Summer is fast approaching and many of us are already preparing for our vacations. Whether it’s a trip out of town or out of the country, it’s a well-deserved break from school or work. But wherever you’re going, a great summer outing does not depend on the location. A spectacular time can be had whether in Berlin or Batanes, Paris or Palawan. What’s the secret to the perfect summer outing? We share with you some of our tips:
Bote Beach in Catanduanes
It’s easy to forget to drink water, especially when you’re busy having fun, but it’s important to stay hydrated during the summer months. The higher temperature means a higher risk of heat stroke, which can ruin a good vacation. This is especially true for beach trips or to Southeast Asian countries where the climate is the same as the Philippines. Bring a bottle of water wherever you go because prices will soar through the roof in tourist spots.
Shanghai’s Dong Tai Lu is home to vintage items and Mao memorabilia
9. Make sure you know where you’re going
Being spontaneous is a lot of fun, but having a schedule is also a good idea since it will maximize your time in a city or country. Aside from knowing where tourist spots are, it’s also a good idea to know how to get there. On a trip to Shanghai, I wanted to go to a little street called Dong Tai Lu where they sold vintage items. The thing is, it’s not a “tourist spot” and no one knew where it was. We couldn’t find it anywhere on the map either. Asking didn’t help because locals don’t speak much English. I eventually found it, but I wasn’t so lucky in Bangkok looking for the famous Khaosan Road. I have to admit, getting lost has its virtues, because I found a great acrobat show in Shanghai that I wouldn’t have found if I didn’t get lost.
Hong Kong’s Chi Lin Nunnery is a surprise oasis in a busy city
8. Stay away from tourist traps
They’re called tourist destinations and they’re fun to go to, but sometimes they become traps. On a trip to Bangkok, we decided to go to Damnoen Saduak, the floating market that became famous for its appearances in movies like James Bond’s The Man with the Golden Gun and Bangkok Dangerous. Because of this, every tourist has made the market a pitstop, and vendors capitalized it by selling souvenirs at three times its original price instead of authentic market chow. Usually there are hidden gems, like Ayuttaha in Thailand, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the Chi Lin Nunnery in Hong Kong, a large park/nunnery in the middle of the busy city.
A good traveler will know how to pack
7. Pack light and pack well
Packing is one of the most important parts of travel, and it’s a common symptom to overpack. It’s understandable, because we like to be ready for anything, in case we get a last minute invitation to an event with a dress code, or if we change our mind about our #OOTDs. It’s always better to pack light, because you’re going to bear the burden of carrying all of it in the airport and on your way to wherever you’re staying. Pack a set of clothes for each day, and bring an extra outfit or two. It’s also a good idea to make sure you can mix and match them, so you can switch them around on your trip. You don’t need 10 outfit changes on a weekend trip.
A typical day in Bangkok means dealing with the unbelievable heat
6. Protect yourself
Protection is very important, and we mean this in every sense of the word. The summer sun is unforgiving, so make sure to apply sunblock with a minimum SPF of 15 every few hours. Tanning lotions exist for those who want to go darker, but either way, slather on some lotion if you don’t want to get burned. Peeling skin off was fun when you were a kid, but it’s not fun as an adult. I made the mistake of not putting sunblock when I was in Thailand, and the Grand Palace didn’t provide shade so it was hot most of the time. Also, we mean protection by making sure you have all your belongings with you at all times. You wouldn’t want to lose your cellphone (and your photos!) while you’re on vacation!
MORE TIPS TO THE PERFECT SUMMER OUTING ON THE NEXT PAGE!