9:47 PM

It's been cold lately especially in the mornings and showering is a bit of a challenge because we don't have a water heater installed in the bathroom. It kind of makes you think that summer is still several months away but hey, in reality, it is just a couple of months away. In fact, for some, summer literally starts next month - March. 

But how do you choose the perfect summer destination when our planet offers so many wonderful places to visit and adventures to discover? 

Most people would probably have booked for their plane tickets and hotel reservations to their favorite summer destinations a few months ago taking a cue on Condé Nast's Best Beach Getaways article while some opt to spend their summer in a colder destination. Whatever is your choice is, do make sure to have fun, relax, and indulge. Summer's don't last and will eventually fade into the lovely colors of autumn or the rainy months in the tropics, case in point - The Philippines! I am an advocate of taking a break from the daily grind once in a while and summer is the perfect excuse to transport yourself into a different environment, a new vista, a change of perspective. 

For a working mom like me with a toddler who goes to preschool and a husband who is knee-deep in his business ventures, my priority is to provide a summer experience that wouldn't only be unforgettable and full of memories to last a lifetime but also an experience that would not require us to break our banks and dent our pockets. 


My dream summer destination will always be Hawaii. This is always #1 in my bucket list of places to see before I die. I dream about frolicking in the red and black sandy beaches of Hawaii, sea cliffs that make other cliffs in the world pale in comparison, volcanic landscapes that evoke the power of nature, clear blue waters in different depths, amazing underwater flora and fauna, and of course the ever wonderful and pleasant Polynesian culture.  

I am willing to bet that Hawaii is part of everyone's travel bucket list because why not? Hawaii's six major islands have a different offering for every age group. You can go to Hawaii with your family and frolick at the beach, explore nature, hike, run the hills, snorkel and admire the variety of sea creatures, and tackle the giant waves among others.

Wouldn't you love to stay in Hawaii and live off wearing no footwear or at the very least just a pair of flip flops/slippers? I'd take slippers any day over the painful scourge of the stilettos. Wouldn't you love to be in your bikini all day long and no one will judge you? I'd raise both my hands to that. Hawaii is indeed a dream summer destination - where you literally kick off your heels and run towards the embrace of the warm water any time of the day.

Hawaii is every water baby's paradise! As soon as you see the glorious beaches, you instantly forget the rush hour madness, the stockpile of paperwork, the clutter of an unkempt home, the hustle and bustle of cramped cities behind you. Hawaii may be God's gift to the Ariel-dreaming humans. Despite its gorgeous and undeniable appeal, Hawaii offers more than what you see with your eyes, it offers so much more that it warms your heart as much as it tans your skin. Nothing is hurried - you take your sweet time as you brush your soles into the fine sandy shores and you swim and get carried away by the waves.

I dream of just packing my bags and going straight to a Hawaiian cottage by the beach. Who needs a career when you can live in a world that seems to exist only in your dreams? I would love to spend enough time around cliffs that are awe-inspiring and spend time admiring powerful waves that tell me that there are strong forces beyond my control and that I should live my life on my own terms.

Indeed, a beach is not a beach when you have to wear a jacket just to walk along the shores. A beach should be warm enough to let you wear the skimpiest beachwear to your heart's content. 

There are pockets of adventure everywhere you look - swimming holes that require adventurous souls to brave the depth of the sea and the hyperactive waves, caves to explore, beaches to soak in the summer sun, and waterfalls and rainforests too. It's like the Garden of Eden described in the Bible. It's simply paradise here on Earth peppered with tall coconut trees and lush pineapple fields. Maybe when Hawaii was created, the Creator was actually thinking of creating a Paradise on Earth - a priceless gift to the human race.

In fact, if money is not a question, I would want to move to Hawaii and make summer happen all year round. But for now, Hawaii will stay in my books as my dream summer destination.

Hawaii is a dream, my dream, everyone's dream! I long for that moment when I finally set foot on the Hawaiian soil. Hawaii is stunning, simply special and all sorts of magical.


Because in all honesty, I don't have a visa to go to Hawaii and a passport, it will stay on my bucket list for now and remain as a dream. So, I'm ready to declare that my favorite summer destination is none other than BORACAY - our very own Boracay.

Every single time I think of relaxing on a vacation, I think of Boracay. The place gives me a different kind of excitement. I literally have butterflies in my stomach when I reminisce on my most memorable trip to Boracay. It was several years ago, on our honeymoon. It never fails to give me that giddy feeling, that warm and comforting feeling.


Let me count the ways.

I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints.
I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

-Elizabeth Barrett Browning

That's how much I love Boracay and that is why it will always be on top of my favorite summer destination list. But when you become a mother, your priorities change. You think of the other members of your family, most especially the little members and in my case, it is my almost three-year-old darling daughter. As moms, what do we consider when we choose the summer destination that would appeal not only to the adults? Today, I am sharing my criteria with you.


Although planning a vacation that will please everyone in the family is not an easy feat, choosing the right destination is the key. If you have chosen the right destination then you're almost guaranteed to have only the best time with your family.

1. Determine the needs of the youngest members of the family first.
Infants, toddlers, and school-age kids have different requirements for entertainment and fun. When you have an infant you need to consider their feeding time. When you have toddlers with very short attention span then you have to make sure there is enough entertainment to make them busy. For curious school-age kids who have so many questions, then you can bring them to a place that would satisfy their curious minds.

In our case, our toddler loves to be active - run around, play, jump on trampolines, swim using her floaties and everything Disney. She's not keen on food trips and meditation sessions. She wants to be up and running most of her waking hours.

2. Consider your budget.
Choose a hotel that offers many inclusions - like free wifi, free towels, free breakfast among other things. Although all-inclusive hotels may be more expensive but if you calculate the comfort and all the inclusions, you will see that you have saved. Some hotels even have free playrooms as well as free swimming pools.

3. Check the weather. 
When you travel with kids, it is best to check the weather so you can prepare rainy weather essentials or stormy weather necessities. Also, it would be best to overpack than to under pack when you have kids in tow. Bring a poncho or an umbrella, sundresses or shorts and sleeveless shirts as well as extra change of clothes - especially when you have an all day activity scheduled.

4. Remember, you can never take enough photos.
So click the shutter, capture every move. Choose a summer destination that is pretty in itself. Bring OOTDs that would match the location of your destination. You would not want to bring thick fur coats on a beach destination and vice versa.

Of course, you would not want to bring along a humongous DSLR or your precious mirrorless camera on the beach with you. Bringing your expensive camera is just too risky because of the risk of sand getting in the nook and crannies of the lenses. So what better way to document your wonderful fun in the sun than to bring your trusted mobile phone that can take beautiful photos.

The Oppo F1s should be a perfect part of your summer adventure because:

1. It packs a storage space that will not be a part of your baggage allotment.
The Oppo F1s has a 3GB RAM coupled with a 64-bit octacore processor that ensures the possibility of multitasking. The phone allows a seamless operation that lets you play games in between swim or surf sessions, browse on the go so you know where to eat or go next, store photos of all your summer adventure, capture and play videos among other things. The additional memory card slot is a perfect feature as well and the storage allows up to 128GB expansion. The current ROM is 32GB. You have all the space you need to capture photos and videos of your summer destination. What more could you ask for yeah? Maybe filters?

2. It has available filters that would surely complement your photos. 
You'd think summer has all the natural lighting you would need so you won't settle for a filter to prettify your photos but hey filters can make your photos pop in the sea of photos in social media today. You just need that little bit of advantage to stand out. I'm also in awe of the watermarking feature. The phone imprints the photo with time, date, temperature and other information about the specific shot.

3. It has camera features that are at par if not more advanced than entry-level cameras.
The 13MP rear camera would give mobile phones in the same class a competitive advantage. The aperture is slightly higher than the front camera and is at f/2.2. The rear camera is best used for landscapes, sceneries, action photos - basically all pertaining to summer destination adventures and practically anything you want to photograph. It's not touted as the Selfie Expert phone for nothing for sure!

OPPO F1s Microsite

Where do you plan to spend your summer? Wherever it is, I strongly suggest bringing your Oppo F1s with you on your summer destination. I'm sure I will!

DISCLOSURE: This is my entry to the Nuffnang PH x Oppo F1s Summer Destination Blog Contest. I was not paid to write this blog post but I have a chance to win my very own Oppo F1s. I own a few of the photos featured in this post and some were copied from the Oppo F1s website, PicJumbo, Unsplash, and Stocknap. There is no affiliate link included in this blog post.

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