It is a must to know how far we can go with our passport. We might end up getting frustrated because of our poor visa score, but this shouldn’t stop us from exploring the world. We have to be aware of the different visa policies that come with our passport. There are 4 types of tourist visas we must understand.

  • Visa-Free – This type of visa means you can enter a country/territory for certain days without prior permission.  
  • Visa-on-Arrival – VOA is a kind of approval which is granted upon arrival at the border. Minimal requirements may be necessary like ID photo or fee but depend on the country/territory of destination.
  • E-Visa – This is also known as Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA). This is a more relaxed and less hassle type of visa. Application is made and paid (depends on a country) online and processing usually takes shorter. The eVisa/ETA will be sent by email, which generally needs to be printed and presented upon entry. Beware of fraudulent websites offering e-visa services. Make sure you apply and submit only to official eVisa websites of a particular country.
  • Visa-Required – This is the traditional type of visa. Printed documents are submitted at the embassy or to an authorized travel agency. Additional requirements may be asked or a face to face interview to support your application. Processing is usually longer compared to eVisa. For me, this is the scariest and the most complex. 

Regardless of the type of visa, one can still be subject to inspection at the border control. Having a visa doesn’t mean you have immunity or can not be denied entry. For instance, a passport with at least 6 months validity and/or at least 2 blank pages is the most crucial, beyond that you can be denied entry. Furthermore, a damaged or mutilated passport can result in denied boarding, and definitions vary by country/territory. At the minimum, if the immigration officer considers it as one, then you will be denied entry. So take care of your passport. It is highly recommended to put it in a zip-lock with silica gel to avoid moisture. 

Below is a map I created to effortlessly classify visa policies in each country/territory. Click the legend on the upper right corner to hide/unhide layers. Start exploring the world map and see where our Philippine passport can take us.

Whenever I feel dull, bored, unmotivated, or simply dead inside, my hands start crawling to my phone’s browser and start searching for something to get me inspired. It’s like my jumpstart routine to somehow keep me motivated and find the light amid the darkness of this life. It is somehow annoying to see the same scene, people and atmosphere all the time. All of us needed something fresh and new for a change, and it’s for the better.

The world is a masterpiece, and there is a lot to explore, more to see and numerous to experience. One does not need so much effort to create a bucket list. Social media is a great platform to get an idea of how the world looks like on the other side. I bet most of us already have a “dream destination” of our own. But that doesn’t mean that we should limit it to one and a destination to reach. A bucket list could be everything. It could be in the form of festivals and celebrations you want to enjoy; cuisines to relish; cultural traditions to experience; traditional clothing to wear on; a sport to try; a summit to reach; a language to learn; etc. We are lucky to have been in this generation where we can travel around with plenty of information to rely on. So go ahead, fill up your bucket list and get inspired.

Yes! That’s right. We need to save money first before everything. Some of you might not agree, but I don’t need you to side with me on this haha. It is my ultimate realization from the past years of my travel life. I ended up broke and still paying for credit card charges even after the trip. I regret the fact that I didn’t save first before everything else. Saving money early, means, you have to work on that budget and always keep in mind that if it doesn’t fit, don’t do it. Travelling should not financially stress us out afterwards. Otherwise, we might end up stress at work after the trip just to pay those dues. 

“A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.”

Dave Ramsey

Reading travel blogs can already give you an idea about the estimated budget. However, it will still depend on your preferred travel lifestyle and you as an individual. Are you a foodie type of traveler who wants to spend more on food? Are you like Johnnie Walker who has daily step count goals and prefers long walks instead of bus or tuk-tuk rides? Are you a theme park fan who is willing to spend money in every amusement park? Are you someone who would rather save money over convenience and comfort? Or simply torn between time and money? Everyone is different, I guess, so the budget can really depend on a lot of factors. 

Check out my blogs here. It’s a travel guide about a little of everything that might help you decide which is which and eventually give you an idea of how much you need and how to prepare for your travel funds.

We can now start planning everything now that we are all inspired and funded by our own pockets. Planning entails a lot of aspects, and it’s not just a simple itinerary type of plan. There are more things to contemplate, especially for someone who has a full-time job.  That includes planning for work schedule and timing, leave approvals, holiday mapping, weather and seasons to consider, visa rules and policies (particularly for someone like me who belongs in the world’s most powerless passport) among others. I must say, we must be equipped with the right weapon before we enter a war. We are leaving our comfort zone, and therefore we also need to think out of the box and be smart about it.

Everyone starts clueless to every new place, so do I.  Planning a trip is also time-consuming more than the journey itself. It might even take you weeks to months of planning for a 10-day adventure. So it’s also highly recommended to do it ahead of time. Here are things you might want to read to help you get started with your plan.

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