Friday, June 23, 2017

How I found cheap flight promos via the Traveloka App

I dunno if it’s my broken toe (which has me stuck at home unless it’s necessary to go out) or my hangover from our summer vacations (which were super fun!) or my cheerful hope that by some miracle we can afford a trip abroad by the time sem break rolls along (because when there’s 5 of you, travel is suddenly so very expensive!), but I’ve found myself playing around with my Traveloka App. Not going anywhere soon since school’s just started and we’re still recovering from the tuition and other school expenses, but a mama can dream and I found that this flight-and-hotel booking app is making my dreams not so far-fetched at all! 

But first, let’s look at the last time my kids were in an airplane, which would be when we went to Bohol almost exactly two years ago. I only shared photos of us at Bohol so here's us at the airport and on the plane:
Vito is 5, Iñigo is 3, and Piero is 1.
Kuya Vito and Baby P!
Looking at the planes go by!
That's our flight to Bohol!
His first plane ticket.
My big boys. Vito loves plane rides. Iñigo, not so much.
My baby!
Beautiful green Bohol!

So cute! Must fly with the kids again soon! On my goals page in my planner, a trip to Hong Kong Disneyland dominates. We’ve been there once as a family (see here for that wonderful trip!), and with my youngest Piero now turning 3, I think it’s time for us to go back. 

I don’t know if two parents with three small kids going to an amusement park is a good idea, and I don’t think our bank account will agree that this is going to happen but I’m asking God to gift us with more fun adventures anyway. That can be a family trip abroad, yes, but I’m also okay if He wants us to stay home and use the money for music lessons and sports workshops. So just to check if this goal is achievable (and you reach a goal by breaking it down to small manageable steps), the first thing to do is find out how much it will cost. Traveloka App, do your thing!



Here’s the landing page for the app. Organized and easy to navigate. I really like this about the Traveloka App (see my first review here)! You can instantly see the promo announcements and the options for booking either flights or hotels. There are price alerts and a promo tab, so you always know the best deals. At the bottom of the page are the My Booking and My Account tabs. Here, I register the details of every member of my family which saves me time because I won’t need to input these deets whenever I book!

So... Hong Kong Disneyland! I tapped on flights, said we’re flying from MNL to HKG, tapped the projected departure date, the number of travelers in my party, and tapped “Search.” 


After a few seconds, a list of airlines with flights to Hong Kong appeared. I know I said I want to save but when you have kids, you also want to take into consideration the times they are most amenable to travel. For my kids, for example, that would be after breakfast and just before dinner. Why? They’ve eaten, they’ve pooped, and they’re ready for an adventure. Any trip that’s too early or too late will mean me dealing with cranky, sleepy, hungry, miserable kids. Parents, it’s not always about the cheapest flight tickets! Always think of your kids first!

Let’s look at that list. 

As you can see, the flights with the lowest fares sit on top. So if you’re after the cheapest flight, you see the deal stat! Those would be the Cebu Pacific flights. As for me, I have to check the ETD. The best ETD for my family is 11:00 am, but since there’s no flight available at that time, the best one is the one that leaves at 4:20pm. It’s also the cheapest one hooray! At the price of P4,299 per person, that’s P21,495. I picked that flight and the return flight selection quickly came up on my phone’s screen. The cheapest one (at P3,802.61 pax) is also the flight that is kindest on my family—not too early and maybe a bit late, but not too late. When you have little kids, you really must consider when they’re happiest. You know all those kids who cry on planes? That’s because they’re very unhappy!


Anyway, a summary of my selected flights appeared for review, then I filled in my details, added my family’s details, and then I got another page summarizing my flights. The total price of our trip was P38,321.71.

Payment time! Traveloka has lots of payment options! I like paying via credit card. I have a special card just for online transactions. For those who don’t like using their card online, there’s over-the-counter payment at BPI, BDO, Land Bank, RCBC, Metrobank, China Bank and UCPB. You can also pay at 7-Eleven and M. Lhuillier. Very convenient! 

Okay, like I said, I’m only playing around with the Traveloka App so I didn’t push through with the final transaction. There’s no budget yet for Disneyland as of today. That’s okay. We’ve gone on a lot of vacations this year and that’s truly enough for me. But this Traveloka App sure is making me think more adventures are possible so maybe, maybe!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

A day in my life as seen through IG Stories

Over at Instagram, there is this thing called IG Stories that I very seldom use. I don't understand the point of taking snaps and videos of one's life and then those will be automatically deleted in 24 hours. Whyyyy???

But while I was chatting with social media star Camille Co for our Calyxta.com shoot, she said that IG Stories are important because you remind people of your presence. Because of Instagram's new algorithm, your posts don't show up on people's feeds anymore. They prioritize business profiles, for example, because those accounts are more likely to pay for ads or to show up more on your feed. But a way to get around that is IG Stories. Every time you do an IG Story, your profile pic shows up on the top of the app. So people see you now!

I see! So I tried it for one day. Here's a day in my life:
Early in the morning, I brought Vito to school. It's my husband who usually does this but since our car is color-coded that day, I brought Vito instead.
   
I didn't want to get an Uber back home (P400 for a few kilometers are you kidding me???). But since it was rush hour, I couldn't get a taxi or a bus either. So I took the jeep to the nearest mall. And shopped haha. I don't do this every day, okay? This was an anomaly!

At 10am, it was no longer rush hour and I was able to book an Uber. The fare now was no longer insane. And I was able to read my new magazine in the car. Was really inspired by this 44-year-old mommy who took charge of her health!

At home, I had to get the next son ready for school. Good thing I didn't have to worry about lunch because of Harvest Family Comfort Meals. I've been availing of this meal delivery service for over two months now. What a lifesaver for working mamas like me! I'll blog about them next week!

Bringing my Iñigo to school now! Isn't he a cutie? Again, it's Vince who usually brings the kids to school so this was my first time to do this. I was so shocked because he had a tantrum when I dropped him off. He doesn't get upset when Vince drops him off. So even though we got to school early, he was still late because he refused to go inside. Vince and I figured that our little kindergartener got separation anxiety when I took him to school.

Okay, at this point, I just stayed near the boys' school because I was getting Vito in a couple of hours. I also did this last year. I usually spend the time waiting getting my nails done, shopping, or more likely working. I'm always working! I wrote two articles while I waited for Vito to be dismissed.

And here he is! We super love waiting at the gas station near their school. It's nice because it's surrounded by trees and they have really good cheap pizza. Yum! We don't go home yet because we have to wait for Iñigo. We spend this time doing activities. We've done making our own comic strips and listing down our bucket lists and deepest fears. We also do homework. But we mostly chat and I also let him play with the other kids from school.

Iñigo is out and we're off for home!

At home, I get ready to cook dinner. This is Iñigo helping me unpack my new Oster ceramic pots and pans that I got from the Landers anniversary sale. I got red because it's his favorite color and he's the one who likes to cook.

After this was dinner, then a little TV, then bedtime. Good night! 

And that was one day! My days change every day. Depends on whether I have events or meetings, but this one day I posted on IG Stories was a good day. I don't think I can do IG Stories again, though. It is so hard! I found myself thinking that my day wasn't interesting enough, which is ridiculous. My days are not fascinating at all and that's okay because I'm a mommy. Mommies already have so much to do! I will admit this was an interesting exercise but I don't think I'll do it again!

How about you? Do you like IG Stories? Who's your favorite IG people to follow? I need to be inspired haha

P.S. Here's another good reason why you should do IG Stories: https://cupofjo.com/2017/06/best-instagram-stories-home-edit/

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Can't wait to watch Cirque du Soleil's Toruk - The First Flight!


Whenever Cirque du Soleil is in town, my husband Vince and I just need to watch their breathtaking acrobatic shows. And so now that they're back to present its Asian premiere of TORUK –  The First Flight in Manila, we are definitely watching it! The show is inspired by James Cameron’s box-office mega hit movie, Avatar, which Vince and I really enjoyed. "Avatar is really meant to be a celebration of human motion and human emotion," James Cameron, writer and director of Avatar, says. "Cirque is able to capture that absolutely perfectly because it’s all about human performance and physicality. It makes you feel alive to watch these performers!” 

I can't wait to feel alive! The last time we watched a Cirque du Soleil performance, we braved floods and heavy rains (see here for that very wet and spectacular night!). But it was oh so worth it! So I know that TORUK – The First Flight will be beyond fantastic. The fact that it's inspired by the biggest movie of all time and because we're bringing our three little boys with us to watch make me SO EXCITED for this weekend!


Yes, my three boys will watch with us! It was really just supposed to be me and Vince, but the kids kept seeing the billboards on EDSA. 

Vito: Are those people, Mama?

Me: No, they are giant aliens.

Iñigo: Giant aliens?!

Piero: Aliens!

Vito: Are they here on Earth???

Me: Yes.

Piero: Aliens!!

Iñigo: Are they invading our planet???

Me: No, they're going to tell us a story about their planet through some really cool dancing.

Vito: Can we watch this show???

Me: Well...

Piero: Aliens!!!

And that is why we're watching giant aliens this weekend! I hope you can watch with us, too! Okay, here are more details about the show that I got from the press kit:

1. James Cameron’s world of Pandora and its inhabitants, the Na'vi, are brought to life through a riveting fusion of cutting-edge visuals, puppetry, and stagecraft buoyed by a soaring cinematic score. This live immersive experience also bears the distinct signature of directors and multimedia innovators Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon. It is a living ode to the Na’vi’s symbiotic coexistence with nature and their belief in the basic interconnectedness of all living things.


2. Since Fall 2015, TORUK – The First Flight has traveled through Canada, the United States and Mexico. It starts its Asian tour in Manila! "After 15 months of touring North America and over 1.3 million fans, we are ecstatic to make our Asian debut in the great city of Manila! We heard Filipinos love the movie Avatar so we really hope they will join us to revisit Pandora in this visually stunning live setting. TORUK is a one-of-a-kind show with breathtaking video projections, impressive acrobatic acts, gigantic puppets. There is truly something for everyone in the family!’’ says Janie Mallet, publicist for TORUK – The First Flight. 

3. The show will be presented at the Mall of Asia Arena from June 23 to July 2, 2017.

4. Tickets start at P1,500 and are now on sale at www.cirquedusoleil.com/toruk and smtickets.com.


5. TORUK –  The First Flight in Manila is proudly sponsored by Globe LIVE. Globe LIVE is Globe Telecom's original productions arm designed to produce shows, live events, and engaging world-class content. Stay tuned to Globe Telecom's official Facebook page www.Facebook.com/GlobePH and @enjoyGlobe on Twitter for updates on special deals. 

Here's a video so you can see them in action:

Can't wait! Please watch! It will be spectacular! Buy your tickets here: SM Tickets.

Follow TORUK –  The First Flight at www.facebook.com/torukthefirstflight, Twitter: @cirque, Instagram: @cirquedusoleil, and Snapchat: @CirqueSnap, by checking the following hashtags: #TORUK #Avatar #CirqueduSoleil. For more information about Cirque du Soleil, visit https://www.cirquedusoleil.com.