With COVID-19 cases declining, various local government agencies have recommended that Metro Manila’s pandemic restrictions be downgraded to Alert Level 1 this March.
This means traveling, without regard for age and co-morbidities, will now be allowed. Dining in at restaurants, visiting tourist attractions and entertainment venues, and going for staycations are now possible at full on-site capacity. However, owners and organizers should ensure minimum health measures, like proper ventilation, wearing of face masks, and proper handwashing, are implemented.
When this happens, will you be ready to pack your bags and travel up north for a quick weekend getaway? Shake off the cabin fever – prepare for that long overdue road trip and enrich yourself with better countryside views, the fresh air, and local delicacies.
Here’s a quick guide to help you prepare for this much-needed break:
1. Bring your vaccination and booster cards.
To be sure, it is recommended that adults and vaccinated children have their vaccination and booster cards ready for inspection. Depending on where you’re coming from, some local government units (LGU) might check for Negative RT-PCR/Antigen tests. For example, Baguio City still requires this for children aged 12 to 17 years old.
2. Tourist passes
Depending on the LGU, there might be areas that still require tourist passes. Best to check for the latest updates on your destination’s websites before hitting the road.
3. Still observe health protocols
For your safety, especially when you are traveling with family and friends, it would still be recommended to always wear your face masks, observe social distancing, and always disinfect with isopropyl alcohol and disinfectants.
4. Pre-book your accommodations
If you’re planning to stay longer than a day, it is recommended that you confirm accommodation with establishments ahead of time. Check for their requirements and restrictions so you and your travel buddies will be ready. This saves you the hassle of looking for a place to stay when you are already at your destination. With everyone wanting for a break, these hotels and resorts might even be fully booked!
5. Prepare your vehicle
If you are planning to bring your own car, it would be best to have it checked by your suking mechanic. For those of us who stay and work at home, it is recommended to have our vehicles serviced first for good measure. If your car is in tip-top shape, checking for BLOWBAG (brakes, lights, oil, water, battery, air, and gasoline) is a necessity before going on that long drive. Have your back-up water, tools, and early warning device (EWD) on the ready for any incident.
6. Plan your trip
Aside from securing accommodations and preparing your itinerary, it is also important to plan your routes and stopovers. Program your destinations on Waze or Google Maps. For emergencies when travelling north or south, always keep the expressways’ hotline handy. Good thing that there is only one hotline for the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX), Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX), and Manila-Cavite Toll Expressway (CAVITEX) at 1-35000.
7. Check and reload your Easytrip account
When the use of radio-frequency identification (RFID) was mandated by the government in 2020, toll operators like NLEX improved their RFID services to ensure the safety and convenience of motorists. One of these providers, Easytrip Services Corp, continues to uphold this mandate through its improved RFID account management. As the innovation arm of Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC), MPT Mobility’s Easytrip now offers various services for its registered users under myeasytrip web. Through the myeasytrip Customer Account Management System (CAMS), registered users can now do the ff:
– Check their balance and passages
– Generate their statement of account (SOA)
– Get the latest updates and advisories from Easytrip
– Get a chance to participate and win in different promos
Reloading is also much easier as most of the Easytrip’s reloading merchants credit the loads in quick-time. For a list of reloading merchants, please check here. If you still don’t have an Easytrip RFID, subscription and sign up are so easy, just click here.
MPT Mobility will soon launch a new mobility-related services app, MPT DriveHub. All of MPT Mobility’s services like Easytrip will be on this app. MPT DriveHub will be available for download on Google Play Store and Apple App Store on March 1.
MPT Mobility president and general manager Raul Ignacio has announced, “The digital solutions our business units will offer are all about improving mobility for Filipinos, addressing a variety of customer needs and providing life conveniences via a digital interface.” This is something to look forward to, especially when planning for trips.
With these reminders, you and your loved ones can surely have a safe and relaxing trip. Always keep yourself healthy and safe travels.