After years and years of travelling during the Christmas season in the Philippines, I can say confidently that it is a nightmare, if you’re unprepared of course. As a country that has very strong family values, Filipinos all over the world go home to the Philippines to spend the yuletide season with their loved ones. And not just that, Filipinos working in the big cities in the country also go home to their provinces during the Christmas season.
With hundreds of thousands of passengers (maybe millions, who knows) going home to their cities and provinces during the week preceding the 25th, and especially more so on the 23rd and 24th of December, the airports are gonna be packed tighter than your favorite brand of sardines. It’s not a stretch to imagine that. Just how many airports are there in Manila, Cebu, and Davao? How many entrance gates (this is important)? And lastly how many are going home to their provinces?
If there’s one event during the year that needs intense and urgent preparations, its going home for Christmas. Marriage? Fuuu, no one’s ever prepared for that so don’t bother. Kidding.
Alright so here’s a few simple guidelines for your Christmas travel.
1. Book and book early. When I say early, I mean now, yes, while it’s still September. There are a lot of advantages for booking this early;
> If you’re working, you can advise your boss early and he’ll be very happy that you gave him ample time to reshuffle resources. I should know. (hmm..)
> There are still plenty of flights available you can choose what date and what time– hassle free.
> When you book this early, you can avail of the many Christmas Promo flights, like the Cebu Pacific Air Christmas Promo. Trust me on this one. Try being stubborn and book your tickets two weeks before Christmas and you’ll either;
>>>get the highest ticket price known to man,
>>>get the worst schedule ever,
>>>and if you’re not very lucky, you’re not getting any. Hmm that didn’t come out right, I mean you won’t be able to get any ticket AT ALL coz everything’s fully booked.
2. Be at the airport a full 2 hours before your domestic flight. If you’re going out of the country, be at the airport a full 3 hours before your scheduled flight. The queue in getting into the airport is so long you think it’s the biblical times all over again and Moses is out in front. It’s not hard to imagine getting stuck in that queue line for an hour. There are going to be queues everywhere so better be there very, very early.
3. If you can swing it, wear slippers (or slip-ons), and jeans without belts. lol. Airport security is just crazy these days. One of the things that I really hate is having to take off my shoes and my belt and put it through the xray machine. I was even thinking evil thoughts one day and wanted to step on cat poo just to let them smell my annoyance (I didn’t though). But seriously, youll see that this will actually save you a few wrinkles (and time too).
4. Bring an MP3 player or a portable DVD player (if you’re rich) or a book. It’s the Christmas season, and during this time, God loves to test our patience with flight delays just to see if we can still ‘give love on christmas day’ when you’re stranded in the airport. Having these things will help you pass the time. It’s a good way to meet cute bored girls/guys too. Use your imagination on this one.
5. Never forget to bring a jacket or anything that will warm you up. Airports can be quite cold and even if you’re travelling at noon, there’s no telling that your flight’s gonna be cancelled.
Oh well, that’s all for now. All these things are at the top of my head so if you have other Christmas Season travel tips, leave a comment!