The Joys of Trip Planning

Travel planning can be a challenge, especially when you’ve gotten used to the luxury of finding all the information you need online and then being able to make all the reservations online too to finalize your plans. My first day in the Philippines was rather frustrating (but ultimately productive) because of that’s not quite how things work yet over here.


A lot of businesses and attractions in PI have no official websites or their official sites are just bad—poor functionality, out-of-date information, the whole shebang. When it comes to hotels, there’s a good chance that you can’t make reservations online. You have to submit an inquiry form via their website or email the hotel to check rates and availability and start the reservation process.

So I spent my first day overseas glued to a laptop doing research and hashing through a million variables. At one point I told my dad (in a tone of great exasperation), “It’s like being back in the mid-’90s when I was trying to book travel!!” He tried really hard not to laugh at my aggravation, but couldn’t hold back an amused grin. Talk about literal first-world problems.

The good news? By the end of the day, I had set up a new router in my dad’s house so he has wifi again. Since his office isn’t air conditioned, this is a giant “YAY!” Hopefully all of us kids will have an easier time reaching him via VOIP and Skype if he can bring his laptop into his bedroom, which does have A/C.

I also got one of the main parts of my trip locked down. Our 4 day/3 night trip to Palawan is reserved and the resort is working on trying to get us the permits we need to go on the tour of the famous Underground River. I’ve got my fingers crossed since that’s my main motivation for island-hopping over to Palawan!

Getting that part of the itinerary set meant that the rest of the trips-within-my-trip fell into place in the schedule. Now to research and book hotels and transportation for those trips . . .

Currently listening to: “Whistle” by Flo Rida


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