Boracay has re-opened after a six-month closure and our family stayed there for almost three weeks during the December holiday. Here are TEN TIPS to help your family maximize your holiday at this tropical island.
1: Location, Location, Location
Boracay Island is a family-friendly beach in the Philippines but your holiday experience will heavily depend on what part of the island you book your accommodation at because there are still renovations, demolitions, and construction happening near the main road. The secret is staying at a place where you won't need to commute to the beach.
Solution. Book a beachfront hotel either in station one or station three where you'll have everything you need from the powdery soft sand, palm trees, clear blue waters, mango shakes, restaurants, and the least amount of people and traffic.
Some of the hotels that we or friends have stayed at that we recommend are the following:
Station 1: Sur, Two Seasons, Fridays, Ambassador, Discovery Shore
Station 3: Rose Pike
Avoid staying at Station Two because that's where the volume of visitors stay.
2. Boracay isn't easy to get too but paradise when you get there
Book a hotel transfer to avoid the craziness of getting to your hotel; however, if that is not possible, book Southwest - a company that will pick you up at the airport and deliver you to your hotel. You can book their service upon arrival or at the airplane if you're flying with Cebu Pacific. It won’t be convenient (lots of holding stations where you will be waiting with lots of other tourists) but they will get you to your destination and for a roundtrip, pick you up from your hotel and get you to your flight on time. They usually pick-up 3 hours before your departure time.
If you have a lot of luggage, get a porter at the dock and they will help you transport your luggage while you watch or chase the kiddos.
Curious about the travel time? It took us seven hours door to door from Manila. Staying for at least five days will make the experience worth it. Anything less will just bring stress.
Finally, check out the weather. The Philippines has a rainy season between June to October which won't be ideal for White Beach but perfect for the beach at the other side of the island as the wind changes course.
Here is the travel path:
Airplane: Manila to Caticlan flight
Bus: Upon arrival, you will ride a bus from the runway to the airport
Vehicle: Airport to Port
Boat: Caticlan Port to the Boracay Port
Vehicle: Port to Hotel (travel time will depend on where you are staying)
Vehicle means mini-bus, van, open bus, electric car, tricycle, etc.
3. If you have budget limitations and can’t book a beachside hotel, bring a tent.
We brought a mini-tent from Decathlon that we parked at the beach that became a shelter for the millions of things that families bring from beach toys, towels, sarongs, guitar, snacks, change of clothes, etc. It also gave us shelter for the short tropical rains that came and go during the day
4. Travel light. You can buy toiletries, snacks and most of the things you need at the
Budget Mart at D’Mall. But if your kids are picky with their snacks then it would be wise to bring those. The only thing that was difficult to get are good quality diapers so if traveling with infants, bring those.
5. Kid Food Choices
The island has mostly Filipino food but chances are, there will always be pizza, chicken nuggets, french fries, and rice on the menu.
6. Walk down the island and explore it by foot.
No slippers needed. The sand is soft as powder and never gets hot.
7. Fav Bar & Restaurants
If your hotel has a restaurant, it would be easy to eat there or visit the hotels nearby for other food options. That will be the most accessible option after a full day at the beach plus they can prepare the food while the kids still play at the ocean. But if you want to eat out, here are our favorite food places::
My favorite shops at D'Mall are “Nothing But Water” where I purchased most of my swim wear and "Paulo Collection" where I bought this airy white lace cover-up.
9. Sunblock is your skin's best friend
The tropical sun isn't too kind with the skin; that is why you may notice a lot of people come to the beach either in the early morning (before 10:00 AM) or around 4:00 PM when the sun begins its slow descent.. Remember to lube up with sunblock. For mamas, the secret to tanning is topping sunblock with coconut oil that moisturizes the skin. There are plenty that you can buy at the island.
10. As Bobby McFerrin sang, “Don’t worry, be happy.” Focus on the positive and you’ll roll with the good ol' island vibe.
Check-out more Boracay photos @ IG: dramayogi