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Wednesday, March 16, 2022

New Normal Travel Guide to Boracay: Requirements, Tips, Do's & Don'ts

Sharing our Boracay "new normal" travel experience last month.

We got our roundtrip tickets from Cebu Pacific Air. It was a spur-of-moment trip so ticket price was a bit expensive vs when you purchase a ticket on an earlier date or wait for seat sales. I opt to pay for one extra 20kg bag that comes with a chosen seat since there's only two of us traveling and we don't plan to bring a lot of stuff with us. Hand carry (strictly one bag each) is still at 7kg. Other airlines that goes to Boracay are PAL and Air Asia. 

After getting our tickets, next on the agenda was to book a hotel. Unlike before (pre-pandemic) when you can go to Boracay and just book a hotel when you arrive at the island, it is now a requirement to book a hotel first. I love to book hotels via Booking (dot) com or using their app to make bookings but this time around, I was forced to book directly at the hotel because the slots at the website were taken already. Also, I've been comparing prices and the ones at the hotel was cheaper. 

We booked directly at Henann Prime Beach Resort. Take note though that you can't get a refund if you book directly at the hotel, nor can you change the dates. New normal rules, maybe? The room that we got includes breakfast, so yey! Check-in time is at 3pm and 12nn for check-out. You can read about our hotel stay here ----> Henann Prime

Now that we have our plane tickets and secured hotel reservation, next step was to register at Tourist Boracay and get your personal QR. You can only register 3 days prior to arrival date. 

Requirements for Boracay QR:

1. Vaccination ID (LGU) or DOH Vax Cert which you can get from Vax Cert PH
2. ID
3. Flight details
4. Hotel reservation details.

Afterwards, you can opt to pay for boat and land transfer from Caticlan airport to hotel (plus Terminal fees, Environmental fees) via Island Star Express or DIY. Travel transfers can also be arrange by the hotel but a bit expensive or via Klook or Agoda. 

In our case, we availed of Island Star's services and they more than met our expectations. We paid PhP1,200 per pax for rt transfers + other fees. 

So you're all set. Just make sure to show up at the airport 3-4 hours early especially if you have checked-in bags and also, going inside the airport is a bit longish since not all doors are open. Also, I purchased another seat as add-ons prior to the trip so that my daughter and I can be seated together. Paying for a seat is important especially if you are traveling with children or elders. This way, you can be seated right beside each other instead of being assigned far from each other. 

No need to print the flight details, QRs, etc but we had ours printed. Haha waste of paper since you can just show your phone for the flight details, QRs and actual IDs. 

Upon arrival at Caticlan airport, you'll have your temp checked, then they will check your QR and ID. Then before exiting the airport, you'll see several booths including that of Island Star Express. Just follow the ate or the kuya and they'll guide you till you reach your hotel. Enjoy your vacay!

Do's & Don'ts:

1. One must wear mask even when walking along the shore. There are roving tourist patrols and if you get caught, that's a PhP 2000 fine. Of course, you are excused when you are eating or drinking. 
2. Alcoholic drink is now allowed on the beach. 
3. Refrain from haggling especially from the vendors that goes around from Station 2 to Station 1. 
4. Practice CLAYGO- Clean As You Go, especially if you will eat snack near the shore. Really, how hard is it to take your trash with you and look for a trash bin? 

Some hotels have shuttle services that goes to D'Mall or City Mall. If you want to experience riding the e-trike, its PhP 15.00 for a short distance (if you ride with other passengers) or ride solo for about       PhP 100 (Station 1 to Station 3) or a bit more for Ilig-Iligan or New Coast area. I think PhP 300-500.

For water activities such as Paraw sailing, crystal kayak, snorkeling, island hopping (with lunch), there's usually several kuyas just outside the beach front hotels and will offer you their services. For the island hopping, rate is usually Php 700 per pax with lunch. It can go cheaper if you're in a big group. 

There are also photographers that offers their services. Rate is usually Php 5,000 per hour, unlimited shots and they will also edit photos for you. 

For food, there are a lot of choices especially in Station 2. There are also several convenience stores in Station 2 area. Accepted mode of payment is cash, GCash, PayMaya or credit card. It is best to have some cash available because there are times when GCash is not working, or you need cash to give tips or ride the e-trikes. 


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