Planning a vacation for the family - one that will make it smooth and enjoyable for everyone - is not an easy task. The blog series on Boracay will give you a road map while this post will share the step by step process once you land in the Philippines.
First. how do you book a flight Boracay when there is no direct flight to it? What you will see is a choice between Manila-Kalibo (a 2-hour land trip to Caticlan) or Manila-Caticlan. ALWAYS choose the latter. It is the direct flight you're looking for and this guide will help you know what to expect upon arrival at Caticlan.
Step 1: Manila-Caticlan flight.
Expect delays. It usually happens but the length of time is getting better. The weather will influence how much that will be so avoid going to the Philippines during the rainy or typhoon season from June-October. There are different terminals and airports in Manila, make sure you are at the right one.
If you need to stay in Manila overnight for a connecting flight, you can check-out the hotels across the airport such as the Marriott or Resort World. They will offer you the most convenient options and have a shuttle to the airport.
The easiest flight to book will be one that lands in Manila and has a direct flight to Caticlan on the same day. Make sure that the airport is in MANILA and not CLARK, an airport that is a couple of hours away from the city.
Step 2: Bus will pick you up from the run-way and bring you to the airport.
If you've booked a hotel transfer, they will pick you up from the airport but if not, you can book through Southwest. They will have a people at the airport or if flying with Cebu Pacific, you can book it at the plane for 800 pesos. They will provide all the local transfers from the airport to your hotel.
You will pick-up your luggage and ride a vehicle from the airport to the Caticlan port.
Step 3: Boat transfer from Caticlan to Boracay island.
Upon arrival at the port, you will enter through a luggage security check and register at the counter by showing your booking reservation at an accredited hotel.
Your family will be led into a cramped holding room to wait for the boat. It won't be comfortable. Bring snacks or a treat for the kids while waiting. Hiring a porter can help you bring the luggage from waiting area to the boat.. We paid $1/luggage (50 pesos per bag). If you don't travel light, it's worth it.
The boat ride will be 15-30 minutes depending on the boat you have - speed boat, bamboat or ferry.
Step 4: Land transfer to your hotel.
The boat will bring you to the island. There will be another holding area at the Boracay port where you will wait for your vehicle to bring you to your hotel. You will be sharing the ride with other people.
It will be between a 20-45 minute ride to your hotel through roads that are still under construction. No fear. If you booked a beach front hotel at station one, you won't have to deal with the backroads for most of your stay and can focus on the peace and serenity that the beach offers.
The final step is to check-in, change into your swimmers, order a fresh mango shake (without milk and sugar), dip your feet on the warm ocean water, and celebrate. You've made it!
Looking for kid activities, check out my previous blog or my Instagram account at dramayogi.