After Manila, Where to Next?

Bumper-to-bumper traffic, street and karaoke noise all over, the stifling heat—the capital of the Philippines can be daunting at first but once you dig deeper, you will unfold a fast-paced and fascinating metropolis defined by its rich history and legacy. 

Manila Chinatown 

Oh, Manila—love it or hate it, as they say! Whether you are a first-time traveler to the Philippines excited to see what makes this country more fun aside from its capital city, a millennial Manilenya seeking to escape the buzzling city, or a returning tourist wanting to stray away from the metro, here are some ideas on where to go next after exploring the Philippines’ chaotic yet iconic mad metropolis.  

Thankfully, there’s a wide array of choices for you—places to visit, transportation to take and accommodations to book—ranging from luxury to budget—in any city or province you wish to discover after Manila. 

A Guide For Filipinos: Do I Need A Visa To Transit Through Dubai?

When we scored cheap roundtrip tickets from Manila to Dubai last year, we knew that our journey would not end in the United Arab Emirates—we would continue on to Europe to fulfill the biggest trip of our lives, and so we did.

As planned, we flew from Manila to Dubai through Cebu Pacific. From Dubai, our connecting flight to Vienna, Austria was via Ukraine Airlines, with another 2-hour layover in Kiev, Ukraine. Whew! I know what you are thinking. What a complicated flight, right? Anything to make #Europamore happen!

Since we’re having a connecting flight in Dubai in a different airline, we were faced by our first road block: 

Where to Eat in Vienna

Where to eat in vienna, austria

I have a confession to make. When it finally became clear to us that we were really going to Europe, what scared me most—aside from fitting all my belongings in a single hand-carry—was parting ways with rice for 12 days! Filipinos are notorious for devouring rice in every meal. We just cannot survive without rice—if you know me, you know that this is certainly true for me! And so, even if I was fulfilling the greatest trip of my life, European cuisine just didn’t appeal to me. Cheese? Sausage? Come on, give me some rice!

But all my fears about missing rice flew out of the window when we finally set foot in Vienna. 

#Europamore Trip Report Day 02: Touring Around Vienna

#Europamore, noun: 1. a word play between “Europa” and “Pa More,” a Filipino expression usually attached to a noun or verb to give further and greater emphasis. 2. by far, the greatest trip of Girl Chasing Sunshine’s life

Today was a long day. 

The moment my passport was stamped by the Vienesse immigration—which was, compared to our ordeal since the Dubai leg of this trip, easy breezy—I felt like I was ready to explore and conquer Europe despite feeling woozy and dizzy because of the long flight.  

We were whisked off from the airport to the city via the transportation service we have arranged through our guest house, Benediktushaus. 

What I Regret About My Europe Trip

When I started planning my Eurotrip, I excitedly took out my pen and notebook and scribbled all the places I told myself that I MUST see.  I was almost halfway through a page when I realized that I can only afford to see so much with 12 days! 

While I was relatively satisfied with how my 12-day trip to Europe turned out, I am still a little bummed out about skipping some of the European cities and towns I’ve long been dreaming. 

#Europamore Trip Report Day 01: 8,225 Miles Of Travel To Europe

Europe Trip Report Day 01

#Europamore, noun: 1. a word play between “Europa” and “Pa More,” a Filipino expression usually attached to a noun or verb to give further and greater emphasis. 2. by far, the greatest trip of Girl Chasing Sunshine’s life

“Europe, here we come!”

These were the first words I told myself upon waking up on October 29, 2015. I remember feeling pumped up despite having slept past my lola-vibes slumber time the previous night. I was awake until 2 AM, trying to stuff all my belongings into my cabin luggage and fixing last minute train bookings. It was so ironic that on the greatest trip of my life, I was not able to do detailed planning—like what I usually do—and was forced to only have a hand carry (insert super sad face here).

The World From Above: Vienna, Austria

The World From Above Vienna

Vienna is a truly majestic city. Everywhere we looked brought orgasm to our eyes—it’s a richly decorated city filled with well-preserved architecture and cultural perfection. Just when we thought it couldn’t get any more glorious, we were presented with the most stunning sights from the city’s most popular viewpoint.

How to Fill Out the Schengen Short-Stay Visa Application Form

How To Fill Out a Schengen Visa Application Form

The most basic requirement for a Schengen short-stay visa application is, of course, a duly-accomplished application form.

You will be asked to provide personal data and information related to your travel to the Schengen area. We downloaded our copy of the application form from the website of the Czech Republic Embassy in Manila where we lodged our application. Click here to get a copy.

Where To Apply For A Schengen Short-Stay Visa

Where to Apply for a Schengen Short-Stay Visa

Lodging an application for a Schengen visafor purposes of travel and leisurecan be an excruciating process, especially if you take into account the mounds of documents and requirements we, Filipinos, need to prepare. One of the first hurdles in securing a Schengen visa is determining where to pass your application.  

Purchasing Travel Insurance For Your Schengen Visa Application

Schengen Visa Travel Insurance

Applying for a Schengen short-stay visa to go to Europe requires valid travel insurance. Travelling abroad has many risks and just like any other day in your life, accidents can happen; you can get sick while on the road so it is always best to be protected.

Cheap Fare Alert: Php22,000 ($461) Manila to Europe (Roundtrip)

Cheap Fare Alert Manila to Europe

I’m currently drafting a blog post on how to score low-cost flights from Manila to Europe and as I was searching in Skyscanner, Kayak, and websites of various airlines, I came across this sweet deal: Php22,000 for a roundtrip fare from Manila to Europe—Scandinavia, in particular—for travel on September 2016! I checked the dates September 5 to September 25, 2016. Based on experience, this is one of the most affordable fares you can snag going to Europe. The cheapest I’ve seen was this promo fare spotted by DJ Yabis of Dream Euro Trip early last year.

There are two airlines and flight routes involved in this but no need to worry as it’s not too complicated.

How It All Started: The Great #Europamore Trip

How Europamore Started

#Europamore, noun: 1. a word play between “Europa” and “Pa More,” a Filipino expression usually attached to a noun or verb to give further and greater emphasis. 2. by far, the greatest trip of Girl Chasing Sunshine’s life

I can’t absolutely pinpoint the exact moment when I decided that I will conquer Europe one day. I remember watching the films Eurotrip and Chasing Liberty in high school and I thought how thrilling would it be to ride a train around the continent. I remember stumbling upon travel blogs about France, Italy, Germany, Greece, and Sweden. I remember watching Letters to Juliet and promising myself that I would visit Verona someday. I remember seeing social media posts of colleagues on incentive trips around Prague and Bratislava and how exotic their trips felt like.  

I can’t certainly say why I wish to visit Europe but I knew what I wanted: I wanted to see the world. I wanted to experience Europe.

A Dream Come True: 12 Days in Europe

A dream come true—this pretty much sums up my whirlwind trip to Europe late last year. Never have I ever imagined that I would be able to take this trip in this lifetime, let alone in my early twenties, in my own capacity, and for the most part, all by myself.

Like most avid travelers, I’ve always wanted to go to Europe but the seemingly expensive cost of travelling around the continent, along with the difficulties in getting a Schengen visa, held me back. But thankfully, everything just perfectly fell into place this year and I found myself wandering and gallivanting around seven cities and six countries in Europe for 12 days.