May 2015 marked an important date for the family. We were celebrating our second wedding anniversary and it was our first out-of-town trip as a family. Where else to celebrate it but in the country’s best white sand beach, Boracay Island.
Thanks to Cebu Pacific’s airfare promo at the time, we availed of discounted rates and Ronan’s fare was free since he was just a year old. Babies are free until 24 months old. After that, they are charged at least half the airfare. Our roundtrip fare for Manila-Caticlan-Manila cost Php 5,000. We booked in January 2015.
Since we also booked our flights early, we also searched online for budget-friendly accommodations in Boracay. Believe me, the famed island beach offers a wide range of accommodations for all kinds of budgets. Whether traveling solo, as a couple, with your family, barkada or officemates, you will find a place to stay. Of course, there will be trade-offs and price compromises along the way, but the fun and enjoyment you will experience in Boracay are priceless. You can check out this site for different accommodations in Boracay.
If you are traveling with kids and some elderly people, we suggest Station 3. You get to enjoy the beautiful white beach minus the noise and euphoria of Station 2. Station 1 is also laid back but on the pricey side.
From Station 3, you can still visit Station 2. It’s just a 15-minute walk along the beach.
Since we traveled with one-year-old Ronan at the time, we brought a baby carrier to help us go around the stations. And since he was just learning to walk, he enjoyed walking on the beach. We don’t recommend taking a stroller because it’s difficult to maneuver along the beach.
From Rizal province to NAIA Terminal 3
We live in Rizal province and we don’t have a private car so we had to rely on public transportation. We rode a jeep from Rizal to Tikling. By the way, our flight was at 5 am so we had to leave the house at midnight and be at NAIA 3 by 3 a.m. From Tikling, we hailed a cab to take us to NAIA 3. Thankfully, C-5 is like a freeway during the wee hours. It took us just 45 minutes to cruise the road. Taxi fare cost Php 250 + tip to the friendly driver.
After going through the rounds and getting our baggage checked-in, we had almost an hour and a half spare before boarding time. We grabbed breakfast at Wendy’s and looked around the area. It was our first time to ride a plane so we got all excited and jittery. Well, Ronan did not express much excitement since he was dozing off most of the time.
By the time we board the plane, thankfully, Ronan was awake. He was pointing at the clouds and the whirring engine reminds him of the videos he always watched at home. We took photos inside the plane before it took off. This is to remind us of the small luxuries we get and to be always grateful for these opportunities that come in our life.
From/To Caticlan Airport to Boracay
If you are traveling with kids and elderly people, try booking with Southwest Tours and Tours for an easy and hassle-free transfers in and out of Boracay. We booked in advanced and their efficient team assisted us from Caticlan airport to our accommodation. We also availed of their service on the way back to the airport for our return flight to Manila. It was so easy. If we go back again, we would book their transfer service again.
4 Days/3 Nights in Boracay
We booked at Orchids Resort in Station 3. We spent our vacation days going around Station 1, 2 and 3. We could not take on the more adventurous path of island-hopping, paragliding and sailing. Since we have a toddler with us, we enjoyed the sand, the beach and watching the performances at Station 2.
We got stoked!
If you are on a tight budget, find an accommodation that allows you to cook meals. Fortunately, our hostel has a common kitchen and we were able to cook two meals during our stay.
Still, we also suggest you treat yourself in any of the nearby restaurants. Friday night is a blast because you can choose from a variety of buffet deals from Station 2 and 3. Buffet prices range from Php 150 to over Php 2,000. Name your price.
Our little one did not mind the food as he was on mixed feeding still. He was just too happy with so much water and sand.
What it was like traveling with a toddler?
It was an unforgettable experience. As first-time parents, we enjoyed the bonding time. Of course, it was not easy and we both dealt with tantrums coming from Ronan and believe us, mom and dad had their own share of tantrums, too.
But the lesson we have learned, never allow negative emotions to mess your family vacation.
True, one of you will turn cranky. Ronan was a given. But a cranky adult should be dealt with a tactic. If one gets upset over something, the other should be matured enough not to join in or bite back. Sometimes a moment of silence is enough to calm the nerves.
Allow for misadventures and remember that a dozen of things can go wrong on your trip. That’s the beauty of traveling. You discover new places and you discover and improve your personality along the way.
We look forward to more travels in 2017 and beyond! Come and join us.