Published November 2016 | Updated: October 2018
Budget travel is an amazing way to explore around without spending a fortune. Imagine if you could go to distant places to discover, unwind, and have fun without stressing your wallet.
A few weeks ago, we went on a budget travel to Camotes Islands, particularly in Santiago Bay Beach. I was amazed at how this little paradise is blessed with beautiful long shoreline, gorgeous fine sand, and crystal clear waters. Not to mention, it’s a public beach! 🙂
I took a video of the place but we’ll get to that in a bit.
But if you don’t want to read more words and can’t wait to watch, then go ahead and scroll down to jump to the video.
Where to Stay: Santiago Bay Garden and Resort
The night before our trip, we made our last-minute booking through Traveloka and got a really huge discount. It was the best deal I found online since we were able to book Santiago Bay Garden and Resort’s Ocean View Family Room for half the price (Php 1,476 instead of Php 2,800). Our room had 2 Queen-size beds and it offered a great view of the bay and the ocean. Plus, the resort boasts two lovely infinity pools! 🙂
Come lunch time, we immediately wandered to Santiago beach where we found a number of restos that offered good food at an affordable price.
Look! My favorite… Grilled Squid!!!
There are various water activities you can enjoy, such as jet skiing, banana boat riding, and scuba diving. You can also rent a motorcycle to wander around, and even explore some caves! But we skipped all of that and opted to make this trip simply a relaxing one by just enjoying the beach to ourselves!
How to Get to Camotes Islands
From Cebu North Bus Terminal, you can take a bus or van (V-hire) going to Danao port. Van fare costs Php 70/pax and will get you to Danao in 40-50 mins. Once in Danao, take a 2-hour ferry ride going to Consuelo Port in Camotes. Each ticket costs Php 200 (air-conditioned) / Php 180 (economy) for RoRo; and Php220 (air-conditioned)/ Php 200 (economy) for Express.
Upon arrival in Consuelo Port, you can hire a habal-habal (motorcycle) to take you to your destination. We paid Php50/pax going to our resort, which is 15-20 mins away from the port. You may contact sir John Alvin Senior, who is a local driver and tour guide.
Check out this short video I posted on Mommy Wanders Facebook Page to catch a glimpse of the place:
But just like every journey, it has to end. We needed to snap back to reality and bid farewell to the majestic island the next day.
On that note, I’m leaving you with some budget travel tips.
5 Budget Travel Tips For Your Next Adventure
1. RESEARCH and plan ahead. It is vital that you know a thing or two about the place you are visiting. Read online reviews and travel blogs. Find out what fun activities you can enjoy once there. You don’t want to spend most of your time just figuring out what to do or where to go, right?
2. Know your BUDGET – List down all your possible expenses like accommodation, transportation, food, activities, and souvenirs. I recommend that you book a hotel or resort accommodation in advance. From experience, it is always cheaper when you book ahead online.
3. Bring EXTRA CASH. Though you already have a good budget planned out, it’s still important to bring some extra cash. Not all hotels and resorts accept credit cards, and not every place has an ATM ready to dispense cash, in times when you really need some change.
4. Talk to locals, ASK RECOMMENDATIONS. Whether you need help with directions, want to know their specialty food, or have to haggle over some items, don’t be afraid to ask locals. After all, they know the place best.
5. Live in the moment. HAVE FUN! Forget about work, deadlines, laundry, and everything else. Turn off your mobile phones and gadgets for a while and just completely savor the moment. Get loose! 🙂