Wendy Valdez and husband Normann Garcia traveled to Europe twice this year, an expense they least wanted but needed to shell out for.
Their first trip in May was to attend the wedding of a family friend.
For their second time in Europe in September, they attended the wedding of Normann's sister.
The couple didn't have to worry much about their expenses for the latter.
Wendy tells PEP.ph through Instagram direct messaging, "We were just blessed with the generosity of our in-laws, but we also spent some for some of the hotels we stayed in."
Minimizing the travel expenses entails more careful and thorough planning.
The bulk of the costs go to airfare, which is, more or less, fixed; accommodation and food, which can be adjusted by:
1. Staying in bed and breakfast inns and Airbnbs
2. Traveling by train
3. Making affordable dining choices
The Pinoy Big Brother alumna continues, "We don't really eat at fancy restaurants. Though, one time on the night of my birthday, we had a dinner cruise at a lake in Paris.
"We liked eating at KFC and McDo, because we are not used to eating so much bread and pasta."
She adds, "In Paris, there was a time when we would buy from the convenience store, and I would cook in the apartment for food.
Wendy and Normann were able to go sightseeing in seven countries: Switzerland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, and Belgium.
In her message to PEP.ph, the former actress elaborates, "We visited, Zurich, Interlaken, Bern, Blausee in Switzerland. Konstanz, Germany. Milan, Lake Como, Bellagio, Tuscana in Italy. Colmar in France."
She continues, "We went to Amsterdam, Paris, France; Brugges, Belgium; Milan, Rome, Venice Italy; and, Spain where the wedding of my husband's friend was held."
On picking their destinations, she says, "The places we went to all have their own uniqueness. For me, every one of them is a must-see."
Here are some of their postcard-like destinations.
This was in Colmar, France, which is near the border of Germany.
It is also called a medieval city due to its colorful, half-timbered houses, and is known as the capital of Alsace wines.
Wendy and Normann also visited the iconic European landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower and the Lourve Museum in France.
The also went to see the nearly four-degree lean of the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Piazza del Duomo, Italy; the Colosseum, an oval amphitheater in the city of Rome, Italy; the Trevi Fountain, which gets around $4,000 (P202,500) worth of coins every day.
The famous Lake Como in Italy:
Wendy's caption for this photo taken at Milan Cathedral: "We decided to visit the top of Duomo. I never thought I would appreciate art so much, until I saw the catholic churches in Europe."
Riding a Gondola in Venice:
She fell in love with Switzerland.
In her email, she remarked, "...I loved the lakes and the mountains in Switzerland, and also the small and lovely town of Brugges."
This was taken at Säntis der Berg, which is a 2,502-meter high summit, with a panoramic view that extends over to six countries.
This was at Kandersteg, a high-altitude resort village in the Bernese Oberland region of Switzerland. Its lake is a popular ski area.
She continues, "I am a nature lover, and maybe it's also because of the age and maturity. When I was younger, I would have chosen different spots as the must-see."
Wendy was mesmerized by Berner Oberland for its breathtaking views of magnificent mountains and glistening lakes.
She had one word for this: "Enchanting."
The Netherlands and Belguim
The wooden houses with colorful facades at the car-free center of Appenzell served as her backdrop here.
The scenic Bruge in Belgium is known for its canals, cobbled streets, and medieval buildings.
In Konstanz, a city on Lake Constance (Bodensee), in southern Germany and near Switzerland.
Their friends tied the knot in Zumarraga, which is found in the Basque Country, aka the Basque Autonomous Community.