My Kalibo, Aklan travel experience taught me that there is so much more to see out there. My goal, as I have mentioned in my previous post, was simple–to try new things and perhaps meet new people. I got more than that. The experience was, in a way, also a journey that led me to discover more about myself.
Here’s a breakdown of my expenses:
Airfare: Php2028.28 (round-trip)
Accommodation: Php600 (Php200 x 3 nights @ La Esperanza Dorm)
Transportation: Php350 (tricycle and jeepney rides; doesn’t include tricycle tour in Jawili)
Food: approximately Php1000 (I was able to save on food expense because I brought some food with me)
Entrance Fees & Tours: Php555
Pasalubong: approximately Php1500
A Few Notes For Future Travelers
- People skill is crucial when navigating a new place…
Especially if you’re alone. Asking for directions, looking for information about a destination, or simply making small talk about a place–I realized how crucial these are to achieving a meaningful and enjoyable travel experience. I am generally an introvert, but I have no problem talking to strangers. During this trip, I realized how my interactions with the people I met have enriched my overall experience.
- It’s possible to travel on a low budget.
I realized there are actually many ways to cut on travel cost–from food to accommodation to tours. However, it’s important to determine one’s priorities and to find a balance between saving and convenience.
For instance, my goal was to try solo travel backpacker style, to see new places, and to experience life in Kalibo–with as little expense as possible. I didn’t mind having to stay in a dormitory as long as I get to visit more destinations. However, I know some travelers who consider accommodation a priority and who like to stay in nice hotels. The best thing to do is to find a balance, to identify your must-haves and determine what your negotiables are.
As for me, I was able to achieve my goal budget-wise. If there’s one thing I would have changed in my spending, I would have tried more local food and not spent so much on pasalubong (which was my biggest expense during this trip).
- It pays to bring small tokens for the people you meet…
As I have also mentioned in one of my posts about our KL travel just recently. During my Kalibo trip, there were a lot of people who made my travel experience more meaningful–from my very accommodating tour guide in Jawili to the jeepney driver who dropped me off in Sampaguita Gardens. Instead of giving tip, I brought with me pilinut from my hometown Bicol. It’s not only cheaper but is also somehow symbolic–I bring in something new from my home in return for everything I would be bringing with me from a new place.
- Free time!
It really is true what they say about leaving something unplanned in an itinerary–it’s necessary. Because of unplanned free time, I was able to join a zumba fest and a pre-Ati Atihan parade. Because I allotted ample time in most of the places I visited, I had the time to really enjoy the place. I was able to find much needed quiet time in front of the beach at the back of Sampaguita Gardens and in the Bakhawan Eco Park. I was able to explore the town of Kalibo and almost memorized the layout of the town–I’m sure I won’t be lost the next time I’m there.
I am used to always planning everything in advance, so I was initially reluctant about leaving free time–I was worried I’d have nothing to do, I’d get bored, and the trip would end up unsatisfying. But now, when I look back to that trip, I can fully appreciate the free time I’d given myself–it helped me even more fully appreciate the trip.