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Monday, May 11, 2015

Vacation Preps


Ronald and I got married a decade ago, for our 10th anniversary we decided to celebrate in our favorite destination, Boracay. Since we are always on a tight budget, this vacation took about a year to plan. Yes, it takes us that long to plan a vacation.

Booking the flight to Boracay:
     March 2014 - I booked 4 seats to Kalibo, Aklan via Air Asia. The ticket price includes taxes and Kalibo terminal fee so its really a steal comparing to the Caticlan bound fare of around P2,500 each passenger. Only 7kgs of carry on bag is included in the plane ticket so I prebooked a 15kg check-in baggage for 1 person only.  I opted to buy the seats in advance because I wanted to be sure that we'll seat next to each other and not rely on "chance" during the 2-hour before flight check-in. I also got 3 inflight meals because expected that we'll be travelling until lunchtime. As usual, I paid extra for the insurance, it is something that travellers need but does not want to use.

      Total cost of Airfare to Kalibo - P 5,425 for 4 passengers.

Researching about Land & Sea Transportation options:

      We wanted to travel in comfort because it is better to spend a bit more than have a toddler melting down during the trip. I checked out Southwest tours but I decided against it because I would not want to transfer from Bus to small van to boat. And I read on most travel blogs that Vans bound to Caticlan port can be easily found outside the Kalibo airport for P250 each, including the boat fare to Boracay.

     Budget for Van + Boat - P 1,000 for 4 passengers.

Researching about the Boracay Island Fees:

     I forgot how many blogs and travel agency websites I have read to find the most recent ones and satisfy my OCness when it comes to budget. Terminal fee is P100 each & Environmental Fee is P75 each.

     Inbound Boracay - budget for Terminal Fee - P 400; Environmental Fee - P 300 for 4 passengers
     Outbound Boracay - budget for Terminal Fee - P 400

Booking the resort:

     This is probably where I spent most of my research time because there are hundreds of good resorts on the island. The location should be beachfront, we wanted the resort to have a pool, provides buffet breakfast that our toddler can eat and also offers buffet dinner if we're too tired to look for other places to eat. After months (yes, months!), of going back & forth between reviews on Trip Advisor, Virtual Tourist, Agoda,, Expedia and some personal blogs, we finally decided on staying with Golden Phoenix Boracay. The entire review on the resort will be on another post. On February 2015, we reserved the Quad Room via the resort's own website. We got 30% discount for the whole stay and paid only 10% reservation to reserve, the rest was paid upon Check-In.

     Room Rate - P5,826 per night (service charge & tax included)

Booking the flight back to Manila:

     February 2015 - I booked the 4 seats back to Manila via Cebu Pacific. It took me long to book the flight due to budget restrictions. Included in the ticket is the 20kg prebooked checked in baggage and seats for 4 passengers. Food is not included in the airfare because you have to do that during booking, which I forgot to do.

    Total cost of Airfare to Manila - P10,910

So there you go. I love planning our travels and this is how I do it.

* We did not pay for our 2 year old's Land & Sea Transportation and the Fees because she can get in for FREE.


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