It’ll be our first time to travel to Ilocos; first time for me and for our son and boy was it memorable! From the night we leave for Ilocos to traveling back to Manila was definitely one for the books. Here’s my story:
We booked a travel agency for our Holy Week trip to Ilocos for easier transportation and tour since we’ll be bringing our little boy with us. It was a disaster! The night before we leave, the agency Q10 Budget Travel and Tours sent us a sms stating the time we have to be at the pick-up venue, they said 8pm at McDonald’s across Trinoma. The next day I got a call from the agency reminding us again of the pick up time and venue. I thought This is good, they’re very organized. Was I so wrong! We arrived at McDonald’s 10 minutes before 8pm. We didn’t want the other people traveling with us to wait; being punctual and respecting other people’s time is what I believe in. So we waited. A few minutes after 8pm I decided to call the agency just to inform them that we’re already at the pick-up venue, they said they’re stuck in traffic and came all the way from MOA. So again we waited. Minutes turned into an hour and our little boy is starting to get impatient. The whole time, we didn’t get a text from them and we only got a call minutes before the van that’s going to pick us arrived. We were super tired and there’s still a 10-hr drive waiting ahead of us. They should have anticipated the traffic since it’s a holiday.
The drive wasn’t that bad considering there were 9 strangers travelling with us plus one tour guide. The van was also spacious and being a tall couple, this is a great thing for us—lots of leg space. We slept the entire trip while waking up during the loooong (1 hr) stopovers. Our toddler didn’t have a hard time sleeping too, the moment he had milk, he instantly zoned-out. We first arrived in Laoag where we had breakfast at a fastfood restaurant. The plan afterwards would be to head to Pagudpud but we were surprised that we were brought to Vigan which is supposedly the last destination of our entire trip. That’s when we found out the tour guide wasn’t a tour guide after all, she’s an organizer who decided to hitch. Long story short, half of the day was wasted because of this “organizer.” We should have been swimming in Pagudpud already. Everyone was pissed but instead of ruining our trip by being angry, we decided to go back to Laoag. There, we fetched the real tour guide and agreed to start the tour in Laoag and do the Pagudpud tour the next day. Sadly, there wouldn’t be enough time for us to swim in the beach! It was so frustrating! Pagudpud is one of the reasons why I wanted to go to Ilocos. GRRR!! Then on the last day and last destination, we were left on our own. Yep. No tour guide! We have to organize our itinerary on our own, good thing our co-travelers were organized and cooperative. And since there’s no tour guide, we didn’t get our complimentary breakfast which is supposed to be in a restaurant outside the hotel. BOOOOO Q10!!!!! NEVER AGAIN!!!! *breath in*breath out*
This is our personal experience with Q10 Budget Travel and Tours, others may have better experiences with them. I suggest do a lot of research first before you book any travel agency to avoid any disappointment and hassle.