Tag Archives: Family Travel

8 Natural Ways To Avoid and Remedy Motion Sickness in Travel

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Because my little one vommited on TWICE during our last trip; once during the long and dizzy 4-hour van ride and another time during the 1-hour “exhilirating” aka very choppy speedboat ride, one must definitely prepare before such inconvenience.

Here are my personal tips on how to avoid the dreaded puke sessions from you or your children on long journeys, whether it is by land, sea, plane or a combination of all three which was my case just recently —

1. RESEARCH on your realistic travel schedule and previous traveller’s experience! I did not check on these facts for this trip. If I had known that the van ride would be long and zig-zaggy, the boat ride choppy, I would’ve brought dizzy spells arsenal! If we had stayed any minute longer in those circumstances, I would’ve puked all over myself as well. Thank heavens I was able to stop myself.

2. KEEP LOOKING FORWARD. When I am not behind the wheel, I have the tendency to get dizzy real fast. A solution is to watch the road. I have to make sure that my body faces forward towards the direction of the vehicle or else all hell breaks loose. Same with kids. Make them sit face forward, please.

3. FORGET ABOUT TEXTING OR READING. Yep, for sensitive people like me, I can’t have the luxury of reading while in transit. Not unless I am on the plane where it is more stable. In cars, forget it! If your children are prone to motion sickness, please do not use gagdets to keep them busy during travel. It isn’t good for their eyes and brains, anyway!

4. EAT MODERATELY AND WISELY. They say not to eat greasy or spicy food before traveling. Also, no stuffing yourself silly either! My 1.5 year old vommitted soon after nursing so, I got smarter on the way back and withheld feeding until way after the winding roads.

5. GINGER. En route home, I brought freshly sliced ginger which I’d bite and when it got too strong I’d move onto my gums. No, this is too potent for young ones so another option is ginger candy if you can find some in your local health shops. I know Healthy Options carry them in branches around Manila.

6. PEPPERMINT PURE ESSENTIAL OIL is handy to have! Take a sniff of it when feeling nauseated. I usually bring therapeutic grade oils but didn’t get to on this trip. In Manila, you may purchase Young Living Peppermint Oil through Dolf Cheng or doTerra Oils from Essential Oil Natural Healing.


7. PEPPERMINT CURE DROPS is another weapon I had at home which I forgot to bring! This remedy from France is a keeper! You can use it for digestion, relief of stomach pains, fatigue, prevent colds, soothes headaches, cools skin. Relief of dizziness,nausea, blocked nose and tummy troubles. It’s great to have in your emergency kit!  I bought this at the airport in Hong Kong but I have seen it being sold online at SeekTheUniq.com.

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8. ACUPRESSURE was my salvation. I massaged a few points on my wrist when I was feeling queasy and the gag reflex miraculously went away!

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Do you have other remedies for motion sickness? Do share, I might just use it for my next trip!

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Review: Flower Island Resort, Palawan


The first thoughts that came through my head as I approached the island resort, “Wow all of the photos I’ve seen don’t do this place any justice!”  You cannot capture the essence of Flower Island by mere pictures alone. Powder fine light brown sand, all hues of blue on the clear skies and in the clean ocean, and an island sanctuary all to your group… the experience is so dreamy it is almost ethereal.

Flower Island Resort proves to be a very special and secluded place that’s real hard to get but worth the almost 7-hour travel time. (Plane from Manila to Puerto Princesa-1hour, Van from Puerto Princesa to Taytay-4 hours and speedboat from Taytay to Flower Island- 1.5hours) The long travel is definitely not for the faint-hearted. But we’re willing adventurers so we are rewarded with this piece of paradise for 3 whole days!

  

We stayed in room 9 which is the second closest fan hut to the reception and dining area.

This trip was actually work for me, A Yin & Yang Yoga retreat by FLOW.  I roomed with another yoga teacher, a photographer and of course my little one who goes wherever I go! I was glad to see the spacious hut good enough for a family of 5!

I didn’t take a very good photo of our bathroom. It was very dark so I chose to open all windows to bring the light in.

My roomie taking a nap with that view. The breeze lulls you to sleep, really!

Family friendly activities include: Two hiking trails, kayaking and snorkelling. Maya, my 1.5 year old daughter is too young for both kayaking and snorkelling so we pursued the hiking trails instead. I’m a bit sad to have missed out on the snorkelling which was fantastic says Paul, one of our guests during the retreat. He saw a manta ray!!! And HUNDREDS of different fish. My husband would have enjoyed this so maybe I should schedule a return? 🙂

This is us in the beginner friendly hike trail around the island which took 45-minutes.

And this is the prize for hiking to The Peak, a 360 view from the top of the island.

They also have an island monkey to Maya’s delight!


The resort staff were very friendly, maybe it’s because we were the only guests there! Nevertheless, we enjoyed their service. And I applaud their chef’s baking skills. All of our desserts were made from scratch in the kitchen.

We had really good chocolate cake, pineapple pie, macaroons and the best sesame cookies I’ve had in my entire life. I’ll be craving for them I know it!

I hear that soon they will have the option for sea planes to cut the travel time short. Hmm..so very tempting!


FLOWER ISLAND RESORT

Website: www.flowerisland-resort.com

Mobile No. Viber/Whatsapp +639175045567

Email: reservations@flowerisland-resort.com / flowerisland.palawan@gmail.com

Instagram: @flowerislandresort_ph

Hot News: Ethiopian Airlines Now Flying From Manila

Now Filipinos can choose to go to Africa for their next chosen destination because Ethiopian Airlines offers direct flights to Addis Ababa from Manila three times a week!

Apparently, Ethiopia is known as  The Land of The Firsts and The Land of The Awakenings. What beautiful names! One of the cradle’s of civilations, it is the intersection between North Africa, the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa. Did you know that it is the birthplace of coffee?

I found this sweet little Ethiopian girl playing with flowers. All of a sudden I missed my little globetrotter who I left for a few hours to be in this event.

I must admit that before attending this launch, my thoughts of Africa weren’t too bucketlist-worthy. When someone mentions the place, images of extreme poverty fills my head. Yes, I knew that Africa is probably the best place for an amazing safari. But beyond that concept,  all I knew about Africa was very little and fed to me by media: television, newsprint and movies! Then I discovered about the movement #ThisIsTheAfricaTheMediaNeverShowsYou on Instagram.

This is Mozambique


One of the ancient churches in Ethiopia..


Rwanda!


And this is Sierra Leone 🙂


Seeing these photos and knowing better about the REAL Africa makes me want to book a flight to Ethiopia with my little tots! Who’s with me?

An Homage to Palawan, Philippines

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Boat Tour in El Nido

Once upon a time, long before Maya was conceived, the Manzanos attempted living in Philippine’s last frontier.. Palawan. You may read all about that here and why it didn’t work out here.

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Honda Bay
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leading a Yin Yoga class in Nagtabon Beach
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photo by Katherine Jack
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Montible River
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Taytay
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El Nido Town

Nevertheless, I keep wanting to come back as homage to what I consider my second home. Last February, with 11 month old Maya in tow, I organized two back to back retreats in Bahay Kalipay, Puerto Princesa for Flow and a Sacred Pregnancy Conscious Birth Retreats.

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photo by Tabitha Fernan

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In less than a week, we will be wading the waters of another tropical island paradise, Flower Island Resort in Taytay, Palawan for FLOW’s first ever Yin and Yang Yoga retreat I am co-leading. If you’re from Manila, it’s officially announced as a long weekend so, grab your chance to join us! Let’s see how creative I can be with managing 1.4 years old Maya without a nanny this coming weekend.

 

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Bambu Indah: A Gypsetter’s Mecca

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One of the reasons why I fell in love with Bali many years ago is because of green architecture. Most properties in Ubud like Bambu Indah use local indigenous materials to build. Bamboo structures are very famous over there and I wish that we could follow suit in the Philippines because we do have an abundance of it, too!

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The entrance itself is a sight to behold. John Hardy and his family, the creators of this gypsetter’s mecca have executed their vision impeccably. First at Green School, and then with this beautiful tropical piece of paradise you may call home for a few days, if you book here for the duration of your vacation.

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IMG_0038Our first meal in Ubud was in their restaurant called Dapoer which promotes slow food. Most of their ingredients are sourced organically, locally and fresh, if not, from their very own gardens.

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On this trip, my little globetrotter Maya got to spend precious moments with 3 of her fairy godmothers! How cool is that?

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As expected, the food was delicious! Although if you’re dining with kids, be vigilant about spice levels in local Indonesian dishes. My order was too spicy for my daughter!

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After eating, we asked for a tour of their eco-luxury resort. This is our almost-complete shot of the #FlowBali crew. Missing Woochae from Seoul here!

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It was a hot hot day so I wished I could’ve swam in their natural spring water pool. Maybe next time we book a room here!

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It’s nice that all their rooms are actually antique teak wood Javanese designed huts which have been crafted over 100 years ago by the Indonesian locals.

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My friend’s son, Kai just had to climb their gigantic bamboo tree-house that resembled a mothership! Oh, how liberating it is for a child to climb and enjoy nature’s wonders! I told my son Santi that I wil ltake him here one day….
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BAMBU INDAH

http://www.bambuindah.com

banjar baung, desa sayan, ubud, gianyar, bali 80571
telephone +62 (0) 361 977 922 /  +62 (0) 361 974 357
WhatsApp +62 812 38 34 31 74

Guest Blog: Keri’s Little Globetrotters

Yay for guests! This blog is hugely inspired by my mommy friends that roam with their little ones. Yes, independent traveling is exciting, even liberating and life-changing but as you age, get married and have kids – some moms want to experience all that travel has to offer with your children. I fall under that category of parents, just like my first guest blogger – Keri Zamora 🙂

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Keri with her Little Globetrotters: Amanda who is 14, Rocco is 10, Nicolas is 5 and Noah is 2 years old. IMG_2186

Most memorable trip so far
Our recent trip to Boston. My husband took a short course in Harvard so I had the kids all to myself. I kept them busy by doing different tours for a week and I really enjoyed their company even if it can get stressful. After the tour, I would have dinner with the older kids.

NYC in May 2015

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Bali, Indonesia

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You are blessed to have traveled with your Yaya? Can you share how to go about doing that process. Aside from attaining a Filipino passport, what other requirements will a Yaya be needing?
I really admire moms who can manage traveling with their kids with no help. I feel I need one for my sanity and also to be able to spend quality time with my husband- having dinner out or shopping . Although we’ve tried traveling without one when Amanda was the only child and she was 7months old, francis and I couldn’t stop arguing . I guess because we were first time parents and completely exhausted.
Rocco’s Yaya has been with us since he was born and has traveled to all countries/ places he’s been to. I made a mistake of taking Rocco with us to Europe when he was 2. Now we joke about it saying “well he doesn’t remember a thing but at least his Yaya can remind him of all the places we visited there!”.

I suggest to make sure you’ll be able to obtain their passports and necessary visas, you’ll have to comply with the requirements listed on the website of DFA and the destined country’s embassy (in the Philippines) website.  It’s very important to go over the list of requirements over and over again so as not to miss out on what’s needed.  Sometimes we tend to say “Pwede na yan” but when you go for your interview,  most foreign embassies are quite strict and thorough so you really have to make sure you have exactly what they’re asking for.

Japan January 2015

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Travel Tips For Kids
I really need their iPads whenever we travel because they become so restless on the plane especially on long haul flights. Also, my kids are very picky when it comes to food , so I bring cup noodles  just in case they don’t like the food on the plane . I know it’s not healthy but I don’t want them to starve especially on 12-16hour flights. I also bring their favorite snacks, coloring materials , their favorite DVDs  and books. Also, don’t forget to bring their medicines in case they catch something (like a cough, cold, or fever ) but I never used  any of these to knock them out- hahaha!

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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!

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! 🙂

DAY 1

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.

DAY 2

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.

DAY 3

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).