Hello spring! It's only a month to go before April, my birthday month yay! I'm quite excited to pick up my new passport next week though I don't have birthday plans as of yet, geez. As always, I'm looking forward to travel this year on my birthday, hopefully this year this will be possibility (do I see a glimmer of hope? Uhm, I'm not sure tbh).
Going back to the passport renewal thingy, I totally didn't expect that it would be a piece of cake. My sissy and I went to DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs) around 5 PM and had our passport renewed in less than 15 minutes (in my estimate). I initially opted for the regular fee and not the express since it is cheaper at Php950 plus I'm not really in a hurry to get a new passport however, I end up paying Php1,200 because the regular renewal is not available on Saturdays (believe it or not). I need to get things done so I paid the express fee anyway.
I've been browsing several travel sites for months since my trip to Hongkong last year. I already have a run down of places that my sister and I would like to visit for our birthday this year either in Vietnam or Thailand. I know that it may sound strange but I decided to copy tour itineraries from travel agencies because I noticed that they have a list of decent budget hotels and tourist spots to go. During our HK getaway we booked a 4D 2N Free & Easy tour package from a travel agency and were surprised that the places we visited aren't worth seeing at all plus we have a lot of idle time I thought we didn't really get value for our money.
For budget travellers like myself, there are pros and cons in booking with travel agencies. For pros, let's start with the fact that it is more convenient because everything is already provided for such as the hotel, meal (depending on your package), itinerary for the day, transportation (bus/coach), etc. It is also safer to travel with a group because whatever happens to you, they got your back. Some travellers say that booking with travel agencies is also cost effective because they often get the best deals also, you don't have to worry about tipping and all. For more private people like me and my sister I hate travelling with bunch of strangers, that's one of the cons for booking with travel agencies. For group tours there is a certain schedule that you have to follow so let's say you woke up late then you have to wait for the next batch, that sucks. Another con is that there is so much idle time after the tour. For the most part, there are more interesting places to visit if you Google it. If you want to explore places it's up to you. I didn't have a very good experience booking with travel agencies and I think I can do better with the tour itinerary with a lot of research and tips from traveller review sites.
Gosh I miss travelling so much my itchy feet is driving me crazy. I'm looking forward to explore the richness of Southeast Asia because there's so much more to see. I miss temple hopping and food trippin'.
I can't wait to hit the road again.