Saving Money on Your Holiday Travel

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If you’re ready to take a trip with the family to visit friends or other relatives for the holidays, there are several ways you can save money on your travels. You can find many terrific deals online and even gain access to exclusive offers if you’re willing to do a little extra work. Here are three great ways you can save on holiday traveling this season.

Check the Coupon Websites

When I’ve browsed the numerous coupon sites to find deals on groceries and other household items, I’ve been surprised to find that many of these online sources also feature specials on traveling. DontPayFull.com is just one of many sites that bundles travel deals along with many of the other online coupons. You can retrieve the coupon codes for these travel deals and enter them on certain booking sites to enjoy huge savings.

Sign Up to Receive Deals by Email

Certain travel websites allow you to register your email address so that you can receive the latest offers directly in your inbox. The most reputable online sources are partnered with some of the leading airlines and hotels and will quickly notify you by email whenever the newest deals are posted. You also won’t have to worry about receiving a ton of junk mail when you register with many of these services. If you don’t plan on traveling for a while after the holiday season, you can opt out of receiving further emails.

Take Advantage of Credit Card Offers

Some credit card companies will instantly give you a certain amount of airline miles when you sign up for one of their cards online. Other companies may require you to spend a certain amount of money with your card before you receive your bonus miles. Either way, you can redeem your miles for free air travel whenever you’re ready to book your trip.

It’s easy to save money on your holiday vacation when you find all the great deals that are available online. If you just take some extra time to check out coupon websites carefully and sign up to receive the right deals, you can have some extra money to buy your kids’ Christmas presents.

Photo source: tiramisustudio from FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Family Vacation in Taiwan

Last week, we had a family vacation with my mom, sis and bro. We went to Taiwan and we had an amazing trip! This is our 2nd trip as a group to go outside of the country and it was fun to spend some time together. I love going on trips with them because it allows us to bond and share intentional time together. My kids also get to make special memories with them too!

 

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It was a different experience for my family as it was their first time to travel to a place where English isn’t the main language spoken. I know Mandarin but it has been 21 years ago since I last went to Taiwan and practiced my Mandarin skills, so I was rusty!

Food was great and the price of food and stuff is affordable too. The weather was cooler than Manila too. Best of all, we saw the colors of Autumn leaves! As for the infrastructure, Taiwan definitely improved over the last 20 years with skyways, MRT, Hi-Speed trains and more English words in public areas.

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The culture hasn’t changed much. People are still friendly, courteous and disciplined. Everyone steps in line after exiting the MRT no matter how long the line is. Even during a mall wide sale, people were everywhere yet, they were still courteous towards one another. Senior citizens have special seats and privileges as well.

Here are some of my favorite views!

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Thankful that our trip was hassle free, aside from the fact that we had to be in the airport 6 hours before our flight to ensure that we won’t be late because of the road closures due to APEC meeting in the country.

I am grateful to God for this trip and for blessing us with an unforgettable experience as a family.

Our Kidzania Experience

As I have previously posted, Kidzania Manila is already open! Kidzania Manila is a theme-park where kids from 4-14 can role play different jobs and earn their own money.

On August 6, we joined the Kidzania preview for Homeschoolers of the Philippines group. We got there by 1PM and were allowed to stay until 8PM. Thankfully, the queue that day wasn’t long and better than what we actually expected. I went with my 11 year old and my 8 year old. We actually talked about which jobs they were going to do before we went so they were “sort-of” prepared.

After getting our wrist watches for safety and our passports, we went up the escalator and trooped inside Kidzania. As we entered Kidzania, it was as if we were entering another city. I immediately felt lost but knew that we had to find the bank to have the kids’ checque encashed. So we checked our maps but couldn’t figure out which way to go so we asked the friendly staff and they immediately brought us to BPI. Only kids are allowed to enter the establishments so the whole time, I would wait outside the establishments for the kids to finish their activity. Of course, I took photos and that kept me busy!

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There were so many activities to choose from ! As the kids choose which activities interested them, they also need to consider the queuing for each activity so they chose those with less people lined up and got to do most of the activity that they were really interested in!

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But among all the activities, their favorite activity is the CSI! They gathered evidences around Kidzania and processed them in the CSI Lab.

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They didn’t get to do many activities so they are looking forward to the next time they go back. And this time, they know which activity to do first!

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At the end of the day, they still have Kidzos (Kidzanian currency) and they deposited it to their BPI ATM card so that when they go back, they can just withdraw their money.

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When the kids got hungry, there were food establishments inside like McDonald’s and Goldilocks where we bought  food for them.

It was a very tiring day for me and the kids but I think the trip was worth it. The place definitely is world class. My kids get to experience what it was like to earn, save and spend their own money and they had fun while doing so. It was like visiting many factories, understanding how things work and learning about community workers. Though the entrance fee is a bit costly, we definitely plan to go back next year. Hopefully, by then, the other establishments are already open too.

For more information, visit the Kidzania Manila website.

 

 

 

Our Subic Fieldtrip

Last Monday, our family went to Subic Zambales for our vacation a.k.a. field trip! It has been many years ago since we last went there. The kids were still small then and Toby said he couldn’t remember much of the trip so we decided to head to Zoobic Safari on our first day.

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Thankfully, it didn’t rain that day. The kids enjoyed the 2 and a half hours inside the zoo. I still remembered everything exactly the way it was a couple of years back so I was a bit sad to note that there was no development at all.

Before calling it a day, we also went to Harbor Point mall as it is the most recently developed area in Subic Bay.

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The next day, we visited MV Logos Hope. The ship docked on Subic Bay Freeport for a month. It travels across the globe and docks in the Philippines every 2 years or so. On board, you can see books at cheap prices and best of all, they have a cafe where you can stay and chat with the crew on board and get to know them. It is a great way for homeschoolers to be exposed to different cultures and nationalities.

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They also shared the gospel to the anyone who wants to listen.

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After our visit to MV Logos Hope, we proceeded to Baguio. See my next post about our family’s first Baguio Trip!

Family Vacation at Dumaguete

One of my goals this year was to travel more than we did last year. I firmly believe that traveling is more educational than it seems. It gives the children a wider perspective about life and appreciation of God’s goodness, faithfulness and creativity aside from the fact that it builds memories with our loved ones.

Last week, we were blessed to be able to go to Dumaguete City in Negros Oriental. It allowed us to understand Philippine geography more as we looked at the map and learned where Negros Oriental was situated and how it differs from Negros Occidental. The family stayed at One Bethany Place and it was a nice cozy inn where liquor and smoking were prohibited. The prices of the rooms were also very affordable!

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We traveled to Twin Lakes Nature Park and enjoyed the cool weather last Monday.

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The lake was truly serene and peaceful. You can stay there all day staring at the scenery.

We also went to Azalea Coffee Shop. It was situated at the mountains where you have a magnificent view of the majestic mountains.

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Then we toured Siliman University. It is the oldest American university in the country and the first in Asia Pacific. It was established in 1901. We even saw  one of the original buildings which is now a museum. The kids and I also went inside their library and visited some of their exhibits.

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The next day, we went to Bais City and we rode on a motor boat to look for dolphins! It was really windy that day therefore the waves were strong. After riding around the area for about an hour and a half, we finally saw the dolphins! There were more than a dozen of them!

They swam ahead of our boat and beside our boat as if accompanying us! It was tryuly an unforgettable experience! I wasn’t able to get any photos but captured some of the moments on video instead.

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One of the best views we’ve seen was the place they called sand bar. We arrived past 9am and saw the island in the middle of the sea! After  few hours, the island was completely swallowed up by the waves.

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We also went to the town proper of Dumaguete and saw the Rizal Blvd, the famous Sans Rival bakeshop, the Lee Supermarket and Why Not restaurant. We also went to a souveneir shop and was amazed at the low prices of the Filipiniana items!

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We really enjoyed our stay at Dumaguete because the people are really hospitable and gentle! The place was clean and though the streets were 2 way, the drivers were courteous. The food was delicious and cheap, and the servings were generous.

It was our first time to this wonderful city and I know it won’t be our last.

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