This guide discusses a few tips to get you started on travelling smart(er).
These are guides, not strict rules. They should be adhered to freely. Once you have a handle on things, feel free to try other guides and tips etc.
But for now, follow these tips, and you can make your vacation more enjoyable.
#1 Plan Ahead
Some people travel with the “I’ll just set out and see what happens” attitude. Don’t be one of those people – it doesn’t work.
Without careful planning you waste a lot of time on minor things that you could have easily done at home and you end up missing a lot of great things.
One of the best things about travelling to Palawan is that resorts and attractions are extremely close to each other. Plan ahead and take notes of where you want to go, to make sure you have enough time to visit all the places you want to see
Here are few tips on planning ahead:
- Plan how much gas you’ll need for your trip if you intend to travel with a private vehicle.
- Seek hotels and resorts that include free WiFi and/or breakfast.
- Find a hotel with a pool or kid’s activities so entertainment will be included in your cost.
- Make a backup plan. If you’re experiencing unexpected occasion (e.g. overbooked resorts, event delays, weather conditions) go to your back-up plan to avoid frustration and get the most out of your vacation.
#2 Pack your Bags Efficiently
Knowing how to pack your bags and luggage correctly while traveling is a very important skill that many travellers overlook. A well-packed bag is one of the best ways to make traveling quite a bit more comfortable.
How do you fit a whole trip’s worth of luggage into a small backpack or suitcase? The answer is simple: Bring very little.
Here are few tips on packing and travelling light:
- Spread out everything you think you might need on the living-room floor. Pick up each item one at a time and analyze it.
- Downsize everything from toothpaste, liquids, shampoos or ointments. Keep in mind many resorts and hotels provide free or sell toothpaste, shampoo, soap and tooth brushes which means you may not have to bring them at all!
- Put all liquids in bags in case there is a spill.
- Split everything into categories! Pack each category into its own layer in your bag so you can find exactly what you need without having to search.
Go casual, simple, and very light. Remember, in your adventures you’ll meet two kinds of travellers — those who pack light and those who wish they had.
#3 Choosing Transportation
Vans, Jeeps, and Tricycles! Palawan has a great transportation network which makes it pretty simple to travel. The hardest part is choosing which method is right for your style of travel and budget.
Here are few tips on choosing your transportation:
- Air-con mini vans follow routes in many parts of Palawan and in some cases have replaced buses altogether. However, you may have to play a waiting game until the vehicles are full. Vans are a lot quicker than jeepneys, but also more expensive and cramped.
- Jeepneys form the main urban transport in most cities and complement the van services between regional centres. The starting fare is usually P8, rising modestly for trips outside of town. Routes are clearly written on the side of the jeepney. The best seats are up the front next to the driver.
- Tricycle is the Philippine rickshaw. The standard fare for local trips in most provincial towns is P8. Tricycles that wait around in front of malls, restaurants and hotels will attempt to charge five to 10 times that for a ‘special trip’. Avoid these by standing roadside and flagging down a passing P8 tricycle.
If you are not convenient with the hustle and bustle of commuting, you can always opt to travel on your own car or a rental car. Make sure your practice Tip #1 and plan your itinerary and study the local map for directions.
#4 Prepare Your Gadgets
If you’re setting off on a road trip or a vacation, chances are you’re desperately searching for ways to stay connected and limit your boredom and hassles while travelling. Whether it’s sniffing out Wi-Fi passwords or checking directions, we’ve got your travel toolkit covered for smartphones and laptops.
There is no doubt that electronics play a huge part in our lives, so it is no surprise that electronics have become an essential part of travelling.
Here are few tips on preparing your gadgets for travel:
- Figure out the weather. Download weather apps that tells you the temperature, this also helps you get dressed. It’s a little silly when you’re in your home climate, but if you’re traveling somewhere with a totally different weather, it can help you figure out what to wear.
- Prepare your Laptop for Travel. If you want to get a bit of work done while you’re travelling, or you just want to keep your laptop handy to watch movies or play games, you should load up a few programs before you leave the house.
- Don’t forget the extra gadgets. That includes an emergency battery charger or a power bank for your laptop or smartphone that can help prevent your tech from going dry while on the road.
- Load up your MP3s. If you love listening to music then by all means load your smart phones or mp3 players with music. It really helps pass the time during long rides.
#5 Put Safety First
Taking a trip by yourself, with family or co-workers can be empowering: But before you take on your adventure and reserve a weekend adventure, there are some valuable things to remember to stay safe and make the most of your journey.
Here are few tips on a safe travel:
- Make sure everyone knows where you are. Inform everyone where you are staying and where you are going at all times and keep them updated if your itinerary changes.
- Avoid dressing provocatively. Don’t dress in a way that could offend the culture or make you a target for sexual assault. This also goes for expensive jewellery, designer bags and sunglasses.
- Always have your phone charged. You never want to get caught with a dead battery, especially in an unfamiliar place where there is a language or culture barrier.
- Keep your bags close. Never leave bags unattended ever! If you’re nervous about leaving something in your hotel room, bring it with you.
- Separate your sources of money. Do not keep all your money and bank cards in your wallet. Keep at least one in a different place. If you lose all your cards on the road it is very difficult to get replacements, and being without money in an unfamiliar place is not safe.
- Trust your instinct. If you feel threatened or unsafe, follow your instincts. That voice inside your head is usually right.
#6 Protect Your Home while Away
When you’re off having fun on vacation, it’s easy to forget you’ve left your home unattended for a pretty long stretch of time. You’ll want to take some basic safety precautions to keep your house and belongings as safe as you can.
Here are few tips for a better home security while you’re away:
- Don’t post your travel on a public social channel. Think twice about posting your detailed vacation plans on Twitter or Facebook — especially if that information is visible to Internet users other than your friends and family (and it probably is). Don’t mention your trip – until you’re back, with tales to tell and photos to upload!
- Keep a watchful eye. There are two easy ways to do this: use a camera or a volunteer. If you have a friend or family member you trust that lives near by, just have them stop by your place a couple of times while you’re gone to make sure everything is in order.
- Pull the plug. Unplug all unnecessary appliances to protect your home from an electrical fire or power surge. This goes for the big stuff, like TVs, but also for your toaster, your coffee maker, and other small appliances.
- Remove all the extra key. That plastic rock isn’t fooling anyone. If a criminal figures out you’re away on vacation, it’s likely that they will check your terrace for a spare key. So reach under the mat, into the mailbox, above the door frame or into the flower pot and remove your spare key before you leave on your vacation.
This may seem like a lot to remember. But even if you only remember half of these tips, you’ll be enjoying most of your adventure.