Australia, Preparation

How to apply for an Australian Tourist Visa Online: A guide for Filipinos

Back in September, my sister in Australia told me over Viber that she’s considering asking our mother to spend New Year’s with them again in Melbourne, and asked me if I am willing to accompany our mother to Australia. Of course, I am!

I’ve heard from friends and read in the comments section of my previous visa application guides that Philippine passport holders can now apply for an Australian tourist visa online. Since I do not like the stress that Manila traffic brings, and I do like doing business online, this was very appealing to me.
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Preparation

What’s in my bag?

Are you a first time traveler, and at a loss about what to bring on your trip? Here are some of the things I always make sure to bring whenever I go out of town.

Scarf, sarong, or jacket

Scarves are a good way to dress up your casual outfit, and it can also help keep you warm when the weather turns chilly. A light, dark-colored jacket can also do the trick.

A sarong has multiple uses — it can be used as a blanket, a beach wrap, or as a mat.
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Everything Travel

Get going with GetGo

Disclaimer: I was invited by GetGo for their media launch back in March, but the content here is based on my own experience as a GetGo member.

I’ve long been a customer of Cebu Pacific. I signed up as a member of Ceb Club, their old membership program, mainly so it’d be easier when I’m booking flights (or checking promo fares): I don’t have to fill out the form with my personal information.

Early this year, I received an email saying that my Ceb Club account has been converted to GetGo, which is Cebu Pacific’s new rewards program. It’s not a frequent flier program where you get points based on the miles you’ve flown. You get points based on the amount you’ve spent on airfare and add ons.

GetGo

For Cebu Pacific and CebGo flights, you get 1 GetGo Point for each Php 5 spent on fares and add-ons. When you have enough points, you can use them to fly for free!
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Phuket, Thailand

Phuket travel tips

I have traveled to Thailand several times since I first started backpacking in 2006, but haven’t made it to Phuket until last June. Here’s what I learned in our five-day stay there.

Phuket 00042

Direct flights vs. Transiting in Bangkok

Cebu Pacific flies direct to Phuket from Manila, but operates only twice or thrice a week. It’s okay if you are looking to only spend the weekend in the island, but it didn’t work for my schedule. What I did was to book Manila-Bangkok, and Phuket-Manila during one of their seat sales (bought tickets in November, flew June). The Phuket-Manila flight is around midnight, which is great, because it gives you one full day to spend at the beach.

There are a number of domestic airlines that can bring me from Bangkok to Phuket, but I went with Bangkok Airways because their flight arrival is the closest to the arrival of my brother’s flight from Singapore.
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Reviews, Thailand

Review: Angsana Laguna Phuket Hotel

Last November, I received a message on Viber from my brother: “Agoda is offering a pool villa in Angsana Laguna Phuket for only $10 more than the apartment, so I went ahead and booked it. Do you want to join us in June?”

Angsana Laguna Phuket

If you’ve been reading my blog long enough, you know that I travel for lesser reasons than that. In the next seat sale (which was about a week after our conversation), I booked my flights.

Laguna Phuket

The Angsana Hotel is located in the Laguna Complex, an area in Bang Tao, along with other resorts like the Banyan Tree, Dusit Thani, and the Outrigger Resorts. It is also the venue for the annual Phuket International Marathon.

Angsana Laguna Phuket

If you are staying at a resort in Laguna Phuket, and have arranged for an airport shuttle, you can wait at their lounge located right outside the international arrivals gate.
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