Friday, May 17, 2013

Hongkong Family Edition: Planning and Preparation

Hong Kong. Take three. 


The first time I was in Hongkong, I was 9 or 10 years old, with my family. There were four of us back then. There was no Disneyland, no MTR and no digicams. My dad filmed our activities using an old camcorder  - then converted/saved/how do you call it? To Betamax.

The second time was with my officemates in 2008. The trip was partially subsidized but we still had to shell out a huge chunk of cash for the trip. 95% of my mid-year bonus went in this tri (the 5% went to Starbucks splurge and some savings).

2008 HK Disneyland. Pounds and years ago. I wore a jumper for maximum childhood feeling effect.


The third time was with my family.





Planning

Set your target destination. Where? The destination is important. There are lots of possible destinations but you have settle where you want to go. Will the place require you periods of long walking? Gauge if your family members can handle physically challenging activities. 

Set your target dates. When? Do you have siblings still studying? Or working overseas? Would summer, sembreak or the holidays work out for everyone? This will let you know which seat sales are worth participating in. 

Set your budget. How much? Who will fund the trip? Is the fund readily available? If there’s a seat sale tomorrow, can you purchase the tix via credit card and pay this in full when the bill is due? Will you stay in hotels or guesthouses? DIY or package trip?

Assign a person in charge. I took over here. Being the most travelled (and the eldest too), I volunteered (or assigned)  to be the trip planner for our HK Family outing. The focal person is responsible for checking budget plane fares, choosing and booking the accommodations, and fixing the itinerary. Pinoyexchange's Hong Kong thread is extremely detailed and reliable. You can stop reading this post and just read that one. That's fine with me.

Have a family meeting before leaving. Medyo OA. But I felt it was necessary to brief everyone about the must-know for the airport, immigration, luggage.


Travel Preps for family
Travel Preps – currency exchange, credit card activation. We got HKD in Czarina Foreign Exchange. Call at least three days in advance to reserve HKD. We got them at 1HKD = Php 5.50.

Kelangan may picture yung pera. Basta lang.

Passport Preparation - make sure you have a valid passport. My mom and sisters had to get passports (another story). Passport backup (scanned copies in email, photocopies in bags), insert a valid id in the passport (in case of immigration queries)

Home and Work Arrangements. Vacation leaves, pet care, maid tasks.

Packing tips – since most of my family members haven’t travelled overseas, I had to brief them re Check-in vs. Handcarry. 

Itinerary Review - it would be best if everyone knows the basic itinerary in case they get asked in immigration.  

Travel etiquette – Leave No Trace Policy. Bawal magtapon ng basura kung saan saan. 

Emergency contact numbers. Give everyone a map of the Philippine Embassy.

Get some sleep the night before. Be prepared to deal with cranky people in the airport.


Our HK Itinerary for 4D3N:



Date/Day
Particulars
Comments
Group Cost HKD
Personal Exp. HKD
PHP
Forex Rate




         5.50
Airfare
Cebupacific promofare
Piso fare MNL-HK, regular fare HK-MNL


    35,298.06
Accomodation
Downpayment to guesthouse
3 double rooms @ 400/room/night





Downpayment is 1 night
              1,200.00


Day 1 - Saturday
Depart NAIA - The Peak




Depart 5:40
Travel tax
Php 1,620/pax, for 6 pax


      9,720.00
Arrive 7:40
Airport Terminal Fee
Php 550/pax, for 6 pax


      3,300.00

Breakfast at Airport - Seattle's Best



      1,285.00

Octopus Card
 HKD 150/pax, for 6 pax
                 900.00



Peak Tram + Sky Terrace + Madame Tussaud
 HKD 205/pax, for 6 pax
             1,230.00



Hongkong Disneyland Tix
 HKD 388/pax, for 6 pax
   2,328.00



Ocean Park + Meal
 HKD 310/pax, for 6 pax
    1,860.00



Balance payment  to guesthouse

   2,400.00



Photo in Tram

     100.00



Lunch

  179.00



Gongcha


              47.00


Dinner at BK

286.00



The peak telescope


                5.00







Day 2 - Sunday
Disneyland Day





Breakfast

  82.00



Meal Coupon
 HKD 178/pax, for 6 pax
   1,068.00



Cotton Candy


              28.00







Day 3 - Monday
Ocean Park Day





Photo souvenir at the entrance

     100.00



Bus from Ocean Park to Admirality
 HKD 10.6/pax, for 6 pax
      63.60



Cafe Coral

   246.00



KFC


              24.00


Octopus card reload
 HKD 50/pax, for 6 pax
     300.00



Wellcome shopping


            151.30







Day 4 - Tuesday
Nanlian Garden + Free Time + Fly out of HKIA





Breakfast

150.00



Lunch

   504.50



Mc do Milkshake


               6.00


Mcdo Large Fries


               8.00


Ovaltine Drumstick


               8.00


Supermarket


            163.20


Airport Starbucks


              36.00


Chatime


              19.00

Total, HKD/PHP


                12,997.10
            495.50
    49,603.06
Converted to PHP


71,484.05
          2,725.25
 49,603.06
Total PHP, per pax (/6 pax)


11,914.01

   8,267.18
GRAND TOTAL/pax, in PHP



 20,181.19




















Plane Fare
I don't rely on email alerts, FB pages and Twitter. I patiently checked the websites of Cebupacific and PalExpress. I booked the tickets on December 2012, the trip date was May 2013. Got the MNL-HKG flight at Piso-fare rate while the HKG-MNL flight at a regular rate. 

Accommodations
I got one double and two twin rooms at Yiu Fai Guesthouse. Three rooms for the 6 of us. I figured that we could make use of three bathrooms. Especially that all my siblings are girls (Yay to sisterhood!).



It is gonna be fun but it is not gonna be fun all the time. ;)


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