How to Prepare for a Staycation

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So what exactly is a Staycation? A staycation is a vacation where you take time off from your normal routine and spend it at home. You might be staying with family or friends, or you may be staying at a hotel or Airbnb. There are many reasons why people opt for a staycation instead of taking their usual vacations.

It’s a great way to focus on slower travel which is proven to be far more sustainable, in the long run, this could be a lot cheaper (as staycations tend to be off-season), and there isn’t the stress of having to execute a big trip. In general the new normal has staycations and it’s something that plenty of people are loving. If you’re interested in creating your own staycation then these tips will help you out.

Why are staycations becoming so popular?

Staycations give people a chance to recharge and rejuvenate their mind, body, and soul. While regular fast travel can do this, it tends to be stressful as well. Slow travel is all about taking things in, taking in your surroundings, environment, culture, and everything else. It’s all about traveling but at a much slower pace.

How to prepare for your staycation

The first step is to make sure you have enough time for yourself before you start your staycation. It's important because it will help keep you from feeling overwhelmed with tasks or responsibilities when you're on vacation. If possible, try to do this at the end of the week so that there are fewer distractions during the weekend.

When it comes to preparing for travel, it can get pretty overwhelming and hectic as you’re having to plan, pack the essentials like some dog urns, food, toiletries, and anything else that could be considered a major essential. Depending on how long your staycation is and where you’re at, you may not need to worry about overpacking.

Choosing the right destination for your staycation

If you are going to plan a staycation, you should make sure that it is worth your time and money. You should also make sure that you are not going to be bored on your trip. There are many ways of choosing a destination for your staycation. You can choose from popular destinations or some lesser-known ones depending on what you want to experience during your trip and how much money you can afford to spend. 

But it’s also going to help narrow it down depending on the season you’re going. If you’re going on a staycation during the summer then it may be best to go off the beaten track to somewhere less known. This way, you’re saving money, avoiding crowds, and your staycation will be a lot calmer as well.

Taking time off from your daily routine is important to ensure that you are able to make the most of your work and personal life. While a lot of people tend to think of taking time off as a luxury, it can actually be seen as an investment. When you take time off, you are freeing up your mind and body so that they can rest and heal. This allows productivity to increase over the course of the week. Staycations are the best time to get out of your routine of what you do every day. This new environment and new pace in your life can truly help you with feeling recharged. 


hay jusko

Heya. Guess I just wanna rant. I've been waiting for my HSBC Cash Advance Pin letter for over a month so I had to request for a reprint and now it's been two weeks and it's still not with me. It's a fucking pin letter so I assumed it will just be dropped in the mailbox just like all of the cash advance pins I've received in my life. Turns out I have to receive it personally and if I didn't call the lobby I wouldn't know that the courier has been here already yesterday and I FUCKING NEVER KNEW. Like how was I supposed to know? Courier never reached out, lobby never reached out, so what now? How come the courier didn't even think to inform its recipient that it's coming right now? More so, how come HSBC didn't even think to include my number in the parcel? That's so fucking basic so I'm fuming mad about the incompetence running around in this matter. Don't even get me started with our condo lobby who can't even load up a mobile phone so it could call its residents who don't have landline, instead of going up in our super slow elevators to knock on doors. That's just so stupid. Everything is stupid.

On the plus side, at least I know now that my letter is actually being delivered and it's just not reaching me for stupid reasons. I'm starting to hate it here. Move someplace with intercom at least, and better receptionists. Or probably just install a doorbell. What the fuck are we paying for.

Anyway. I think I've calmed down. I just need to get the fucking pin so I could fucking register to online banking. That's fucking it. 


My 2022 LTO Renewal of Registration Experience

Heya! Sharing my experience renewing our vehicle registration at LTO Pasig. It's our first time to do this on our own cos for the past couple of years we just ask our car dealer to deal with this haha. Ultimately I think I don't mind doing this again moving forward cos it's very easy naman pala as long as you have prepared all the requirements before heading to LTO.

For context...

I'm renewing a private vehicle, a 2016 Toyota Vios to be exact, and my dad is the registered owner. I did the renewal at LTO Pasig (inside Ynares Compound, beside Capitol Commons) on a Friday at 3pm. We finished at 5pm. My car is due for registration first week of January, and due to alert level restrictions, the deadline was extended to February. If you want to know when your schedule is, click here.

In thist post I'll talk about...

✔️ Requirements and where I got them
✔️ Total cost and breakdown
✔️ Tips cos I have some haha

Requirements and where I got them

If you go to LTMS Portal here ( and navigate to E-Learning > Motor Vehicle Registration, you'll find the list of requirements for private vehicle renewal of registration.

1. Photocopy of OR and CR
2. CTPL Insurance Certificate of Cover
3. MVIR (Motor Vehicle Inspection Report) or CEC (Certificate of Emission Compliance)
4. Registered owner's TIN

First off, you must have registered at LTMS Portal because they will ask for the LTO Client ID. The ORs issued nowadays are generated from a new system which requires you to register to the portal. Instead of getting the usual blue OR, you'll get a printed copy instead (black and white on bond paper). 

I'm renewing a car that's registered to my dad so I asked for his LTO Client ID. 

1. Photocopy of OR and CR

This one's easy hehe. Just get a copy of your latest OR and CR. OR's are issued yearly after your car's 3rd year because the first 3 years are already covered. Funny though, and I learned this just now, I keep hearing that the first three years of registration is FREE, but turns out you already paid 3x the MVUC upon initial registration with LTO. Check your first OR hehe. So it's not really free, you already paid for it in advance and you probably didn't notice! I know I didn't! Hahaha

So in my case, had my car on 2016 so my 2016, 2017, and 2018 are already covered. I started renewing on 2019.

CRs on the other hand, there's only one copy of this, you don't renew this, and if you're bank financed, the original isn't with you yet. So just photocopy your photocopy hehe.

2. CTPL Insurance Certificate of Cover

It's very easy to get CTPL now that you can do it online. Note that CTPL is different from your  comprehensive insurance cover. The C stands for Compulsary so it's required haha.

What are your options?

✔️ If you have GCash, navigate to GInsure and you get a lot of options. 
✔️ A Google search will also do you well
✔️ Within the LTO compound there's also usually an insurance office where you can get yours, in case you don't want the trouble of doing everything online

I don't recommend it though because it could be more expensive. Plus you may run into fixers who would offer "assistance" and probably tell you you're not allowed inside cos you're wearing shorts or slippers or whatever. Just be careful. I remember in 2020 our CTPL costed around ₱1,000 which I thought was normal, but now upon checking, CTPL for private vehicles only ranges from ₱500 to ₱600! We've been robbed!


✔️ I got my CTPL from MAPFRE Insurance ( because it's on the first page when I did a Google search for "instant CTPL online philippines" and it didn't require me to register for an account. I did everything online and paid only ₱560.

Their website is pretty slow once you submit the form so just be patient and wait it out. I even ran into an error after payment which was a bummer because I wanted to come to LTO the next day and I don't know when they'll get back to me about this.

I immediately sent an email to requesting for a refund if they can't generate my policy in time. I also messaged them on Facebook and dropped an inquiry through the Contact Form on their website.

Thankfully, they replied immediately in the morning and I was able to get my policy before lunch. They sent a 12-page PDF attachment containing the policy, its details, and the actual COC. In triplicates lol.

You don't have to submit the whole doc. Just look for the page with the Original Confirmation of Cover and print that one.

I wonder what "ORIGINAL" meant with that double quotes hahaha.

Another thing, if your car has comprehensive insurance, make sure you don't already have CTPL cos sometimes it's already included in the policy and you just didn't notice. Or if you're just planning to get one, remind the agent to exclude CTPL (if it's not already) so you don't pay double, or have them adjust the CTPL period of insurance to match your vehicle registration. Personally I'd rather get CTPL separately.

3.  MVIR (Motor Vehicle Inspection Report) or CEC (Certificate of Emission Compliance)

Which one should you get?

Around two years ago LTO added a renewal requirement which says all vehicles must pass a multi-point inspection and submit a copy of the passed MVIR upon renewal of registration. They released a list of accredited PMVICs (Private Motor Vehicle Inspection Centers) and each center caters only to specific LTO offices based on its GAOR (Geographic Area of Responsibility) so it's like if you got inspected at a center in Mandaluyong, you can't submit your results to LTO Novaliches (just in case you wanna register there) because they're not in the same area. Something like that.

I remember it was very complicated for us once because we used to let Toyota BGC or Chino Roces handle our registration, but then they required us to get inspected at a PMVIC in Taguig because they process renewals at LTO Makati. So we did that, only to fail the inspection cos our tires were all expired lol, then when we got to fix our tires we had to go back to the same center for retest and hand the results to Toyota for processing. It was such a hassle going back and forth to Taguig argh.


Somehow during the pandemic the MVIR requirement got lifted and they said CEC should suffice at the time. Since then I wasn't sure what was required. When we went to LTO to clarify this requirement, we confirmed that only CEC is required.... so yey? 

We were headed to the nearest emission center when some guy at LTO told us the nearest one is already full and you won't make it today so he referred us to AutoTEC along Shaw Blvd saying there's not a lot of people there. I was skeptic at first, but I knew AutoTEC cos it's one of the PMVICs I was checking out when I was looking at the requirements and planning this day haha.

We drove to the place which is just 2km away from LTO Pasig and true enough it's not busy. We were the only customers at that time. That's around 2:30pm. It's not just an emission testing center but a PMVIC. But the multi-point inspection already covers emission testing so LTO accepts this. We paid ₱500 and we were out in 30mins! Yey!

Pretty happy with the service. This center is obviously new. It's spacious and they have an airconditioned customer's lounge. I recommend AutoTEC if you're nearby!

AutoTEC Shaw - Automotive Testing Center, Inc. is located at 
No. 564 Shaw Blvd., Brgy. Highway Hills 1550 Mandaluyong, Philippines

They're beside Governor's Palace, there's like a small street there that leads to AutoTEC. There's a big sign with an arrow, you can't miss it. Or just Waze them, we did!

4. Registered owner's TIN

I just asked my dad, but no one really asked for it in LTO. As you will see in the OR, they just left the TIN field blank.

Pass your papers!!!
After gathering the requirements we drove back to LTO and waited two hours to get processed. Here's everything I submitted, just 4 pages...

There was a long line that afternoon, maybe because it's Friday, and also because they extended the deadline of January renewals to February, so we're kinda expecting this.

Total cost and breakdown
After two hours of waiting I paid ₱1,710 and went out with my 2022 OR.

Let's break it down...

✔️ CTPL - ₱560.00
✔️ MVIR - ₱500.00
✔️ On Official Receipt - ₱1,710.00
        • MVUC - ₱1,600.00
        • Change Venue Fee - ₱100.00 
        • Legal Research Fee - ₱10.00

✔️ TOTAL - ₱2,770.00

That's it! You only get a printed copy of your OR and nothing else. No sticker and RFID.

Tips cos I have some haha
Okay! If I'm doing this again I need some tips! So here's what I gathered...

• You can actually renew 1 month in advance which I think works for me because December is pretty lean for government offices... I guess??!
• Start with CTPL because it's the easiest to acquire
• I think it's best to get checked at PMVICs just to be sure because it already has emission testing and you don't know what LTO will require one day haha.
• Have a copy of everything you submitted. There's usually a photocopier within LTO.
• Bring water and snacks cos you don't know how long you'll wait. 
• Bring cash cos you don't know if they accept card or GCash hehe
• No to fixers. You can do this. It's so easy.
• Wear smart casual? Don't wear shorts or slippers just in case someone tells you you're not allowed inside and you don't wanna argue haha. 
• Come early in the morning if you don't want to wait long
• You don't have to personally do it. You can ask someone else to do it, just get all the requirements ready. My car is registered under my dad's name and I pretty much did this for him. Does that make me a fixer? I didn't do anything illegal though. Fixers don't just assist you, they fast track your application in suspicious ways. So beware.
• Make sure to double check your requirements and ask if it's complete. I saw some people in line at the payment who were asked to come back with their CTPL and CEC and it's weird because no one told them early on. I mean they should know for sure, but it's weird cos the staff who collected our papers were sifting through each page before giving us some sort of transaction slip so I thought he was checking. Apparently not. 

Guess that's it! Hope this helps!

Got any questions? Comment section is open, feel free!

[Review] Our Grand Hyatt Manila Experience

Had a delightful long weekend staycation at Grand Hyatt Manila in BGC, Taguig. Check out my room tour video on YouTube:

Stayed two nights here with my husband from Sunday to Tuesday cos wala lang hehe we didn't have anything better to do to for the upcoming holiday so I look a leave last Monday to just enjoy the long weekend. I booked through Agoda cos may discount and they have an ongoing deal called The Grand Escape Offer where we get ₱2k dining credits per night, flexible check-in and check-out, plus some other things (I forgot cos we didn't avail every perk). We still paid almost ₱10k per night so it's not really that big of a deal (pun intented) haha. 

There's early check-in and check-out but it's not what I thought it was. Basically you're only allowed to check-out as late as you checked-in, giving you a full 24-hour stay. So if we checked in at 5pm which is late, we can check-out as late as 5pm din. Ganun sya.

Alright let's look around!

This is their lobby. It's pretty expansive but it feels very bare at the center where you approach the reception desks. The lounge area though is very elegant where all the seating areas are. 

They have these glass staircases connecting each level of the lounge and they're very nice to look at, except that sometimes they just strike me as fancy jalousie windows lol.

The pool is just one big lap pool. Maganda pa ata condo pool namin haha. There are lots of cabanas and seating areas, and there's also a pool side restaurant which serves really good food (we'll get into it next!). We didn't plan on swimming though.

So we had dining credits right? That gave us ₱4k to spend on food which I thought is more than enough, but it also means getting 4k off on this bigass lobster from the pool side restaurant!

So that's what we did. That marvelous sea creature is an ₱8,900 worth Live Australian Rock Lobster, which we complemented with a ₱2,000 worth meat platter to give us the most indulgent surf and turf yet.

We shared this. Just the two of us. And we finished it. It was super good. The lobster may be huge but the bulk of the meat is just enough for two. My favorite part of the meat platter would be the sausage cos it's so flavorful! 

They also served us this super delicious salad with lemon mustard dressing and greens groceries don't usually carry. We loved everything on this bowl so much we had two of it. Good thing it was free-flowing lol

This tomato soup is also very good. It's not creamy, sarap higupin habang mainit! I love it. The sourdough on the side is also very very good. I've always been curious about it so it's feels nice that I finally got to try it. ♥

Let's go to our room!

We got 1 King Bed / Grand King from Agoda. It's 45sqm big and we loved it! Everything checks out as far as 5 star hotels are concerned (wait I'm not actually sure if this is 5 star haha). 

Bathroom has a bathtub which I love. It's kind of something I'm looking forward to now when it comes to hotels hehe. Dipping in a warm bubble bath is one of my new found luxuries, apart from hotel dining, and regular staycations hehe.

If there's one thing I'm waiting for every hotel to offer eventually, that would be SMART TV ACCESS. In this day and age of widespread digital streaming content, I don't know how it still makes sense to ONLY offer cable channels to your guests. We always have to bring our Xiaomi Mi TV Stick on hotel staycations just so we could watch Netflix or Youtube on their TVs. Okada has Netflix and Youtube access on top of their cable channels, hope it becomes a standard soon! Victoria Court nga may Netflix eh! Hahaha

Also! I hope they offer drip coffee instead of nespresso machines because honestly, people who use nespresso in their homes have an entire station of condiments that go along perfectly with flavor of the pods. Ako lang naman yata to. I prefer brewed coffee over espresso. Or if I'll drink espresso I prefer it to be in latte form. Coffee mate barely does anything haha.

In-room Dining
Obviously, we've maxed out our dining credits but that doesn't stop us from trying out their in-room dining (which isn't covered by the deal). It's kindof tradition now for us to try in-room dining whenever we're at hotels cos we know it's always good haha

This one kinda disappoints though. That's their Indian Butter Chicken and it's very bland and malabnaw. A far cry from any butter chicken we've tried. Okada has an unexpectedly amazing butter chicken so when we found this on Hyatt's menu I assumed it's a staple in-room dining dish and couldn't go wrong. Sadly it did.

We also ordered buttermilk fried chicken which is just okay. The fries however are perfectly cooked. Evenly sliced, crispy on the outside, soft in the middle, and well seasoned. Love it!

The following night we ordered a burger and a sandwich. I got a Reuben Sandwich after seeing it uses sourdough bread and I loved it! It's got corned beef (not the usual kind), swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and some kind of dressing. Tastes very European. My husband got a bacon cheeseburger which tasted good, thankfully! The fries, as usual, are perfect! 


We also tried the gym cos we didn't wanna miss a lot of days in the week. Their gym is open 24 hours which is great and it's pretty well equipped too. It's got towels and drinking water for the guests and a good array of exercise equipment and free weights. They also have a private yoga room which they allowed us to use since we're doing routines and we're the only people in the gym hehe.


Breakfast is served daily at The Grand Kitchen between 6:30 and 10:30 in the morning. They don't offer buffet yet so you have to choose one set from their menu. There's Continental, American, Filipino, Chinese, and Japanese. The small portions you can order as much as you can; there's fresh fruits, bread basket, pancake, cheese and cold cuts, etc.

I got the Filipino breakfast (tapa) and loved it! The pancake I ordered on the side was weird though. They gave me honey instead of maple syrup and they don't go well together. 

And that's it!

Overall, I really enjoyed our staycation. Definitely got a much needed rest. You'd think I'd be all refreshed and ready to work hard, but here I am procrastinating yet again! 

You reached this part? Wow thanks! :D


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