Balikbayan on a Budget: Summer Vacation


BY ANNE QUINTOS

Itching to feel the summer heat and the Filipino warmth again? Before even booking your flight back home, here are three simple tips on how to enjoy a vacation and still keep your wallet healthy.

Set your budget and priorities

You know how the excitement of coming home makes you want to do a lot of catching up with most of your relatives and friends. Find some time planning and budgeting your trip. Ask yourself: How much should you spend for this vacation? Who do you want to spend it with, and where?

Always keep in mind that your vacation is about reconnecting with the people closest to your heart.  It's a breather from work. So don't blow off your savings and find the need to work doubly hard afterwards.

Trip Tip! Keep your vacation news within your closest kin. Arrange simple meet-ups with your best of friends. 

Know when to split the cost

Somewhere, there's an unwritten rule that balikbayans always foot the bill. That's why most can't say no to requests from their loved ones. From boxes of chocolates, new shoes, to upscale home appliances.

While some protest in silence, most balikbayans feel opening their wallets is the same as opening their hearts. It has been a way to bridge the gap, caused by the time spent apart.  Remember that enjoying the company of your family doesn't have to come at a high price tag.

Trip Tip! Ask for a relative's help to organize potluck for family reunions.

Control your vacation splurges

The local malls seem to have everything you need that you can't find abroad. "Clothes are cheaper here!" "I miss the taste of this de-lata!" "My Filipino friends will love this pasalubong!"

So, you end up having more balikbayan boxes with you than cash. Resist  buying all the souvenirs you can find. Just focus on the things you really need.

Trip Tip! Remember to jot down your expenses. 

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