With the advent of affordable airfare and tour packages, Filipinos are traveling now more than ever. Just check your Facebook feed during the summer and Christmas season traveling surge. It’s sure to be filled with posts and albums of people’s vacations and trips both inside the country and abroad.
Now that we’ve entered the last quarter of the year, you might already be planning where you are going to spend those unused vacation leaves you’ve been saving all year. While nothing beats spending the holiday season attending countless Christmas parties with friends and family, sometimes you just have to get away from it all and recharge before the New Year arrives.
Why not make your hard-earned VLs count and go somewhere your friends have probably never been to before? Here are our top exotic travel recommendations for those of you who want something a bit more out of the ordinary.
If you’re the type of person whose idea of the perfect vacation is one where the hours just melt into days without a care in the world, this chain of coral islands, and Asia’s smallest country, is the perfect holiday destination for you. And Philippine passport holders can stay there for up to 30 days (visa issued upon arrival)!
Don’t get turned off by its luxury destination status. There are lots of guesthouses and budget hotels operated by locals that cater to travelers with more modest means ever since their government decided to open up more of their inhabited islands. Now you can also get to enjoy the Maldives’ powder-soft white sand beaches, magnificent coral walls, and crystalline waters without breaking the bank.
Definitely one of the world’s most captivating places, who would’ve thought Philippine passport holders can visit the pristine rainforests and colonial townships of this South American country visa-free for 90 days?
Start your journey by experiencing the golden beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema. Take a train to get to the top of Corcovado and marvel at the iconic Cristo Redentor, the Art Deco statue of Jesus Christ created by French sculptor Paul Landowski and probably the first image to come to mind when you think of Rio de Janeiro. Looking for something a bit crazier? The street parties in Rio are some of the most exciting features of the city’s nightlife. They’re free, fun, and guaranteed to be something you will never forget.
Nestled in the northern part of Luzon between the borders Apayao and Ilocos Sur, the province of Abra is yet to be spoiled by commercialized tourism and big city mentality. Described by most visitors as a charming place where time seems to slow down, Abra’s rustic nature is perfect for those seeking to explore places that are, literally, off the beaten path.
While reachable by land if you’re coming from Metro Manila, we highly recommend flying to Laoag International Airport to save on travel time, making your trip more comfortable and enjoyable.
Take a dip in the crystal clear waters of Lipit Cascades and the Bandi River, marvel at the majesty of the Salagpat Rice Terraces, and discover hidden trails, waterfalls, hot springs, and other natural wonders on the Sinmimbaan Eco-Adventure Trail. Climb the mysterious egg-shaped Immitlog Hill and ponder on the origin of the three crosses erected on top of it. Legend has it that 3 different people, on 3 different occasions, all had the same dream of seeing 3 crosses on top of the hill. They fatefully met each other and decided to turn their dreams into reality. All this and many more adventures await intrepid travelers at Abra!
If there’s a place in the world you would want to literally get lost in, that would probably be Morocco. Bordering the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, you will fall in love with this ancient kingdom’s winding medieval quarters, souks that sell all sorts of trinkets and treasures, and centuries-old villages where nomads and traders still ply their trade.
Visit the Fez medina, the world’s largest living medieval Islamic city and a UNESCO World Heritage site. It’s sure to take you back in time and make you forget you’re actually living in the 21st century. Make like a local and spend an afternoon in one of the countless cafes that dot Marrakesh. Take part in a walking tour and soak in Moroccan culture, and relax on panoramic terraces and grand squares.
You can stay in Morocco for up to 90 days visa-free. Be careful though, you might never want to leave!
Are you a self-professed beach bum? Located halfway between North America and Asia, Fiji’s laidback shores, beautiful reefs, and friendly locals will surely make this picturesque archipelago the perfect holiday destination for you and your family.
Visit Taveuni, also known as Garden Island, and enjoy amazing nature scenes that wouldn’t look out of place inside the pages of a National Geographic magazine. Get your surf on and experience the legendary waves of Cloudbreak, Frigates, and Swimming Pools. Make sure you bring an underwater camera with you or get one of those waterproof gadget bags for your phone as Fiji’s underwater scenery is a diver and snorkeler’s fantasy. It’s not known as the “soft coral capital of the world” for nothing! If you want to stay in the mainland, there are ancient cultural sites around Sigatoka and bustling shopping and food centers at Denarau Marina.
If you’re so inclined, you can bum around Fiji visa-free for a maximum of 120 days.
Before you head out on one (or all!) of these exotic locales, make sure you make your holiday as worry-free as possible. After all, nothing ruins a perfect vacation more than unexpected situations that cause you to cancel your trip early or force you to get emergency medical treatment in a foreign country. This is why getting travel insurance from a trusted provider like Blue Cross is so important.
The Blue Cross Travelsafe Insurance Plans offer the following benefits and features:
- Approved for Schengen Country Visas
- Medical Treatment and 24/7 Worldwide Emergency Assistance
- Choice of Dollar, Peso or Euro Plans
- Up to $50,000, P2.5M or €60,000 coverage
- Available under Individuals, Family, and Group Plans
- Personal Accident Coverage
- Baggage Loss, Damage, and Delay Coverage
- Loss of Travel Documents Coverage
- Plus many other benefits especially designed to protect you while you travel
Whether you’re a seasoned business traveler or a casual holidaymaker, a Blue Cross Travelsafe Insurance Plan gives you peace of mind and lets you enjoy your trip to the fullest. Visit www.bluecross.com.ph to buy your Travelsafe Insurance online now. It’s the secret of smart travelers everywhere.