Boracay – Philippines – LIVING on a GRANDPAcking Budget

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MARCH 2016:


I have already posted the GRANDPAcking Costs for Boracay. These demonstrate that GRANDPAckers cannot afford to LIVE on Boracay Island using our standard approach.

However, it is such a beautiful world-top-ten beach destination that it is worth showing how GRANDPAckers CAN LIVE on Boracay in High Season on a GRANDPAcking budget with only a few ‘minor’ adjustments to lifestyle.

In this post, I explain how…


Read Boracay – Philippines – Information for more detail.

Read about Philippines Retirement Locations.

Read about other Philippines Destinations and Travel Budgets.

Read about GRANDPAcking Costs if you don’t know how to interpret my figures.


Boracay Island on a GRANDPAcking Budget


Cost Of Existence (COE):


  • You will need a few days to find your long term accommodation
  • Search online well in advance and keep looking regularly until you find something ‘acceptable’ to you for up to PHP1500 / night
  • This may or may not be to GRANDPAcking Standard… but it is only few a few nights, so don’t worry too much about it… it should be perfectly adequate for that price
  • Try and get breakfast ‘included’ if you can
  • Once in Boracay, look at Where To Stay and see what you can find
  • Getting your accommodation at a good price is ‘key’ so take your time and get it right
  • Make sure that it comes with free cooking facilities / a kitchenette as this is key to keeping your meal costs under control
  • Take ‘cash in hand’ when you are ready to do the ‘final deal’ on the one that you have chosen
  • Don’t be afraid to look at places listed for PHP30,000 / month
  • You should be able to get 33% off their ‘asking price’ if you are paying 8 weeks ‘up front’: PHP42,000 is a lot of money in the Philippines (Boracay included)!


  • If you find accommodation near a beach, you won’t need transport
  • If your accommodation is too far away from the beach to walk, discount your accommodation costs accordingly so that what you save pays for your shared Tribikes to and from the beach
  • Otherwise, I have budgeted for you to do a shared Tribike day trip to Puka Shell Beach (or equivalent) once each week.

Communications: You will need a prepaid 1 Month Globe (or Smart) ‘unlimited’ data package (with no texts and no talk time).

Fees & Visa:

  • I have budgeted for you to spend only 2 months in The Philippines
  • There is good reason for this: the cost of the Visa
  • You get your first month free but it will cost PHP3,130 each to extend that for 1 more month
  • For the first 2 months, this works out to be an average of PHP54 / day
  • To extend for a further 2 months will cost another PHP7,840 each
  • This latter cost (for months 3 & 4) can be absorbed within your budget if you want to to stay longer – but it means that your average visa cost increases to PHP96 / day

Food & Beverages:

  • The Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner budget is enough for you to eat in Tin-Pot Buffets if that is what you prefer
  • Alternatively, you can use the same funds to buy your own groceries and eat back in your kitchenette
  • Either way, you daily fruit and fruit drinks will need to be purchased as groceries – the cost on the street is too expensive
  • The owners of your accommodation should be able to arrange for you to get 2 Gallon containers of drinking water which only cost PHP60 – in a shop, you can only buy 1.5-2.0 litres at that price

The ‘Cost Of Existence’ of 2 GRANDPAckers is about PHP1539 / NZ$51 / US$35 / €31 / £24 per day. This is 64% of your daily budget.


This is about PHP869 per day to LIVE on (i.e. 36% of your GRANDPAcking budget).

With that money you LIVE comfortably:

  • Buy 24 Happy Hour beers or 14 Happy Hour cocktails
  • Upgrade your Dinner to an ‘all-you-can-eat’ buffet (and still have PHP200 left for a some drinks)
  • Upgrade your Dinner in a western quality restaurant (and still have PHP350 left for a some drinks)
  • Wine and dine on the beach listening to live music and watching fire dancing
  • Save up for a couple of days and go Island Hopping


For those of you that love beach holidays, look seriously at Boracay but heed this post on how to do Boracay on a budget.

There are things to do in Boracay but they, mainly, revolve around beach life… relaxing, swimming, reading books, sipping cocktails…

More energetic GRANDPAckers may get bored with it quickly… but, there’s no harm in coming for 1 month to see how you get on. If you like it, you can extend your Visa in Boracay.

Why not REGISTER to stay up to date with our Postings and Retirement Reviews.

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