Wednesday, May 2, 2018


As a family, we love the beach. If we decide to hop on a plane for that next summer destination, chances are -- an island tour is on top of our itinerary.  We just love to bask in the sun, swim, snorkel, cliff dive -- these are some of the fun adventures we already explored in the past years.

So what is needed for that awesome, memorable summer vacation?


I am an OC planner. I plan and do endless research months before a family trip. I make the family's itinerary, with one thing in mind >> how to maximize our limited stay in a province.

What I usually do, is book a trip with a minimum of 4 days stay, maximum of 6 days. I want my family to somehow get the "vibe" of the place, sort of an immersion.  We always include a visit to the public market for all that awesome local food; museum tour if there is any; actual meeting/interaction with locals and learn some words in the dialect;  this is how every family vacation becomes a learning process too for my children  :)


We have experienced both.  And I think the right mix of the two will result to a stress-free summer vacation.

We usually start with a city/day tour upon arrival. We arrange to use the van that picked us up at the airport for the city-tour, which is very practical.  Or we arrange the city/day tour with the hotel/inn that we are booked in.

Getting a glimpse of the city on your first day, will give you a bird's eye view of what to expect in the next few days. We ask the driver where to eat, where to buy stuffs while we are on tour  :)   This worked well when we visited Puerto Princesa, Bohol and CDO.

For smaller provinces -- we usually opt for a DIY city/day tour -- usually on a tricycle. It is more budget friendly, and we get surprise adventures along the way too  :)

But for island/sea tour, we always opt for pre-arranged tours. Boat rental can be expensive if it is not packaged. Plus, packaged sea-tour always include lunch and merienda -- which maybe a bit of a problem if you visit a secluded island, and stressful if we ourselves will prepare for our meals.

We also avail of sea tours just for the four of us. Why? When we enjoy a particular island, we can easily request for a longer stay. If you go on a tour with other people, you cannot do this.  


In all our trips, we just use the hotel/inn -- for sleeping. We wake up early and explore right away, and we usually go back to the hotel/inn after dinner. So who needs a fancy hotel right?  Just a decent and clean inn, or even a backpacker hostel will do!


What are our staples when we go on a vacation. Our backpacks that carry all our vacation essentials.  Gadgets which include >> camera, phones, selfie stick or tripod, underwater camera, charger and extra batteries.  

And we never forget our sunscreen!


Because summer is here again, it is the perfect time for Banana Boat to unveil its latest product - the Banana Boat Dry Balance.  The product is designed to give customers the most enjoyable experience when it comes to sunscreen. It aims to eliminate that heavy feeling by absorbing excess moisture to help keep you feeling dry and fresh even after a day in the sun. It is available in two variants -- the lotion and the aerosol spray.

(L-R)   Banana Boat®  Protect & Hydrate, a 2-in-1 Sunscreen and Moisturizer
Banana Boat®  Dry Oil,  with Argan oil for silky soft skin
Banana Boat®  Sun Comfort Spray,  brushes off sand easily, moisturizes skin 
and relieves dryness

I got to test this product at Pico de Loro during the product launch -- wherein I also participated in the the AmazeSkin Race Challenge. And yes -- it works well on my skin (no sunburn, just a little bit of darkening) and NO sticky-yucky feeling even hours after  my skin was exposed to the seven real life conditions -- sun, pool water, ocean water, wind, sweat, sand and extreme heat!

If you are ready for an adventure this summer -- head to Subic and join the Banana Boat AmazeSkin Race Challenge -- open to the public.  More info about Banana Boat products and the AmazeSkin Race Challenge, you can visit the official Facebook Fan Page.

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