Awesome holiday ideas for fans of Lord of the Rings and those who want to experience the Great Barrier Reef!
Travel | By Trixie Reyna on July 13, 2015

PAL-NZ

Summer may be over in the Philippines, but summer’s just starting (or winter is coming, for that matter), somewhere else! Anytime is a good time to travel abroad, especially now that we have several flight options from Philippine Airlines, the country’s flag carrier.

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Statue of Liberty, New York, USA (Photo by Trixie Reyna)

Just this year, PAL launched its services to New York (I’m really happy about this, since NYC is one of my favorite cities, of course!) and Quangzhou, China, as well as a new domestic flight to Tablas Island, Romblon’s breathtaking diving and beach destination. And before the year closes, PAL will launch more flights from Manila to new destinations: Port Moresby (Papua New Guinea) in October 2015 and Auckland (New Zealand) via Cairns (Australia)—where you can go see the Great Barrier Reef—in December 2015, as part of the expansion of its international network. Click here to book a hotel in Auckland, New Zealand via Agoda.

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When you say New Zealand, the beautiful set of The Lord of the Rings is the first thing that comes to mind now.

You can book flights to two new destinations as early as now (I checked, they’re already selling tickets!). I’m sure fans of The Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit movie franchises would want to take advantage of this flight to New Zealand this Christmas (it will be summertime there then!) to visit the set of these epic trilogies. That’s the first thing I want to do there, TBH.

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The more recent The Hobbit trilogy was filmed in New Zealand, too.

PAL currently offers 30 domestic and 38 other international destinations, and I’m happy to see it continue to expand. Besides these new flights, PAL opened new inter-island flights in Visayas and Mindanao to make your travel more convenient. As someone who frequently flies to Iloilo and from Iloilo to other destinations around the country, this is awesome news for me. It also reintroduced its Business Class service to Cebu and Davao. One day, makaka-Business Class din ako, mark my words, haha!

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Be Resorts beachfront in Mactan, Cebu (Photo by Trixie Reyna)

More PAL perks

And in case you haven’t heard or tried it yet, PAL has launched the MyPAL App, powered by PayMaya Business and MasterCard, to make flying with PAL much easier for its customers. Now, you can enjoy the convenience of booking flights, checking-in online (highly recommended, if you haven’t made a habit of it yet), and viewing your flight’s status using your Android smartphone.

Contrary to popular belief, you can actually often find cheaper flights on PAL, provided you book early enough. Plus, baggage is often already included in the airfare. I also enjoy PAL’s complimentary (or, TBR, at least they’re already included in your airfare) snacks and water/coffee/tea on domestic flights and full meals on international flights that are actually not bad—and they serve a variety of drinks, too, including wine! There’s nothing like sipping white wine while you watch a good movie on their in-flight entertainment with the clouds right outside your window. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, they offer internet connection for a fee, too, via InAir.

Something for kiddie travelers

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PAL now also offers Junior Jetsetter activity kits featuring SpongeBob SquarePants, meant to distract delight kids onboard PAL long-haul flights. The kits are given to children ages 2 to 11 to keep them engaged and entertained on lengthy flights of at least eight hours (while you, dear parents, get some much-needed rest).

These include PAL services between Manila and North America (New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Vancouver, Toronto); Oceania (Honolulu); Australia (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and soon Cairns, I assume); the Middle East (Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Riyadh, Dammam); and Europe (London).

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The kits come in two variants and both contain the following: basic items such as activity book, crayons, collapsible water bottle, dental set (tooth brush and toothpaste); as well as creative items such as the 3D activity set with a pair of 3D glasses that allows them to watch SpongeBob come to life, the static cling sticker board where kids can create scenes using reuseable and removable stickers, “fotobusta” puzzle game that comes with a magnifying glass to zoom in on hidden objects, and a coloring puzzle picture frame that lets them make a keepsake of their in-flight creations—all packed in a colorful, easy-to-carry bag.

New York and Cebu photos by Trixie Reyna
Photos courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures (LOTR/The Hobbit) and Philippine Airlines (NZ FB promo image and Junior Jetsetter)

Click here to book a hotel in Auckland, New Zealand via Agoda.


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