I believe this would raise some eyebrows but I’m writing this anyway. If you are guilty at one point, please forgive me, I meant it- believe me, its for your own good.
Background: I have been receiving emails, PMs, comments, DMs, SMS, calls asking me itineraries, tips, and more travel-related stuff as if I’m all-knowing.
Example: Hello James! I’m reading your blog and…. I’m going to Palawan for 3days, can you suggest an itinerary? It is possible to go to El Nido? I arrive at this time, and be back to Manila at this time. Please, please, help.
(AD: If you want a hassle-free tour package for Palawan, you can book from any of my Palawan Tour Packages here)
So here’s my reply:
First, thank you for reading the blog. Thanks for taking time to research and ask comment on my blog. As much as I want to answer your question, I chose not too. I’m not a snob…
Anyway, here’s some pieces of unsolicited advice: Make Your Trip ‘UNFORGETTABLE”
1. Add some free time in your itinerary.
We have the tendency to bring office hours while traveling (I have to be here by 8:00am, experience this by 11, lunch by 12nn, be back by 5:00pm, etc. etc). Please don’t, let me remind you that you are on vacation. Let time fly when traveling.
2. Make some room for uncertainty and take risks.
The problem with most packaged tour is that it lacks flexibility, boxed and have little allowance (do I have to tell its expensive too?). Everyone is certain to do this or that. Then we try to justify that “sayang naman kasi yung 3 days, so imaximize na.” Problem with this thinking: You forget that traveling is an adventure. Uncertainty is one of the ingredients of adventure. It’s not the polished itinerary that makes the trip unforgettable. Don’t you want some element of surprise?
Need more convincing? Check out the caption of the photo below:
3. It’s the journey, not the destination.
Be prepared to encounter problems, delay or detour. I always remind myself, that the “journey is far more important than the destination.” So what if I get delayed in one place (you can read my latest account of this: On the Road, Off-Loaded, Change Course) and I will not be able to see that tourist spot? Traveling is not a competition and please don’t believe the lie that “If you don’t experience/see/taste this or that, you haven’t been there.” It’s a BIG BIG lie and travel bloggers put that just as a come on.
4. Don’t cram all the activities in a 3D/2N trip.
Related to #3, you don’t need to see everything a place has to offer. Why? 1. It’s tiring. 2. It’s robs you the joy of discovering something new. 3. It makes the trip shallow. Stop being a checklist traveler. Pause, breath, take it easy, let time fly!
Stop going to places just for the sake of seeing it. experience, feel, savor and enjoy it; delve deeper into the local life.
5. Sometimes you have to extend your trip.
I’ll tell you a real story: I only planned an overnight stay in Cantilan, Surigao del Sur. That is because I left some room for uncertainty, I told myself to go with the flow when I get there. But then, the overnight stay became a 4day, 3nights vacation. Why? Because I have learned that there’s Ayoke island and I was invited to tour it for free. Should I go on with the original plan, I would have missed Ayoke island, should I miss it, GMA’s Wish Ko Lang will not see the island and help the locals there. Extend your trip if needed, so what if you miss work?
Q: Can a day’s salary equal a lifetime of fulfillment and enjoyment?
Please SHARE/LIKE this post if you answered, “NO.”
PS. Please don’t go back home if you don’t have a nice story to tell to the next generation.
PS2: Here’s what readers say on this subject: