Having a Philippine Passport, one of the things that makes us difficult to travel aside from purchasing costly airfares is the mandatory application for tourist visas to most of the countries. Based on Passport Index, currently our national passport is only ranked 63 by the number of visa-free countries where we can enter (which is 62), that is a long way down from Germany and Sweden with 158.
Thankfully, our neighbours will always welcome us. Last 2006, there was a signed agreement between the ten ASEAN member countries (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam) that grants the passport holders of these nations to move freely around the region and enter each country without applying for a visa for a stay of up to 30 days, depending on the regulations of each one of them. It means worry-free travel to those who wish to explore the culture around us!
Here is the list of the ASEAN Countries with their corresponding number of visa-free days: Continue reading
Traveling overseas is one of the dreams of the common people. For us it is one of the best ways to take a vacation, and have a rest from our daily routines in life like working in a four-sided office or having a business. But for some, this is not an easy task. The fears overcome the excitement, and many people overthink which results to a lot of worries. So here are some things you need to bring in order to make a memorable experience and to make the most out of your upcoming trip abroad.
– This is the first one you will ever need. Have courage to do everything. You cannot go on if you can’t conquer your fears, whether it’s just about getting lost in a foreign country or not being able to speak their native language. If you really aspire to do the things you have been dreaming for a long time, then you should throw away your what-ifs and negative thoughts. Keep in mind that everything will be alright as long as you have that fire burning on you. Stay positive.
Traveling is a rewarding activity.
Photo: Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, Singapore
I never felt afraid or worried the moment I decided to travel alone. Instead I felt excited because it would be the first time for me to board on a plane, and to roam in a foreign land. Because of this feeling, I was already imagining myself walking through the streets of Singapore, having lunch with a cuisine I never tasted before, and of course having a picture with the national icon Merlion, even though I haven’t booked my flights yet at that moment. But anyway these are the things I made before I had my first-time adventure abroad, which can also be a guide for you.
1. Organizing the itinerary
This will be the list of places you want to visit. Read plenty of guidebooks which can give you suggestions of the best sights, restaurants, bars, and shopping areas. Check out travel blogs to see the actual experiences of tourists that can help you decide if a place is worthy of your trip. You may also research tour packages from various providers so you can estimate what you can visit for a definite amount of time.
As for me, after I have named them all, I organized the list by grouping the landmarks by district or by small areas, so that I would know the nearby sights once I stumble upon a certain place. I even used different font emphasis to order them from the most recommended to the least. So the top sights are in boldface, followed by italicized, and then normal. This is one of the advantages of DIY travel: you have the full control of your itinerary. Anyway, despite having this list, remember that being flexible is still a good idea. Don’t feel obliged to check all of these items. Just go where your feet would take you and enjoy every moment.
Some pages of my itinerary, Singapore 2013
I used to login to my tumblr account, follow people, and repost their pictures of the great castles of Europe, the exotic Asian destinations, the safari adventures in Africa, and the most spectacular images of Aurora Borealis in Scandinavia.
Neuschwanstein Castle. © http://www.twinsthattravel.com
I did this routine almost everyday, and I saw a lot of pictures from every corner of the world. When I browsed through their feeds, I felt like I also traveled to those sites. I could imagine myself walking through the streets of Amsterdam, hiking through the mountains of Himalayas, eating ramen at a local Japanese shop, swimming in the clear blue waters of the Bahamas, and wandering around the romantic city of Paris. It amazed me.
Amsterdam. © http://www.aswesawit.com