I didn’t know this time was finally coming—I was expecting our flights to be rescheduled again due to the pandemic. I was about to reschedule the flight myself, but there seem to be a lot of charges, so I patiently waited– until it was announced that Boracay will be opened in October 1. (applause) Well, before you and I get excited, let’s discover the preparations we need before we fly to my favorite summer destination.
ADVANTAGES OF TRAVELING DURING THIS TIME
Let us start with the good things first before we dig in to the details on the preparations.
- LESS CROWD- As a result of the government’s strict implementation of travel documents and requirements, there will obviously be fewer people on the island. We can explore Boracay without the usual throng.
- CHEAPER HOTEL RATES– However, some hotels offered discounts of up to 50 per cent, others used them to attract your attention, that is to say to deceive people. Advertisements are misleading, which is why you must be very careful in selecting your hotel. One of the hotels I have chosen is Fairways & Bluewater (They actually have 50% off the usual rates). We will stay in their one bedroom suite (where we stayed before Boracay was shut down years ago.) For 3d/2n we were able to get the room for P12k more. Before, I paid P23k more or less for 3d/2n — so we had a great deal this time! While waiting, I temporarily booked 3d/2n stay with Crimson Boracay in a suite 3 pax. It can be cancelled no later than November 26 or 27 if I change my mind. The suite is around P32k for 3d/2n that is not bad for a five-star hotel so I have another bargain here if ever.
- BEST TIME TO RELAX and DESTRESS -It is even more stressful this time of setting up WFH and going into public places. Staying home is safe, I have to admit, but I’m only human. (sorry naman!) I also need time for relaxation. You know, after all, I already booked our flights. If not, honestly, I won’t go this November and rather stay at home. Since everything is almost complete (flights, transfers, lodging), I decided to go ahead and make this “Summer In November” possible.
- PRESS TRIP- This is also the perfect time to get fresh content for my social media accounts (blog, Facebook and Instagram) as I have been inactive for some time. It’s time also to post content in my YouTube channel (which is inactive for quite some time) and I just feel like posting again though I have only a few subscribers in YT. The important thing is that I can share helpful and informative content with my audience. I will be featuring about “the new normal” in Boracay, where to stay and where to eat in my 5d/4n stay in the island.
WHAT ELSE TO PREPARE?
I mentioned I almost have everything, but since it’s the “new normal”, we have to follow the ravel guidelines strictly. So what else do we need to prepare?
- RT-PCR negative result – This is the toughest part for me, finding a cheap RT-PCR test provider. Oh well, it ranges from P5,500-13,000 (kaloka!) In order for me to get the result within 24-48 hours, I have to spend P7,000. We will look for alternative options because we will spend P21k just for this test which is even more expensive than our RT flights and hotel accommodation.
GOOD SIDE: For health and safety reasons, I support this test for travelling as I do. You don’t have to be afraid to come out because you know it’s safe. Only COVID-19 free travelers are allowed onto the island.
NEGATIVE SIDE: Because it’s quite expensive, not many people can afford the test. They would rather spend their time at home than enjoy low-cost flights and accommodation.
2. HOTEL ACCOMODATIONS FOR 3d/2n– We’ll spend five days on the island. I have booked 3d/2n @ Fairways & Bluewater, but I’m not sure about the other days yet. I still confirm the status of my booking with my former sponsors for my media trip. I’ll let you know if I can make them part of my trip.
3. FASHION FOR THE NEW NORMAL- It’s going to be completely different, so we have to prepare masks, face shields, etc. This is quite a challenge how to look good and be in fashion in the “new normal”. As we still have over a month to prepare, I can always sort out the outfits, accessories and decide which items to bring and purchase for the trip. (I will publish my regular Boracay checklist a week prior to the trip).
4. STRICT PROCESS OF GETTING IN– After having all the requirements such as the negative result of the RT-PCR test, the hotel voucher, the airline tickets, it does not end there! What to do if you have a negative, but you have the symptoms, you will take another swab test and worse, you can be admitted to the hospital. In case you passed through the airport, temperature check is still needed wherever you go, ha-ha!
I’m excited and worried at the same time—I don’t know what the five-day break is going to be in November. As usual, I’ll be in touch. During my travel, you will see my social media accounts flooded with pictures and updates.
Last week I received a text message from Air Asia saying our flight on November 26 had been cancelled. I applied for my credit account and got it right away. When I booked the same day, the rate has already doubled the price, but I had no choice but to book it. Our November 30th flight was also canceled and there were no flights available, so I decided to move it on December 1st.
Upon arrival at my preferred summer destination, our first home for our 3d/2n stay would be Fairways & Bluewater. Unfortunately, I got an email from them as the property is still closed so they offered a free rebooking next year. I had to look for another hotel for our trip from November 26th to 28th. Fortunately, I was able to reserve a room overlooking the beach at Microtel Boracay.
Good news for me because I have been informed that Crimson Boracay will open this month, so I have a sure reservation now. My only concern is that I would like to modify my booking because I don’t know what’s going to happen. Who knows, at the last minute I’ll be able to get confirmation about my sponsors, so I could still cancel that. There was no choice but to book via a third party site as the reservation can be cancelled 2 days before my arrival. The property requires at least 50% down payment if I will book directly on their website. I have doubts though I would really like to experience what it’s like at Station Zero. I would also love to check the suite (although I prefer the one with a plunge pool). However, I still have over a month to do and probably weeks before my press trip, I already have my final accommodation list.
2. RT-PCR TEST-
I have one in my list and if we ever book for their home service RT-PCR test, I will document as they do the procedure. It costs P6,500 per person, but their medical team will go to our house for the test and we can get the result within 24-48 hours.
3. SUMMER ESSENTIALS–
I start shopping extra (outfits, luggage, accessories, etc.) for our vacation/press trip.