Since giving birth to our fifth child, we normally kept our travels on land because we have to admit, it isn’t easy traveling around with five kids in tow. But since we had to go to Boracay to attend an event that also happens to fall on our eldest’s birthday weekend, we decided to go to Boracay with a baby, two toddlers, and two kids.
Let’s start with how we got there.
Traveling to Boracay via 2GO
Whenever we plan our family trips, we like to take the less traveled routes for the experience. In this case, we took a 14-hour ship ride going to Boracay via 2GO, one of the known shipping lines in the Philippines.
This actually isn’t our first time going to Boracay via a ship. When we only had two kids, we also brought them to the tropical island through water travel, which they actually enjoyed (you can read about it here). So, we thought we’d do it again – now with our five children.
Here are some tips for you if you’re traveling to Boracay via 2GO:
- Be at the Batangas port at least 3 hours before boarding time. The process at the port can be confusing especially if you are traveling via ship for the first time. There are no signages and unfortunately, not a lot of personnel who are ready to assist. Don’t worry, though, the waiting area is airconditioned and there are food booths you can buy from should you or the kids get hungry. Once you board, you’re all good!
- Get the State Room or the Cabin. While these two accommodations are more expensive than the Super Value and Tourist Class tickets, they are WAY more comfortable especially if you are traveling with children. The State Room and Cabin both have their own bathrooms (complete with shower and toilet), private sleeping areas, and a TV. You also get to dine in the Horizon Cafe, which is reserved only for those who are checked into the private accommodations.
- Bring snacks! Meals are provided, but be prepared for the “in between” because you know how kids are. There are snacks you can buy on board, but they are quite pricey so I recommend that you bring your own instead.
- Bring entertainment. Although there’s a cafe, a band, and the whole ship to explore, it’s recommended that you prepare entertainment for yourself and the kids. It’s a 14-hour trip on the St. Augustine of Hippo ship so come prepared! There’s a TV inside the room, however, there’s no signal in the middle of the ocean so you won’t be able to use it once the ship starts moving. Either download movies on your phone/iPad OR bring a USB with movies saved and stick it on the TV.
What I love about traveling to Boracay via 2GO is the ease of travel. Since the port is not as congested as the airport, the boarding process is much faster. Once you board the ship, the crew will check you in then you can relax.
Upon arrival at the port of Caticlan, all you need to do is walk to the other side of the port where you will find the boats that will bring you to Boracay. Easy peasy!
Boracay Accommodation for Families
We stayed at La Carmela de Boracay during our stay, but I honestly don’t recommend it if you’re used to luxury stays. The thing with La Carmela is, although it’s pretty much okay, it didn’t give us the full experience of beach relaxation.
While it’s good for people who want to be in the heart of Boracay, it’s not for us who like some peace and quiet when we go on holiday. You see, La Carmela is located at the heart of Station 2. The moment you step out of the hotel, you’ll find yourself in a busy street with lots of restaurants, vendors, and PEOPLE.
It’s not our thing and our kids got stressed out so we got stressed out!
If we were to do a do over, we’d stay somewhere in the likes of Two Seasons (Station 1), Hennan Regency (Station 2), or Casa Pilar (Station 3). Should you have budget for an even more luxurious stay, you can go for Shangri-la Boracay.
Boracay Activities for Families
Because all our kids were acting up, we decided to skip the activities and just opt for a day at Puka Beach. It was a good decision because there were less people in Puka Beach and the water is much clearer.
Tourist guides will often offer Puka Beach as part of an island hopping package or land tour package, but what we did is we rented a tricycle driver to bring us there specifically and to pick us up later in the afternoon. We skipped the rest of the stops because all our kids just want to swim!
If going to Puka Beach, remember to bring your own water and food. There are small shops around the area but they are expensive. One fresh buko costs Php250! No thank you.
Traveling from Boracay to Manila via Air with kids
Since we already tried traveling to Boracay via ship, we booked plane tickets back to Manila for a different experience for the kids.
It wasn’t a very good decision. LOL.
The whole airport experience was so stressful all our kids said they’d never travel via air unless there’s no other way.
If you are taking a plane to/from Boracay with children, bring a lot of patience with you because it’s going to be challenging. The only thing you can do to make your trip more easeful is to prepare all documents ahead of time so you’re not shuffling through your stuff when it’s time to present docs.
In our case, I just saved everything on my phone so everything is on hand when airport personnel need it.
Final thoughts on traveling to Boracay with a baby and young kids
I’m not going to lie.
It wasn’t easy taking five young children to Boracay. Our stress levels were high and our kids were all acting up.
If we were to do this all over again, we would have booked a more family friendly hotel and ensured that we didn’t bombard them with too many activities. Most importantly, we’d totally skip the weekend (we were there from Friday to Monday). Weekends are super busy and not recommended especially if you are staying with kids.