turned to weeks and turned to months. By the third extension here in Spain where I study Fashion Business, I had to tell myself this shall be my new normal now, that I was blessed to be healthy, that I was tired of merely existing and missed what it was like to actually live - even if just within four walls. Little by little, I began to find significance in the simple occurrences of the day: the soft glare of the rising sun beaming golden streaks through my bedroom window upon waking up, the fragrance of freshly washed bed sheets that I had painstakingly hung to fit a relatively small clothes rack without crumpling them, the crunch and tanginess of warm toasted bread topped with raspberry marmalade, the buzzing sound of a phone call from home just waiting to be answered, to the caress of a fuzzy sweater to keep warm at night. I realised, “What pleasures to be enjoyed in the pause of slow living!” Through this continued pause, which I loathed at first, I began to appreciate each moment of the day rather than wish it would pass more swiftly, moments I had overlooked so often before the lockdown. I started to find that the challenge of self-isolation was never to pause both the regular routines of life as well as the positive emotions that came with these - as initially, I thought it meant to pause all happiness, so as to withstand a time of endurance in hopes for a better tomorrow, much like a form of delaying gratification. Life is just too fragile these days to delay gratification any further.
Life has paused, but it has not stopped. Believe that like any punctuation mark in a sentence, the pause will provide the right timing of things to take place. Till then, let us not waste our time waiting. Instead, we could be in the moment, seek substance in simplicity (that is, in what we already have), And enjoy the pleasure in pause. “Practice the Pause. When in doubt, pause. When angry, pause. When tired, pause. When stressed, pause. And when you pause, pray.”