Last weekend, while some parts of the country were preparing for a rainy weekend, we headed to Boracay. We have booked this flight since January of this year to celebrate the birthday of a dear friend.
I am writing a separate entry of how the trip went. But for this post, I want to talk about how we handled our expenses. I was asked this question more than twice when we came back so I decided to write about it.
First of all, it is always a great idea to travel in groups. Not only does it make the travel one helluva fun! It is, also, friendly on the pocket. But never discount the fact that, sometimes, it is best to travel alone. That’s another story!
AIRFARE: We booked the flight last January 15th. We took advantage of the Piso (Php 1) Fair promos offered by Air Asia. We paid P1354.72 (USD 31.50) each for a MNL-Caticlan flight. One of us used his credit card to pay for everyone, which worked for us since we took advantage of the card’s grace period. We split the payment in half and made sure that we get to pay him before the due date so it does not charge him interest. (Warning: Do not offer your credit card to people you do not trust will pay you back on time.)
ACTIVITIES: We initially wanted to engage in different activities but changed our minds. A number of us are preparing for another travel and are guarding our expenses. Besides, the weather was not friendly for water activities. (except for surfing, of course!) Nevertheless, adventure is what you all make of it. We created our own.
TRANSPORTATION: We split into two groups for the cab expenses on our way to the airport. Since we all boarded a Kalibo flight, which is much cheaper, we had to get on a van to go to Caticlan Jetty Port. We paid P250 (USD5.81) each for the van and the boat. You can also save P25 if you go for the P200/each for the van and then pay your boat ticket for P25. The only advantage the P250 is you no longer need to fall in line for the boat tickets. At that time, we were in a hurry to catch a good weather for the 15-minute boat ride.
When you get to the port, you will be asked to pay P75/each for the Environmental and Admission Fee and P25/each for the Terminal Fee. All these fees go to the Municipality of Malay, Aklan for the preservation and maintenance needs of Boracay. As you pay, do not forget to assign someone from your group to register all your names before you board the boat.
Once you get off the boat, get on a tricycle to drop you off your hotel. Ours is located in Station 1 and is a bit far so we paid P125/4 heads. Save about the same amount on your way home. A little cheaper, actually, since there is no need to pay the environmental fee.
HOTEL: We went to the same hotel we stayed in the first time we came to Boracay. We made an early reservation online and paid a total of P1500/each (USD34.88) for two days. We love La Bella Casa because of its very warm accommodation, affordability, WiFi connection, free breakfast, great customer service, and its proximity to the beach. We got ourselves three rooms but stayed in one room, sometimes, to chat. Ha!
FOOD: I will say it again. Traveling in groups makes it more affordable. For food, we split into three groups. Within your small group, you get to decide what to order and split the expenses amongst yourselves. You are expected to share your food with other groups. This style made our food expenses averaging 150-200/head per meal and gave us ample choices. We ate in different food places that we did not get to try the last time we visited. We also got to spend one night of drinking and dancing. Ha!
In total, we probably spent about P4000/head (USD93). Not bad for an awesome experience with great people to a world class destination.
On our way home, we couldn’t help but talk about the next trip.