Cheapest Way To Batanes

Batanes is probably one of the illusive getaways for most Filipinos who has been bitten by the travel bug. It is the only place in the Philippines where you can experience winter (due to proximity to Taiwan) and not need a visa ūüôā Batanes has become much more popular because of mainstream media appearing in movies like Batanes as well as local and international travel shows. It gives viewers a sneak peak of a land so unique that you’d think twice if you are still in the Philippines. It’s paradise that God tuck away up north to protect it. Having said that it is hard to reach, airfare to the island had been really expensive for the past years due to the scarcity of flights. Fares usually range between 15 thousand pesos to as high as more than 20 thousand pesos! Thanks to competition fares has drastically lowered down. ¬†So now there’s definitely away to go to Batanes on the cheap.

1. Subscribe to Philippine Airlines mailer

Subscribe to PAL’s news letter and get a tip when they go on sale. I was able to score a round trip ticket (MNL-BSO-MNL) for just a little less than 1,800 pesos. I didn’t think twice when I saw the offer and book it right away, it was a no brainer!

subscribe here: Philippine Airlines

or follow them on facebook: PAL FB

 

2. Seeing The Sights

Book a tour – Probably the most hassle free way to check the island/s. If you want to see them all without the hassle of planning where and how to go get a tour package, it’s cheap enough that it wont burn a hole in your pockets.

Check this Article for ideas about Tour Package Rates

Ride a bike! (Like I did) – Rent a bike for a day or two and go around Basco, this is perfect for people who like taking time when they travel. This way you don’t have to drag your self along with the group if it is already time to go. You can also rent a motor bike for around 1,000 pesos for an entire day! I’m pretty sure that you’ll appreciate your stay more if you get around on your own as there are little corners along the road that are really just breath taking!

Note: You can also rent a motorbike in sabtang for about 300 pesos RT to and from barrio Chavayan. Bike rental is from 25-50 pesos per hour depending on what type of bike you rent. Motorbikes in Basco costs about 1,000 pesos

 3. Where To Stay

Contrary to what most believe, Batanes has a lot of inns and rooms to accommodate visitors. Accommodation in the island can be really cheap you just have to know how much you are willing to spend. I for example spent 500 pesos per night for a huge room with an entertainment center – that I never used hahaha, water heater a cute porch if I used the air conditioner I could have been charged with additional 50 pesos, but who needs aircon on an Ivatan winter??? You might want to check Time Travel Lodge if you want to be near the airport, if you are looking for some peace and quite this is the place to go to. On the other hand my friends rented rooms at Marfel and Marfel annex.

Time Travel Lodge

0939-632-8978/ 0916-644-7984/ 0929-166-9838

 

4. Where To Eat

I don’t know if I didn’t look enough for restaurants but I think I have experienced the good ones though. You can experience a good Ivatan feast at Pension Ivatan or feast on sea food at Shanedel’s. You can also ask your accommodation if they can cook for you as they mostly can, otherwise there are carenderias or eateries just like in your neighborhood.

 

Sample Budget For Batanes (This is actually my budget)

Note: Keep in mind that I did not book any package and just did a DIY, also I got some change of several hundred pesos from my pocket money.

budget

 

5 Things To Do In Bantayan Island

Bantayan island is a small piece of paradise north of the main island of Cebu. The island is not as popular as the beaches of Boracay or Palawan so it can be a perfect hideaway for people who like some peace and quite by them selves with friends or family.

Here are a few of the things that you can do while in Bantayan Island.

1. Walk along the fine sands of Sugar Beach.

My favorite thing about bantayan island is the white powdery sand of Sugar beach. Its fine sand really feels good as you walk on a cool afternoon. If you want to stay real near Sugar beach (even beachfront) you can find lots of good accommodations that are friendly on the pocket.

2. Bike around the island

As we step out from the ferry from Hagnayan a ton of tricycle drivers offered us transportation but one of them caught my attention when I replied that there is someone picking us up. The driver offered me if I want to rent a scooter or a motor bike for only 250.00 pesos (roughly around $6) good for 24 hours and 150.00 pesos for bikes. That’s a great bargain for me!

3. Swim at the Ogtong Cave

One of the key features that the island is proud of is the Ogtong Cave. It is inside a private resort so you’d need to pay for a day tour fee to get inside and swim, otherwise if you are a guest of the resort, of course you are free to swim anytime as you wish.

Note:  No pictures here coz we were busy doing #5

4. Island Hopping

5. Bum around the beach and watch the sun rise and set!

The resort that we stayed at was on a very strategic place hence we can see the sun set and sunrise from where we were. Just laying around soaking under the sun is the best (for me) activity that there is to do in a beautiful beach like this.

 

5 Traveler Must Have Apps

In this day and age of technological advancements traveling has never been so much easier than before. Thanks to the invention of coding (and the smart phone of course), different applications can now be downloaded to your phones of which most are free. These applications will definitely help you not just navigate from A to B, but also keep your within your budget on the road.

 

1.  Google Maps

Who would have not have these on their phone, ey? Uhm…. iPhone users i guess? Well ¬†I am not really quite sure if iPhone users have this or not but if can download it, go ahead! Google probably has the largest database of roads mapped out on an application. So instead of carrying that big paper map why not trade it with an easy to use app like Google Maps?

 

2. Train Apps

Major cities throughout the world are densely populated if not widely spread to several square kilometers. For this reason most of these cities have their own Metro (train) system to move people around the metropolis. Luckily, there are apps available like Trainsity for most metros in major cities. But make sure to research more about this because cities like Hong Kong have their own super cool app for their MTR which tells you how, where and when to transfer and get off on a station to get to where you want to be!MTR App

3. Google Translate

You might think that this thing wont actually work offline, well maybe for some functions but it is really handy having this app in times where no one would seem to know how to speak English or your language. To make sure that you don’t run out of luck specially if you are off the grid, download the language packs so that it will still work even without internet connection, brilliant ey!?

 

4. Weather App

Seriously this is one of the most important thing that I use. I actually double check this before I leave my house going to the airport, crazy me huh!? Not really. It is important that you check and double check the weather of your final destination, you don’t want to be over dressed if there’s a heatwave going on or freeze if there was a sudden snow fall right?

 

5. Currency App

Making sure you exchange enough money to another currency is a vital thing if you want to keep up with you budget when you are on the road. That is why having a currency conversion app is really helpful in making those decision that could possibly hurt your budget if you do not think carefully. There are bunches of them out there but I personally recommend the XE Currency Converter, it is simple and fast and handy.

Any apps that we missed out there that you think should be part of this list? Let us know on the comments section below.

 

*note: any logo or trademark that appears on this blog/article belongs rightfully to their respective owners. thebackpackerguide.com does not claim any right from any of them and was used for educational/informational purposes only.

5 Ways To Make Your Luggage Unique

One of the things that I hate most about checking in luggage is the difficulty in spotting yours specially if you have those generic luggage that just blends in perfectly with the rest in carousel.

So we’ve came up with some Ideas that you can use in making your own luggage easier to spot and most specially having your luggage mistakenly taken by another passenger.

 

1. Stickers

Express your creativity and character through stickers. Put as much as you can on your luggage to make it more distinct from others. Put stickers that you buy from each destination that you go to making your luggage an instant travel scrap book.

luggagephoto from niutoday.info

2. Ribbons and Fabrics

Probably the most trick that a lot of people use, but putting a good number or combination of ribbons and even fabrics will surely make your luggage stand out from that bag pile in the airport.

Ribbon-On-Luggage-300x199

3. Spray Paint

I remember the day when the kid wonder Shaira Luna was finder her space in this world, she took ¬†jobs as an artist in a shop in malls like Robinsons Galleria where she paints over plain canvas shoes creating works of art! So I thought why not spray paint or doodle over your luggage!? I’m sure that you’ll spot yours!

painted on bag

From Behance.net

draft_lens21425645module169101963photo_d311c076a82c7240b53f2

from  studentz.squidoo.com

4. Bag Huggers

essential6from zest-inflight.com

 5. Oversized/Big Bagtags

Bag tags are good but they are small and not that easy to see if your bag is on a pile of moving luggage if they are hard to see from afar, so what better way to maximize its effectiveness. It would be a lot more fun if you could make your own unique bag tags!

100924-ella-butterfly-tag1

from lovestamps.com

bag-tags

Which ever way you decide to mark your bag, the important thing is that you make your luggage visible and identifiable even from afar. Remember you can never go overboard in securing your property the easier to spot the better.

Do you have other Ideas in making your luggage unique? Let us know on the comments below!

10 Most Popular Beaches In The Philippines

You’ve been itching to go to the beach but you just don’ t know where to go to as there’s just too many to choose from! Well worry no more because we listed here the most popular beaches in the Philippines.

Click on the links below to read more about these destinations coming from your favorite travel bloggers!

1. Boracay

Indisputably one of the top beaches in the World this paradise lies just about an hour away via plane from Manila. It has been hailed by various travel companies and organization as well as news companies as the best paradise on Earth for numerous times already.

Links:  Dreams of a Brownman l Out of Town Blog

 

2. Pagudpud

“At the beach, I did enjoy the company of the resort’s beach guide dog. I felt like vacationing in my own private property because I was alone in the whole stretch of the beach.”

See Karl’s pagudpud adventure at TuristaTrails.com

Links: Work.Travel.Fun

Pagudpud by TuristaTrails.comPagudpud; Photo by TuristaTrails.com

3. Puerto Galera

Just a stone throw away from Manila is Puerto Galera who’s bay has been recognized as the most beautiful bay in the world for a number of times now. But for the busy people of Manila Puerto Galera’s White Beach means respite from the hustle and bustle of the metro.

Links: Brownmantrips l

4. El Nido

“El Nido is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited. It’s a picturesque sleepy fishing village, tucked into a limestone karst surrounded bay.”

Read more about Nathalie’s love affair with the beaches of El Nido at MyWanderingSoles.com

El Nido by Nathalie of  mywanderingsoles.comEl Nido by Nathalie

5. Subic

Probably the easiest beach area to reach if you are coming from Manila. The Subic area was a former US Naval base and it’s bay is lined up with beautiful beaches that is ideal for family bonding and a quick escape from the office.

Links: Brownmantrips l

6. Laiya/San Juan, Batangas

“The beach area served as our playground as one strong family, concert ground for voices of laughter and grandstand in proclamation of our endearing UNITY. Indeed! The place is perfect for group activities/events, family outing, barkada get-away or even solo eskapo.”

See Jeff’s photowalk ¬†adventure with his team in Laiya at TravelingMorion.com

Links: Work.Travel.Fun

8268644307_92f95702c9

7. Pearl Farm

pearl-farm-banner4

8. Alona Beach

Probably the most famous beach of Panglao and Bohol, Alona is a public beach with fine sand that anyone would love to play at. Alona Beach’s shore is quite shorter than its more famous counterparts plus the establishments right on the beaches aren’t helping. Alona’s beach is really nice but I think it could still be a lot more beautiful if it is taken cared more of.

9. Baler

Considered as Northern Philippines surfing capital the town of Baler faces the Pacific Ocean hence the big beautiful waves that surfes love the most. Baler is about four to five hours away from Manila through a scenic road way that cuts through the mountainous region of the Aurora province.

10 Anawangin and Nagsasa Coves

 

Links: Brownmantrips