Worry-free flights

My friend is off to fly to Belfast, Ireland (flights to Belfast) in a few days. When she told me about it, I had recollections of my previous trips abroad. Some are not-so-nice memories, but most are really wonderful! So, it makes me think…what makes a plane trip fun and stress-free? Here are some of my unsolicited tips on safe, comfortable, and worry-free flights! =)

1. Pack light.
This might be one of the hardest things to do, especially for moms like me. But believe me, when you learn the art of packing light, you’ll see how it makes traveling so much easier. Bring clothes that you can mix and match. Same goes with shoes and accessories. If you can, try to limit your shoes to just two pairs (one pair that you’re already wearing, and the other in your luggage). If you’re staying in a hotel, it might be wise to not bring towels anymore, as they will surely be provided. Rolling clothes are space-savers and prevents them from wrinkling.

2. Buy or better yet, borrow a sturdy luggage.
Checked-in baggage are usually just thrown around (unless declared fragile), so be sure your luggage is sturdy enough.

3. Label your baggage properly.
Make sure you label all your baggage with your name, address, and contact numbers. The labels should be secure and noticeable.

4. Tie a unique and colorful ribbon on your luggage.
This is one nice idea I got from my dad. It is no surprise that your luggage could be exactly the same brand, size, and color with other travelers on the same plane as yours. You could easily distinguish and spot your luggage when there’s a colorful ribbon tied to it. The other travelers also would not mistake it as their own luggage.

5. Weigh your baggage.
Check with your airline the allowed weight for your check-in and hand-carry baggage. Make sure you comply so that you won’t have to pay surcharge fees.

6. Check the time.
Give ample time for travel from your place to the airport so that you arrive at the airport a couple of hours before the check-in time of your flight.

7. Keep necessary documents handy.
Passports, airline tickets, and other important documents should be kept neatly in one easy-to-carry and handy bag/pouch.

8. Check your hand-carry bag.
Make sure you don’t have sharp objects like scissors inside your hand-carry bag. Check the regulations of your airline and destination country, as to what items are prohibited inside your carry-on luggage.

9. Place an extra set of clothes in your hand-carry bag.
This is just for emergency cases, when your flight is delayed and you would have to stay a night in another place, or when you accidentally spill something on your clothes.

10. Dress smart.
Wear comfortable, but presentable clothes and shoes. Dress according to the current weather of your destination country. You don’t want to be arriving in a freezing cold temperature in a tank top.

Bon voyage! =)

My birthday feast

Sharing some pictures of my birthday feast. =)

Lunch at Italianni's in Nuvali

Yummy Porkchops

Fetuccini Alfredo

Refreshing fruit shakes

Merienda at home

Pancit, Baked Mac, Ref Cake, Bread & Cookies, Iced Tea

Last year "in the calendar"

I'll be turning 31 in a few days, which means it'll be my last year "in the calendar" (it's a popular Filipino slang --- "wala na sa kalendaryo", translated to English: "not in the calendar anymore" -- because the highest number in the calendar months is just 31, it'll be my last year to be "in the calendar"). Hmm... should I feel old??? Nah! As the saying goes, "Age is a matter of mind. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter." Hehehe =) So, I'll continue to feel young and happy! =)

Nothing planned yet for my birthday. I just want to spend the day with my family. A simple and quiet celebration with the two most important persons in the world for me is enough to make my birthday special. I'm just looking for a place to go where we could have a fun day together. Last year we had a picnic in Tagaytay. Hmm... where to this year? Any ideas?

Road Trip

Our family is always on the road. Most weekends, we spend almost half the time inside our car, on our way someplace to visit a friend or a relative, to attend kiddie parties or family gatherings, or to simply explore a new place or an old-time favorite. Simply put, I can say we are a family of travelers.

I enjoy our family travels, most of the time, but I have to admit that sometimes it's too tiring especially with a toddler along. Our little one just can't stay put while inside the car! She always wants to do something when she's awake (which is more than half the travel time!).

When we go on long trips, my husband always complains that we bring a lot of things (like almost bringing our entire house! hehehe =) ). That's because aside from our personal things, we also have to bring along lots and lots of toys so that our little girl wouldn't be bored along the way.

About 15 minutes on our way, she'll pound on he
r mini-piano, which is really NOT music to our ears..hehehe :). Then, she'll ask mommy to read her a book, which is something I really couldn't stand because it makes me dizzy (so I just tell the story from memory while showing her the pictures from the book). Then she'll ask for something to eat, like peanuts or cookies. Soon after, she'll fall into a short (as in really short!) nap. This is my rest time, and I try to sneak in a few minutes of sleep myself. Before long, the little girl is awake once more, and now even more energetic! So again she asks for something to do. I rummage through her stuffs, and try to look for something to keep the little one busy once more, because if she gets bored, she'll surely have tantrums and that'll definitely be more difficult! When the trip gets really long (especially with the heavy traffic in the Metro), I soon run out of things to do with my precious little one. =(

Luckily, I came across a brilliant idea that will surely help moms like me keep their toddlers happy and busy while on the road. It's
actually a game called Road Trip Bingo.

Here's how the game goes: Everyone playing gets a Bingo card with various items people often see along the road. When you find an item on the card, place a sticker on it. The first person to get Bingo - horizontal, vertical, or across - wins. This game takes up time and makes traveling a lot more fun! I will surely try this one on our next road trip! Why not give it a try, too? Now, every long drive will be fun and exciting, and I wouldn’t have to worry anymore about keeping my little girl busy and happy! =)

Fun day in Manila

Being an only apo, my little girl is a bit spoiled with her grandparents. I know spoiling a child is not good, but I also believe in giving her a reward whenever she's a "good girl". =) And since she has been a good girl most of the time the past year, her reward is a day of fun with lolo and lola! =) The happy grandparents brought the excited little one to Manila Ocean Park and Star City last January 2, 2010. Of course, mom and dad, tagged along, too! hehehe ;)

Here are some pics of our fun day.