Boracay is one of the most popular beach destinations in the Philippines. Located just a few kilometres from the Western Visayas region, this island is a dreamy paradise, one which isn't short of eager visitors each year. But don't be put off by its popularity; travel smart and you won't have to pay premium prices.
Here's a backpacker's guide to beautiful Boracay, covering everything from flights and accommodation to finding the best cheap food and drink...
Flights to the Philippines can be expensive but if you dedicate some time and effort to searching around, you just might stumble across some amazing deals. Following budget airlines such as AirAsia on social media will give you immediate notification of their deals and using discounted flight websites will give you the option to compare and contrast from the comfort of your laptop.
"BORACAY BOAT 1" by Michael is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Best Time to Book
When it comes to planning the best time to go, it's important to remember that unlike a lot of popular tourist destinations, Boracay offers great deals even in peak season. So search for deals all year round and align these with the cheapest flights. The weather is best from November to May, ranging from 25° C and 32°C with little rain and low humidity.
"sunset at boracay" by John Valentine II is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Food and Booze
If you eat and drink smart, this is where you'll make the biggest savings as a backpacker. Alcohol is incredibly cheap so Boracay really is the ultimate party island for young, energetic travellers in search of a good time. Bar prices are very affordable (with plenty of happy hours to make it even better) but a bottle of San Miguel beer can be as cheap as 30 pesos if you buy from a convenience store instead!
The best way to eat is street food; not only is this the ultimate way to experience authentic eats in the Philippines but you can get light bites from vendors for as little as 15 or 20 pesos! Some of the delicious street eats you have to try include King Corn cobs, Spanish inspired chorizo burgers, candied plantains, barbequed meats, fish and pork fat crackers, and various fried pastries.
"BORACAY VALUE MEALS" by BORACAY VALUE MEALS is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Renting an apartment privately can be extremely cost-effective on Boracay Island and hosts in the Philippines are often very friendly. It's in their nature to be welcoming of tourists so you will get great service. If you prefer the convenience of a hotel, make sure you search around for deals (remember, sometimes last minute is much cheaper so don't always plan too far ahead). And with a number of the hotels (this map shows them all) or self-catering holiday apartments on the island, there are big discounts for extended stays. Stay up to a month and you could get anywhere up to a 50% discount on room prices!
"Bora 4" by Gep Pascual is licensed under CC BY 2.0
When it comes to saving money on bottled water, make sure you fill up your water bottle at water refill stations. These are conveniently dotted around the island and will save you a lot of money. Refilling at a station will cost you less than 20p at time!
"Paradise" by Lyniel Sy is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Being in Asia, Boracay is naturally a popular destination for budget travellers, but if you follow the tips above you can make it more affordable than ever and enjoy living in a paradise whilst paying next to nothing!