Travel preferences vary. When planning a vacation, some look for family-friendly spots, others pick either an off-the-beaten-path or accessible-to-all destination. Other top choices are “picture-perfect”, where photo-ops abound, and “pet-friendly”, so holiday-makers can bring their furry plus one.
For Siargao-based photographer Oli Bayer and wife Elaine, capturing travel photos is a great way to immortalize precious family moments.
“Traveling as a family is important for us because we get to share new experiences together—even if it’s just a staycation in the same town or country,” says Oli.
He adds, “With our 2-year-old daughter, everything happens so fast and becomes a blur even without realizing it, so it’s really nice to have photos to look back on about the wonderful experiences we shared as a family.”
It is definitely a plus if the place makes for a wonderful backdrop for those family photos.
One of Bayer family’s recommended locations is Villa Tulua, a native modern villa in Siargao.
Featuring Filipino-Balinese elements and tucked deep in the jungles of General Luna, Villa Tulua conserves much of the area’s natural aesthetic. It offers a luxurious getaway for families to enjoy island life, and comes fully furnished with its very own private pool and three bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms. It accommodates six guests.
Those looking to experience – and upload lots of photos – ‘glamping’ (glamorous camping) on the beach, the Nacpan Glamping in El Nido, Palawan offers state-of-the-art tents surrounded by trees a few meters away from the blue waters. Each tent is fitted with furnishings and plush beds, and some even come with its own private pool. A tent sleeps two guests.
Go back in time at the six-bedroom Casa Santa Barbara in Bohol. The Spanish-style villa is made with authentic clay roof tiles and Machuca tiles. It has an infinity pool and spa, and a small private beach is just 80 steps away. It can comfortably house a 16-member family or barkada – making it a perfect location for reunions and endless group photos.
What wins a pet-parent when it comes to accommodation? When it allows pets, obviously. In fact, according to Airbnb, searches made with the “allows pet” filter increased 65 percent this year compared to the same period last year.
“I love traveling and exploring new places with Luffy, it makes my travel experiences so much more memorable when I get to share it with my best friend,” shares Sarah Jayne Balbidadez, the ‘hoomom’ or ‘mami’ of the adorable and always-smiling shih tzu, Luffy.
A social media darling, Luffy went viral this year when Balbidadez shared a video of his huge grin when she picked him up from a dog grooming parlor in Imus, Cavite. The cheerful dog currently has over 1.5 million followers on TikTok.
Sarah and Luffy shared their wish list of pet-friendly vacation spots.
Hosted by Tamara and her three dogs, Garden Nest in Subic Bay Freeport Zone is a dreamy abode with rustic interiors. The house is filled with novels for the ‘hooman’s’ reading pleasure, and has a hammock, an outdoor bathtub, and a small garden. It sleeps three people.
Nature Lodge in Tagaytay has a spacious garden where fur-parents and their pets can lounge or play. In fact, this Luffy-approved destination also caters to intimate weddings and other small events. The modern bungalow is surrounded by mahogany and mango trees and is perfectly tucked away from the city’s madding crowd. It accommodates six guests.
Airbnb host Mutya’s guest house in Bacolod is a charming location for fun getaways with pets. Inside, guests can curl up on the sofa with a book or enjoy the host’s artworks on display. Outside, they have a huge space where they can play with their furry companions. Four dogs and three cats welcome guests.
For big families with pets, the three-bedroom chalet hosted by Julia in Dolores, Quezon offers a peaceful stay complete with stylish interiors, private jacuzzi, and large outdoor patio. It has three bedrooms that can sleep up to 12 guests.
The aforementioned destinations are all listed on Airbnb.