Travel Woes and How to Avoid Them

Ever since hubs and I have been together, we’ve been doing a lot of traveling. Albeit not the kind of travel you expect, like going out of the country and sorts, though we’re getting there. I guess with us coming from different places allow us to travel to visit friends and family in different parts of the country.

But last year was different. Because Josh’s job took him to the northern part of Mindanao in the last quarter, we made the decision to spend it together with just us two. We were very happy that we did that because in the previous Christmases, we spent it with his and my family. So it was our first to celebrate the Yuletide season in an unfamiliar place.

And boy we had one of the best times of our lives.

Of course, our little adventure didn’t come without any setbacks. Like for example, my scheduled trip to CDO City was delayed for nine frigging hours, which led us to the decision of spending Christmas Eve in Cagayan de Oro City.

And on my way back home to Cebu in January, the ship that I was supposed to get on didn’t arrive. So another scheduled trip canceled. Without a single notice form the ferry company. Imagine the exasperation I felt. We were already in Nasipit where the ship was supposed to dock when I read an announcement my trip was canceled. What’s worse? They couldn’t provide definite schedule for the next trip. We had to travel to the next city, Butuan, to get a refund and to find another option to get home.

I remember the weather that day was really bad. We were drenched by the time we found a hotel. Imagine the exasperation and exhaustion we felt. Plus, we were low in cash at that time. It’s a good thing we still had some left enough to buy me a flight ticket home.

Well, as I think about what happened to us, it was one heck of an experience we don’t want to happen ever again. And I’m sure you don’t want to, too. So, I thought I’d share to you some travel tips that I hope can save from experiencing the same woes we had, especially during peak travel seasons, like the coming Holy week and Christmas.

Tip 1: Don’t go with the flow. 

If you can help it, don’t travel during peak days to avoid the crowd. I remember Josh telling me to sail to CDO on a Saturday to avoid the crowd. But I insisted on leaving on the 23rd because I had some stuff to take care of in the office. Well, I wished I listened to him. I could’ve saved myself from such a huge inconvenience.

If you’re going to travel during the peak season try to travel days before the holiday. Of course, if you have work, consider talking to your boss about work arrangements. Or, make use of your vacation leaves.

Tip 2: Opt for the most reliable.

On my trip to Gingoog City, I decided to go for Cokaliong Shipping Lines because they have a ship that sails from Cebu to Nasipit, which is just a 45-minute drive to Gingoog. A more convenient option than sailing to CDO City, or so I thought.

I called their office to reserve a ticket a month before my scheduled departure but was informed to try again in the first week of December. Well, I waited. When I tried again in December, they said to call back again at least two weeks before my travel date. I did. Well, nothing happened. A week before my scheduled departure, they told me they couldn’t issue any ticket because there was something wrong with their system. That was when I got really P.O’ed.

To make the story short, I had to book a ticket from another shipping lines at the last minute. Had I known it was going to happen, I should’ve bought me a flight to Butuan earlier,  saving me from all the inconvenience.

Tip 3: Be open to other transportation options. 

Thinking we could save money on opting for a boat ride to Gingoog City, I think we ended up spending more, what with the delay and unexpected expense.

To make things short, be open to other transport options. If we have a car, I’d probably just go on a road trip. Of course, renting is out of the question as I don’t have a driver’s license.

That said, it doesn’t hurt to check online for options. Like for example, RelayRides. I found this site on one of my musings on the net and it’s really interesting how they create a community allowing car owners to earn money from their cars by renting them out. What’s more? They also offer airport rentals. Man, if only we have that kind of service here. That would probably solve our transport issues. Anyway, the point is. Consider your options before making a choice.

Tip 4: Always have a backup plan. 

As the say, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Although, Josh and I have been planning my trip for a month, we didn’t plan enough. I also failed to anticipate the worse when traveling on a peak holiday. So yeah. Apart from having a Plan B, make sure you have Plan C and D as well.

Well, despite what happened, we still had a lot of fun spending quality time together in an unfamiliar territory. Would we travel during peak holiday season? Sure, we would. But we know better. And hopefully, this year, we’ll be able to do better in our holiday planning.

What travel woes have you experienced, and how did you overcome them? I’d like to hear them so we can all learn from our experiences.

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