“Aloha, welcome to Hawaii!”, the flight attendant greets us thrilled passengers over the PA system as we taxi after landing at Honolulu International Airport (HNL). For the FA, it was a routine. But for me, it was something else (more like everything).
It was my first time in Hawaii, a place that I could only dream of months before, and you could only imagine the excitement we had when my mom told us we were flying off to this breathtaking paradise for a wedding, and following that, a road trip around Oahu – the main, touristy island where the famed City of Honolulu and Waikiki beach are.
The wedding, well, it was hula-themed of course. I was more excited about dipping into the warm waters of Waikiki Beach and go on a road trip around the rest of the island, more than anything else.
Hawaii has a different vibe and culture of its own – it’s called the surf/aloha culture – very laid back and easy going, and non-locals (like me) tend to get absorbed into this kind of culture very easily.
The lush islands are strewn in the middle of the vast Pacific Ocean, and these green jagged mountains are actually the tips of underwater volcanoes, which make for Hawaii’s distinct and gorgeous landscape. If I have three words to describe this paradise, I’d say it’s majestic, magical, and awe-inspiring, and this was clearly evident during our road trip around Oahu. Continue reading →
Batanes is in the bucket list of most Filipinos. And why not? This northernmost point of our country is indeed a paradise that very few are able to see and experience. But this experience, most often than not, requires a certain amount of cost that is quite high for a domestic travel.
I am one of those people who have had the privilege of visiting Batanes. And I must say, it is not only a paradise because of all the picture perfect views and landscapes, but also because of its people – the Ivatans. My facebook post about Batanes is one of my most-liked albums, and a lot of my friends have asked me about my recent trip – certain travel tips and itineraries that I can share for when they finally have the chance to visit this Philippine paradise we call Batanes. So, here goes. Continue reading →
Google Maps has long been the go to site for travelers looking for useful information and tips on their destination. This has been a big project by Google that required thousands of resources to add information on local establishments and attractions, travel tips, and local photos that allowed everyone to plan a nearing trip. Just search for a local business or restaurant on Google Maps, and voila! It will provide a handful of information, including addresses, store hours, tips and reviews, and even photos. However there would come a time when Google would need additional help in keeping the information updated. They can’t have a Googler constantly checking out each locality just to update the information of the constant changes in the businesses and restaurants in one place, right? And with the competition only getting stiffer with Yelp, Apply Maps and Tripadvisor having thousands of members actively giving out reviews, the battle for relevant information is on.
This is when they finally turned to crowdsourcing – this time, Google needs our help as “Local Guides”, specializing in the places we live in. This is in keeping up with their ultimate goal which is to organize the world’s information, and keep that information constantly updated. And yes, they’re willing to give out handsome benefits to its Local Guides who are active contributors. It is a win-win situation, if you are a review junkie and are interested in joining meet-ups, that is. Continue reading →
Daranak Falls is one of the nearest waterfalls from Metro Manila, which makes it a quick, convenient, and relaxing getaway for Metro Manila residents. You can get to this paradise roughly 2 hours by car driving east from the metro, and the cool waters of this natural wonder is sure to relax your senses and wash all your stress away. Continue reading →
Today I received a Facebook message from 22 year old Paula, an avid reader of my blog, with below question:
Hi! Your blog is truly an inspiration for a newbie like me. I am incredibly inspired! I’m 22 yo and I am thinking of investing but I am confused where to invest first. Will it be equity fund or in stock market. For your preference, I know this message might be too much info to give, but I want to take a shot. Thanks in advance!!! – Paula
It’s a great question, actually. As someone (myself) who’s not really technically knowledgeable about investments but instead bases his decisions on research, continuous “testing of the waters” and experiences, I think that this question makes a lot of sense and deserves to be shared to the readers of my blog. Continue reading →
Tagaytay City is such a breath of fresh air and is a haven for nature lovers wishing to just relax, take refuge, and take a breath of the cool and crisp mountainous air backed by a spectacular view of Taal volcano, the world’s smallest active volcano situated in a lake.
Situated just about 2 hours drive south of Manila, this touristy city is a haven for Metro Manila residents who would regularly flock the area to relax and take a break after a long workweek, and also to indulge in sumptuous feasts in one of the many restaurants offering specialty cuisine and comfort food to travelers seeking calm and serenity. Continue reading →
Ready to go on your much awaited ultimate Japan trip? Hang on! Japan is a truly exciting place to take a trip in, but there are few important things to tick off your checklist before you leave to ensure that you enjoy and maximize your Japan trip. Traveling on a budget? I’ve got you covered – I’ve put together a cheapskate’s guide to traveling. Continue reading →
Always make sure to include these in your to do and to have checklists when traveling and laugh your way to a fun but cheap vacation! Don’t mind the jealous looks of your fellow passengers if they find out you’re traveling for waaay less than what they are paying. Sucks to be them. 🙂
1. Consider below tips for your trip
– Cheaper if you depart/return on Tuesdays/Wednesdays. Avoid weekends.
– Better to opt for credit cards which offer airline miles which you can use to pay for your airfare instead
– Ask the attendant at the gate: “Am I eligible for an upgrade today?”. Most of the time you will get “No” for an answer, but if those plush First Class seats are vacant and you have that sparkling smile flashed at the attendant, you might get that sought after response: “Why not?”.
– At the end of 2014 and the beginning of 2015, fuel prices have plummeted to almost 50%. What that means for us is cheaper airfares. You know what that means. Now is the right time to book your dream vacay.
2. Finding the cheapest possible fare can be quite tricky. You’ll need patience, time, and perseverance. Follow below steps to help you through the process.
– Go to Momondo.com and Skyscanner.com first. These sites scour through thousands and thousands of websites to return to you the cheapest possible flight on your given itinerary. Click here for the travel hacking sites I personally use & recommend.
– Once you have found out the cheapest possible flights, check out the website of the airline and see if they offer the same flight for less. Remember that most airlines guarantee that flights found on their website are guaranteed.
– Use proxie sites like Proxysite.com, TORProject.org, or other proxy sites on the net to hide which country you are accessing from (surf anonymously) or to fake that you are accessing from a specific country. Note that sometimes, flight is cheaper if you appear to be booking your trip on the same country the hub of the airline / destination is in, even if you aren’t, through the help of proxy sites. Here is a simple explanation of how proxy sites work to our advantage: http://www.pcauthority.com.au/Feature/390138,how-to-surf-the-web-from-a-fake-location.aspx
I was at it again, planning my next trip to the USA to take that much awaited vacation. I was keen on buying a Delta round trip flight from Manila to San Francisco using my miles however things suddenly changed when Delta changed its SkyMiles policy over a short period of time which led to me needing more miles to get that ticket. To cut the story short, I had to just buy a ticket from another airline since I felt really mad at Delta and I thought that Delta didn’t deserve my loyalty anyway.
After researching online, I knew I had to take a Korean Air flight because it gives me the opportunity to take advantage of a free transit tour in Seoul, South Korea when we stop over for the second leg of my journey to USA. Incheon Airport is the hub of Korean Air, hence, all Korean Air flights stop over at this world class airport wherever your destination is. And since some may have a longer than normal stop over, it’s a cool thing that Incheon International Airport (ICN) thought of a way to allow passengers have a more productive stop over by allowing them to join a FREE tour organized daily by the airport management in partnership with a local travel agency.
The tour already includes bus rides to popular destinations all the way back to the airport and the group you are in will be accompanied by a knowledgeable and very friendly tour guide. You just have to pay around USD $13 for the entrance fees at temples and the authentic Korean food your group will be sharing whilst in the city. Yeah you still have to pay, but what is 13 dollars, right? Still cheap since it already includes those that I’ve mentioned. Not to mention the bus ride and the tour guide service which is already provided free of charge. What I liked about it as well is that you get the chance to meet people from all over the world and you get to share your stories over a hot meal.
Update (June 29, 2015): I recently went on the same route but this time with Asiana Airlines, a 5-star airline. It is interesting to know that Asiana has its own free transit tour / hotel stay for its own passengers, apart from what the ICN airport already offers. You may read more on my latest article here