2017 Travel Debugger Year-End Review

2017 Travel Debugger Year-End Review

2017 is an amazing yet quite laid back year for The Travel Debuggers. In terms of travels, this year is just as good compared to 2016. We traveled to 3 countries, several out of town trips and some well-deserved staycations. I managed my limited employee leaves quite well by taking advantage of late night Friday flights, being a weekend warrior and of course, the holidays.

Due to my busy schedule, I wasn’t able to write more this year compared to last year. I hope I can write more next year but I can’t promise it. I’ll tell the reasons below.

Anyway, let’s check out where we’ve been, the goals we achieved (and not achieved) and plans for next year.

Where we’ve been

January

Pinto Art Museum – We started off somewhere near. This is not really considered travel but more of a leisurely and educational field trip. I didn’t blog this one but if you like art, this is a must visit.

February

Taiwan – First out of country for year 2017. We only spent 2 days and 2 nights in Taiwan and it wasn’t enough. We wish we could spend more time exploring and enjoying their food. If you’re planning to go here, spend at least 3 days or 5 days if you wish to explore the provinces outside of Taipei.

Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall

CKS Hall from afar

Read: Taiwan DIY Budget Travel Guide 2D2N.

May

Windfarm Pililla Rizal – Another spontaneous and nearby trip. This is a primary side trip and stop over for motorists coming from Laguna and Quezon. It’s time for the Philippines to invest more on renewable source of energy and this Windfarm is one of those good starts.

Windmill Pililia

Read: Windfarm Pililla Rizal; A Big Step on Wind Power.

June

Tali Beach, Batangas – We had our Team Building here. It’s a great place for a quick weekend getaway for families and friends as it is just around 3 hours to get here. If you want peace and quiet and total relaxation, consider this.

Cliff Tali Beach

Batanes? Nope.

Read: Tali Beach – A sweet spot in Nasugbu Batangas

July

La Virginia Hotel and Resort in Batangas – Another Batangas trip with my High School friends. Sort of a despedida for one of our buddies.

La Virginia Taal View

Other side of Taal

Review of this resort here.

August

Privato Hotel – Weekend Staycation in Manila.

Privato Hotel Executive King

Our comfy bed

Pros and Cons of this hotel in our review here.

October

Osita Castle in Tagaytay – Booked this one in Airbnb. If you want to feel rich and stay in a big house even for just one night, check out this place. Amenities includes a pool, billiards, karaoke, kitchen, drumset, etc. If you’re lucky and no one booked a room besides you, you’d be the only guest(s) here and have the place all for yourself.

Check their Airbnb page here.

If you aren’t a member of Airbnb yet, then sign up here and get free credits!

Greenhills Elan Hotel – Shopping, dining and staycation. Greenhills Elan Hotel is perfect for shopaholics who needs a place to stay and relax after a whole day shopping.

Greenhills Elan Hotel Swimming Pool

Outdoor Pool at the roofdeck

Our Review here.

Japan (Osaka, Kyoto, Nara) – Our most awaited out of country travel this year, Japan! We traveled with my family and had the most amazing time. Can’t wait to go back! We love Japan!

Osaka Castle

Osaka Castle

Read: Japan Travel Guide Itinerary Osaka Kyoto Nara 5D4N

November

Bolinao, Pangasinan – There were 3 days of no work during the ASEAN Summit in Manila. What to do then? Travel! We had a spontaneous trip to the Eastern side of the country 6hrs away from Manila. Beautiful beaches, falls, caves and the most amazing sunset!

Bolinao Sunset

Bolinao Sunset

Read: Bolinao Travel Itinerary Guide and Expenses 3D2N 

Brunei – 3rd and last out of country trip. This is a short one just like our Taiwan trip (2D2N). We were accommodated by my friend there and explored Bandar Seri with them. Food in Brunei is awesome! That’s what we enjoyed most there and the groceries! 😀

Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque

Another view of this magnificent Mosque

Read: Brunei Travel Itinerary Expenses 2D2N

December

Coron, Palawan – Last but certainly, not the least – Coron! Our last travel for year 2017 and it surely closed the year with a bang! Our country is truly blessed with natural resources and Coron is one of those places that you’d truly be proud of its beauty. No wonder foreigners like it here and some of them actually lives there permanently!

Kayangan Lake

Read: Coron Travel Guide Itinerary and Expenses 4D3N

Goals Last Year

You can read our 2016 year-end review here

1) More writing gigs! Hopefully we can get on some international publications as well.

Didn’t get any international publications because well, I didn’t try to get one but I managed to write contributions and some sponsored posts as well which I seldom do.

2) Grow our Social Media following – Hope our Instagram picks up and we really need to find time to set-up and learn about Twitter lol.

Our Facebook follows grew to 2053 this year. It’s not much but I’m proud to stay that it’s all organic likes. I didn’t boost any of my post this year and will continue not doing so as I prefer organic follows than fake follows 🙂

As for IG, yeah it increased but not as much too. Hope to increase it next year If I do find the time. So many things to do, so little time 🙂

3) Spontaneous travels!

Check! Done some spontaneous out of town trips this year.

4) More quality photos.

Check! I say it is getting better. Still armed with my phone and newly purchased waterproof digital camera. I kinda stopped using my sports cam lately.

5) Increase our page views more.

Check! But the increase was not quite high compared to last year so this just passed the mark.

6) Continue to help fellow travelers

Check! This for me, is the most important of all. I received quite a lot of compliments and thank yous. That alone is enough for me to keep this blog running.

Blog Updates

Not much but we had three new affiliate partners – HotelsCombined, KLOOK and KKDAY!

HotelsCombined is an online platform where you can search and compare prices of Hotels from different websites and book it directly there! This site is great because it tells you where to book the cheapest rate in a Hotel. Remember, room prices can differ from one website to another so Hotels Combined helps you deal with that problem!

Try searching now!

KLOOK and KKDAY are sites where you can book tours and other travel related needs like transportation and pocket wifi devices. I personally booked some items from them and I guarantee that they are reliable.

Search what you’re looking for now! Click links below:

KLOOK

KKDAY

Where we’re going next year

We had no plans set in stone or flight bookings last year but we did a lot of spontaneity this year.

These are the places we had in mind last year:

International – Japan, Taiwan, U.S.A.

Local – Siargao, Batanes, Bacolod

For International, we did went to Japan and Taiwan but for local, none of those 3 happened.

So where do we aim to travel to next year? Again, we had no definite plans yet both for local and abroad but every traveler have some place in mind right? Here’s the places we aim for:

International – New Zealand, U.S.A., Europe, China. I think China will be the spontaneous one that depends on the seat sale. I almost booked a flight there this year but cancelled it.

So we’re aiming for the 3 big ones up there. All of them has pros and cons but of the three, I’m kinda veered towards NZ. One of them might actually be the only out of country travel we will have next year because it would require at least 2 weeks of travel to any of those places.

Local – Siargao, Batanes, Bacolod, Iloilo. The same last year only with the addition of Iloilo.

What we aim for next year

I think the goals we have last year will be the same next year. Honestly, we might lay low on traveling next year but knowing myself, that’s not 100% true. So far, we only aim one big travel as I’ve mentioned above.

The real goal is, we aim to delay the gratification of numerous mini travels for a more sustainable, longer one. Watch out for that! I just need more time to focus on implementing the plan and hopefully, it will reward us.

See you all next year and may you all have a great year ahead of you! Happy Holidays!

He is a programmer by profession but has a soul of a traveler. Aside from his ultimate dream of travelling around the world, he loves to eat, drink, listen to music, talk about aliens and the occasional secret guilty pleasure of singing love songs in videoke. His favorite superpower is to teleport from one place to another. I guess you know why.