The Philippines is one of the most sought-after travel destinations in the world, having been recognized by several travel websites as the primary gateway to the best and most beautiful locations of island paradise on earth – and I am not exaggerating.
In fact, each region in the country’s entire archipelago boasts thousands of islands that are worthy of being called, “travelers’ dreamland”, adored by locals and foreigners alike.
It is a bit surprising however that most Filipinos have not been able to visit and experience the magnificence of these natural wonders that are sometimes just a plane ticket away from wherever they are. Several reasons could explain this, but one of the main ones is that, some of them are afraid even just to try the first step: planning.
A newbie’s panic
Most of the seasoned travelers would agree that finding the right places to visit for an unforgettable getaway is easy and hassle free if you only know the basics of Travel 101. However, experience is also a factor so that these wanderlusts find it totally stress-free to plan for a vacation even when visiting places for the first time. But how about for beginner travelers who don’t usually go anywhere without the help of a trusted travel agency?
If you are one of those people who are hesitant to book their next trip for the fear of not being able to properly plan their much-deserved vacation, worry no more for we have arranged this helpful set of step-by-step stages on how you can finally book that ticket to paradise either alone or with your friends.
Coron is classified as a first class municipality in Palawan, Philippines. Most people don’t know that it is comprised of several islands: Busuanga, Coron, and approximately 50 other islets scattered as far as Tara Island (north-eastern part) up to Canipo Island (in the south).
Anyone who was able to visit Coron in the past are familiar with the poblacions located at the center of the municipality: Polacion Barangays 1 to 6. These barangays are where the primary business establishments as well as government buildings are located, as well as the central sites for most hotels and hostels for travelers. Commercial areas and food places are also situated here.
For first time visitors, it can be observed that the town proudly holds its simplicity, only revealing the true beauty of their home once you look closer and sail deeper along its majestic rock formations in the mesmerizing blue waters and enchanted lakes.
How to get started
To help you make your dream vacation a reality, let me present these six easy steps to provide you with a little push and finally book that ticket.
1. Speaking of tickets, booking airplane tickets months (or even a year) before your trip is the most practical and money-saving step that you should not take for granted. Major airline companies in the Philippines occasionally offer promotional fares and all you have to do is to be alert AT ALL TIMES. While some promo tickets are given out during special holidays, there are times when these commercial airbus companies will just, for no reason at all, give away that precious seat sale that every budget-conscious wanderlust is craving for.
2. Another equally important step that you should remember is to do your research. Travel tips and pieces of advice from experienced travel bloggers are just a Google search away so nothing is really holding you back from becoming an instant travel expert yourself, minus the actual experience. Nonetheless, it’s still better to be mentally prepared than nothing.
3. Find a decent place to stay while on vacation. Choosing a hotel or even a hostel is a crucial stage when planning to travel. While it is essential to pick a really comfortable accommodation, keep in mind that you will spend more hours outside than just stay at your hotel. However, if you want an equally satisfying staycation, then picking a nice yet pricy place can be relatively reasonable.
For an extra payment, most hotels in Coron, Palawan offer airport pick-up and drop off services for their patrons.
4. Restaurants and other food places. Most of the time, visiting new destinations also means experiencing unique cuisines that the places have to offer. Online reviews of restaurants and other food places can be really helpful especially for travelers who also enjoy culinary adventures.
5. Create your itinerary in advance. Going to places without any plan could be exciting but risky. If you are a beginner traveler, the safest way to have a hassle-free trip is to plan ahead. Managing your time well means being prepared for possible schedule changes and delays while on the road.
Coron is a home for many islets and island-hopping is a top pick for both solo and group travelers. If you follow a strict budget, you can contact tour groups in the island to join a crowd of “island hoppers” to go with. That way, you can save more money than renting out an entire boat (costs P 2,500-3,500 per day trip).
If money is not a problem, having your private boat is ideal as you can enjoy privileges such as deciding on how long you want to stay in an island or which one to visit first.
6. Souvenir shops. No matter how tempting it is to collect bizarre-shaped seashells and colorful rocks from the sands of the islands, never bring it with you especially if you don’t want the airport security to interrupt your flight schedule.
One of the ways to try and capture the memories of your trip is to buy and bring home special souvenirs. Craft and arts shops are common in almost every barangay of the main island in Coron, Palawan. Most of them are reasonably priced and you can enjoy discounts when you buy in bulk.
Traveling can be daunting at first but once you realize the exquisite happiness in finding yourself in the middle of nowhere (prepared and well-researched, of course), you would understand that the “unknown” that you have been protecting yourself from all these years is the only thing that could actually set your mind and soul free.
Go on and be reborn, sweet wanderlust!