Travel Prep

Backpack Blues – Travel stuff shopping

travel buddies - shawl, headware, tumblers

travel buddies – shawl, headware, tumblers

I consider myself stingy, especially on accessories. I actually consider them unnecessary hehehe. And so every time I buy something, I make sure I like it, and that I’m gonna use it several ways to maximize cost. 🙂

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Backpack Blues – Medical Emergency Edition

This post is inspired by my brain swimming in a mixture of meds for the past week until date.

In my excitement to enjoy the nice outdoor temps, I’ve started semi-regularly walking/jogging along Al Fateh the other week and the next, I’m down with sore throat, runny nose, headache, slight fever and cough. Yes, I am such a baby.   

My Meds Kit is my best friend.

I have it in my daily work bag and when I travel, I make sure to move it in my backpack. While some ladies consider a makeup/primping kit as essential, to me it’s definitely my meds kit, kaliwali makeup hehe.

My meds kit usually contains the following: a small bottle of alcohol, cotton pads, band aids and my favorite meds – Antihistamines (Clarinase / Zyrtec), Nasal Decongestant (Sprays / Decolgen), Strepsils, Paracetamol, Amoxicillin, Loperamide, Bonamine… 🙂

El Paborito Meds

Note that I don’t consider myself as SICKLY. In fact, I’ve never been absent at Foulath since joining.

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Backpack Blues – Summer Edition

So what’s in your beach bag?

This post is inspired by thoughts of our boss basking in the sun along the white stretch of Boracay.

(Apology for not having even a single photo of Boracay. My first trip there was during uni days and that time didn’t have any camera maski digicam o phone cam. Awts. Pramis sa December I’d take photos as much as I can and insert one here.) 

Our boss is currently on a two week business+leisure trip to Nepal and my home country, the Philippines. He’s now in his second week and actually called me <via Viber> to announce, “Liya, I am now in your country! 27 degrees very sunny and mafi rain! We arrived in Cebu yesterday and now enroute to Boracay, blah blah blah, some office updates, blah blah blah…”

When he mentioned Boracay, I was like, aaaaahhhhh I am sooooo green with envy arbab! He was laughing and I was reminded of about two months more to endure and I’d eventually have my turn to be back at this island paradise.

Haist. Patience Leandra, patience. = p

So boss, if you happen to read this while sipping a fruit shake in a free Wi-fi café along Station 2, please don’t forget these essentials prior to hitting the beach:

Beach Bag Essentials

Yes, because a beach towel is not enough.

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Itinerary + Checklist for Oman Trip

It’s thirty (30) days to our upcoming trip to Oman, coinciding with the Eid Al Adha holidays and I’m quite pleased the temps have started to really cool down.

This morning when I checked before heading out for work, my phone’s temp indicator showed 29 degrees Celsius, yay! Winter’s really upon us mga frenships!  :)

So definitely no more excuses to laze on the couch, and all the more reasons to explore Oman outdoors! Let’s now make our itinerary + checklist…

  1. Air tickets – OK. Booked flights via TK. Cheapest, as well as departure and arrival timings maximize stay.
  2. Accommodations – OK. Booked AMI Hotel. Affordable. Within City Center. Near the Beach, siempre.
  3. Visas – On arrival. (Being GCC Residents + visa professions OK. Otherwise, need to prearrange.)  NB: Reconfirmed VOA OK with Oman Embassy today, 26.09.12 🙂
  4. DIY City Tour & Sightseeing Schedule  – refer To Do/To See checklist.

To Do / To See Checklist

Okay, I now realize that the initial To Do / To See list I made for our recent 4-day Qatar-exploring trip was indeed overwhelming especially during summer time so we weren’t able to cover all.

So this time, will be more flexible and try not to overload schedules, especially that Oman is Sooo HUGE, well, when compared to Bahrain, Qatar and UAE lah, refer to below Map for scale, hehehe.

Map showing Oman
(Source: lonelyplanet.com)

We will be staying in Muscat so we’d check out the nearby sights and places first and then move further to Ras Al Hadd, Sur and Nizwa.

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Getting a Tourist Visa for Qatar

This post is related to our recent Eid holiday trip to Qatar (August 16-20, 2012),  and hope it may be helpful in any way if you’re planning  to visit Qatar anytime soon.

Visa on Arrival (VOA)

Qatar grants tourist visas at border points for the nationals of more than 33 countries including USA, Canada, European countries, et al besides the nationals and professional residents of the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries.

*GCC countries consists of Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait and United Arab Emirates.

For more information / details on  VOA from Qatar’s Ministry of Interior website, please click here.

Buboy & I fall under the category – GCC residents – being holders of valid RP (resident permit) in Bahrain.

Bahrain RP (left) & UAE Visa On Arrival (right)

Bahrain RP (left) & UAE Visa On Arrival (right)

However, not all RPs are entitled. Qatar has a specific list of professions which may only be granted VOA. To see the list, please click here.

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Itinerary + Checklist for Qatar Trip – Part 2

Nine days to Doha and still to make a decent itinerary.

Doha Map

I have quite a long  To Do / To See List  however I’m quite bothered by the soaring temps. I definitely don’t want to be on “Vampire Mode” during this trip. (Vampire Mode: To wait for the sun to set and roam in the dark and eat…some shawarma. Corny joke. I know.)

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Backpack Blues – Middle East Edition

Except when travelling to Manila, I prefer to travel light.

(Bahrain – Manila economy flights normally have 20-30 kg checked luggage allowance. So far, all the amazing airlines I’ve flown allowed extra kgs @ FOC (really appreciated, thank u!) which equates to at least 2 nos. of  humongous  suitcases + 2 nos. almost oversized carry ons + duty free alcohol and other purchases. I remember I even brought a 32″ LCD TV home in 2010, OFWng OFW ang peg mga frenships, hehehe.)

Below photo taken during the Power Rangers’ vacation in June 2011.

Lilo the meow meow: No, no, no! Please don’t go! Don’t leave me here! waaaaa….

Travelling light means just me and my backpack. No checked luggage = no waiting in the carousel = speedy exit at the airport. 🙂

How bout you? What’s in your backpack? : )

The Backpack – Middle East Edition

The Middle East climate generally has long, very hot and humid  summers and short, moderate winters. Rain is equivalent to a one minute drizzle and that’s it. Bad weather (i.e. dust storm / sandstorm) consists of dust + strong winds + Clarinase (hatchoo!).

Keeping this in mind, a light backpack is essential. Unless you want to work up a bucket of sweat and collapse. 🙂

What’s inside?

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Itinerary + Checklist for Qatar Trip – Part 1

Our Qatar trip is scheduled on 16th – 20th August 2012, approaching the end of Ramadan until the celebration of Eid Al Fitr.

Bahrain to Doha

And though it’s expected that temps would still be super summer high, I’m looking forward to be outdoors as much as possible (and humanly bearable). Nope, I don’t want to spend all time inside the hotel “facebooking” or window shopping at a mall. 🙂

And so in between work duties and backlog travel posts, I’ll be updating this itinerary + checklist until it’s pretty workable.

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