Friday, June 1, 2012

Saving for a Visit: The Early Stages

A few weeks ago, I began saving for a trip to the Philippines to visit my girls. I plan to go in January 2014, which leaves me a year and a half to save. I'm off to a great start (I think) with a couple hundred dollars socked away ... but I don't really even know what my target amount is.

Some of it has been easy to research. Airfare, thanks to my employment, is going to be a fraction of the normal cost (around $300 each for me and Julio). Hotels ... well, the Marriott in Manila is $185 a night, which is quite steep for a 4-night stay. I love the Marriott, but I think I will have to look elsewhere. Ideally, I'd like to keep the Manila hotel under $500 total. Luckily, CI can recommend safe, reliable hotels in each of the Sponsorship cities. So I'll get their list, and go from there.

Then there will be transportation from Manila to Tabaco, and from Tabaco to Legaspi. We can take a bus, or we can take a puddle-jumper plane. Each has its own safety concerns. I may opt for the bus, though, since I'm not traveling alone. On the other hand .... it's a six-hour drive. Yikes!

After that, I've figured on $100 each for my girls to go shopping while I am there. So that's $800.

I'd like to visit maybe two of my metro Manila girls each day, and then use one day to take all of them to an amusement park or water park or pool. So that's admission for me, Julio, our CI translator and driver, each girl, and whatever members of their families come along. One of my fellow LiftOne sponsors often visits her children in the Philippines, and she mentioned that there is a place called La Mesa quite near one of the Sponsorship centers. This seems a likely candidate for my outing with my girls. Admission is $3 per person, making it an inexpensive venue for group fun! Of course, my girls may not own swimsuits ... I'll have to ask about that.

By very, very rough estimate, I'm pegging the expense at around $3500. I think I'll set my initial savings goal at $5000, to give a good buffer. So if I save around $300 a month, I'll surpass that goal. That's completely doable ... it's only two overtime shifts per month!


  1. I really enjoy reading about your thorough "homework" and planning. It will be a joy to read about the process of preparing - and of course, the emotions and excitement of meeting your sponsored girls. ~ Staci

  2. Thanks, Staci! I'm so excited about the trip, even with all the daunting preparation that will be needed to make it successful!