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.
*When looking for the best price and biggest selection of hotels in Boracay check prices on Booking.com, we’ve found they are the best option and have a great cancelation policy.*
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 on how to not let that happen!
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.
-$1.07 Breakfast – One medium-sized Papaya (23 PHP) and a piece of bakery (25PHP)
-$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.
-$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.
-$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.
-$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
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?