3 Travel Tips Learned from Laiya Road Trip

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I need a real vacation in this fake vacation

As February comes to a close, here comes the swimming invitations! Delighting at the beach under the heat of the sun is too tempting and it’s a necessity every summer. However, one could not imagine that this heat could burn one’s morality. It can happen if people weren’t careful enough.

Around April 2016, I embarked on my second vacation and my second visit to Batangas to a wonderful place called Laiya! (Sarcasm fueled) Like my previous travels, this one definitely taught me valuable lessons. However, this taught me in a harsh and painful way. An opposite form of a vacation to be honest. That’s why I list 3 things to be wary of before starting a vacation. 

1. PLAN CAREFULLY

It can be exciting to pin down a weekend date for a beach trip. While nothing is really wrong with that, it is always better to be careful not to hesitate plans. Just because the place looks and sounds promising doesn’t mean it’s a ‘go.’ Though it can be an adventure going somewhere new, it’s also necessary to be smart to know what you might expect!

In my case, we rushed out our plans so I never really knew what to expect. With all the good resorts being reserved in Laiya we had very limited options. Limited as in, it can be counted with fingers and they’re sadly unsatisfactory ones. We settled somewhere far in Laiya Road (farther than my previous travel in San Juan, Batangas.) It would seem that among the many resorts here, they were all crowded by vacation goers. Quite a common commotion in that time of the year.

Once we arrived there, it felt hell to walk on foot or even with flip-flops. Most of the ground were white rocks that strolling on the beach wasn’t part of the package. And speaking of the beach, it was not only a bit crowded but it was polluted as well. Wrappers and other plastic materials can be seen floating above the water. We weren’t informed about the shower rooms too. The only available shower room pumps out salt water either which made no sense what-so-ever! As for the cottage, it seemed weak and vulnerable to thieves. The wood looked thin and the doorknob can easily be broken by a strong force. Luckily, nothing worst happened than night.

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The sand felt uncomfortable than how it looked like.

We failed to list down our necessities as well. We did some groceries but there was never a clear discussion on that. Some random stuff were bought but there were so many confusions that made food seem like a scarce resource. We did buy at the local store nearby but it had worst pricing. Pricier than in convenience stores but lower quality of course. It’s difficult to travel without necessities basically because you can never be sure what are to be dealt with. Sure you can call it an adventure but the main goal of this trip is to enjoy (not an immersion) and to relax is the whole intention.

With that, I learned to plan ahead in the future travels. It could’ve been better to go elsewhere instead. No more should I give into temptations during the heat of the sun. Next time that I go out I’ll ask myself a few questions:

  • Is the trip necessary or ideal?
  • Where are we going and staying exactly?
  • What is the point of the trip?
  • How do we get there?
  • What should be brought?
  • Is everything planned well? (the route, the stops, and the accommodation?)
  • What and how to eat at the place? (to cook or to buy)
  • How much is the overall cost for the travel for one person?
  • Who will join the trip?

I might be missing some questions here but I believe these questions are the most necessary ones.

 2. PREPARE A NECESSARY BUDGET

Money is the best friend in every travel. Basically, it goes side-by-side with the travel plans. If there’s no money, there’s no travel, but, the lack of money seems like a doomsday for every traveler.

Originally, there should always be disputes when traveling and the list goes on depending on kind of travel. Of course, it’s always advisable to save and be a wise spender. For food, for example, instead of finding the best place to dine why not try the unique street food? Or, if there are ideal ways to travel, is renting a private vehicle necessary? It all works better with proper budgeting and it brings a worthwhile experience.

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Some things needed to be prepared

During my trip to Laiya, all my expenses summed up into a whopping  ₱ 4,500. Why? Because of the poor travel decisions and lack of money distribution. At first, the discussion with the accommodation was acceptable and I have agreed to pay (blindly at how bad it was). Second, there was the grocery disaster. I had my own part of the groceries but I didn’t know the rest of the groceries were left under my expense. While I thought I made it clear in the first place, it turns out they didn’t understand well. They’ve only decided on what to get within the same day which was a bad idea and left the grocery list with confused items that are ongoing. With the rush that was going on right after shift and before the travel, we grabbed what’s needed hastily which unexpectedly scarred my wallet. Lastly, it was the rented van that costs ₱ 5,000. Though we did share the fee, it was not fair to everyone who went. But, if we could’ve taken the bus anyway everything would have been less harsh.

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We had food for the night but honestly had hunger strike in the day.

I stopped myself from pondering about the loss that’s only in one trip to BATANGAS. It isn’t supposed to amount like ₱ 4,500 when going to Batangas. (My trip to San Juan, Batangas only costs ₱ 2,500) With that amount, I could’ve been to Palawan already! The only way to relieve this is to avoid the similar mistake and to dispute money under necessary points:

  • Accommodation costs
  • Travel fares (pamasaje)
  • Food budget (personal and/or group)
  • Airplane fees (if needed)
  • Medicine
  • Emergency money

Again, the list goes on depending on especially on the kind of traveler but this is to avoid extraneous costs even if someone’s rich.

3. FIND A BETTER SQUAD

The more the merrier?  Not exactly. Traveling in groups are meant to be fun but not all the time. A vacation or a travel is supposed to release the stress of work and the toxic people, but, what if the toxic people themselves come along the travel? Would a vacation bring the best in a travel? Of course, it’s a big N-O.

From the start, when no one was responding to the chatroom at work regarding the plans I should’ve doubted about the travel. There were so many travel invites those days and I choose to be with rash individuals. This made us lack in any sort of decent proposals. Secondly, decisions are made luxuriously like social climbers would do. Honestly speaking, they seem to want to be somewhere of a higher status but it’s a known fact we are not earning highly in our job. The same reason we ended up with an expensive van rental. I could’ve joined my friend Miley on a mountain travel since they never spend so much on travels and they are more experienced when it comes to traveling. The worst part that they didn’t make my stay comfortable. All the time they were playing cruel jokes. It would be okay on occasions but it seems to be their goal every time especially during serious decision making moments like in the grocery. I am honestly volatile when it comes to words. 

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The beach was crowded along with the people I was with.

Anyway, I’m glad to be out of their stratosphere! It was a stressful to be with them. This part made me re-think about the people I trust. I believe the longer I stayed the more I could’ve adapted to their behavior. With that said, I choose to rethink about the people to get along with:

  • I should know who are the ones to go with.
  • I should get to know their personalities.
  • The people I will go with should at least be nice.
  • I’ll travel with experienced travelers.
  • I’ll get along with wise decision makers.
  • I should travel with people who seem safe.
  • Those who’ll join should make me comfortable with actions and words.
  • I should travel with people who are flexible as much as I can.
  • I’LL GO WITH PEOPLE I TRUST.

If ever one day I’ll go with a band of people who I don’t know like backpackers, I should be wary. I’m highly going along with people I certainly trust next time. I do make mistakes and not only with choices but also with people. I’m happy I was able to overcome this and glad I was able to breathe this experience away. Despite having a troubled travel, at least I was able to have good pictures!

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