3 Tips On How To Save For Travel

1. Get Creative: My friends over at Mommy Mundo collaborated with Child Hope Asia Foundation and gave away cool saving cans which I wrote about here. I personalized one of the cans for our TRAVEL FUND.

Each week, I allocate funds and sometimes make my 8 year old put the money inside. My goal is that by the end of the year, we would have saved enough money for another family trip.

2. Control Costs: This requires discipline. One of my biggest expenses is food and I try to control my spending on weekly groceries to be able to funnel savings into the travel fund. Tip: It helps to do the groceries on a full stomach!

3. Eyes On The Prize: It certainly keeps you focused on saving when you have a goal or a clear picture in mind on where you want to go. I printed a colorful animated map with on our wall for us to see and remember at all times.  At night, I integrate stories that include various regions of the world for my son to learn about different cultures which he loves.

Please share with me your savings tips, if you’ve got some creative ones! I might just apply it, as well 🙂

How To Survive 9 Hours in Ocean Park with 2 Kids

Yes, it is inevitable. When traveling, be prepared to spend the whole day out to get the most out of your trip. Last Saturday, we spent a total of 9 hours at the revamped Ocean Park, Hong Kong. Now at 91 heactares with over 80 attractions, we were in for a family marathon! Yes, this is real exercise while having fun with your kids.

Here are tips on how we survived that day with an 8 year old and an infant in tow!

1. Use a baby carrier: As a nursing mother, this comes real handy because I can breastfeed while touring the grounds. I also have my hands free to take photos or hold my other child when needed. I personally bring 2 carriers when I travel, a Next9 sling for walking outdoors and a Saya carrier for air-conditioned places. Both carriers can be bought from INDIGObaby.

2. Invest in a stroller: Despite the fact that I am an attachment parenting advocate, my 1 year old daughter can get very heavy especially after a few hours. Be kind to your spine and consider investing in a lightweight umbrella type stroller for traveling purposes. It is so convenient because it’s light enough to be hand carried and folds up in seconds! The stroller is so worth it even for just when you’re baby is asleep or use when you are absolutely exhausted. I reckon my baby is able to sleep longer lying in the stroller while we push her on cobbled streets like in Old Hong Kong. This red stroller is from Happy Dino which we got from Landmark. It is also available in Lazada and Babyland. I chose the color red so that it is easy to spot among the crowds for my husband to find us incase we separate for toilet breaks. Red is also my favorite color at the moment 🙂

3. Bring your husband! LOL It is no joke. I don’t know how I would’ve survived the trip without him. I am used to traveling with my infant alone during FLOW retreats but to have to care for both kids – I definitely need assistance! If you’re husband isn’t available, make sure to bring a relative, friend or if you have the luxury, bring a trusted nanny when traveling with more than one child.

4. Take mini breaks. We used our mealtimes as opportunities to eat, sit and rest. It helps that Ocean Park has very good restaurants to keep the little tots entertained. You sit with amazing views of the grand aquarium or the penguins! Santi was very interested in how they made pizza from scratch at the Tuxedo Restaurant. Here he is watching the chefs in action.

5. Strategize Your Itinerary: We had a very good plan. Our itinerary consisted of many different kinds of attractions ranging from watching shows, taking rides and actually doing activities. The smart thing to do is mix it up so that you don’t over exert yourself. After walking for what seemed like forever, it was good to take the cable car to get a few minutes of rest.

Maybe instead of being out under the heat of the sun at noon, go watch a movie indoors.

6. Supplement with superfoods Aside from keeping hydrated and having proper nutritious meals, I use superfoods to keep my immunity up. This is something people take for granted when traveling – your health! It’s easy to pack supplements in your bag. I usually have a few when I go on trips. What I brought with me this time were packets of Fern-C and Moringana. I take a few capsules all throughout the day and it has proven to keep me energized.

7. Come prepared – Fully charge your phone and camera so you don’t miss out on anything important. Admittedly, my phone’s memory seems to be full all the time so I have to constantly delete old photos while we are out which can be such a hassle. Do this before your trip to save you precious time. Also, bring a change of clothing for when you or your kids sweat or get rained on – which is precisely what happened to us! The rains poured heavily on us leaving my footwear drenched. This is a reminder to wear rubber shoes next time!

And when the day’s over…

8. Treat yourself to a massage! While we were not able to get massages during this trip in Hong Kong, I would recommend that you get an authentic foot massage in Gao’s Foot Massage in Lan Kwai Fong.

Do you have similar experiences in theme parks with children? Please do share your tips! I would love to hear from you!

Review: L’Hotel Island South, Aberdeen, Hong Kong

Families check into L’Hotel Island South for its location. It is very close to Ocean Park, Hong Kong, only 5 minutes away with free shuttle. Some even say it is walking distance. So if you are planning to visit the theme park, consider this hotel property. The Manzanos were looking forward to staying at this hotel for our celebratory weekend in Hong Kong because we read very good reviews at the ever-so-reliable Trip Advisor.

True enough, our stay was certainly pleasant. Right when we entered our room, I noticed that the size was definitely bigger than normal Hong Kong hotel rooms. If you travel with your children, space is an issue. Maya is at a stage where she is learning how to walk so she likes to discover her surroundings.  Then there is a plus in my books for having a baby cot available for us to use for her (who didn’t use it to sleep, but it was useful for short spurts of time!)

After our first meal at LIS Cafe, one staff presented my son with an impromptu surprise birthday cake when they found out it was his birthday the next day.

The gesture was so very sweet! It’s these little things that truly make a world of a difference in customer service.

We loved the pool by the mountain which had a safe shallow area for little tots. Too bad we didn’t get to swim! I packed swimming attires for both kids but not for myself 😛 The gym also has spectacular mountain views but didn’t get to work out either because watching over the kids burns carlories just the same.

Oooh more cookie points for the bath tub!  The kids loved bathing here ❤️

Tip: Try to book a room in the higher floors facing the mountains to get a superb view, just like we did 🙂

L’Hotel Island South

55 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Hong Kong

+852 3968 888

Email: info@lhotelislandsouth.com

Celebrating Milestones in Hong Kong with Air Asia

We happily painted the skies red with Air Asia as we celebrated Santi’s 8th Birthday and Mother’s Day in Hong Kong. I always knew my son chose to come Earthside on an aupicious time as an early Mother’s Day gift to me! (Read what The Washington Post has to say about babies born on the Year of the Golden Pig.)

Here is our 3 days 2 nights and itinerary to share with you, maybe your family can do the same short but sweet trip one of these long weekends! 🙂


We boarded the maiden flight to Hong Kong from Manila, excited for our very first trip abroad as a family of four.  On board flight Z21201, passengers were given PLDT travellers SIM Cards and all mothers were surprised with long stemmed roses by the cabin crew.

Did you know that roses have the highest vibrational frequencies used for healing? No wonder it is the flower of choice for suitors and husbands to honor women!

As we arrived L’Hotel Island South, we decompressed a bit in the room before the buffet dinner spread at the hotel’s LIS Cafe.

My husband was pleased to see red meat on the menu (which I don’t serve at home) and tried a wide range of dishes with Santi (who I have lost the battle with vegetarianism hahaha!). I sampled an assortment of sushi and vegetables but made sure to save room for dessert.

Ah, those sweet delicacies were so yummy! I liked the Peanut Butter Soup the best 🙂

With tired bodies and full bellies, the Manzanos decided to call it a night to prepare for the full itinerary in Ocean Park the next day.


Bright and early, birthday boy Santi rose with glee to greet the scenic mountains of Hong Kong from our room. After filling up with breakfast, we headed our way to Ocean Park which was only a few minutes drive from the hotel. I remember visiting with my family as a teen in 1995 and boy, there has been major upgrades!

See some of our photos

Grand Aquarium

Old Hong Kong


Cable Car

Have you ever seen a real penguin? We haven’t! It was such a surprise to see them up close!

The view inside Tuxedos Restaurant

My nutritious organic vegetable soup with barley for lunch

Sea Jellies

Santi was able to get his photo taken to become a jellyfish himself! Oh, what fun!


Dolphins at the Ocean Theatre

*A word on animals in captivity or under their care- I reflected on this issue as we spent the whole day at the park. From what I have seen, the people that work in Ocean Park take great pride and care for the animals. The Park has a commitment to education and conservation. By showing the children the animals, they make an impact in their consciousness.

Santi was so moved by his shark experience that he chose to buy a shark stuffed toy when the Ocean Park representative asked him what he wanted to take home for his birthday. He asked many questions about sea animals after and I answered as best as I could to increase his awareness on how to properly care for our animals and the environment.

While Santi didn’t get to ride the Rapids because we didn’t bring extra clothes (a must if you’re staying the whole day!), he was ecstatic shooting the watergun at the people on the ride.

We dined at Neptune’s Restaurant before heading back to the hotel. Look at that spectacular view! My husband commented that you can melt your tensions away by staring into the blue.


The last day was just for us to enjoy ourselves in the city at our own pace since the previous day proved to be quite hectic. We took the bus to Causeway Bay (5 stops from the hotel) and had lunch at Time Square where Santi and I found the most delicious dessert in my favorite food court and grocery, City Super.

Green Matcha Cream is oh so dreamy! I’ll be coming back for you!

Thank you, Air Asia for making this trip truly special and memorable for my little globetrotters!

Air Asia flies to Hong Kong from Manila every Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Sunday. You may discover more of Hong Kong and other ASEAN countries by downloading Air Asia’s travel guides here.

For more updates on Air Asia’s latest news and promos, connect with them on Facebook (www.facebook.com/AirAsiaPhilippines) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/AirAsiaPH).

Healing Aids For Travel

I must have been a naturopath or a homeopathic doctor in one of my past lives because I ALWAYS bring an arsenal of potions and balms whenever me and my little tots go on trips.  While I totally believe in the body’s ability to heal on it’s own, I certainly think we can help aid our healing capacities when using all natural and organic plant or mineral based products. Here are some of the ones I have just packed for a short trip.

Products clockwise

1. Arnica Salve by MJ’s Herbals -I truly believe in the power of herbs. Arnica is the most remarkable and universally acceptable herb for bruises, overworked sore muscles, tendon injuries & sprains. Arnica quickly brings relief, promotes circulation & hastens the disappearance of discoloration from bruising. This product also contains clove oil which helps relieve pain. My son had a minor accident last week and this helped heal his bruises tremendously! You can get your tub from Amazon.

2. Hemp Cut & Scrape by Merry Hempsters -Oh you know, having a 1 year old learning how to walk needs this super handy balm just in case she falls and scraper her knee or hands. The official Merry Hempsters website states it’s benefits:

  • Speedier healing of minor open wounds, cuts, scrapes, and insect bites
  • Prevention of secondary infections in cases of puncture or open wounds
  • Soothing of pain associated with scrapes, abrasions, and insect bites
  • Deep penetrating ingredients help to replenish the skin nutrients in affected areas

I love that it is certified organic and vegan. Made from hemp and pure essential oils. Available at cutieverse.

3. Ferrum Phosphoricum – According to Elixirs.com, this is the number 1 remedy for inflammations, paleness, and weakness. Fevers, gradual onset of illness. Ferrum Phos is homeopathic iron. In homeopathic form, this mineral goes right into the cells to help with oxygenation. Therefore, this Cell Salt is considered an appropriate addition to any homeopathic treatment concerning infection, inflammation, fatigue, lack of stamina, chronic conditions..  This is available at Dr. Cricket Palanca-Chen’s clinic at St. Luke’s Global City. Call her secretary Ayi for an appointment (0927) 987 7079.

4. Echinacea – This tincture I am mighty proud to say I made at home! I bought a DIY kit from the Learning Herbs online and just followed instructions. Echinacea is a super immunity booster. We all know that travel pulls you out of your normal routine and circadian rhythm that can lower your immune system. Here are the primary uses of Echinacea

  • Colds, cough and flu and other upper respiratory conditions
  • Enlarged lymph glands and sore throat
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Minor infections
  • May help combat herpes and candida
  • Wounds, skin regeneration and infections (external use)
  • Psoriasis, eczema and inflammatory skin conditions (external use)

Now isn’t that like a wonder weed? Everyone must have this at home and when they travel! You can source this from Healthy Options or from homeopath Denise Celdran (0917) 847 4831

5. Inner Sense Anti-Fungal Colloidal Silver with Citric Acid and Vit C – Now this acts like a natural antibiotics. Read up more on this here. I got this in a health food store in Bali. I remember Nigel Chen (Dr. Cricket’s husband) explaining to me the benefits of Silver to the body. You may contact Ayi if you want to purchase Silver in Manila.

6. Chamomila –  A lifesaver! I have been using this secret weapon since my 8 year old was a colicky infant. Chamomila helps calm an overly sensitive child (or adult!). My kids get easily stimulated especially when I cannot control outside stimuli (when traveling!). I remember giving my son a dose or two when I was in labor so he was sleeping soundly in the couch when I birthed his sister on the pool next to him! So if you have difficulty sleeping in the plane on long-haul flights, maybe get a dose for yourself, too!  Chamomila, just like in tea, is also a tummy tamer. Works really well for adults, too! I had a friend buy these pills from an Apothecary in London but you can also get the liquid form from Dr. Crickette or Denise Celdran. What natural remedies are in your travel kits? Please share ❤️