What do you do when promotional airfares appear on your timeline? You alert your friends and stop everything. There’s something about being able to book promo fares that makes you feel good about yourself — as if you’ve just finished a life-changing task. Well, to be fair, there’s truly something life-changing about traveling and seeing the rest of the world.
One of the most sought-after promos is that of Boracay. In 2016, a record-high 1.7 million people visited Boracay, once again catapulting the island paradise among the world’s best beaches. This is an assurance that a ticket to Boracay is never a bad call. Now that you have it, the next thing you need to plan are your land arrangements. But what if going to Boracay was decided on impulse? Don’t worry, traveling to Boracay on budget is an all too familiar scene and ultimately doable.
It doesn’t matter if you have Php 20,000 or Php 5,000 in your pocket. Boracay backpackers should know. The amount of money you have should not keep you from having the time of your life in Boracay. Spending 3D/2N in Boracay with only Php 5,000? No problem. Let us show you how.
Room sharing is fun
Photo courtesy of Alta Vista de Boracay
If you’re going to Boracay on a budget, the first thing you have to book is your accommodation. But having a meager budget doesn’t mean you have to settle. In fact, you can even stay in a luxurious hotel-resort if you are cool about room sharing. And who doesn’t like that idea? If you’re going to Boracay with three or four more friends, what’s the point in getting separate bedrooms? Sleepovers Boracay-style is way too much fun.
A deluxe room in Alta Vista de Boracay costs less than Php 3,000/night on off-peak seasons via Agoda. It has two queen-sized beds, a balcony with a view of the mountains, a bathtub, and also comes with free breakfast. Divide the rate by four and each only has to pay around Php 1,500 for two nights. That is a steal!
Say yes to “baon”
Photo courtesy of succo via Pixabay
There is no shame in packing some “baon” or goodies from home. A pack of biscuits will go a long way. Of course, you would want to experience island life but a can of tuna, cup of noodles, crackers, yogurt, apples, bananas or anything of that sort is not too bad either. You can have them for snacks on your first day or dinner on your second night and you’ll surely save a lot. That money better be spent on island activities and a round of beer, perhaps.
And also, buy your beach essentials at home. Prices of sunblock, hair moisturizer or even a hair tie are tripled when bought in one of the shops in the island.
Enjoy free activities
Photo courtesy of jaya via Flickr
As in life, the best things in the island are free. You can go swimming in the vast clear waters. You can feel the finest white sand between your toes and walk barefoot to explore all three stations. You can sit by the bay and watch the sun go down. You can take countless pictures. You can spread a towel on the sand and read your favorite book. Watch fire dancers at night. This is what island dreams are made of.
Back in your hotel, you can spend an afternoon in the pool. At Alta Vista de Boracay, there are also facilities you can enjoy for free apart from the infinity pool. There’s a karaoke room for guests. The hotel’s view deck will also give you a breathtaking 360-degree view of the entire island, since the hotel is nestled atop a mountain.
Go island hopping with a group
Photo courtesy of eP.iLongo via Flickr
One of the most popular activities in Boracay is island hopping. Yes, there’s more to Boracay than the White Beach. Island hopping sounds like an expensive activity, but it really is one of the cheap activities in Boracay. For Php 600 to Php 800 pesos, you can tour the island with a group of 30 to 50 people aboard a big boat. The tour, which normally runs for four hours, includes stops in virgin spots like Puka Beach and some snorkeling spots. A seafood buffet for lunch is also included.
Land or sea exploration
Photo courtesy of Flair Candy via Flickr
Apart from island hopping, you may also try helmet diving and walk underwater. For Php 500 to Php 600 (or even less), you can walk on the sandy seabed, get up close with corals, and feed schools of fish for more or less 20 minutes. That comes with an underwater video too.
You may also explore the island by getting on an ATV. A two-hour rental cost around Php 600 (sometimes with Zorb ball adventure).
On time for “happy hour”
Photo courtesy of Flair Candy via Flickr
What’s a visit to Boracay without experiencing its legendary party scene? Yes, an epic night life is part of the Boracay budget travel guide.
Happy hour usually starts in the afternoon and ends early evening. During this time, a bucket of beer will normally cost around PHP 250 to Php 300. Two bottles each (for Php 75) as you watch the sunset? Not bad at all.
Now, you’re ready to party. Epic, one of the most popular clubs in Station 2, charges Php 300 entrance fee that comes with three drinks. Most clubs do not even have an entrance fee. A bottle of beer costs around Php 50 to Php 70, and most bars even have 2-for-1 promos.
And yes, dancing all night is free.
Unique Boracay experiences
Photo courtesy of Gareth Williams via Flickr
Want to braid your hair while exploring the island? There’s lots of braiding stations everywhere and they cost between Php 50 to Php 300 depending on how elaborate you want it. Get it done by the locals by the beach, not in salons and wellness centers.
Want to get inked? For Php 200, you can get a medium-sized henna tattoo. You can even haggle. Need a massage? Hilot, traditional pinoy massage, costs only Php 250 Php 300 per hour. And the best part? You get a massage by the beach. Could it get any more relaxing?
Need a drink? A beach trip won’t be complete without fresh milkshakes or fruit juices. In the case of Boracay, it’s Jonah’s. Jonah’s Milkshake is the most popular thirst-quencher in all of Boracay. A medium-sized bottle of fruit shake costs an average Php 100. Pair that with a calamansi muffin at Real Coffee and Tea Café for only Php 45 per piece.
All in all, the accommodation and activities would cost you around Php 3,500 (maximum amount computed). You still have PHP1, 500 for a sumptuous seafood paluto lunch or dinner to split with friends, arrange for transfers or buy souvenirs.
And the fun, laughter, and adventure — priceless.