Traveling to the world-famous island paradise Boracay on a tight budget? Here are a few words of advice to help enjoy a cheap yet blissful and unforgettable tropical vacation in one of the premier beach destinations in Southeast Asia.
1. Fly to Kalibo
As far air travel, there are a couple of routes available for the island of Boracay, via Caticlan or Kalibo. Caticlan, although it is way faster than the latter, isn’t necessarily your best option, especially when you are on a tight budget. A round-trip ticket from Manila (capital city of the Philippines) to Caticlan may cost you 150 to 300 USD, depending on the day and season of your trip.
The Kalibo route, on the other hand, will take over two hours of land travel. But on the bright side, it is a far more economical option than the Caticlan course. In fact, a one-way airline ticket from Manila to Kalibo, or vice-versa, may sometimes cost as low as 10 USD. As a bonus, the Kalibo route will give you a glimpse of the Aklan’s beautiful landscapes.
Fare computation for the Kalibo route:
- Airline tickets (round-trip): 20 to 50 USD
- Van or bus ride from Kalibo to the Jetty Port in Caticlan: 300 PHP (7 USD)
- Ferry fee: 25 PHP (less than a dollar)
- Terminal fee: 100 PHP (2.5 USD)
- Environmental fee: 75 PHP ( 1.7 USD)
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2. Take advantage of airline promo deals
Subscribe to Cebu Pacific’s newsletters to get the latest information regarding the cheapest promo flights to Kalibo or even Caticlan. Also, browse the websites of AirAsia Zest and PAL Express, so you can find promo deals to Kalibo.
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3. Sea travel
Looking for a cheaper alternative to air travel? From Manila, hop on a 2GO Travel vessel bound for Caticlan Jetty Port. Ticket price for this sea transport route ranges from 488 to 2,000 PHP (11 USD to 45 USD).
The trip, as expected, will likely take ten hours or more. There are, however, tons of entertainment options and leisure activities available onboard.
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4. Buy your beach essentials at home
Before you embark on an epic journey to Boracay, make sure to buy the things you need for your trip at home. Beach and travel essentials like beach bags, shades, hats, board shorts, slippers, swimsuit and sun block cost a lot more on the island of Boracay.
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5. Stay in a friend’s house or apartment
If you know someone who resides in Boracay, ask your friend if you can stay in his or her house. A couple of years ago, I went to Boracay with a bunch of buddies, and we all stayed in our friend’s single-room apartment. Our friend only had a pair of beds available, so we had to improvise, and stay in a single bed. It wasn’t the coziest accommodation, but it helped us save more than 200 USD for our trip.
Surprisingly, despite sleeping in a jam-packed bed, we still manage to enjoy a good night’s sleep, thanks to the heavy doses of booze, and a full day of exploring the island.
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6. Cheap accommodations are at Station 3
The cheapest accommodations in Boracay can be found at Station 3. The accommodations in this part of the island aren’t as luxurious and stylish as the resorts in Station 1, but they are rather clean, safe and peaceful. There are no frills in these lodges, but they provide basic accommodations, and are quite close to the White Beach.
Top budget accommodations in Boracay’s Station 3
- The Orchids – 950 PHP (21 USD) per night
- Vincent Cottages- 2,000 PHP (45 USD) per night
- Turtle Inn- 2,600 PHP (58 USD) per night
- Boracay Tree House – 200 PHP ( 5 USD) per night
- Ocean Breeze Resort – 950 PHP (21 USD) per night
For those who prefer to stay at Station 1, you may book your accommodations at Frendz Resort, which will cost you 400 PHP (10 USD) per night
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7. Book your accommodations with Agoda
Agoda is, without a shadow of a doubt, the best website to find cheap deals for hotels in Boracay. As far as I know, Agoda offers discounts up to 70 percent to some of the best hotels in this tropical paradise.
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8. Free things to do
Boracay has a world of fun and thrilling experiences that you can enjoy for free, such as
- Cliff diving – Most travelers head off to Ariel’s Point, and pay a great deal of money for cliff diving and drinks. Little do they know, they can enjoy cliff diving for free at the end of Station 1’s beach.
- Gaze on its legendary sunset – Boracay has a magnificent sunset that will leave you in utter amazement.
- Meet the charming locals
- Sunbathing – Get a tan for free by swimming on its clear aquamarine waters, and lying on the pristine powdery sands of its beaches.
- A night swim
- Sand castle – Build your own castle on the beach, watch the island’s locals do it.
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9. Affordable activities
There are also a few affordable exciting activities you can try on the island, including
- Parasailing – 950 PHP (22 USD)
- Helmet Diving – 340 PHP ( 8 USD)
- Island Hopping- 500 PHP (11 USD)
- ATV and Zorb- 650 USD (15 USD)
10. Cheap drinks
Looking for a way to get drunk in Boracay, without having to spend a load of cash on cocktails and beers? If your answer is yes, buy your liquor at any of Boracay’s numerous grocery stores.
Recommended grocery stores in Boracay
- 24-Seven Quick Mart
- Budget Mart
- Boracay Minimart
- De Rose Family Mart
- Budget Mart
- Crafts of Boracay
- Papa’s Boracay Minimart
- Jopine’s Store
- Isla Marketing
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11. Happy Hour at Boracay
“Happy Hour” is a custom or motto practiced by the bars in Boracay, to lure travelers from buying their drinks. Of course, the drinks sold during happy hours are way cheaper than the ones to be served later.
Where can you enjoy your “Happy Hour” in Boracay? Check out these cool spots:
- Shenna’s Restaurant – Happy Hour from 5 to 9 PM. Station 2
- Shantal’s Resto Bar- Happy Hour from 2 to 8 PM. Station 3
- Bai Kurt und Mags – Happy Hour from 2 to 8 PM. Station 3
- Cocomangas – Happy Hour from 6 to 9:30 PM. Station 1
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12. Cook your own meals
Bring your own Hamilton Beach Digital Steamer kitchenware, buy your groceries and fresh seafood at D’Talipapa or D’Mall, and cook your food. Trust me, it can save you a lot of money during your trip in Boracay.
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13. Plan your trip carefully
You don’t have to spend a fortune to enjoy a memorable travel experience in the Philippines’s ultimate beach destination. Just heed these tips, and you will surely have a wonderful time in Boracay. To make your trip even more affordable and fun, don’t forget to plan it with Trekeffect! It’s simple, easy and best of all, free. Mabuhay!
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