Summer season is here and there’s no better way to spend the next couple of days or weeks than to get away from your home office.
The kids are on vacation and you surely need some change of environment too. But the most important thing to remember, you’re not just going places, you’re creating memories.
One of the trips that stood out for me was when my wife and I, took our four kids to our first long trip, traveling from Cebu to Manila, Zambales, Baguio, then back to Manila and Cebu. It was an awesome trip and surely something that we all enjoyed and will always remember.
I’ve learned a lot from this travel and it really made me think of doing it more often (if budget permits). But travels are not always as good as we’d like them to be. There’s traffic, flight delays, too hot, expensive hotels and a ton of other things. But hey, that’s not to discourage you from traveling. It’s just a reality you have to prepare yourself with. And I tell you, I’ve learned a lot of lessons from this trip so here are some of the key takeaways from our family escapade which I hope will help you plan out your own escape from your comfy hideout.
Before Your Trip
Preparation is key. So be sure to do some due diligence before you embark on your journey. Simply questions to ask yourself or your group, like:
- Where to go
- What to bring
- What to ride
- Where to ride
- Where to stay
- How much money you have
Do your research
From Agoda to Booking.com, to AirBnB and other reservation options, it’s always a good practice to research and there’s a plethora of reviews you can read from these sites including Facebook pages and groups. When it comes to travel blogs, I go to The Poor Traveler. They have great itinerary suggestions and the community is just an awesome source of great information and tips.
I love to read reviews and feedback from other travelers. It’s a big help. I am particularly looking for ratings of a hotel particularly about:
- wifi (is it fast, free, available in every room)
- room cleanliness,
- facilities (swimming pool, hot and cold shower),
- food, free breakfast or any meal offered
- early check in and late check out option,
- pay later or pay at the hotel option.
Weigh out your options if you should ride the plane or board a ship
If you didn’t have the chance to grab some promo price from airlines, chances are, you’ll probably get the regular airfare. And if you’re thinking of saving, the boat trip is probably your next best option. However, I’ve learned my lesson the hard way.
In our trip from Cebu to Manila, we used 2Go travels. The ticket was indeed less expensive but the travel time of 24 hours where you’ll have to wait, you’ll probably end up spending more inside the ship with their Marianas Trench deep prices. Imagine buying a cup noodle that only cost about 20-30 pesos and buying it for a hundred. A bottled water that’s about 10-12 pesos that cost 50 pesos. So if I were you, hop on a plane instead of getting on a ship. You’ll arrive faster to your destination and it will probably cost you just as much on a sea trip, but with less stress and more time to spend on exploring your destination.
If you travel with kids, the easiest way is to pack your things in one or two large luggages instead of carrying individual backpacks that you let your kids carry. This is the mistake I’ve made. So when one or two of our kids slept, my wife and I ended up scrambling on the two backpacks hanging on our shoulders. Be sure to get rid of the unnecessary things.
Do Advance Work
If you can’t have a full vacation and would have to work while on the move, be sure to set the right expectations and communicate in advance. You don’t want to come back home with no more clients or projects or greeted with emails full of angry emojis.
Here are some tips you can implement so it would be a win-win solution for you and your client.
- Do advance work if possible.
- Negotiate a workaround e.g. work on weekends prior to your trip etc.
- Setup auto reply emails or vacation notification at least two weeks ahead and then send another reminder a couple of days before your travel.
- Be sure to ask them to confirm they’ve received and read your email.
Gears and Gadgets
One of the common things that happen during travels is forgetting something. Those tiny but important things like charging cable, adapter, etc, they can be stressful. So to ensure that i can still work seamlessly when necessary I bought a small organizer bag where I can kept my gears/accessories neatly in place.
Now if you’re wondering what’s inside my bag, here’s what I bring with me to stay on top of my work.
- HP Laptop and charger
- 2 Asus Powerbanks
- LTE Pocket Wifi
- USB 3.0 to USB Type C adapter for use on mobile phone
- USB Flash drives
Have an emergecy plan
The worst thing you could imagine on a trip is being with a sick kid. It’s not only worrisome, it’s also tiresome to care for a sick baby while commuting as you’ll have to carry them instead of having them to walk. So before you step out of your house or check in for your flight, be sure to stash some medicine especially for an upset stomach.
Be ready to spend
If you want to travel, you just have to face it, you need to be ready to spend a little for the comfort and pleasure of your family. You don’t really need to empty your bank just to have a great trip, but you need to make sure you’ll be able to travel comfortably without you always having to think of breaking your bank account. Prior planning and bargain hunting for accommodation will greatly reduce your expenses. In this trip, we opted to stay in a condo unit we found on AirBnb. The view was stunning and the price is cheaper than most hotels we’ve checked on Booking.com.
So here’s what I suggest, give yourself the needed break from the monotony of being a work at home mom/dad. Explore and let the adventurous side of you take control. Take your family to places where you’ll make memories and moments no money can buy.
Most of all, have fun, fun, fun!!!