“You’re no longer traveling alone?”, mumbled a friend.

That’s just one of the rewards of solo traveling – bumping into travel buddies along the road or  finding one back home and realizing after all, you’re not really alone.

Palaui Island photo : from Jerome Baluyot's camera

Palaui Island photo : from Jerome Baluyot’s camera

I will never abandon solo travel, it will always be my first love but it’s not my only love anymore.  I travel solo and write about it to encourage everyone to do it, at least once in their lifetime.  But I’m not here to renounce traveling in groups.  Ever since I started travel blogging, I’ve meet a lot of  strangers who share the same passion in traveling.  I feel so blessed to have met them and call them my friends now and they’re the reason why I’m mad about group trekking and adventure lately.  Let me share to you some lessons I learned when travelling in groups.

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The Benefits of  Group Travel

1. Cost Sharing 

Group travel is equated to cost reduction.  Instead of joining a trek group, we decided to do our own trekking and adventure.  Initially the trip was meant to be a much-awaited return trip to Palaui Island with Angel but it ended up as a group camp trip when Edcel whose based in Cebu arrived in Manila, and Darwin asked about the camp trip then later on Jerome joined us.  We’re able to save much on this group  adventure because we shared the expenses of the trip.

Sta. Ana, Cagayan Carinderia photo by Jerome Baluyot

Our challenge is to spend Php 2,000 each including foodies, fare to and fro Manila, boat, guide fee.

Our Budget:

5 Manila to Tuguegarao Bus  Tickets- P2900
Trike Victory to Van Terminal – P100
Tuguegarao to Sta. Ana Van (5 pax) – P900
Royal 1.5L on Lunch – P30
Grocery Items – P230
4L H20 – P60
Trike Centro Sta. Ana to Port – P70
Packed Foods – P210
Boat/Guide – P1000
Trike Port to Van Station – P75
Sta. Ana to Tuguegarao Van (5 pax)- P900
5 Tuguegarao to Manila Bus Tickets – P2900

Total = P9375
P9375 / 5 pax = P1875 each

Jump here for Palaui Travel Guide


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2. Ability to Share the Experience

Sometimes I doubt if  I could actually convey my travel experience to you or if you could relate to what I;m trying to express, unless you’ve actually been at that place or experienced that moment.  I don’t know if my photos or writing could give justice to a destination I explored or if they’re good enough to convince you that the place is really heavenly or how standing there feels surreal.

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Whenever I tell my travel stories to my family or friends, oftentimes I see blank stares or generic smiles. All I know is they’re glad I’m home in one piece.  It doesn’t matter to them what happened out there or what I did, so long as I’m back safe.  I wrote this blog initially as a memento, something that I could read 20 years from now or so and remind me of how it feels to be in that place at that moment.  But as constant as change itself, this travel blog is also evolving.  Now one of its goal is to encourage you to experience how it feels to be in that place and make your own story to remember.

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under the blue skies! (photo by Angel Juarez)

Traveling in a group erases that doubt- you know your travel buddies can see the majestic sight that you just marveled or relate with what you’ve gone through because you’ve shared that travel experience with them. There’s no substitute for actually being there.

 “Happiness is only real when shared.”

-Into the Wild-

3. Two heads is better than one.

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Jack and Jill finally made it to Palaui Island’s highest peak!

When you’re planning on traveling solo, most of the time you spend hours of hours online trying research about the place before embarking on that trip. But when you’re joining a trek group, most often than not some of your travel buddies know some areas to explore that you haven’t encountered online.  This adds twist and more excitement to your travel. For this trip I feel like Angel knows more about Sta. Ana, Cagayan than us, so we were pretty dependent on him.

4. Constant Support

A camping trip with like-minded people is inevitable in group trekking and adventure. You may be flexible but as humanly as possible, you don’t want to join a group of whiners.

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Darwin and Jerome photo by Angel Juarez

In this trip, I was lucky to have traveled with fellow travel bloggers : Angel, Edcel, Jerome and Darwin because during the entire trip we we’re just , helping and supporting each other and uhmm..taking their vain photos!  Just pure happy moments! 🙂

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“I have found out that there ain’t no surer way to know whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.”

– Mark Twain-

Indeed, traveling with a group is fun especially if you’re traveling with flexible people who shares the same interests. I prefer a smaller group of 4-6 people so we’d be able to enjoy each other’s company. I’m sure there are more advantages of group travel that I have failed to include here.

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I’m not vain! lol (paparazzi shot by Edcel Suyo)

Traveling alone will always be my passion, no one can steal that away from me even if  that invincible love finds me on my way home.  My ultimate goal is to help, understand, inspire poor girls like me to travel and meet diverse people and culture on the road. And hopefully find myself and restore myself in the process.

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This time I’d like to thank my travel buddies who were able to handle me even at my worst and never left me despite my imperfection.  No explanations needed, just pure faith.

*This is part of  Cagayan Valley series.

* Click here for Palaui Travel Guide 

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