Last year, my friends and I went on an overnight trip to Bolinao, Pangasinan. Instead of doing the usual, (Travel and Tours packages), we decided to make a DIY budget trip. We had fun, we had the time for ourselves, we managed to make use of the time wisely without going over budget I do not have an issue with going the easy way but sometimes, doing DIY trips is much better and sometimes cheaper. Let’s start!
1 Budget – This is a priority and would be the basis of how you should plan, strategize, and divide the schedule that would be favourable to everyone in the group. As for this particular trip, we were able to make the most out of the trip even though it’s only 2 Days 1 Night.
Everyone agreed to a certain amount (not more than 3,000 Php). This saved us time also when doing research on where to eat, sleep, and what tours the budget can cover.
2 Transportation and Schedule of trips – Most of the provinces in Luzon can be reached by land. Since we are going to Bolinao, we had to search for a bus company that has trips going there (DUH). This is obvious, I know but I am just throwing it here as well. Our meeting point is in Cubao (where most of the provincial buses are stationed going to North provinces). Another thing to consider is the distance of the place (how many km from Manila to Bolinao) to and from Manila, we decided to avail the 12 am schedule bound to Pangasinan (estimated travel time is 6-7 hours).
There were two bus companies we have to choose:
1 Victory Liner
2 Five Star (much cheaper fare and has 12 am bus trip)
Since we are only going to have an overnight stay, we chose the one who offers super early scheduled trips. We arrived at Bolinao terminal around 5 am – 5:30 am.
Also, we took into consideration the last and first schedule of the bus trips going to Manila because usually, they do not operate 24 hours. We shouldn’t miss this of course. If you can purchase tickets beforehand, it’s much better but for this trip, we just have to go to the terminal a bit early so we can avail of the ticket.
3 Trip details and itinerary planning – It’s good to have an overview of the whole trip with the breakdown of expenses. Everyone has to agree with the itinerary and if there are special favours/concerns by each member that should be included. Again, the OCD planner in me urged me to use the Excel so everyone can check and for them to easily decide what itinerary to choose from and what can be crossed out.
4 Going around town – The best mode of transportation in touring around Bolinao is Tricycle (if you are doing a DIY trip). We are 6 in the group and we divided ourselves into two groups. When you get off at the terminal in Bolinao, there would be few tricycle drives that would offer a tour. Luckily, we met two who are nice and kind drivers. They were patient with us (even special favours etc) for the whole trip! Since we arrived in the wee hours, we can’t check in yet so we had to bring our bags. They made sure our things secured and well-guarded, so props to them for that!
PS We paid for all the entrance fees ourselves.
TIP: It’s highly advisable to ask for the local’s recommendation so make sure you do that. We got to eat at a restaurant where they serve delicious yet affordable seafood lunch. More about this experience in another post 🙂
That’s it for today’s post. Hope this can help you with your future travel plans! Let me know what you think in the comments section below 😉