I have been bombarded with requests from my Facebook friends to blog about my expenses and some travel tips. So here it is! I just want to be clear that I am not a fan of backpacking. Aside from the fact that my health won’t permit me to backpack, I also believe that vacations should be comfortable and relaxing. I treat myself with what I deserve and I believe I deserve the best of what I can afford. I am also a big fan of privacy and spaces, I am not comfortable sharing rooms with strangers. Having said that, if you are looking for a backpacker blog about Batanes, then this is not the right blog for you. Sorry.
When I booked my flight to Batanes, I didn’t really care about promo seats since I was obsessed with wanting to have my birthday trip in Batanes. I was really lucky though to find cheap flights in SkyJet than the regular fare. PAL’s was more expensive as expected. Regular fares can cost 6k-10k one way but I only paid 7,561.00 for my round trip flights. SkyJet also flies to and from Basco once a day and their schedule is 6AM to Basco and 7:45AM to Manila. Ate Elma, my homestay landlady said that SkyJet and PAL offer promo seats. You just have to subscribe to their emails to get updates.
I only booked my Davao-Manila flight two weeks before my Batanes flight because I honestly forgot. Lol. Here are the screenshots from my purchases.
I also decided to make a side trip to Cebu since the flight fare back to Davao is almost the same
Cebu to Davao Flight
I originally booked at Marfel’s Lodge two months before my flight but Basco was hit by a typhoon 5 days before my flight that all communications were down. I couldn’t contact them. A solo traveler and a first timer in the place, I panicked and would want to talk to a live person! Char, parang call center lang. HAHAHA! But seriously, I was so stressed out because I only found out about the storm on Sunday and my flight was on Tuesday. I used my intensive internet research skills (thanks for the training past flings lol) and found Ysabelle Homestay. I was impressed with the reviews so I tried dialing the number posted, and praise heavens it rang! So I called but the line was choppy, I gave up. I was already about to cancel my trip when I received this text from them.
I can already say that the landlady is a sweet unicorn trapped in a human body with that text message and true enough! Ate Elma is one of the sweetest and nicest people in the universe who makes the best tuna shawarma in the Philippines. It was so good!
The room was kept clean and Khen, Ate Elma’s niece was really accommodating and helpful. Power was down in Batan because of the typhoon, but the place had a generator. They had to turn it off at 10pm though because neighbors complained of the noise. Despite the absence of power, I still had a good night’s sleep in my 3 days stay. They also had a well kept and clean bathroom which is a huge plus for a clean freak like me.
The room is 350/night. I only paid 1,050 for my 3 days stay, plus 100 for two shawarmas.
I honestly only wanted to blow a candle on a cake on my birthday (a chiffon cake in a nearby bakery was the only decent cake I could find. It was surprisingly delicious) but Ate Elma made sure that I get to have a dinner celebration on my birthday. She cooked pancit for me and bought soft drinks too. I was so happy!
Ysabelle Homestay was my home away from home and I definitely recommend it! I was really meant to stay in this place. I love the people so much! 🙂
Here are their contact numbers:
Ate Elma – SMART 09282342542 GLOBE 09169347414
Khen – 09505581531
I listed the itinerary as well as the expenses on each trip on my blogs below. Just click the link or the photo.
Tour Guide Package
The tour guide Rens was also referred by Ate Elma. He’s the best at what he does. He’s also a really good photographer and videographer. My friends were impressed with my Batanes photos as well as my Batanes trip video. I highly recommend him!
Rens’ contact numbers:
- Wear comfortable dress/short/skirt
- Apply Sunblock even if the sun is not out. My skin was badly burned because I didn’t listen to the tour guide. Lol
- Wear sandals or rubber shoes that can be used for trekking. Avoid slippery shoes/sandals
- When booking for flights, check for weather updates on your planned trip schedule
- Smile when encountering Ivatans, they really appreciate it
- Bring at least two powerbanks
- if you are a blogger, don’t forget your HDD
- Bring enough CASH, if not, top up your budget. There’s no credit card terminals in the place and there’s only one ATM machine which is Landbank
- Bring your most lit sunglasses.
- Hydrate yourself all the time and bring lip gloss. For some reason, my lips went dry on my first day in Batanes.
Here are my general expenses for my Batanes Trip. I included my side trip fare to Cebu because that’s my route. if you don’t have any plans for side trips, you can scratch that off your budget. 🙂 Breakdown for the 3 day tour expenses are found on the blogs linked above. I also didn’t include little expenses like breakfast, dinner, and snacks because I honestly cannot remember everything anymore. You can set your own budget, these are just the general expenses.
I had the grandest time celebrating my birthday in Batanes and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I wish to be back soon and this time I will stay for a week or two that is if the internet is already fixed. 😉