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Christmas holiday tips for OFWs

Although being a balikbayan during the Christmas season in the Philippines is an “expensive” homecoming for most OFWs, still, many make holiday trips back home.

Yes, it may be an expensive visit but it is all about family and loved ones, that makes it more memorable. We have prepared some helpful tips on how to enjoy a stress – free, hassle – free Christmas holiday.

  1. Plan your homecoming most especially your budget. While it is true that some activities are natural and spontaneous, it is still best to sit down and make some plans. You will be able to avoid unnecessary spending and will not waste your vacation.
  2. Secure your budget – the allowance you will need to use after your “balikbayan” Christmas holiday. Whether you stay in the Philippines for 2 or 4 weeks, make sure that upon your return to the host country (work), you have enough budget to use until your next salary comes. Many OFWs return to the host country “broke” after their “balikbayan” Christmas holiday. Sad but true.
  3. If you want to give “pasalubongs” to family, relatives and friends, it is best to buy these maybe 2 months before your date of homecoming. Ship via sea cargo and allow the most is 2 months arrival in the Philippines. Make sure of course that the goods you buy have longer expiration date so when you give your “pasalubongs” – all will enjoy. Everybody happy!
  4. If you want to give money gift, you can send earlier to someone you trust who will safe keep the money gift for you. It is not advisable to carry huge amount of cash when your travel.
  5. Depending on the situation, you can choose to give money gift in foreign currency or in Philippine pesos. Banks and money changers are experiencing rush days during December. It is often times a hassle to go to banks and the like because of the Christmas rush.
  6. Be firm yet considerate — to people who have the intention to ask financial help from you or to ask for a loan. You can listen to what they have to say, be understanding of their plight, ┬ábut if you think that you cannot help them with the whole amount, at least, you can share with them a portion. You may give it as a gift or a loan “payable when able”.
Bargain / Bazaar are a common sight for pre-Christmas sale in the Philippines (olxph)

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