Is your schedule so hectic that you don’t really have the time to do an out-of-town vacation?
Do you want to de-stress but don’t like the idea of long travel?
Do you want to know what’s newest attraction in your city?
Do you want to treat yourself once in a while?
If you answered Yes to any of the questions above, you’re in the right place.
We’re here to help busy people like you to plan their staycation by providing staycation ideas, recommending hotels or vacation houses, and suggesting things to do during your staycation wherever you are in the world.
Welcome to Plan Your Trip Now (formerly Staycation Philippines). It’s time to Be a Tourist in Their Own City!
But first, what does staycation mean? It’s a term that combined two words Stay and Vacation. It is a vacation spent at home or near your home. Most people take staycation to save money, avoid the hassles of traveling, or to explore the different attractions in their city which is just a short drive away. It can be expensive as you want it to be like staying in a luxury hotel or really cheap like having a picnic with your kids in your garden. Staycation is for everyone!
We tend to forget that there are many things we can do in our own city. Be honest, when was the last time you visited the attractions in your area? Try booking a hotel in Toronto then visit the musueums or join a walking tour. To end your day, have a spa in your hotel after the tour. Another way is by going to the mall, not to do your errands, but to check out the newly opened restaurant.
Just continue reading and I’ll share with you more staycation tips like how you can get the best hotel deals or even have a staycation for FREE.
I’d just like to introduce myself. I’m Mark Conrad. I work as freelance web designer and virtual assistant. I help small business owners abroad build and manage their online businesses. I am pretty well travelled. I’ve been to 41 out of 81 provinces of the Philippines. I’ve also visited other countries like Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Hong Kong , Macau, Japan, and Canada.
How did Staycation Philippines started?
I used to work as an analyst in the BPO industry so I understand that it can be really hard to find time to bond with family and friends, especially when you’re working during odd hours, have no weekend day off or don’t follow Philippine holidays.
As mentioned earlier, I now work as an online freelancer. Although, I work from home and usually have free time to travel. I always need reliable and fast internet which we all know is a rare thing in the Philippines, especially when you travel to the provinces or the islands. With staycation, I can easily get in touch with my online clients using my mobile data or the hotel’s wifi.
Initially, I created Plan Your Trip Now with the BPO workers and online freelancers in mind but soon realized that staycation is for everyone. We can all benefit from the learning more about our own city and not be stressed by long trips. Of course, I’m not saying that you don’t travel out-of-town or visit other countries. I believe that being out of your comfort zone and immersing in other cultures is an awesome learning experience that everyone should do. Staycation is just an alternative to that so we could take a break from our daily routine.
My first staycation is the one where I joined my brother’s family in Holiday Inn and Suites in Makati. It was followed by a staycation in Nuvali. I realized this is really convenient way to travel given my situation and thought of creating a blog to share my experience. So by February of 2016, I started building my site and created content. The website went live on March of 2016 but I declared it to be formally launched on April 2016 for convenience. My birthday is also on April which makes it easier to remember! 😛
Soon after I launched the Staycation Philippines website, things started taking off. I got an invite to feature an Airbnb rental property. After a few months, I got my first invite from a hotel too.
The rest as they say is history. I’ve met a lot of amazing people and was able to have a staycation in some of the luxurious properties in the country.
Moving forward with Plan Your Trip Now
Fast forward to June 2018, I moved to Canada and rebranded the website to Plan Your Trip Now. I would most likely be exploring this new city and nearby attractions so this blog would still be mostly about staycations since I don’t see myself traveling out of the country in the near future. Actually, Plan Your Trip Now started back in 2013 as a blog focusing on travel and adventure. Then, I have Staycation Philippines to just focus on the staycation niche. I quickly realize maintaining two blogs was so difficult and time consuming. So now that I moved to Canada and Staycation Philippines brand won’t make sense anymore plus the need to be more efficient, I decided to merge my two blogs under Plan Your Trip Now. With the rebrand, I won’t be limiting myself to just staycations. I’ll be putting up more content about staycation and different travel destinations as I explore this beautiful country. I would also have my travel blogger friends to contribute on the site from time to time.
Have you been featured somewhere?
On April 2017, I was featured on Chinoy TV episode about staycation
I’ve written an article about Samal Island for The Australia Times Travel Magazine.
I also have posts on other travel websites:
Discover your Own City through Staycations
Philippine Travel Tips for First Time Visitors
and collaborated with other travel bloggers:
Filipino Food: Popular Dishes of the Philippines That You Have To Try!
TBEX Experts Share Some Handy Tips
The Greatest World Adventures in 2017
How do I find the best hotel deals?
When booking a hotel, I check first Agoda or Booking.com for any discounted rates. Make sure to check also their mobile apps because sometimes they have an exclusive deals there.
When booking for a group, I usually use Airbnb because it is easier to find vacation house or condo for rent that can accommodate a big group. The great thing about Airbnb is you can refer friends to it and once they book, you can get Airbnb travel credits. You can accumulate those Airbnb credits and have a FREE accommodation. Click here to get $25 Airbnb credits too.
Another thing I do is maintain a good credit history. My credit card company just recently upgraded my credit card to the one that can earn reward points that can be redeemed for a free hotel stay or airline miles.
I need your help
I’m always out to grow and look for new content ideas so I would appreciate it if you could tell me what content you would love me to blog about. You could also share your travel stories to me too and I can feature it on the site. Just send me a message. Thank you so much!