Short Noticed International Trips?
Asia Philippines

Short Noticed International Trips? Planning and Minimizing The Costs!

By
on
June 5, 2019

Do you have a short noticed international trips within six months of notice? And it means you have to buy your plane tickets in less than two months?! It would happen to us, especially if you married someone who originally lives from another side of the world.

We get noticed around October, and we bought our plane ticket on New Year’s Eve. I know, if only my husband will believe me sometimes, lol, so we could get a good deal. I started tracking the ticket price since the end of October, and if we were able to buy it around November, we could have purchased plane tickets for $200 less per person. For that amount multiplied for four people, we could have saved $800 for plane tickets, plus the route is still direct from JFK- HKG-CEB.

Planning and minimizing costs?
  • Car rental.
  • Drive to a bigger airport.
  • When you get within six months trip, start to look for plane tickets right away. Don’t wait too long the faster you book, the better deals you get in terms of price and route.
  • Apply for a credit card that will give you money back if you used it in a certain amount within a specific time. Be sure to get a card that you can use international travel without letting you pay a foreign transaction fee. For us, we love the Capital One Quicksilver card and or Capital One Venture Card.

Since we’re not financially suitable for this trip, we rented a car for an overnight rental. We drove to my younger sister house to celebrate my nephew first birthday and spend the night there. It’s a 4 hours drive from Rochester, New York and a two to three hours drive going to New York City Airport (JFK). We left at their house before noon, and the car needs to be in by 3:30 pm. It’s beneficial that we rented one and returning it is easy pissy you have to drive back to where the car rental is and ride the train back to the airport. It took my hubby less than 20 minutes to drop us off at the airport, return the car to the rental service and ride the train back to where we are.

Why should you rent a car if you will travel longer?
  • In renting a car, it minimizes the hassle for looking affordable parking.
  • It’s cheaper this way than paying a higher price parking fee.
  • You don’t have to worry if your car is safe where you leave it.
  • They are covered for AAA in case you get a breakdown.

Our flight is at 7: 00 pm from New York City and arriving in Vancouver, Canada at 12: 00 midnight. We decided to stay at the airport, and the four of us have a sound sleep in the waiting chair. I was anxious for this trip as my son can be picky, but I am glad he was fine and didn’t bother him at all. If you have a long haul flight at this airport, you can have a sound sleep were not bothered by the announcement at the airport it is hushed and peaceful. It’s like we have the airport for ourselves, which is excellent!

What’s the advantage of having a long haul flight?
  • It’s relaxing, to be honest, you don’t need to run around with your children at the airport trying to make it to the next flight.
  • You’re enjoying your time with your family travel and not stressing out with your time.
  • Have more time to spend around the airport and getting familiarized with what kind of food they offered.
  • You are paying less for your plane tickets.
What’s the disadvantage for a more extended layover?
  • The disadvantage for a more extended layover is that you have to spend a long time in an airport and not able to sleep in a comfortable bed.
  • It means you have more hours of travel time than spending it to the destination you wanted to visit.
  • If your travel days are shorter, the more extended layover isn’t recommendable because you do spend more travel hours than enjoying the place you’re visiting.

Family in Maravilla Tabuelan

 

It’s been nine years since my church wedding in the Philippines, and it’s our first time to gather as a family for my younger brother wedding. It’s a big deal for us plus my sister, and I never have a picture with our father since we’re young and we have to make this trip possible to make this all happen for both of us and to our children.

This trip is different than other tours we made in visiting the Philippines, and it’s like a dream come true for us to be able to see my father together again with our husband and children in tow. At least we’re blessed to have this experienced even for once in our life, but hopefully, it will happen again.

I still manage to plan some small trips for us to see as a family and celebrate my husband birthday. My planned itinerary didn’t go as I expected it because of the low pressure. But I’ll still include the whole plan so in case some of you will be able to do it.

My husband total vacation time is only up to thirty days, and so it means limited vacation time for him. I have to insert our trip accordingly aside from visiting family and friends. We’re so blessed to see the people together who helped us when we were younger.

Here is our planned itinerary in going to the Northern part of Cebu.

 

Day 1-  Day 4

We rode an air-conditioned bus from North bus terminal going to Hagnaya. The bus will drop you off where the boat is waiting you need to buy a ticket going to Malapascua Island. The ride takes about 20-25 minutes if the weather condition is reasonable.

Note:
  • The reason I picked Malapascua Island because you can visit Kalanggaman Island, which is part of Leyte for a day trip it takes 2 hours ride in visiting this island, and you can ride back to Malapascua. The price will be around 800 pesos or $16 for a group tour you can also opt to do a private tour if you’re in a big group’s prices depends on how you huggle the boatmen.
  • I planned to let my hubby experienced diving for his birthday as it is one of the best diving spots in Cebu province. Prices can vary on each company and how you huggle the price.

Rodes

It never happens as I planned it, but we all still enjoy roaming around and wandering the island. The resort we stayed got to have a night band during my hubby birthday, so I got to ask them to sing a Happy Birthday for him.

Most of our visit there is just a relaxing type of trip as we weren’t able to go anywhere, but we enjoy the beach and roaming around the island.

On our last day in Malapascua, we took the boat back to Hagnaya port, and from there I have to do last-minute helped from my friends trying to connect if anyone can drive us to Tabuelan. We were lucky that there is a van who slept there for a night and looking for extra passenger trip nearby while waiting for his Japanese passengers.

The trip from Malapascua going to Maravilla Tabuelan took us around 2 hours total, and we paid less than 2, 000 pesos it’s less than $50. It’s a reasonable price, and the trip is smooth as the road is wide and all cement except for one small area that they are currently working.

Malapascua Rodes

Day 4

We spent our night in Maravilla Tabuelan enjoying the beach and the beautiful sunset together with our family and friends.

Day 5

We woke up early and surprised our father for my younger sister birthday, and we then went to Bogo to eat breakfast in Jollibee, a favorite fast food place in the Philippines. It’s only an hour away from Maravilla Tabuelan.

On our way back home we did arrange a lunch with the floating restaurant in the main town of Tabuelan. It’s an excellent opportunity to experienced it and learned the mangroves, and the plants surround the river.

 

Floating Restaurant

Families and Friends

 

Tips:
  • You can always ask around for a motorbike ride going to Bogo price start at 30 pesos it is less than $1.
  • If you decide to include Maravilla Tabuelan in your itinerary, make sure you have a reservation ahead of time as they can be all fully booked in the area.
  • For the floating restaurant, they need a specific day to know your coming so they can prepare it. It’s not like in Bohol that its already known and too many tourists flock the area every day. The price and the quality of the food you get are reasonable.
  • In going back to the city, you can choose to take the road in Sogod, or you’ll do the Tuburan route. I love the Tuburan route if you leave early in Tabuelan you can make a stop to Busay area. I’ll write another tip to the next article but here is my write up about Tabuelan Cebu.
  • If you can have seven days to roam around the northern side of Cebu would be great! I suggest visiting Maravilla for two nights if you wanted to relax and unwind its a beautiful, peaceful town with a great beach and the sunset is spectacular!

 

Disclaimer: All ideas are mine based on our travel experienced. I recommend to check the prices and contact the Tourism office before your plan travel to make sure, prices can change drastically and it’s better to be prepared.

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38 Comments
  1. Reply

    Idyl

    June 6, 2019

    I read your blog and that’s what I do too, I book ahead of time to get better deals on airfare . I’ve noticed the difference and how it inflates not only a couple of bucks but we are talking hundreds of ???? ???? . I like your tips in roaming around Cebu .Thanks for the info….????

    • Reply

      April

      June 7, 2019

      Thanks for the lovely comments Idyl and glad that you agreed with me on this one! It is a big difference, and it’s beneficial for us to our family to save hundreds.

  2. Reply

    Tiffany

    June 7, 2019

    HI! Great article. This sounds like a wonderful trip. Thank you for the tips, especially related to what kind of credit card to look for and the why car rentals are better. Also, that floating restuarant, omg! So awesome!!!

    • Reply

      April

      June 7, 2019

      Thanks, Tiffany glad you enjoyed reading this one, and I hope I’m able to help you!

  3. Reply

    Kez

    June 7, 2019

    I appreciate how booking early can make your life easier, but I’m a last minute booker! I always find super cheap ways to get places though. I’m flying out for my summer holiday tomorrow morning and only just booked my flight yesterday afternoon. :oP

    I think living in Asia really helps with getting cheap last minute fights.

    • Reply

      April

      June 7, 2019

      I think it depends on the number of people too. My sister-in-law did that when we went to Los Cabos, and she told me she could have saved $400 if she listened to me. The same with my brother-in-law for hotel stay he paid total $600 more for his one week staycation the difference he books later than we do.

  4. Reply

    Chris Kosto | GoldenBloggerz.com

    June 8, 2019

    I’m exactly the pesona you wrote that article for 😛

    I never plan anything when I travel & I end up spending more than I should!

    So helpful article!

    • Reply

      April

      June 10, 2019

      Haha, at least I positively got you! Yes, I heard my two in-laws when we went to Los Cabos how they both ended up paying a couple of hundreds more for not booking it when I told them it’s time to book. Now, you can save a couple of hundreds, Chris 🙂

  5. Reply

    Britt

    June 8, 2019

    You’ve got some great advice here! I will agree that there are definitely some advantages to long haul flights. That’s the route we took when we went to Tanzania, and it gave us a chance to get a good sleep in on the plane, which meant we were well rested and ready to explore when we arrived.

    • Reply

      April

      June 10, 2019

      Yay, glad we have the same experienced, and yes, we’re ready to explore!

  6. Reply

    The Virginia Nymph

    June 11, 2019

    You have some of the best money saving tips for international travel I’ve read thus far. Thank you so much for sharing them with us!

    • Reply

      April

      June 11, 2019

      I’m glad to help others! You’re very welcome.

  7. Reply

    Kimberly Leatherwood

    June 14, 2019

    Great article and tips! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Reply

    TJ

    June 17, 2019

    This sounds like fun April…i see more pictures, i like!!!????

    • Reply

      April

      June 17, 2019

      Lol, I hope I can have purchased a camera so I can have better pictures it is frustrating sometimes when you like to take a photo, and your phone doesn’t have the things you needed.

  9. Reply

    Adriana

    June 17, 2019

    Thank you for these tips, especially the cost of a motorbike. As a solo traveler, it’s helpful to know what to expect in advance to avoid getting scammed.

    • Reply

      April

      June 17, 2019

      You’re very welcome!

    • Reply

      April

      June 18, 2019

      I’m happy to help!

  10. Reply

    Eric Gamble

    June 17, 2019

    I guess since I am a solo traveler or often just travel with Darcee my fiance’ I never really understand the challenges or extra costs you would have to deal with in terms of planning Short Noticed International Trips. I wonder if just taking Uber would be cheaper than hiring a rental car? Also, with extended layovers, I can only imagine the issues with handling several extra bodies so good advice there too!

    • Reply

      April

      June 18, 2019

      Thank you Eric!

  11. Reply

    Carol Colborn

    June 17, 2019

    My youngest daughter is also named April. She loves to travel like you, too! Hope you get to more and more places!

    • Reply

      April

      June 18, 2019

      It’s good to hear and thank you Tita, I’ll go where God allows me to 🙂

  12. Reply

    Josy A

    June 17, 2019

    I prefer to book early, but occasionally I’ve had to book at the last minute. It is possible to get good deals at the last moment, but it is way more stressful to find them!

    p.s. Occasionally I have found that booking too early is not good either. We booked flights to NZ, then realized I had the wrong dates, so cancelled them within 24 hours. It took 15 days to get my money back, so I was worried tickets would be even more expensive…instead they were $1000 cheaper(!) We saved $2000 in the end, and had better flights (booking two months in advance, rather than 3 months in advance.)

    • Reply

      April

      June 18, 2019

      Yes, I see your point it sometimes depend on the destinations you were in and the Airlines you are taking. There are last-minute tickets, but if you are traveling with family and with smaller and younger kids, it is better to plan and know the right timing to buy it. Last minute bookings it just advisable for a solo traveler or emergency travel but traveling us a family and with children in tow I don’t recommend doing the last minute thing if you need to be there with a limited budget.

  13. Reply

    Marya

    June 17, 2019

    I really want to go to Cebu someday. I’ve never been there before, but I’ve got plenty of my ex-coworkers who are from there. Some fellow Indonesians that have been there would go something like, “Cebu is pretty much like Bandung in the Philippines.” to describe how the city is similar to my hometown. One of the main reasons why I really want to go there to see it for myself. 🙂

  14. Reply

    MY RIG Adventures

    June 18, 2019

    Thanks for the great tips. I haven’t travelled long distance or overseas with my kids yet, so these are really great things to think about.

    • Reply

      April

      June 18, 2019

      Thank you and hope it does help!

  15. Reply

    The Holidaymaker

    June 18, 2019

    I remember reading somewhere that the sweet spot is 60 days in advance. I have done that, but much prefer a longer booking as accommodations usually gets booked so far in advance. It sounds like in the expand you had a wonderful family vacation and visiting with extended family as well.

    • Reply

      April

      June 18, 2019

      Yes, I’m glad someone sees it the way I noticed and see it! Like last two months ago, I looked for a plane ticket for Texas next year I saw $350 per person, and then I ask my sister in law how much she usually pays, she told me she always get it around $400- almost $600.

  16. Reply

    Nitin Singhal

    June 18, 2019

    It is insane how booking airfare tickets early can save tons of money. Nice tips on mimimzation of costs.

    • Reply

      April

      June 18, 2019

      Thank you!

  17. Reply

    Jas

    June 18, 2019

    I’m a super last-minute and spontaneous person so you bet I’m always travelling on short notice. This is a great guide though with some awesome tips. And I’m actually from Vancouver myself! We definitely have one of the cleaner airports in the world (plus a lot of the sections are new).

  18. Reply

    Life Of Y

    June 18, 2019

    Some fantastic tips here! I definitely see myself riding around on a motorbike. Sounds incredible. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply

      April

      June 19, 2019

      You’re very welcome and yes the kids love riding the motorbike there. They always brag it to their friends after the trip!

  19. Reply

    Melissa

    June 19, 2019

    I love that you mention credit cards as something that helps you travel. Personally, I have multiple credit cards solely for maximizing my vacations – like two Southwest cards so I get the Companion Pass and have my plus one travel for free. Love hearing about how yours helps you travel. 🙂

    • Reply

      April

      June 19, 2019

      Thank you, Melissa, do you have the write up about your Southwest cards?

  20. Reply

    Paige

    October 2, 2019

    A little spontaneity is fun, but you don’t want it to be costly! Great tips! It sounds like you had a lovely trip 🙂

    • Reply

      April

      October 4, 2019

      Yes, thank you for stopping by.

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April Key Rode
New York, USA

April Key Rode is a Bachelor graduate of Hospitality and Tourism Management. One of the researchers in Tabuelan "As An Eco-Tourism Destination." She loves to do research, writing, cross-stitching and dancing. Her favorite sports are badminton, biking, soccer, basketball, and bowling. She is a mother of two, and she loves traveling with her own family and friends.

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