There’s no surprise that Boracay is among the vacation destinations listed in everyone’s Bucket List. With its fine white sand, glorious sunsets, and clear, blue-green waters, it’s a dream to be on the island.
But it’s also not a secret that it’s expensive to make this dream come true. The cost of accommodations and food, alone, can make you go broke—that is, if you don’t know how to budget and find cheap Boracay deals.
Budget Boracay is the travel goal you should set this 2020. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to get to Boracay the cheapest way possible:
The most crucial money-saving tip for this trip is to avoid the peak season. During the summer, Holy Week, and the end of the year, you can expect airline tickets to jack up. If you visit between July to October, though, you can score a considerably cheaper ticket. Below are some more tips in reducing your airfare costs:
You can book cheap flights when you book them ahead of time, in contrast to doing it at the last minute as soon as now, book your October trip. And speaking of early, remember that first morning flights generally have lower prices than later flights since most people would rather be in their beds during this time than at the airport. As a principle then, when booking flights, find an early schedule.
Several airlines offer cheap Boracay flight tickets, even going as low as Php1.00per seat. Of course, that’s exclusive of other costs, like terminal fee and tax and admin fee, but the promo can slash your expenses in a big way. So make sure to tune in for announcements on the airline’s social media pages to get the best deals. You can also download travel apps that send alerts whenever there’s a promo available.
Visit websites that show prices from different airlines. Go to individual airline sites, as well, as they could offer more flexible ticketing options. Of course, don’t forget to use their promo code.
Flight miles can help you slash costs. Check the award redemption chart if the points you earned can cover for your airfare. You never know, you might just score a business class seat for free.
There are two airports near Boracay: Kalibo and Caticlan. The former is farther, about a two-hour trip away from the island. The latter, on the other hand, is nearer, about 15 to 30 minutes away. All the same, you have to take a bus or a tricycle to get to Boracay. Here are some money-saving tips on transportation:
This can quickly drain your budget. The better alternative is to take a tricycle, go to a bus terminal, and board a bus bound for Caticlan so you can get to the port. Usually, the fare will not be more than Php200.00 per person. Another option is to go for vans stationed at the airport. You’ll spend roughly Php200.00 on this, as well.
If you’re coming from Caticlan, then it’s just a matter of taking a tricycle to go to Caticlan Jetty Port. The fare for this is around Php50-75 per person.
Once you’re at the port, you’ll have to register your name, show proof of accommodations, and pay the transportation fees. The Oyster Ferry is a bit pricier, about Php100.00, compared to the pump boat, which is only Php30.00. Settle on the latter to save more. Remember, on top of the transportation, you’ll have to pay for the terminal fee (Php100.00) and environmental fee (Php75.00).
After the 15-minute travel, you’ll land in Cagban Port or Tambisaan Port. From there, you can take a tricycle going to the resort or your accommodations. The ride is about Php100-150 only.
As for going around the island, there are lots of cost-effective options:
It’s the cheapest way to go places. Believe it or not, Boracay is only small, so going around on foot is possible. In fact, it’s your best bet if you really want to take in the scenery around.
Shops are located all over the island. Some accommodations even offer bicycle rental services. For this transportation service, you’ll spend about Php50-70 per hour renting a bike.
They have fixed rates, ranging from a measly Php10 to a reasonable Php200. Before riding one, make sure to check the fare matrix.
Where you’ll be staying also takes a big chunk of the budget pie. The good news is there are a lot of budget accommodations around the island that don’t necessarily mean squeaky beds and worn-out floors.
Some hotels charge Php1,500-4,000 per night. It’s furnished rooms come with basic amenities: air conditioning units, hot water showers, cable TV, and plenty of storage room for the travel gear you’ve invested in. You can also enjoy 24-hour room service and free Wi-Fi access. If you want to reduce costs further, here are some tactics:
Just like in your plane tickets, you can save a bunch of cash just by keying in promo codes online. Keep visiting your preferred hotel’s social media pages to stay updated. Also, if you’re booking via a third-party website, don’t forget the promo of the booking site, as well.
You may score a better deal, as well, when you call and speak to hotel employees themselves. For one, they would seize the opportunity to convince you to book a room already, so there’s a good chance they’ll give you some good discounts or an upgrade for your room.
At the same time, accommodations pay booking sites some commission whenever the latter makes a sale. Business-wise, they would be keen on sharing the difference with you than the sites.
Booking at Alta Vista de Boracay offers you 15% lower rates than online travel agencies. You get exclusive perks, such as express check-in and discounts. It’s a great way to save and have a stress-free vacation.
Hotel chains have loyalty programs that work quite like flight miles. You get points whenever you stay with them. Upon earning a certain number, you become entitled to discounts or other perks such as room upgrades or bike rentals.
Food is expensive in Boracay, especially beachfront establishments. So if you want to save big, then this is one of the things you should tame the spending on. Two tips you need to remember for this include:
Skip the beachfront restaurants and instead go for eateries located along the main road, inner streets, or sometimes shopping centers. You’ll definitely find cheap yet filling meals at Jasper's Tapsilog and Resto at Station 2 Main Road, Shanghai Eatery at Station 3, and Smoke Resto and Andok’s in D’Mall. Prices in these establishments range from Php60-200, only.
If you want the full list of best restaurants on the island, here are a couple of Boracay’s list of best eats.
Hotels offer free breakfast. Try not to skip this, and maybe take some snacks, say, a yogurt or a banana from the buffet, so you’ll have munchies for when the hunger pangs strike later in the day.
Booky, GrabFood, and FoodPanda have voucher codes you can use to score discounts on dine-in and delivery. GCash sometimes has discounts, as well, which you can get after scanning QR codes in establishments.
You can enjoy awesome activities on the island, even without pulling cash from your pocket. Here are some of the must-dos:
It’s free! Lie on the fine, white sand around 5:30 PM. Ask your family and friends to gather around as you wait for the day to close. Just when the sun is about to disappear, snap a picture of the wonderful sight.
Feel the white sand on your feet. Go to the public market. Check out the native handicrafts, decors, and textiles the locals sell to know more about their culture.
While Boracay may have the reputation of loud and daring, there are areas where solemnity is in the air. If you want to take a break from the busy island, go inside old churches around the area, such as Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary, Nuestra Senora Lourdes Chapel, St. John The Baptist, and Mary Mother of All Nations Chapel.
Everyone who goes to Boracay must-have souvenirs on hand when they go home. Beware, because even little trinkets can cost a lot. Here are the best strategies in staying within the budget:
When you don’t know what you want, you’ll end up dropping by at every shop you see and buying any overpriced token in it. When you have a clear picture of what to give your loved ones, you can decide more rationally once you see it.
You have a better chance at bargaining with sellers or scoring a big discount when you’re getting a lot of cheap pasalubong items. It’s also easy to track pasalubong costs with this move. You’ll avoid overspending.
Sometimes, the best souvenir shops are away from where tourists usually go. Your best bet in discovering them is asking the locals. Chat up with the sellers at the public market or a tricycle driver to know where the good stores are.
Although rich in scenery, culture, and nature, Boracay is a prime destination even for those who have a limited budget for their travel—especially if there are hotel and accommodations like Alta Vista de Boracay who have year-long promos to fit your needs and your budget. Make it your goal to see the beautiful island this year. Ticking it off from your Bucket List will surely be an experience of a lifetime.