20+ Tipid Tips for Summer Getaways and Swimming Trips

20+ Tipid Tips for Summer Getaways and Swimming Trips

Summer has begun. People have been planning weekend getaways and swimming trips with friends, coworkers, and family here, there, and everywhere.

No more drawings — and I wish they all turn now into real experiences.

Beaches and resorts are the top destinations, and being a 7,641-island archipelago, Philippines is, no question, blessed with endless white-sand shorelines, falls, lakes, and rivers — all perfect for a tropical climate.

If you’re in the metro, and you only have like two or three days for these either this April or May, you might want to drive or take a bus to the south — Laguna.

You might have been to resorts in Pansol, the hot spring capital, but haven’t gone to a more exclusive and serene place around the area like the — 88 Hotspring Resort and Spa — located at #9061 National Highway, Bagong Kalsada, Calamba, Laguna. Go explore.

88 Hotspring Resort and Spa
88 Hotspring Resort and Spa is located at #9061 National Highway, Bagong Kalsada, Calamba, Laguna.

Its website says it opened to the public in 2004. It’s also managed by Korean nationals, so you may see Asian foreigners dipping into the hot tubs while chattering in an incomprehensible language.

My three friends and I were there over the weekend. We left Manila on Saturday around nine and booked a pension house around 02:30PM after stopovers for lunch at Pancake House and groceries for snacks and cans of beer along the express way.

It was my first time in a hot spring resort. We enjoyed the amenities — the hacienda-like view from the base of Mount Makiling, the 43-degree hot tubs, the pools, the spa, the man-made pond, the Korean restaurant and food, the gardens, and many others — all that made our short overnight stay relaxing.

88 Hotspring Resort and Spa
We enjoyed the amenities — the hacienda-like view from the base of Mount Makiling, the 43-degree hot tubs, the pools, the spa, the man-made pond, the Korean restaurant and food, the gardens, and many others.

Although everything was pricey, three of us did not spend even a single penny as it was all sponsored by our generous friend who is into a profitable construction business.

I bet she charged more or less PHP35,000 on her credit card for that four-person overnight stay, including two lunch treats at Pancake House and Dampa sa Libis (on our way back home).

Summer vacations and getaways need not be that expensive, especially if you’re just trying to find relaxation and enjoyment or an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city life.

Anyway, that was a treat and a perfect prelude to the big summer vacation I will have in a week — the Holy Week in Romblon.

20+ Tipid Tips for a Budget-Friendly Summer Vacation

So, while gearing up for that, I am sharing here also some frugal hacks, money-saving, or tipid tips for a budget-friendly summer vacation, may it be just a weekend getaway or an extended relaxation for a week or two.

[1] Browse the web and social media for budget-friendly travel and accommodation packages. Go digital and use your online social network to find the best destinations this hot summer. Your friends may have good recommendations.

You may skip the formalities and the hassles of contacting travel agencies for your tour packages, scanning the print magazines for your next summer destinations, and getting lured into booking overrated and high-priced accommodations.

It also pays off following travel blogs and vlogs and subscribing to their social media channels and pages. Although they may not offer you the actual packages, they lead you into learning about those that offer totally stress-free travel bookings and arrangements.

If you opt to be just a joiner among total strangers, expect that all transactions are also smooth and online.

You simply check post details, get in touch with the organizers and coordinators, ask all questions, confirm your bookings, join the group chats, wait at the pick-up points as agreed, and enjoy the tours.

If you’re with a squad of 10 or 15, then there are more serious factors to consider such as the transportation, the accommodations, the meals and snacks, and the activities, among others. It is sometimes better and cheaper to have it DIY.

[2] Plot your itinerary and skip other costly activities. If you only have two or three days for your summer getaway or swimming trip, and it’s all DIY, you go plan all the itinerary and make it experience-packed. You don’t have to exhaust yourself though.

You may even skip attractions and activities that you’ve already seen and tried before, those that you think are not worth the price, and those that may not be within your budget.

On the other hand, it’s also better to avail tour packages with coordinators to guide and do the time management for you. You visit all the attractions and landmarks but expect shorter time for picture-taking and sight-seeing.

Travel coordinators may take you to places or organize stopovers at souvenir shops or organic farms where you will be encouraged to make extra spending on goods. Decide whether you still can have these based on your budget.

[3] Do the final headcount. Among friends and coworkers, there will always be those who backout a day or two before the trip. And that’s normal and expected.

To avoid any negative consequences, give them a grace period or deadline to finalize their decision whether to join or not, so you can arrange everything based on the final headcount.

If the cause of the last-minute backout is an emergency, ask all other joiners if they are willing to cover for that person, i.e., if the reservation is already paid, and make some adjustments in the travel arrangements or room assignments.

Should there be further issues regarding this, you may also try looking for a replacement willing to join your group. After all, it may not be that exclusive, and it’s good welcoming new people in your circle.

As it goes — the more the merrier, and the more, the cheaper. You may save particularly on common expenses split evenly among the joiners.

[4] Set the budget but allot an extra for contingencies. As soon as you finalize the itinerary and other plans, compute for the budget.

Start with the travel and accommodation expenses, then for the food and liquors, and lastly, the optional fun activities to avail.

If it’s a completely DIY getaway and some in the squad have cars, make seat arrangements per vehicle and identify the individual contributions for gas and toll fees.

The same goes for accommodations where joiners may be clustered per room based on closeness or gender. Couples and their privacy may also be considered in arranging these.

If tents are allowed such as in non-exclusive beaches, you may also bring your own when available and share it with others so to cut on the rental fees.

Food and liquors are also common expenses that must be equally divided unless others pledge special and generous contributions.

While others may not be heavy drinkers, they may also be spared from making contributions for liquors.

If the destination features fun activities which are also optional, inform the joiners about these packages and costs. Let them avail on their own. Doing so will not force those who are running short on budget to overspend.

[5] Then, have the common expenses divided. It must be all settled then — the travel and destination, the headcount, and the budget. Now, it’s time to collect individual contributions.

Budgets for travel, accommodation, and food may be collected in advance, although in some cases, partial payments will do.

Let the one experienced and trustworthy do the collecting. Others may also be given special tasks such as coordinating with the resort, arranging the transportation, and doing the groceries, among others.

Stopovers may also be a perfect opportunity to discuss extra expenses and contributions, as well as further plans.

[6] Book early and clarify all details. It’s not a last-minute trip, isn’t it? Make your bookings for travel and accommodations weeks ahead. It gets more expensive as it moves closer and closer to the peak summer season.

Not only in terms of costs, but you may also miss the premium packages, settle with what remains available, and end up with some regrets and what-ifs.

Your summer getaway or swimming trip with friends, coworkers, or family may happen just once a year amidst the busy schedules and long weekends. And you want to make the most of it.

88 Hotspring Resort and Spa
Your summer getaway or swimming trip with friends, coworkers, or family may happen just once a year amidst the busy schedules and long weekends. And you want to make the most of it.

If it requires a flight to the top tourist destination in the country such as Boracay or Coron or maybe abroad, you should do the booking months ahead, but if it’s just local by short sea or land travel, a week or two will do.

Unexpected events may happen before the actual date of the trip, so you better be particular or inquire about the terms and conditions for possible rebooking, refund, adjustments, and others.

[7] Arrange for the transportation, pick-up locations, and stopovers. Going south or north this summer may be a good option with a DIY itinerary and own transport vehicles.

It comes with such great flexibility, exclusivity, and fun get-togethers. You may be in a convoy of two or three cars and skip the hassles and wait times in taking public transportation.

If there are more joiners who can drive, alternate driving will also do. You just set and present a clear budget for gas and toll fees.

One big thing — joiners should be well-informed about departure and arrival and be on time at their pick-up locations.

If it’s going to be hours of a long drive, stopovers for meals, toilet, refueling, and quick rest should be planned to avoid delays, waste of time, and getting stuck in a heavy traffic during a rush hour.

[8] Declutter your closet and find perfect outfits. Before you add to cart and place an order for any summer outfit found online, try decluttering your closet first.

You may find outfits that may be of perfect fit for your summer destination and anticipated activities. You may also repurpose other clothes for a jaw-dropping fashion item. Sometimes, it just requires a pair of scissors and a sewing kit.

In most cases, summer outfits are worn only once, i.e., once or maybe twice a year. With the same squad, you don’t want to be seen with the same outfit as last year.

If you can’t find any in your closet, try browsing online or visiting ‘tiangge’ for cheaper but quality summer outfits. They may no longer fit you next year, so consider the price and the number of times you expect to wear them.

[9] Pack a lightweight luggage hours ahead of the trip. Packing luggage requires a mental list of items to bring and a strategy to find lighter alternatives to bulky ones.

Backpacks are best for travels which require long walks, but strapped bags such as sports or gym bags can also be good options if they are just to be loaded to and unloaded from your transport vehicle. You may also find it easier to unpack and pack your things with these bags.

Your luggage for a two-day summer trip, for instance, may contain swimming outfits, comfortable shorts and shirts, dress clothes, underwear, pajamas or nightwear, a shower towel, toiletries, slippers or sandals, and others.

While packing, think about when to wear the clothing items and with what pairings. You might want to add an extra pair for unexpected activities or events. Do this at least hours before the trip.

If it’s by a late notice and you have like 15 minutes to pack your luggage, prioritize the pairing of clothes and other personal care needs. Figure out later how to make them work fine.

[10] Bring enough cash (and a credit card for emergency purposes). Whether you’ve paid your share for the common expenses already, still budget a pocket money for personal spending.

Bring enough cash as it may be inconvenient to make ATM withdrawals, not to mention the fees if done at other banks.

Especially if the destination is an island that although there are community stores to buy basic supplies, there may be no ATM or bank where to make withdrawals.

Credit cards may also save you if you run out of cash, i.e., if you are in a high-end resort that accepts the payment. Just take control of your swiping and spending.

To keep track of your cash spending, it’s good to keep loose change in one compartment of your luggage. It may be the outer pocket.

You should not just leave them somewhere else or between your clothes. It also comes convenient if you need those coins for exact payment purposes.

[11] As much as possible, keep your personal budget personal. It’s no big deal if it’s a family trip. You can always take cash out of your pocket and think nothing about it.

It’s a different story though with friends and coworkers, but it shouldn’t be taken negatively or as an ungenerous move. It’s just for the good of everyone.

You shouldn’t allow your friends to rely on you for convenient cash throughout the trip. Yes, they may pay you after, but that may be later, or they may also just forget about it.

It’ll just ruin your personal budget, and you may end up running out of cash while there’s no available ATM in the area.

[12] Bring your own water tumbler. It’s common to drop by the convenience store to buy bottled water and snacks while travelling or at the resort itself. And these cost a lot.

You can save money by bringing your own water tumbler. Fill it up before leaving home and refill at the resort with the complimentary water provided.

You may even use your tumbler as a drinking glass while taking meals, sipping coffee, or enjoying liquors.

When all joiners bring their own tumblers, then there may be no need to buy and use disposable plastic glasses which are also harmful to the environment, especially when not properly disposed.

[13] Don’t forget your slippers and toiletries. It should be part of packing your luggage, but there’s a need to emphasize as they are normally missed or disregarded.

Slippers conveniently available around the beach or at the resorts are overpriced and may not offer you comfort.

While you definitely have slippers at home, they may just be worn once or during that trip. It’s not wise buying a pair then. So, go scrub your slippers at home.

Hotels and high-end resorts provide toiletries, but when you go on less exclusive trips, you better bring your own and avoid the expensive purchases at the area.

You may also consider going to the grocery a day before the trip. Making a quick shopping for these at a convenience store at the pick-up location is also possible but expect higher costs of items. Otherwise, you may just share them with your close friends.

[14] Pack meals and taste the local flavors. Packing meals and snacks to the swimming trip is always a Filipino way.

You enjoy home-cooked food while making big savings and ensuring food safety.

It works best especially for day tours at less exclusive or public summer destinations that do not charge corkage fees.

But if you’re on a two or three-day getaway, you may just pack food for the nearest next meal and skip a stopover at a fast-food restaurant.

Instead of eating the same fast food or usual meals at the restaurants, it’s also worth trying the local flavors.

They are either less or more expensive based on your standards, but you can always find those that fit your budget and satisfy your appetite.

Aside from the fun and relaxation, you may also explore the local culture and traditions as integrated in their food and delicacies.

[15] Eat heavy meals and light snacks. Sometimes, it’s even costly to have multiple snacks than eating heavy meals. So, it pays doing the latter.

Summer vacations and trips can be fun and relaxing, but they can also be tiring and making you hungry from time to time, especially when you’re into enjoying physical activities, or even just swimming.

Add more carbohydrates to your regular meals. Anyway, you will surely burn them as you engage yourself in the next fun activities. Light snacks or no snacks at all will also make you some savings.

[16] Shop for liquors and snacks at the grocery. When taking a vacation, it should always be noted that convenience comes with a cost.

You can always buy liquors and snacks at the resort bar or around the area but expect to pay even double their original prices.

If you’re allowed to take in liquors and food without any corkage fees or you can sneak them in, buy them at the groceries before the check-in and enjoy discounts.

[17] Reuse, borrow, and share other stuff. You may just borrow swimming outfits and other stuff from your sibling instead of buying them.

Your brother or sister may even be happier seeing the outfits fit you as you try them in front of the mirror or pose for a picture. After all, your siblings may no longer be wearing them anymore.

Toiletries such as shampoo, toothpaste, lotion, and soap may just be shared with a close friend. However, there are still those which shouldn’t be for some hygiene reasons.

[18] Think twice before buying souvenirs (pasalubong). Travel souvenirs can be expensive. They may also be redundant or need more personal justifications for buying them.

If you have some good friends who really deserve and expect those souvenirs and ‘pasalubong,’ then you better allocate a budget. Start by identifying the recipients and how much you’re willing to spend for each.

Try haggling with the sellers over the prices as they are always negotiable especially if you’re trying to buy multiple items. Sometimes, it just requires a friendly approach and a big smile.

For personal consumptions such as food and delicacies, buy only based on how much you can realistically consume. In the first place, you’re not sure yet whether you will really like them or not.

[19] Find enjoyment and relaxation in zero-cost activities. Just sitting on the sand and watching the sunset is a fun and relaxing activity. It doesn’t cost even a single penny.

Most resorts offer amenities and activities which are both paid and for free. While paid ones come with adventures and fun, they can also be expensive, and sometimes, may not really be worth it.

Amenities and activities which are free of charge, on the other hand, may also offer you great enjoyment and relaxation. You might want to try them first before the paid ones.

88 Hotspring Resort and Spa
Amenities and activities which are free of charge, on the other hand, may also offer you great enjoyment and relaxation. You might want to try them first before the paid ones.

In the end, you don’t want to be a killjoy or an outcast. You should always consider the value that the amenities and activities provide you and your social connection with friends and family.

[20] Immerse with the locals and keep being a low-profile tourist. Make short-term friends with the locals. Talk to them.

You may find a new perspective in life or learn new things and their culture as you interact with them.

As your interaction gets to another level, you may even enjoy discounts on your purchases, borrow some stuff for your use, and find instant tour guides around the area.

You may also —

[21] Go exclusive but still avail promos and discounts. If you have credit cards, you may have been receiving email and SMS notifications regarding travel and accommodation promos and discounts.

If you’re planning an exclusive vacation with select friends or family members and your budget permits, you may consider booking a room at a high-end hotel or resort and enjoy these discounts and promos.

Anyway, it happens just once a year, and you might want to enjoy a grand summer vacation, a treat for yourself for having worked so hard.

The premium accommodation and services will surely give you a sense of fulfillment and relaxation.

[22] Spend summer in your province, visit relatives and old friends, and enjoy free treats. It may have been years already since your last vacation in your province. You’re surely missed by your relatives and old friends there.

You know very well the culture in the province. Bring some simple ‘pasalubong’ to them and enjoy their warm welcome and generous treats. You don’t have to spend much.

However, expect sponsoring of occasional drinking sessions in the neighborhood or attending reunions with childhood friends and classmates.

Final Thoughts

Whatever your plan this summer is — a DIY weekend getaway and swimming trip with friends or family, a staycation at an exclusive resort, or a homecoming vacation in the province — feel that you deserve that exciting and relaxing escape from work, may it be just over the weekend or longer.

You should take and keep all the positive vibes and renewed energy as you get back to work from your vacation. So, you also better avoid the spoiling thought of a holiday spending hangover by keeping everything just within your budget.

Read also:

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When You’ve Had Too Much: Holiday Spending Hangover. This short articles provides an insightful reminder about overspending during holidays and coping with serious financial struggles after, hence the term ‘holiday spending hangover.’

6 Financial Tips for Your First International Holiday. This article provides some helpful and practical tips on how to plan your first international holiday trip and the expenses involved to avoid financial pitfalls.

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