All the places you’ll go | Inquirer Business

All the places you’ll go

Get the best out of your travels.
06:04 PM November 22, 2018

If you ask a person about the things they want to achieve in life, traveling and seeing the world is probably high up on the list. Maybe you have one ultimate dream destination, maybe you have plenty. Maybe your bucket list would just pan out better as a map… One thing’s for sure, though—each opportunity to travel is not just another check off that list, but a goal fulfilled.

Yes, the world is vast, but you deserve a bite of it. And with social media always at your grip, it feels like the places you’ve always wanted to see are somehow a little more within your reach. Do you wish to see Australia’s Great Barrier Reef? Or maybe experience being among the beautiful cherry blossom trees in Japan? Are you ready to experience a trip across the USA?

Whether you’re a frequent flier or if you’re in for a once-in-a-lifetime grand trip, each journey is special—so make the most of it. Here are some popular travel destinations and a few ways to experience the best out of your trip:


Hong Kong

Popular Spots: Victoria Peak, for a breathtaking view of the city; Mong Kok or Tsim Sha Tsui for shopping; Victoria Harbour; Hong Kong Disneyland

Important Tips:
• Make sure not to overstay the 14-day visa-free duration.
• Book your transportation from the airport in advance—you can either opt to take a shuttle bus, coach transfer, or express train. Get a Tourist Octopus Card to make transportation around Hong Kong much easier.
• When shopping, look around. Make sure to explore several different shops to get to know the prices and ensure you’re not being overcharged. Haggle for items with no display prices.
• Learn to eat with chopsticks and always carry tissue with you.


Popular Spots: Experience the view at Macau Tower observation lounge; have a gondola ride at Venetian Macau; Ruins of St. Paul; Senado Square

Important Tips:
• You can fly directly to Macau, but you can also get there traveling from Hong Kong via ferry.
• If you’re coming from Hong Kong, you can use Hong Kong Dollars (HKD) for your transactions in Macau. Otherwise, look for money changers in the city to change your money to Macanese Pataca (MOP) currency.
• You can also purchase a prepaid Macau Pass to make your transactions easier. Always carry change for riding buses as you’ll be needing the exact amount.


Popular Spots: Merlion Park and Gardens by the Bay; attractions at Sentosa; Singapore River and the Colonial District; Orchard Road for shopping

Important Tips:
• Book tickets for attractions in advance. This will help you save and serve as proof to immigration officers that you’re entering Singapore as a tourist. Do not overstay the 30-day visa free duration.
• A Singapore City Pass allows you access to the hop on and hop off bus as well as a few attractions, good for up to three days. You can also purchase a Singapore Tourist Pass for unlimited rides on the buses, MRT and LRT.
• You may book tour packages in advance to maximize your stay.
• There are places where eating or drinking is prohibited, such as the train. Make sure to know such rules going about the city.


Popular Spots: Yoyogi Park, Tokyo Disneyland, Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo; Golden Pavillion in Kyoto; the gardens of Shinjuku; the city of Sapporo; the majestic Mt Fuji

Important Tips:
• Maximum stay is for 15 days, after complying with visa requirements.
• You can get around Japan via bullet train, which is expensive, but economical compared to other means. Do your homework on which unlimited train and bus passes you can avail, depending on where you’re planning to stay in Japan. Booking in advance sometimes comes with a discount.
• If you’re on a budget, swap out fancy restaurants for convenience store food—Japan has some of the best in the world.
• Book day tours to make the most of your sightseeing.


Popular Spots: See the Sydney Opera House and go surfing at Bondi Beach in Sydney; visit the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park; tour the city of Melbourne; see the Blue Mountains

Important Tips:
• Transportation in Australia can be quite tricky and expensive, but a rail pass, such as the Opal card, will make it easier. This card in particular covers public transportation and has a cap—meaning you won’t be charged for rides once you’ve spent a certain amount. Another option is to rent a car and split the cost among you, if you’re traveling as a group.
• Look for daytrip tours and packages online. A lot of these give discounts when booked ahead of time.
• Cooking your own meals will also be more cost-efficient, but if you do decide on eating out, look for Asian and Indian restaurants which tend to be less expensive.
• There are hostels which allow you to “work for your room,” an arrangement wherein you’ll be providing services such as cleaning a few hours a day in exchange for accommodation. Make sure to do your research and look for credible ones, though.


Popular Spots: Explore the streets of London; see the Buckingham Palace; be amazed by the Stonehenge; visit Hyde Park and the Museum of London

Important Tips:
• Keep an eye out for airfare sales, as this will easily be the most expensive component of your trip, and book a few months in advance to save more.
• Opt for convenience store food and street food for less expensive meals.
• Book your transportation in advance—get discounts on the Megabus, which is the cheapest way to go from place to place in the UK. You can also purchase an Oyster card, which is a pass for all types of public transport. Make sure to map out your itinerary so you don’t overspend for transpo.
• Take advantage of free attractions, such as museums and parks.


Popular Spots: Of course, the grand Eiffel Tower; visit the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Elysees; go to Versailles; see the Seine and the Notre Dame

Important Tips:
• If you’re just visiting Paris, it’s a very walkable city so a great way to get around is on foot. Otherwise, you can get a card for unlimited transpo such as Navigo Decouverte or just use the Metro or train system.
• Look out for budget trip packages to places outside of Paris, as well as free schedules for museums.
• Lunch meals tend to be cheaper, so if you’re going to eat out, do so at lunchtime. Opt for convenience store/food stalls for other meals, or just cook for yourself.


Popular Spots: From New York’s famous skyline to the beaches of Hawaii, there are scores of great destinations in the US—it really depends on where you’re heading.

Important Tips:
• Plan your trip for when airfare is the cheapest, and look for discounts on fees.
• Get around anywhere in the country by bus, just make sure to take note of the schedules and routes you need. You can also rent a car and split the cost.
• Make sure to get city tourism cards where available—this will give you access to attractions and tours, as well as discounts in establishments.

Maximize your trips abroad with the Metrobank World Mastercard. Along with the features of a regular Mastercard, this premium card has brand new features, letting you go where few other cards will take you:

The First Mastercard Traveler Rewards in South East Asia, which allows you to unlock exclusive rebates in the countries above when you use your Metrobank World Mastercard at partner establishments.

With the Mastercard Airport Experiences mobile app which comes with every card, you can get instant access to unparalleled discounts and exclusive deals. Just download the app and instantly enjoy perks at airports and lounges worldwide – along with hundreds of dining, leisure and shopping establishments.

Use your Metrobank World Mastercard on international transactions and earn double the points! For more information on the Metrobank World Mastercard, visit here.


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