Chance A Long Break To An Exotic Getaway: Boracay, The Philippines’ Crown Jewel
As the slogan of this Southeast Asian archipelagic island nation goes, “It’s More Fun In The Philippines”. Quite believable considering much of the action that goes on there. It’s quite an exciting notion come to think of it. We’re not going to suggest flying into Manila and adventuring its packed streets, congested roads, and rather adventurous neighborhoods (read between the lines here), but to discover an awesome island that’s making headlines in recent days: it’s called Boracay.
It’s a small island known for its fine white sand beaches and is an hour flight away from The Philippines’ capital, Manila. It is very well known as the country’s top island destination for romantic couples (Travel + Leisure Feb 2013 issue, by reader votes), the party goers (CheapFlights.com’s World’s Best Party islands, by reader votes), and by the general holidaymakers (Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards, Top Islands List, by reader votes). But how does one get there and enjoy the place with a tight purse? Awesome Boracay has some answers to that.
Traveling to Boracay on A Budget
Sounds like a tough challenge, but let’s first get the cost of flying there out of the way. Since the Philippines is among the furthest places away from Europe, the cost of flying will definitely be higher, but not so high as getting to Australia, Palau, or Micronesia to say the least. Expect cost to be anywhere between £1,300 ($2,000 USD) to £2,600 GBP. You may find a cheaper way of getting to Boracay by searching for a multi-stopover booking (specifying London to Hong Kong, and Hong Kong to Kalibo) on certain online booking sites that allow this. No guarantees on savings, but you may find some that’s substantial.
Ok, Now That Flight to Boracay’s Solved, What About Your Budget Here?
Your flight cost may have blown your budget for everything else, but fear not, the beauty of being in the Philippines is the simple fact the country’s cost of living is very low, and your pounds, euros, and dollars go a long way here. If you’re quite literally on a budget, there are places that go for more or less £15 a night. And if you’re going for a long term stay, this can go less than £10 per night! Boracay’s cheap accommodations come in different choices, one are nipa hut rooms, another is the barebones “pension house” type of accommodation, and the other is the more modern type of lodging. Airconditioning may or may not come with the room, and in the worse case, you’re provided a simple fan, which isn’t so bad since Boracay has cool evenings.
If you have some more money, you can avail yourself of more roomy and very nice accommodations that range anywhere between £63 and £190 ($100 to $300 USD) per night. These are much better resorts like Nigi Nigi Too, Estacio Uno, Ambassador In Paradise, and Two Seasons, and they’re located right at the beach front – the best of White Beach at Station 1 and 2.
If you’ve the budget for it, there’s the ultimate island getaway in Boracay at The Shangri-La’s Boracay Spa and Resort and Travel+Leisure’s consecutive Top Resorts in Asia winner, Discovery Shores Boracay.
Tip: Fly during the low season in Boracay to find great resort rates. That’s around Mid-June to the end of October, and try to stay a little longer because you never know when a typhoon might hit during this season and end up eating several days of your vacation. The last thing you’d want to happen is an entire trip wasted because of this.
Dining Out and Massages
With the many choices of international and specialty cuisine right in Boracay, expect to frequently eat out for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. On average, a meal costs about £5, this can go higher or lower depending on where you eat, and what you get. Evening buffets by White Beach typically cost this much already, but if you’re into something classier, look at £25 when you have a dinner buffet over at Discovery Shores or Shangri-La Boracay. If you’re into making your own dinner, there’s the wet market where you can purchase raw meat, fish, seafood, vegetables, and tropical fruits. There are 2 groceries by White Beach at the open plaza, D’Mall to make things easier for long term holidaymakers.
Advice: try doing the BBQs by yourself in case you have access to an outdoor grill that some apartments provide. Provided you have a ready to use grill, all you need are charcoal or uling, scrap paper, and something to start the fire. Let the charcoal burn and start grilling some meat!
Massages typically cost about £5.50 (about $9 USD) and can be had outdoors by the beach, in one of the many spa parlours by White Beach, by room service. Again, the kind of service will really depend on what kind of spa you get in Boracay, but the bottom line is, whatever your budget is, even if it’s quite low, Boracay is still a very accommodating island getaway. You’re not going to squirm because of exorbitant prices and not having a choice!
What About Things to Do?
There’s no shortage of things to do in Boracay. But you’re going to have to save some pounds for them. They’re not too pricey, averaging around £15 to £30 a head per activity, but that’s just being too general. The prices will really depend on the activity. Boat rentals starts at £15 for the entire day to take you scuba diving, island hopping, and snorkeling, while a sunset cruises can easily run up to £100 a head. There’s no surfing on the island, but Boracay is known as a prime spot for kite surfing in the world. Other watersport activities include wakeboarding, kayaking, jetskiing, and banana boats are all available in the island. There are also plenty of land-based activities such as hiking and renting a bicycle, motorcycle, or ATVs and buggies for a little island exploration. You can try also walking the entire White Beach from one end to the other, at almost 4KM long.
Boracay is small, but isn’t small enough to walk it. You can try walking the entire island, but it’s going to make you sweat and you’ll probably give up halfway through.
Did we give you enough tips to brave the Philippines and experience the best beach island getaway there is? It’s far from the UK, but it’s definitely worth a visit.
If you’re looking at >Boracay resorts, Awesome Boracay reviews the different kinds of hotel and resort accommodations (including the budget ones), as well as cover the latest happenings in the island. Be sure to drop by and say hi! The can be found online at www.awesomeboracay.com – and thanks for providing this awesome article, about this beautiful place, for Good To See.
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