I've been dreaming of the moment that I'll be coming home for Christmas. It's hard to be away from your loved ones and friends especially on a Holiday Season. When I got the chance to book my ticket I was all smiles and waited impatiently for that date to come. The Christmas rush shopping was exhilarating and energy draining. I had to juggle it up with my stressful work at the same time. I'm writing down a few realizations I had during my vacation and a few pointers for a memorable trip this 2015.
Here are a few Christmas Tips I've learned from 2014.
If you're planning to be home this Christmas then hunt down your promo fare ticket months before your desired date. It pays to book early, you can save more, plot your annual leave ahead with your coworkers and even plan out for your activities. Mine was booked 6 months before December, just imagine how much I've saved.
It's one of my worries when I decided to be home during Christmas Season. For the average workers our main concern regarding this matter would be about the money so we tend to wait for our bonus, 13th month pay or a months pay before the trip to buy our gifts. However, I realized that buying this gifts weeks or a month before a trip is too stressful. I tend to buy useless stuffs and worst case scenario its way over my budget. Now I realized, not really just now I knew about this long enough when I started working abroad and just simply ignored the fact. It's better to buy gifts ahead of time. Next time I'll make sure to buy gifts months before my trip to avoid the Christmas rush shopping and to save money as well. There are lots of sale when its not yet Christmas , take advantage of deciding which significant item fits the person you're giving it too. I'll continue to focus on buying gifts for my family, a few items for my close friends and some chocolates for everyone.
Do your research if you're planning to spend your holidays in a foreign country. Determine the weather when you get there so you can plan out your activities. In Philippines rainy season starts half of the weather. The temperature is quite cold during December so less beach outing for now and focus on indoor recreation. For some it would be winter so plan out a skiing activity or if you're that adventurous head out to the mountains, and while you're up there please sing the Frozen Soundtrack at the top of your lungs. That will surely make your snow mountain hike more unforgettable.
For some people they consider this troublesome but let me tell you how smart it is to jot down your vacation checklist. First, you'll be able to track down which activity you want to do next or is on the list. I made sure I had one beach outing jam packed with outdoor activities. You just have to grab the right day for it and make sure the gang is up for it when the weather permits. Second, you'll be able to prioritize what needs to be done. In my part I had to follow up my insurance and bank accounts and a few ID renewals before I leave the country. Third, you'll be able to set a date with each of your set of friends for lunch or dinner together. When everyone is working in different companies the time schedule is as chaotic as leaving your earphones in your bag along with your keys. Its tangled but of course it's manageable. You just need to plan out a date suitable with your schedule along with your family and friends. It also ensures that dates are properly set and avoids clashing with your minimal time for meet ups during your stay. In addition, the vacation checklist also gives you the idea how many gifts you need to buy.
5. Feed your stomach
I miss everything about my place especially the food. I always make sure to add this in my vacation checklist too (refer to number 3). It's a holiday season so expect a feast around your table. The perfect place to eat all the foods you've dream of when you were away from home. I tasted all the foods I've missed because I don't want to regret not being able to have a piece of my favorite cake, dish and drink in my beloved homeland. There's a saying that I truly believe is true "a key to a man's heart is through his stomach", this I tell you relates to women too.
Take lots of picture with every activity you do. You don't want to miss any special moments left undocumented. Tag your family and friends and let them know how you appreciate their presence.
I forcefully asked my younger brother to prepare my welcome banner. ahahaa