Boracay, one of the most popular islands in the Philippines and in the world, is often thought to be expensive for travelers. With five-star hotels, cafes like Starbucks which you would usually find in cities, and even malls – albeit small ones – by a picturesque, powdery white beach, it is easy to see where this assumption comes from.
It is manageable to travel to Boracay on a budget, though, and even on a backpacker’s budget. On one of my trips to the island, I simply walked into an accommodation and got a bunk bed for P200. I ate at roadside eateries (carinderias) and canteens and only had a meal at a café or a restaurant once or twice.
Since accommodations usually account for one of the largest chunks of a typical travel budget, this is where I try to cut down on cost.
Normally, to get the lowest cost, I would recommend not booking ahead, and just look for an accommodation when you get there. This way, you can also haggle with the owner.
But, what if you are 1) booking during peak season, or 2) on a tight schedule and do not have time to spare walking around looking for a hotel or hostel during your trip? Then best to book ahead, either with the accommodation, or with an online booking site. Check which booking sites have the lowest prices.
Among the online booking sites and apps, the Traveloka app is the one I recommend for the biggest discounts. I previously wrote about using its app, and compared Traveloka’s prices with other booking sites. So far Traveloka has the best prices I’ve seen.
Here are some tips for you to maximize your savings when booking your Boracay accommodation with Traveloka:
Download the Traveloka App and register. The app has special member-only prices. Some promos can also be availed of only through the app. While you can usually save around 20%-30% when you book via your web browser, the discounts usually increase when you sign in to your account at the Traveloka app.
Select “budget” category for hotels and sort hotels by price. When the results appear after you type “Boracay” on the search field for your hotel destination, select “Budget” from the menu on top to see the affordable accommodations. To see easily find the lowest prices, sort the results by price.
Check your Traveloka notifications for ongoing promos. There is usually a promo every week for a hotel discount of 20% or more. This will be in addition to the already discounted price listed on the Traveloka app.
For example, one hostel I looked at had an already discounted price of P396. When I applied the then-promo code, the price dropped to P198, almost the same price I scored (P200) when I just walked in on an accommodation with no prior booking.
Occasionally there are also flash sales. I chanced upon a 12-hour flash sale where discounts are up to 60%! So, always check your Traveloka notifications on your phone.
Check out mystery deals, too! If you are feeling adventurous and you have a mid-range budget for a three-star hotel and up, why not try the mystery deals in Traveloka? All the details like features, facilities, promo prices, and even guest reviews are listed, save for the name of the hotel!
Book your accommodations ahead of time, ideally at least a few months ahead. This allows you to maximize Traveloka’s promos and make your savings bigger. But should you need to make last-minute bookings, you still get significant savings, though, as Traveloka’s prices are usually lower than prices at other booking sites, which usually appear cheaper at first, but gradually increase once the taxes and other charges are added at the end of your booking.
So if you are traveling to Boracay on a budget during the peak season, or if you are traveling off-peak but do not have the luxury of time to look for accommodations when you get there, best to book via Traveloka App.
Enjoy your Boracay trip! Here are my other posts about Boracay to hopefully help you plan your trip:
- LIST – 6 Reasons Travelers (Still) Love Boracay
- FOOD – Spanish, American, Filipino, fresh seafood, and more: Restaurants to try in Boracay depending on your craving
- HOSTEL – Luxury on a backpacker’s budget, parties, causes, and more reasons to stay at Mad Monkey Hostel Boracay
And here’s a post by another blogger on suggested island activities: 25 best things to do in Boracay