Travel is an escape for me. Planning a trip is partially escaping my reality so it has begun. Probably you do not know this about me because it’s your first time here on my blog: I am a cheapskate. Earning from my day job (not that I have other jobs) and saving as much as possible – or not because I enjoy Iced Shaken Hibiscus tea with Pomegranate Pearls a lot- is a hard thing to do.

In the next few days, I must live the frugal life again. Did you know? Back in 2015, for me to afford my month-long Southeast Asia trip (Cambodia-Vietnam-Laos-Thailand-Malaysia-Singapore), I kept my Debit/ATM card at home for weeks until I reached my target. I was on a strict budget which made me sounded so pathetic. Especially when I had to phone my mother and suggested that I take a different route back home on a rainy night which would cost me more than I had. Plus they had to pick me up somewhere near our place. Of course she didn’t agree to it. I ended up walking my way to EDSA to catch on my bus. My feet were soaked and I wanted to give up that trip.

The positive thing I could think of that scenario was I lost 18 kilos that year. But I am slowly gaining it back so it doesn’t matter now.

Anyhow, apart from I look forward with the dietary impact of this travel, I am ecstatic as ever to plan ahead. This maybe a dream for now but I know I will be able to make it happen in December 2018. Or early 2019. Or late 2019. Let’s see how this goes in the next few months.

Countries of interest: Spain – France – Italy

Budget including the airfare, visas, travel insurance: Php 170,000.

Let the planning begins.

Indochina – X

I had no travel insurance because at last minute I decided I could save the money for other things; if I die, I die.

Which led me to mantra I-do-not-have-a-travel-insurance every time I get into trouble or I felt that a bad decision could be the cause of my death.

It’s safe to travel solo in Cambodia – Vietnam – Laos – Thailand. There were no major drama and hassle apart from the usual scams. Maybe it pays to be a Southeast Asian girl – I look like a local.

How many times did I walk around at night?

1. When I knew there was KFC 10 steps away from my hostel at Phnom Penh.

2. The night I arrived at Ha Noi and was dropped off 10 blocks away from my hostel which happened to be in a small alley and walked around again to find food.

3. Walk back to hostel from afternoon stroll at Luang Prabang (includes night market).

4. Another walk from and to hostel to eat around the night market at Luang Prabang.

5. The night I arrived at Vientiane and the tuktuk driver forgot to drop me off at my hostel. He said “it’s just 5 minute walk” and grinned annoyingly. Thank God for working Google Maps, I was able to locate the hostel!

In all fairness, I felt safe but came to realize now that I could be found dead at any spot but I was not.


Batanes June 2015 Expense Breakdown

Honestly, I didn’t plan my first visit to Batanes well. I purchased my round trip airfare in September 2014 and immediately read blogs. But since I was preoccupied planning for my Indochina trip, I wasn’t able to reread blogs. So budget and itinerary was more of “bahala na lang si Lord” plan. The only great thing was Kuya Mon Imperial of Crisan Lodge gave me an idea how my days in Batanes should be spent and possible cost for tours and ordered food.

Crisan Lodge has a grocery store on the first floor. Thus the grocery items on this list means other food, laundry detergent and other thimajings.

To those who have dreamed of flying to Batanes, keep waiting for that seat sale, keep dreaming.

Travel dates: June 12 – June 18

Day 1

Grocery Item15
Mineral Water50
Souvenir (Naidi Lighthouse)200
North Batan Tour Shared Tricycle500
Lunch at SDC (1 viand, 1 rice)95
Bottled drink (Real Leaf Iced Tea) at Octagon Bed and Dine40
Dinner (BBQ, Rice)95

Day 2

Grocery Items63
Faluwa Ride to Sabtang75
Sabtang Island Environmental Fee200
Sabtang Tour (All municipalities)1300
Souvenir (Vakul and Tubho Tea)350
Dried Fish250
Coconut Crab for Dinner200
Dinner (Fish Sinigang, 1 vegetable viand, rice, paluto fee for the crab)130
Grocery Item23

Day 3

Boat to Ivuhus1000
Half Day Tour Fee (Motorcycle)700
Accommodation for 2 nights400
Tshirt bought from Conscience Store222
Dinner (1 meat viand, 1 vegetable viand, rice)120

Day 4

Faluwa Ride to Batan Island75
Grocery Items68
Buko Pandan Dessert20
Tricycle to Naidi Lighthouse50

Day 5

Grocery Items65
Honesty Coffee Shop (Juice, Biscuit)50
Lunch Meal300

Day 6

Grocery Item97
Accommodation at Crisan Lodge1600
South Batan Tour (Shared Van c/o Crisan Lodge)450
Grocery Item20
Casa Napoli Pizza1010
Bike Rental Fee (First Day)60
Dinner at Fundacion Pacita600
Tricycle to/from Fundacion100

Day 7

Tricycle to airport30
Terminal Fee100


I know, Rinbee happened and had to treat my friends with pizza on my last day because they treated me with pizza, and dinner! And who does have pedicure in Batanes, right? I had too many unnecessary spending. Solo travel doesn’t need to be this expensive, I tell you. 😉

Should you have questions, go on and ask.