Boracay on a budget: $20 per day – Without Skimping!

Put the ramen cup down, and back away! Sure Boracay is by far one of the priciest places in the Philippines, but the good news: It’s still cheap! Boracay on a budget can be done. It’s probably the #1 tourist spot in the Philippines and you can have a blast without spending a fortune.

Boracay on a Budget

If your not careful your money can run out of your wallet as fast as a speedo clad tourist into the bright blue waters of Boracay, but here is our guide how to not let that happen!

Boracay on a Budget
Not a good look, just like overspending in Boracay!

It’s not only possible to travel on $20 per day in Boracay, you can actually live pretty well. We traveled here in one of the peak weeks (Chinese New Years- Feb 2014) and still found it easy, and downright comfortable to travel Boracay on a budget.

$20 Boracay countdown or (900P) ~  $1 = 45P

-$7.78 Accommodation in a guest house 700 PHP / 2 for a couple in a shared bath (High Season), private room, or a dorm bed can be found at around 350. We stayed at Trafalgar Cottages, but many other similar rooms can be found in the same price range in the Station 3 area.

I would book a night or 2 in advance online and then walk around town as there are many options that aren’t available to book online.  Yes if you would like you could spend a few $100 a night in a fancy hotel in Boracay, but there are several affordable hotel options.

Boracay on a Budget

-$1.07 Breakfast – One medium-sized Papaya (23 PHP) and a piece of bakery (25PHP)

Boracay on a Budget

-$1.45 Lunch – Tons of quick, local, and good options line the beach near the D-mall area. Take your pick from Filipino favorites, or try some Turkish meats spinning on the grill. Plenty of options for 65PHP or less.

Boracay on a Budget

-$0.45 Afternoon Ice cream – Stop at one of the 3 beach-side locations of McDonald’s for a candy dipped cone, try one of the local favorites ‘Ube’ coated (Purple Sweet Potato).

-0.80 Water – Lounging in the sun all day will take away your hydration, make sure you are getting enough water, 3 liters a day is my minimum. Buying water by the liter can add up(40P), head to one of the smaller locally ran shops and pick up a 6-liter bottle (70P) and refill your Nalgene bottle or a smaller plastic bottle.

-$1.45 Lounge chair – Laying on a towel getting all sandy is for suckers, but so is paying for a beach chair. Head to a restaurant that will let you use their chairs when ordering. We lounged for the cost of one beer (65P) and were able to use two chairs from lunch til’ sunset.

Boracay on a Budget

-$1.78 Happy Hour Drinks on the beach – Don’t miss out on my favorite part of the day, especially on Boracay! Head to White Beach that faces due west and sees an almost nightly fantastic sunset. There are a few good happy hour specials on the beach, but we found Pat’s just south of D-Mall has the some of the cheapest beer on the entire island (including the grocery stores) from 5-8pm beer is 2 for 1 at 80 PHP making each one only 40PHP.

If beer isn’t your thing they also have 3 rum and cokes for 120 PHP and they are strong. Grab a seat close to the waters edge on the beach to prevent others from blocking your view of the sunset. The sun goes down quickly here so two beers are good, but the special runs till later and it’s a nice place to sit with low-key live music.

Boracay on a Budget

-$1.48 Dinner – Several restaurants constantly have juicy, tender, chicken spinning on their spits, we frequented Andok’s restaurants (several locations) because it was good and cheap, coming in at 67PHP for a chicken quarter with unlimited rice. Free service water or drinks for under $.50 or some similar places included free iced tea.

Related Article: Siargao Island – The Philippines’ Best Kept Secret

Boracay on a Budget

There you have it with $3.69 to spare! With the leftovers, if you are on the Boracay for a few days you may want to take a day trip, splurge a little, or just drink some more!

After our time in Boracay, we headed off to Palawan. Every traveler we had met loved El Nido and we heard there we tons of things to do El Nido. So we had a week planned there and a week in Coron Palawan for Adam to get advanced open water certified. We also visited the infamous Kayangan Lake!

Related Article: El Nido Palawan Guide

Have you been to Boracay? Any budget tips you’d like to add?

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26 thoughts on “Boracay on a budget: $20 per day – Without Skimping!”

  1. This is an awesome post! I grew up frequenting Boracay with my family friends and you are definitely experiencing it Filipino style! I live in Toronto now and have been here 5 years. I will be visiting this year and my first stop will probably be Andok’s! Cheers!

  2. Good tips – The Andok’s branch at D’Mall must be the highest grossing Andok’s branch in the Philippines! 🙂 I agree, if you want to enjoy Boracay in quiet and get cheap accommodations at the same time, Station 3 is the place to go!

  3. I came from Boracay two weeks ago and man I loved that place! And after coming from expensive Beijing I just couldn’t be on the budget because it was cheap! I loved everything!

  4. I am currently in Boracay and loving it! It is so beautiful! I shared a bottle of Boracay melon rum last night. 140 PHP between three of us wasn’t bad. The mixers however cost almost double. I think we will drink it straight next time, it is nice enough after all!

    • Yes Katie it def can be done on a budget. It can be expensive if you want it to be, but don’t let that stop from going if you are on a budget. Yes XMAS/NY will be very busy! Book your rooms early.

  5. This is really helpful Really 🙂 I also enjoy my vacation in Boracay and its almost the same price.. Less expensive.. I was there last October and I really look for a relaxing and peaceful place to stay and there I find The Orient Beach Boracay, its affordable, 5 mins ride to D’mall, its not hassle anyway because they have a free shuttle Service going to D’mall. It was also a Newly Opened Hotel, you can find great deals in many sites. Plus they serve really great Breakfast. A blog like this will really help you to be familiar with the affordable prices in Boracay, thanks for sharing 🙂

  6. Yay, I love this post. I don’t know why Boracay gets such a bad rap when it comes to cost. I was there in November last year and was able to live on around $30 a day without even trying. Even though Boracay is more expensive than other areas in the Philippines, it’s still so cheap. And it’s paradise! A good tip on saving on water costs is to refill your big water bottles at the water refill stations. There’s one between station 2 & 3. I can’t remember the exact cost but I think it was 7 pesos to refill a 5L bottle. It was substantially cheaper than buying water bottles.

    • See other’s too realize that Boracay can be cheap, and not to be afraid. We didn’t stumble upon to many water filling stations but that is a really good money saving tip, thanks for sharing.

    • David- It was doable for sure, you just have to look. Boracay is beautiful but it wasn’t for us. It was very touristy that was the biggest drawback for us. Let us know what you end up thinking about it.

  7. I have not been to the Philippines yet, but this makes me want to go 🙂 Its great to see the budget breakdown throughout the day. Have you done a lot of day trips from there?

    • We didn’t do any day trips from Boracay, we did day trips from Coron and El Nido. The Philippines were great, we are already planning to go back next year.

  8. I would love to see more pictures of Boracay and hear how it compared to the other locations in the Philippines that y’all visited!

    • I would return to Boracay but there are so many more islands I want to visit first, and of course return to El Nido If we ever do go back it will be during low season.

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