February 09, 2019

My Philippines Travel Tour Expo Experience and Tips

We all know that traveling is costly but there are ways to save money for your next travel adventures. If you love to travel, I’m pretty sure that you always look forward to "travel expos" because it is the best time to score cheap plane tickets, discounted hotel and resort packages, affordable package tours, and even travel stuff are on sale like luggage, hand-carry bags, packing cubes and many more.

Since we live outside Metro Manila we don’t normally go to travel expos unless we have upcoming travel trips. So when I learned that there will be 26TH PTAA Travel Tour Expo 2019 from February 8-10, 2019, I immediately saved the date. It's been more than three years since our last visit to the travel expo.

Read: Philippines Travel Mart Experience

26TH PTAA Travel Tour Expo 2019 Experience 

Fast forward to our trip, my husband and I went to SMX Convention Center and we arrived before 8AM. On the way to the parking area, I already saw the crowd outside the SMX so totoo pala na ang dami ng tao. I was a little bit worried na baka matagalan kami bago makapasok kasi late na kami nakarating. But I was wrong because we did not have a hard time, thank God for Citibank credit card and Courtesy Seating.

After we parked the car, we asked the guard where is the line for the Citibank credit card holders and then we went straight to the other side of the building. Then I saw the Citicard Courtesy Seating so we did not go out of the building anymore. Yey! To register, the staff asked for our credit cards and we filled out a form and she gave us free tickets and flyers. Then we just waited for the opening time which is 8:30AM. Only those who have tickets can enter the travel expo.

Since we’re one of the early birds, we did not have a hard time falling in line. Unfortunately, some of the booths were still closed. Hindi yata sila aware sa early bird sale. Anyway, we immediately went to our target booth and reserved a plane ticket. Since we already have specific travel plans, we only visited 5 booths; 2 airlines, 1 luggage booth, 1 travel bags booth, and 1 travel stuff booth. So we were able to book a plane ticket, bought 1 checked-in bag and 1 hand-carry bag, luggage cover, and anti-theft bag. We started at 8:30AM and we finished everything after 4 hours, we left SMX at 12:38NN.

If you are planning to visit the travel tour expo, check my travel tour expo tips. 

Philippine Travel Tour Expo Experience and Tips 

1. Always be prepared

Cliche as it may sound but it is very important that you are always ready and prepared. This will help you to be organized and it will also help other people. Why? I noticed some people na dun pa lang mag-iisip kung saan pupunta, magcheck sa calendar ng travel dates, and they even don’t know their travel details.

A. Have a List  

Some booths may ask for passport information, the birthday of the children, or any details that they need in order to book your ticket or package tour. So be prepared, list down your possible travel dates and travel details.

B. Research 

Travel Expo always announced its event weeks before so you have enough time to save the date, plan your future trip, check the list of exhibitors, and research for rates or prices. I did this before going to the travel expo.

I checked the list of exhibitors, kung nandun ba yung airlines, hotels, resorts or stores na interested ako. Then I did a mock booking online to check the airfare if ever I will buy online so at least I have an idea if mura ba talaga sa travel expo or not.

C. Bring Eco Bag 

Sa dami ng flyers and freebies, you need an extra bag para di ka na mahirapan maghawak.

2. Come early 

As the quote says “The early bird catches the worm”, it is important to be early so you can get the first dibs and you can avoid long lines. And if you are lucky, you can also take advantage of courtesy seating for pregnant, senior citizens, or PWD or if there is a promo or Early Bird Sale from partner companies. I took advantage of this using the Citi Credit Card and Courtesy Seating so I have one hour to check the booths bago pa dumami tao.

3. Plan your route 

At PTAA Travel Tour Expo 2019, there were 994 booths from over 400 travel tours, airline companies, government offices, embassies, and even travel related. You will feel overwhelmed sa dami ng pagpipilian. But everything will be easy if you know your travel plans so while waiting for the opening or before starting your booth hopping, check the map so you know where to go first. Take note two floors yan, so mark those booths na plan niyo puntahan.

4. Notebook and Pen 

Don’t forget to bring a notebook and a pen. You will fill out a lot of forms or you will take down a lot of notes. Not all airlines will print out your reservation. Qatar Airways gave us a print-out booking reference but Emirates, just gave us a quotation and sinulat na lang namin. After visiting different booths, compare your notes and check who has a better deal, then go back to that booth and buy.

5. Don’t go alone 

Since you will spend most of your time falling in line, it is better to have a buddy, a friend, or family so just in case you need to go to the restroom or you want to check other deals, may isa na nakapila at may isang naghahanap.

You can also go separate ways, your partner will visit these booths and you will visit these booths then you can compare notes after. You can save time by doing this. Other booths give out numbers so no need to stay in the booth for so long, just go back to the booth and check kung malapit na turn mo.

6. Check freebies 

One thing I like about the travel expo is the freebies. Yes, aside from the sale, promo, or discounts, you can also get some stuff by simply visiting their booth, liking their social media page, sharing their booth on your social media, taking photos, or purchasing at their booth.

7. Look or ask for special deals 

Be observant. Yes, make use of your time. Kaysa mainip ka sa kakahintay, observe other people. You will get some ideas sa kaka-observe mo lang. Lalo na yung mga freebies na bitbit nila or yung mga nabili nila. After buying our plane tickets, pauwi na sana kami kaso ang dami ko nakikita na may luggage na bitbit so hinanap namin and we were able to score affordable Samsonite Luggage and Pacsafe bags. There are more brands there na mas mura pa sa nabili namin like American Tourister, it just depends on your preferences.

Samsonite Handcarry Luggage 
Original Price PHP15,550
Discounted Price PHP5970
Savings: PHP9870

Samsonite Luggage (Large/30kls) 
Original Price P19250
Discounted Price P10,587.50
Savings: P8662.50

Pacsafe Crossbody Bag 
Original Price: P4490
Discounted Price: P2000
+ 10% promo when I registered (less P200)
Savings: P2690

If you will ask me worth it ba pumila or pumunta sa travel expo?

My answer is yes, travel expo is like a one-stop shop so hindi ka na mahihirapan pa na maghanap ng mga package tours, discounted tickets and sale. You will feel safe din because you are dealing with authorized agents or staff so for sure hindi scam ang mabobook. Just bring a lot of patience and make sure you wear comfortable clothes and shoes.

But when it comes to airfare, I noticed konti lang naman difference nila if you will book online because the rate still depends on your travel dates. In our experience, konti lang difference nung sale nila dun sa nakita ko online before the travel expo but we still booked it because we can pay in Philippine Peso currency, big savings yun kasi ang laki ng foreign exchange currency fee sa credit card namin. If I book online, most of the time USD lagi pag international destination.

Read: 9 Ways to Score Cheap Airlines Tickets 

Citi Credit Card Holder Perks 

1. Free Entrance
2. Early Bird Sale on February 8, 2019 from 8:30 to 9:30AM. Simply present your Citi Credit Card at the designated entrance.
3. Free Pantene, Safeguard, & Whisper Travel Gift Pack for a minimum single receipt of P8000 with your Citi Credit Card on February 8 - 10, 2019. (Straight transactions). Maximum of 1 gift pack per merchant, per client, per day. No split transactions are allowed.
4. Get Free Meals at Max’s Yellow Cab, Teriyaki Boy, or Sizzlin’ Steak with your Paylite Spend. Enjoy a free P500 eGift Voucher from Giftaway for every single-receipt Paylite spend of P10,000 to 24,999 or P1000 eGift Voucher from Giftaway for every single-receipt Paylite spend of P25,000 and above.


There is a different line for Citibank credit card holders and non-Citibank credit card holders.
There is courtesy seating so in case you are pregnant, senior citizen or PWD, look for courtesy. seating, you can bring 1 companion only.
No entrance fee for Citibank credit card holders.

Schedule of PTAA Travel Tour Expo 

* Early Bird Sale on February 8, 2019 from 8:30 to 9:30AM. Simply present your Citi Credit Card at the designated entrance. 

February 8, 2019 (Friday) – 9:30AM to 7:00PM
February 9, 2019 (Saturday) – 9AM to 7PM
February 10, 2019 (Sunday) – 9AM to 6PM

Entrance Ticket 
Php 100 – General Admission including children and students
Php 70 – Senior Citizens
FREE - Citibank credit card holder

26TH PTAA Travel Tour Expo 2019 
Halls 1-4 and Function Room 1-5,
SMX Convention Center, Sea Shell Lane,
Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City


  1. I'm usually not around during that weekend expo. Super nice deals!

  2. Masaya mag-travel expo! Too bad I missed it this year!

  3. I've been to a travel expo two years ago and I agree that good seat prices abound.

  4. I've seen great deals from travel expo advertisements but I haven't attended one before. Good thing you know all their schedules. Minsan kasi ang off lang ng schedule or tumatapat na wala pa akong budget but if everything is good, I'd love to attendone.