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Boracay on a Budget

Boracay (yes I took this picture myself!) is considered one of the world’s top destinations for tropical white sand beaches and is comparable to destinations such as the Carribean and the South Pacific.  Boracay is a tiny little island in the Philippines, one of 7000 islands i the Philippines.  It is not a very large island… It is 7km long and 1km at its narrowest. Boracay is mainly famous for its long stretch of pure white sand beach and beautiful azure and tropical blue water.  One of my friends who visited Boracay said it was the most beautiful beach she had ever seen (mind you, she had not been to the Maldives yet so perhaps if she saw that she would change your mind… I wouldn’t know because I have never been there myself.. it’s on the travel bucket list though!), so of course I had to check it out.

As many of you know, I’m not one to travel frivolously.  I enjoy staying in $6 a night accommodation (for example, in Chang Mai, that’s exactly what I did).  This time though, I was a little more upscale than that.

White BeachBoracay is pretty expensive to be honest… a lot of the accommodation was similar in pricing to Hawaii.  There are a lot of international tourists from Russia, Korea, Taiwan, and China.

Here are a few ways to save when heading to Boracay for its white sand beaches.

Getting There

Getting to Boracay, I went through Caticlan airport via Cebu Pacific Air, which is a discounted airline and it is part of the One World group now.  Arriving at Caticlan airport, you take a ferry to Boracay, then a tricycle (motorbike attached to a side-car, pretty much) to your hotel.  The whole trip after the the airport cost about 600 pesos (about $15) for two people. The hotel you book with may charge you 1000 pesos per person, or if you book directly at the airport, it will be 600 pesos per person.  The cheapest way (as per usual) is to DIY and seek transportation yourself.  Be wary of porters who help you carry your luggage only a few meters, they may demand a tip. Continue Reading

Using the new CRTC Rules to your Advantage with The Big Three

As many of you may know, starting June 3, 2015 the CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission) implemented a wireless code where effectively, any cell phone contracts that you already had for three years, automatically become two years and you are free as a bird and do not have any consequences to pay any contract break fees.

Here is a summary of the new Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission wireless code, courtesy of the Government of Canada website.

  • If you were in a three year contract with any cellular service provider (namely, the big three as known as Telus, Bell, and Rogers) you are no longer in a three year contract after June 3.  Meaning you are no longer in a contract!
  • You are free as a bird to switch to another provider if you signed on for three years before the June 3 date
  • All cell phone contracts are now a maximum of two years
  • Extra data charges are maxed at $50 a month and international roaming charges are capped at $100 a month
  • You can call to unlock your cell phone after 90 days
  • Return your cell phone within 15 days if you are not happy with it
  • Accept or decline changes (e.g. have more power) with your 2 year contracts

PROS to the new CRTC Changes

new CRTC Rules to your AdvantageThis is great for people who held three year contracts (ahem, like me) because it means you will have more flexibility now to choose a different service provider or to negotiate a new monthly plan that might be more economical for you.

For those that got a three year term and paid a three year term price for your device, you will get the remaining costs of the phone waived (which means the cellular phone company is taking a big hit) even though you technically should have been paying for that phone for another year. Continue Reading

Bohol on a Budget

Bohol is a small island close to one of the largest cities in the Philippines, Cebu city.   It is the 10th largest island in the Philippines, so the 10th largest out of 7000 islands in the Philippines.  It is one of the islands in the Visayas and is a 2 hour boat ride out of Cebu.  Personally, I had never heard of Bohol before I went to the Phillipines, but it’s now my favourite island out of my Philippines trip (yup, on top of Boracay!) because it is so unique.

It’s definitely easy to do Bohol on a budget, and going to Boracay after Bohol made Boracay seem that much more pricier.

Getting There and Away

Most people get to Bohol through Cebu City by taking a ferry to the main port and city of Bohol, Taglibaran.  A return ticket is about 800 pesos per person (about $23), if you need to change the ferry time, you will have to pay a reticketing fee of 100 pesos ($3).  A taxi out of the port to a hotel is about 200 pesos, or about $6.  Be prepared for possible delays on the ferry (1 hour delay).  It takes between 1 hour and 45 minutes to two hours to get from Cebu City to Taglibaran and vice versa.

Related: How to get Cheap Airfare

Sleeping

Boracay Ocean Club

We used Agoda.com to book accommodation with Boracay Ocean Club.  It was on the fancier side, around $55 a night but it was very modern and new.  There was an infinity pool on two floors and the staff were accommodating and friendly.  There was loud techno music at mealtimes which took away from the ‘getaway’ feeling but the food was delicious.  It was a little far from the main city of Taglibaran but a tricycle ride into town 40 pesos, or about $1.  The rooms were clean and the breakfast buffet was delicious. Continue Reading

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