Monday, 16 October 2017

How To Survive a Long International Trip without the Little Ones

How To Survive a Long International Trip without the Little Ones 

Before we had Charleybear, travelling was my and my roommate's (my husband's, btw) life. We made sure we would travel either locally or abroad at least once a year.

Either alone...
Thailand @ 2011 

With family or friends

Cebu @ 2010

Singapore @2013 

Or together

Anawangin @ 2011 
Indonesia @2013 
Macau @2013 
Davao @2013 
Malaysia @2013
Singapore @2013
HK @2014

When I had Charleybear in 2014, we thought my travelling days were over. And I was totally fine with it 'cos I'm sure she would be a travel-baby like her Mommy pretty soon.

In 2015, When Charley was 5 months old, thanks to my company, I went to Bali, Indonesia to observe international schools and have fun in between for 4 days. You can read about my drama here.

Bali, Indonesia 
Parasailing Momma! 

After that travel, I limited travelling without Charleybear. This year, however, I was very fortunate to have been part of the Pilgrimage Tour to Europe for 2 and a half weeks - that's almost 3 Saturdays with baby Charley's cuteness!

At first, I was very hesitant to join the Pilgrimage. There were so many things to consider including finances and leaving Charleybear for a reaaaaallllllyyyyy long time. My roommate assured me, however, that he and the baby would be fine, and I should take the opportunity to travel to Europe and personally thank St. Marie Eugenie for interceding for us when we were praying for a little girl.

Here are some tips to help you, Mommies, if ever you'll be going on a long international trip without your little ones. These are proven to keep your sanity.

Before Your Flight 

For Daddy or the Guardian 

  • Leave the Baby Book and your Pedia's number. I know Daddies can be trusted with the little ones, but to make sure, give your pedia's number to your parents, just in case. Let him know where the Baby Book can be found. 
  • Label Medicines and what they are for. I didn't have a problem with my roommate knowing what medicines were for since he was a BSN graduate, but it still made me feel 'relaxed' to let him know how much mL of medicine he needed to give and which medicine was for fever, cough, colds. And which ones were vitamins that should be taken everyday. Believe me, he found this very helpful, too! 
  • Leave a schedule for the little ones' activities. This included morning bath, naptime, evening bath, and sleep time. If your little ones have playschools, this would help Daddies or guardians keep track of them. 
  • Schedule a Call Time and try to stick to it. We didn't promise that I would call them every day since we would be on the road most of the time, but since there was 10 - 12 hours difference between Europe and Philippines, I tried to call them at 11 midnight when it was around 5 or 6 am here. 

For Your Little Ones 

  • Tell her the truth. I told Charley that Mommy would be away for a number of days, and we could only talk to each other sometimes. I don't believe in 'escaping' her so she wouldn't cry cos I think it would make her feel 'abandoned'. 
  • Make a Countdown together. This will help assure your little ones that Mommy would be coming back after ____ days. 
  • Allow her to help you pack your bag. I found this very helpful cos a bonding time before flying was something worth treasuring. 
While You Were Away 
  • Try to stick to your Call Time schedule, but avoid the drama when you call. Be happy and enjoy the short opportunity to talk to each other. I missed Charleybear while I was away, but I tried not to sound super sad when I talked to her. I told her of the places we went to and I miss her, and I would be home after __ days. Try not to make call time ~ crying time. 

  • Get support groups from other mommies in the group, too. I found this extremely helpful since we got to share tips on parenting and marriage. It also made me feel better to have someone with me who knew exactly how I felt.

  • Pray for them. Since I was on a pilgrimage, I made sure I offer the daily rosary for them. 
St. Francis of Assisi, Italy
Our Lady of Fatima, Portugal 
  • Enjoy your time, Momma! Before you knew it, you're home with your little ones already! 


Louvre, France 

Lunch @ Switzerland 


Vatican City 

Sunday, 15 October 2017

AdvenChar at Aquaria Calatagan

AdvenChar at Aquaria Calatagan 

Summer is here! And summer means endless fun at the beach!

TeamHernandez has decided to discover some of the family-friendly destinations near Metro Manila. Check out our AdvenChar in Blu Roze, Lipa; Lobo, Batangas; Nuvali, Sta. Rosa; Hacienda Sta Monica, Lipa; Sky Ranch, Tagaytay.

Breakfast first at McDonald's Before Heading to Aquaria Beach Resort! 
This weekend, we decided to brave Batangas once more and head to Aquaria in Calatagan.

Almost There! 
What You Need to Know About Caltagan: 

  • It's far. It'll take you around 3 - 4 hours of travel time from Makati to reach Calatagan, Batangas. 

  • It's big...I think. Aquaria is at the heart of Calatagan, 2 barangays from the municipality. And the municipality? Several more from the Arch of Calatagan. 

  • It's quaint. We fell in-love with Calatagan right away! Looking for Calatagan was fun because of the rustic scenery along the way.
Colorful Cotton Candies! 

We also visited the church and the local park on our way home. You can say Charley loved the rural life!

Sto Domingo Parish Church. We're fortunate to have attended the Mass here. 
Riding the tricycle while waiting for Mommy buy drinks from a local Sari-Sari Store
Charleybear enjoyed looking at the trees (lots of them!) and numerous farm animals like cows, carabaos, goats, and horses that she has only seen in books.

Charleybear enjoyed the "free field trip" along the way! 

Finally, we reach Aquaria. Once you're in Calatagan, you won't have a hard time looking for it. Just ask the locals and follow all the signs. 

What We Love About Aquaria Beach Resort 
  • Child-friendly Amenities 
There are lots of pools in Aquaria! The children's pool is huge and shallow enough for Charleybear to wade on her own. There were waterguns and mini-rides, too. This was where we stayed most of the time. Locker and bath houses were conveniently located near the pool, too. 

Believe me, the resort was filled with guests, but we never felt it! 

Adults and older children can also enjoy the 3-story giant slides! Tempting, but we didn't try those since Charleybear was enjoying the children's pool so much. 

The beach was just a walk away, and there were beach activities you and your little ones can enjoy or pay for a reasonable price. That weekend, there was a Kite Festival so kids enjoyed making and flying their own kites!

  • Food! 
There was a corkage fee of Php100/head if you're bringing your own food and drinks. You could also grill by the beach as you watch your littles frolic on the sand. 

We decided to just try their resto since grilling and watching a hyped-up toddler and her cousin weren't exactly picturesque. This proved to be an excellent option since prices as The Sands were very reasonable. We had sinigang (which you can request for your level of "asim-kilig"), chicken pork adobo, rice, juices, and a liter of softdrinks for less than Php700! Serving was also more than enough since we were able to take home our leftovers. 

  • Fees 
As of this writing, Aquaria only allows Day Tour which is Php 800 for adults and Php 400 for kids 4ft and below. You also have to pay Php 30 per head for an environmental fee. 

Tables and chairs can be rented for Php200 which you could have by the beach. It's shaded so you don't have to worry about getting sunburnt. There are other fees for the cabana, parasols, and lockers. 

There are also other beach activities you can enjoy like snorkeling, jet ski, and banana boat rides! 

We loved our day trip at Aquaria Beach Resort. We would have loved it if they offer overnight accommodations so we could truly enjoy the beach at night. 

Happy guests! 

How to Get There from Metro Manila
Take the Southwoods or Sta Rosa Exit. Go straight to Tagaytay Rotunda along Tagaytay-Nasugbu Highway. When you reach the Palico Intersection, turn left to Balayan-Calatagan. When you reach the Municipal Hall, turn left to Apacible, then drive away till you see Aquaria Beach Resort. 

Aquaria Beach Resort