So you missed that promo fare to Boracay again?

Don’t worry. There is no need to be at the mercy of these airlines and wait for them to offer promo fares again only to be outdone by some very fervent travel agencies. Traveling to Boracay on a budget is not dependent on discounted rates, it is something you have to be creative and imaginative about. Cheap travel requires you to be ready for an adventure.

One option is to take advantage of roll-on/roll-off ships. However there are many ways to mak commuting to Boracay more budget-friendly, memorable, and fun. And who knows? You might just be in for a pleasant surprise.

We compiled the alternative and cheapest ways to get to Boracay:

By bus


Photo courtesy of joshrOckx via Flickr, Creative Commons

How many of us know that you can actually ride a bus from Manila to reach Boracay? Yes, you can. And this is probably the cheapest way to get there.

There are bus companies in Cubao and Pasay that serve the Manila-Caticlan route. This option however is a four-step route and not recommended for people who don’t appreciate long joy rides. But those who fancy a scenic tour, this could be your best bet.

First, the bus will take you to the Batangas Port. That route will take around two hours. From the port, there will be a two- to three-hour trip via roll-on roll-off (RoRo) ferries to Calapan, Mindoro. Then there’s a two to three hours of land travel to Roxas Port. From the port, the RoRo will bring you to Caticlan Port. After four hours, all you need is to ride the ferry to Boracay.

While RoRo and land transfers could be exhausting, the bright side is that you get to experience other places other than your point of destination. That three-hour land travel from Calapan to Roxas is an opportunity for you and your group to experience Mindoro even while inside a bus.

By private car          


Photo courtesy of Jesus Gorriti via Flickr, Creative Commons

If you are going to Boracay with family or a group of friends, you might find it more convenient to use a private car or mini-van. This is especially recommended if you have kids in tow.

Drive to Batangas Port and catch the vessel that leaves daily for Calapan, Mindoro at 8:30 a.m. Make the most out of your Boracay itinerary for 2016 by starting the adventure during your travel from Manila to Batangas. Leave Manila early and treat yourself and your group to a hearty breakfast on the way. Try their kapeng barako, too.

You will arrive in Calapan before 11 a.m. and would have some time to have a nice lunch before the next RoRo vessel bound for Roxas, Mindoro leaves at 2 p.m. After a four-hour ride, you will reach Caticlan where a boat will be waiting to take you to Boracay. You would have to park your vehicle in a secure parking lot at the port for a fee. No cars are allowed in the island.

By ferry


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If you are going to Boracay on a romantic getaway, you may start your Boracay itinerary by taking a leisurely and adventurous travel option: by ferry from Manila to Caticlan or Kalibo. The trip will take 17 hours.

MBRS Shipping Lines have two boats that leave Manila’s North Harbor at Pier 8, every Friday, Monday, and Wednesday. They will arrive in Caticlan the next day. So if you want a romantic way to travel and have the chance to have dinner while on the sea, this should be a good option.

Other shipping companies take the Manila to Dumaguit route, which is half an hour from Kalibo. From Kalibo, you will have to take a hour-hour land travel to Caticlan port.

On your return to Manila, try a ferry that stops by Batangas. From Boracay, take a trike to Cagban Port where you will ride a bangka to Caticlan. Transfer and check in at ferry services such as 2Go Travel, which leaves at around 8 a.m. The ride will take around nine hours and by 6 p.m. you would reach Batangas Port. While in Batangas, you can transfer to a bus bound for Manila immediately or have a nice dinner first. Bulalo never fails, of course.


By plane via Kalibo


Photo courtesy of woodyhuang5 via Flickr, Creative Commons

If you will notice, most tour rates are so cheap that you’d think twice if the offer is real. But bear in mind that most of these rates mean landing at the Kalibo airport, which is two hours from Boracay.

Next time you miss that Caticlan fare discount, book Kalibo instead. It is usually a few thousand pesos cheaper. The only difference is that you will need to arrange land transfer from the airport to the Caticlan port. (This can usually be requested from your hotel.) The land transfer will take roughly two hours while the ferry from Caticlan port will take around 15 minutes.

Going back to Kalibo, you can be more adventurous. You can get a chartered tricycle ride from D’Mall in Boracay for Php100. This will take you to Cagban Port. From there, ride a bangka for Php25 each and pay a terminal fee of Php100. This will take you to the Caticlan port where you can ride a van or a bus for around Php200 per passenger en route to the Kalibo airport.

Travelers are always looking for things to do in Boracay on a budget. You could start your adventure by choosing cheap travel when going to the island and returning to Manila. Not only will you save money, you will also have the opportunity to see other places. Enjoy the long routes and long hours. You will be surprised just how the road to paradise can be so delightful and pleasant.