Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Backpacking With A Kid 2023

It was with much trepidation when I said yes to a month-long backpacking trip across three countries. My wife and I have certainly done this multiple times before, on even longer time periods, but this time, the deal breaker is we're lugging a three-year old kid along with us. A very rowdy three-year old kid.


But what's done is done. I agreed, the flight tickets have been booked, hotels lined up, activities and itineraries were planned. So, I guess it's a go.

We're actually revisiting places we've already travelled to years back during our ASEAN Summer Loop, Beach Hop Asia, Same Same Summer Trip, SEA2Africa trips. A comfort zone of sort—testing the waters, if you will. Just to see if we could really pull it off.

So, for this trip, which we dubbed Backpacking With A Kid 2023, we're traveling to three countries—the Philippines included—spanning eight cities for thirty five days. A bit of a disclaimer, we initially planned on just bringing backpacks with us—hence the name—like in the olden days, but the kid just needs so much stuff that we eventually gave in and switched to rolling luggage. So, the better name for this trip would have been, Luggage Trolleying With A Kid 2023. Har. Har.

With that out of the way, here's what our elementary route looks like:
ManilaKuala LumpurPenang ➤ Langkawi ➤ Singapore ➤ Johor Bahru ➤ Kuala Lumpur ➤ Manila ➤ Siargao ➤ Surigao ➤ Dinagat Islands ➤ Surigao ➤ Manila   
We’re flying via Cebu Pacific Air from Manila to Kuala Lumpur and back. From Kuala Lumpur to Penang to Langkawi, all the way to Singapore, we’re taking a really cheap multi-city AirAsia flight (around ₱800.00++ per way per person), including the Johor Bahru to Kuala Lumpur flight. The trip from Singapore to Johor Bahru would be done via bus, since getting out of Singapore via plane is quite expensive. From Kuala Lumpur to Manila, we’re heading straight to the provinces of Surigao Del Norte using our CEB Super Pass.
The only three destinations we considered for this year’s route was Penang, so we can visit the kid’s grandma and grandpa; Johor Bahru, so he can run around Legoland; and Kuala Lumpur, so we can eat mee goreng on our favorite stall in Jalan Alor Food Street. The rest of the places we included were incidental, lol.

And yes, we also included a few Philippine destinations for this trip as well. From Manila’s airport, we’ll head straight to Mindanao to visit three provinces in the region. And to lighten our load, we’ll cheat a bit by sending our big luggage full of stuff we’d be buying along the trip to a friend who lives near the airport via Grab or Lalamove, lol.    
This year’s trip may not be as grand as our last The Eurasian Summer Bump which had us flying to Mongolia and Russia, but baby steps first. If we can somehow pull this off without losing our mind and all our hair out of frustration and pure exhaustion, then we’ll probably move to a grander stage next year.


Backpacking With A Kid 2023

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