Saturday, November 17, 2012

Family Getaway - Boracay Island

Me and my husband had some handful of impromptu travels recently. It's fun, liberating and spontaneous. Budget is the number one concern though. We travel cheap and not having an itinerary comes with downsides. There were times we suddenly have to scrimp on budget then be forced to eat cheap carinderia foods, walk some kilometers or take crazy amounts of public transportation. But it's cool, it's just the two of us anyway. We don't mind the hassle of at all.

Although it may sound exciting, I still strongly believe it pays to research, research, research. I do it every time I have a chance. Though spontaneous travels are very fun, nothing beats the joy and excitement of planning just by seeing your future travel unveil itself piece by piece even if you're still some weeks away from it. My last one was a perfect example.

It was a family vacation (with both of my parents and my brother), I had to make their convenience the priority. I booked everything online. Tickets, transfers (our flight was Clark - Kalibo) and accommodation. I scored the tickets from Air Asia airlines with an amazing total of of 3584.00 Pesos for 5 persons, all-in including online processing fee, fuel and tax. Since we live 15 minutes away from Clark airport, we brought our own car and got their park and fly service (90 Pesos per day).

I booked our transfers with Southwest Tours, Kalibo is still approx. 3 hours away from Boracay. I gotta say, I was impressed with their smooth transaction. I talked to them through email and I didnt 't even pay any reservation or downpayment fee. When we got to Kalibo airport, I was pleased to see my name on the white board held by one of their employee. We did not feel any stress at all even though we've been through a loooot of different transports (van - boat - car - walk). The van was all ours. It was new and clean. All-in fee was 1045 Pesos per head which includes 2-way transfers, terminal and environmental fees and a surcharge for our very early departure. I have to give myself a high five for it was very convenient and hassle free.

I also pre-booked our accommodation online. I chose Tan's Guest house because of its good reviews. It did not fail my expectation. I just love love love people who answers emails! It's the most convenient mode of communication for me and it impresses me when companies, especially the small ones, reply. I got to talk to Ms. Net and she quoted 2,500 Pesos/night for a big family room, with complete amenities and breakfast. Not bad for a family of 5. So it's a go! We'll be staying for 2 nights so I deposited half of the total amount on Ms. Net's bank account. Upon sending her the money, she immediately sent me a printable confirmation. Very smooth and simple. By the way, the guest house is conveniently located near the beach. It's not exactly beach front but it's just a couple of minutes walk. Really, not bad at all!

Good thing I did not book any tour in advance. When we got there, vendors immediately flocked us offering us their services and items. We entertained those who offered usual activities like helmet diving, snorkeling and the like, and waited for the lowest bidder, lol. We got Kuya Joey's services (09996537269) since he offered decent prices (though we heard cheaper offers eventually, but oh well). His rates were: 250/head for helmet diving, 700/head for parasailing, 250/snorkel set and 1000/boat for the island hopping. I have read from last year's threads and blog posts having these rates too, so not bad, no inflation yet, hahah.

Everything went out smoothly, I felt fulfilled having it all arranged in advance. Boracay is a very touristy spot. You'll be literally spending twice or thrice the real amount should you haven't known a thing about it. 

Now it's time to enjoy the island!

Lunch at 888 restaurant. Oh forgive me for gushing over a lobster. It was my first time, lol.
I did this sponge nail art inspired by Boracay's famous sunset. And yes, my nails are extremely short.
Too sad... can you spot a plastic bag of garbage over there?
The water is just oh so perfect!
I can stay here the whole day, everyday.
It was a gloomy/rainy day, but fun nevertheless! First time to parasail too, we felt like spies reversely parachuting, lol.

We also did helmet diving, snorkling and island hopping. All those water activities somehow lessened my fear of fishes. I can co-exist with them on water now. Before, when I see fishes near the shore, I run. I run like crazy while screaming in utmost panic. Well now I can already go near them, I still can't touch them though, but at least it's a major improvement. I still can't imagine having a fish spa though - that would kill me :/

1 comment:

  1. Afraid of fishes? Never I heard someone like that. That's cute! :D

    Anyways, it seems you enjoyed your Boracay getaway with your family. How I wish I can go back there and treat my family; or own a property or an apartment in Boracay and stay there for good.