Travel tips from Ferdinand Decena of


By KC Santos

MANILA CITY, METRO MANILA – If there is one important thing that Ferdinand Decena has learned from his travels, it’s to never neglect the small things.

To him, these small things can result to serious repercussions if consistently forgotten whether by a well-rounded nomad or a rookie traveler.

Ferdinand started En Route in 2003 and since then, his award-winning blog has drawn a large audience. He also has a food blog called Happy Foodies.

His entries are mostly his personal trips in and outside the country. His exceptional photos often draws raves from readers.

Ferdinand shares these tips for budding travelers.

1. Have an itinerary. Not all places are searchable on the Internet; in some cases, you only discover the place itself when you’re there already. A well laid out itinerary can help a traveler focus on their goals and maximize their precious time out of town.

Ferdinand’s basic travel scheme revolves around these five basic points: Pick a destination. Check your time frame or number of days you’ll be traveling. Do research (accommodations, sights, food, transpo). Figure out a tentative budget per day. Outline the timetable and activity per day.

2. Let people know where you’re headed – Like in the movie “127 Hours”, he noted the importance of leaving a copy of your itinerary at home. (Ferdinand, though, admits failing to follow this at times). Unexpected circumstances can occur so it’s best to let people closest to you know where you’re headed.

3. Print multiple copies of your documents. In times of distress, you’ll never get the chance to open your PC to print a copy of your passport or plane ticket. Make sure to print out more than a single copy so you have documents ready when the situation requires it.

4. Invest in essentials. By this, he doesn’t mean beauty items. Bring only what you need. Invest in quick drying and lightweight clothes, which may be expensive but can save you some packing space.

Also, you’ll never know when you stumble upon private functions in your trip. Make sure you bring clothes than can pass off smart casual. For backpackers, must-haves include a flashlight, whistle, compass, dry bags and a padlock.

5. Trust the locals. Contrary to common belief, Ferdinand says locals are more cautious in the company of travelers or tourists, not the other way around. You need to learn to trust your guide BUT earned not by giving them cash.

6. Be flexible. Whether you’re travelling alone or with a group, you need to be patient and flexible, especially when things don’t go as planned. Don’t waste your emotions ranting and annoying your companions. Just let “loose”. The true character of a person is tested when something goes totally wrong.

7. Enjoy the moment. Taking photos is part of travel don’t just point your camera left and right. Do it leisurely, cut yourself some slack and just enjoy the moment.

8. Leave room for spontaneity. A sudden detour or change of plans can always add a dash of excitement to your adventure. However, whenever you feel like doing anything random, refer to the previous pointers.

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