Sunday, August 30, 2009
Boracay on a budget
Travelling is something my family enjoys. We don't have a lot of budget for our travels, so we always look out for cheap fares, clean hotels and good food. Travelling with a kid also has it's limits. When as a couple, we could so easily roam and get familiar with a place in 2 days, we have to consider our son's schedule. He naps in the afternoon and can't walk for long. He gets picky with unfamiliar food, so dining should be something he likes...not all the time what we like.
Last April, Cebu Pacific had their discounted fares promo. Travel period is between June to October, I think. Anyway, we were torn between going home to Cagayan de Oro or going somewhere else. The hubs hasn't been to Boracay, so I thought Boracay it is then. I called their reservation but it was a book and buy promo and by rule, I don't transact business over the phone or online. Specially tickets. So I went to their ticketing office in Carlos Palanca, Makati. And got 3 round trip tickets to Boracay for PhP 3,000! :) What a bargain, right? Our trip was scheduled for Aug 17 to 21. And turned out that Aug
21st was a holiday :) August is a rainy month in our beautiful islands, so I prayed long and hard for a sunny weather.
I searched resorts online. Got a deal with the Orchid Resort. It was very cheap, PhP1,080 per night. So I booked for 4 nights. It was on Station 3 and one had to walk along an alley for about 5 minutes to get there. The resort was fine, our room was clean but it wasn't well lit, and mosquitoes were abundant too. The location wasn't working for us, having a kid to bring around. On the first night, our son had fever. We had problems finding dinner too.
The next day, while we were just hanging at the beach, I went to Villa Camilla to check if they had affordable rooms. Our budget is less than 2k. Since it was off peak, they had a lot of vacancy. The receptionist gave me a brochure, but the cheapest room they had for PhP2,300. But she gave me a great deal, for a Deluxe room, with a mini sala, she'll give it to me for PhP1,500! I was elated! We were definitely transferring the very next day.
When we did, it was marvelous. Villa Camilla is beach front, so we'd just change into our swim clothes, walk less than a minute to reach the beach and swim the whole morning. The room was clean and very spacious, the bathroom was clean too. We also had a big tv and a ref. Very important when you have kids with you.
Dining wise, we were limited. So we frequented Yellow Cab, Shakeys, Andoks. On our last night, I was insistent on trying out the buffet by the beach. So we checked the food, they had great selection and the little boy actually wanted to eat there. Kids below 7, I think, are free. We ended up paying for just 2 persons, for PhP500, for a buffet! Neat no?
Overall, it was a very restful and fun trip. Days just passed us by, we enjoyed the beach and the experience. We savored spending time with each other, talking, playing, resting. The weather was perfect beach weather, it didn't seem like August at all. God was and still is so good to us.
It's worth travelling on the off peak season. You'll get cheap flights, hotels and food. Also, the beach was deserted. We didn't have to go to the other secluded beaches around the area since we had the whole White Beach to ourselves :)