Dolly Dy-Zulueta – Philstar.com
January 24, 2024 | 9:19am
MANILA, Philippines — After being cooped up for so long during the COVID-19 pandemic, we Filipinos unleashed our passion for travel once the green light was given.
According to data from the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB), the country’s air passenger traffic volume in domestic and international flights increased more than fourfold to 13.2 million passengers in the first half of 2022, up from 2.95 million for the same period in 2021. The easing of travel restrictions prompted everyone to pack their bags and go on revenge travel.
So, revenge travel it is for you, although you deliberately avoided the influx of travelers going in and out of the country last Christmas season because it was too chaotic and time-consuming. Instead, you opted to wait out the holidays and go for a post-holiday trip.
Where to? Here are some suggestions from AXA, which also urges everyone to get travel insurance coverage to make sure everything turns out to be just the way you want it to.
Enjoy a beach getaway in Apulit Island, Palawan. If golden sunsets and tranquility is your idea of a perfect getaway, then a trip to this luxurious island is most ideal for you. Choose your relaxing room from among the 50 traditional water cottages available, interact with wildlife, take in the breathtaking scenery, or, if you are feeling a little adventurous, test your strength by rappelling down the nearby 60-meter limestone cliff. Whatever you decide on, one thing is for sure—you will be as close to nature as you want to in this tropical paradise.
Have an adventure of a lifetime in Samal Island. Escape the noise from the metro and enjoy some quiet time with loved ones by going to this island’s best places. Relax and unwind at Hagimit Falls or try an exhilarating hike up Mt. Puting Bato for a dazzling view of the island from above. Greet the Monfort Bat Cave’s nocturnal animals as they emerge from their lair, or just bask in the sun and take a dip in the pristine waters of the island’s beaches and resorts.
Chill and ski in Hokkaido, Japan. If you like adventures while enjoying the sight of immaculate snow fields, then reward yourself with a holiday trip to Hokkaido. Visit the snow-blanketed ski resorts and enjoy the local onsen and take a bath in the warm and therapeutic hot spring waters after a long day spent in the cold. You can also see the Sapporo White Illumination, in which over 500,000 light bulbs enlighten Christmas-themed decor in Odori Park, and marvel at the sight of trees lining some of the capital’s main streets.
See the Northern lights in Iceland. Who doesn’t dream of seeing the majestic skies adorned with Northern lights? Iceland offers the perfect place that gives off a native Christmas spirit with its holiday markets, foods, and drinks, while glittering trees stand ground all over the place. Yes, it can still feel like Christmas even though it is already late January. It’s a dreamy winter wonderland, but if you like to take a break from the snow, you have the warm waters of Blue Lagoon’s geothermal waters to take a dip in.
Visit Santa’s home at Rovaniemi in Lapland, Finland. Rewind the time and make it still feel like a Christmas getaway. If “North Pole” vibes is what you’re going for, then booking a flight to this destination can be the best vacation idea for you. In the Arctic Circle of Finland, you can follow Santa Claus everywhere. In his red and white suit, the Christmas icon can be followed through reindeer-filled forests, where his elves prepare the toys. Lapland, as one of the most magical destinations, has an amazing ‘Santa Park’ where you can frolic in the unending fields of snow, and can be a dreamland not just for kids, but for kids at heart as well.