Exciting Travels on a Shoestring Budget
Last March 10, Asia Society Philippines brought together 3 well-known Filipino travel bloggers for the last session of the Success Source Series: Exciting Travels on a Shoestring Budget. Popular travel bloggers Mr. Ivan Henares, an Asia 21 Young Leader and from Ivan About Town, Anton Diaz of Our Awesome Planet and Nina Fuentes of www.justwandering.org spoke to an audience of 50 teenagers and young working professionals where they shared their secrets, tips and advice on how one can maximize their travel experience given their limited resources.
The bloggers stressed the importance of planning, researching and reading up before embarking on any sort of travel. Nina Fuentes recommended subscribing to the email alerts of lowcost airlines in order to stay alert to their latest promos and seat sales. A good place to start as voiced out by Ivan Henares is the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites, which “showcase the best of nature and culture.” Another way to stay in the loop and find the best deals was to travel outside the peak season, as suggested by Anton Diaz, where flights are more affordable.
When it comes to accommodations, Henares’ favourite online sites for booking were Roomorama and Agod. Research is vital for looking for budget hostels and low cost accommodations. Nina Fuentes tried the unconventional method called couch surfing (www.couchsurfing.org) where you can look for a host and sleep on a stranger’s couch in the destination you’re planning to travel to. Though she did admit the method wasn’t for everyone, she did explain that there was a feedback mechanism for evaluating hosts on the site.
Other tips they gave are: book early, save up and experience the local culture. With proper planning, booking early tickets guarantees more affordable flights. When it comes to saving, Diaz suggested a system for saving money. It’s more fun collecting money with friends for saving. “If you set aside P500 each month, in two years you’ll get P12,000.” Henares also said when it comes to money, one must try to save but don’t be stingy. There are experiences that are worth spending a lot for, but it depends on what kind of adventure you’re looking for. Always give the local culture a try, whether it’s eating fried grasshoppers or going cliff diving, the experience will always be something worth remembering as long as you’re open enough to try.
Another tip they gave was to take evening buses/trains to save on accommodations. One can sleep through out the journey and wake up at their destination. This saves money on having to spend at hotels or other accommodations. If you have a group of 5 or more, consider taking a road trip since Diaz said it was cheaper.
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