TRANSPORTATIONThe single biggest travel expense for this destination is the transportation cost. In other destinations around the Philippines, there are other transportation options to choose from, like the ferry or a long road trip. The cheaper form of transportations is usually the more inconvenient. For Batanes, this is not the case. Even the more inconvenient means of transportation to Batanes may end up more expensive than simply riding the plane. The best way to go to Batanes is still by airplane from Manila.
The option of riding the ferry from Cagayan or Ilocos is not very reliable. Also, the ride takes almost the whole day. So if your time to visit Batanes is limited, this is not an option for you.
Taking a 12-hour road trip from Ilocos or a province near Batanes then taking a plane ride to Batanes is almost as expensive as taking the Southeast Asian Airlines flight from Manila. See my article on Batanes Airlines to compare the cost of taking SEAIR from Manila instead.
Book at Batanes Resort. Batanes resort remains is an inexpensive resort with all the basic amenities you need for your stay. See my article on Batanes resort.
If you're part of a big group, hire a van and a guide for your tour. The cost of the van and guide can be divided among the members of your group. The more members that you have in your group, the less cost per head.
If you're a single traveler or a couple, and you know how to ride a motorcyle, you can do a motorcycle tour. If not, you can hire a tricyle for the day to help you explore the island. You can opt to hire a guide to explain things to you. But the cost of the guide is in addition to the cost of renting a motorcycle or hiring a tricycle for the day.
You can negotiate and customize your tour to suit your budget. The tour guides are very accomodating.
See the rates given by our tour guide to give you an idea where you can negotiate.
If you stay at Batanes resort, the meals served there are inexpensive so you do not have to look far for meals. But for a taste of Ivatan cusine, be sure to try Pension Ivatan. See my article on Pension Ivatan.
My tips:If you want to cut cost on your Batanes trip, focus on saving on airline cost by means of:
1. Traveling during off-season in the Philippines.
Off-season travel in the Philippines is generally from June-December 15, January 3 -March 15, except during:
a. non-working holidays that fall on a Friday or Monday.
b. the Christmas season in the Philippiens that last from December 16-January 1.
c. The Holy Week from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday.
d. The week and weekend of the Chinese New Year
e. The weekend nearest Valentine's Day2. Watch out for regular fare sales during the airlines' anniversary, the annual Philippine Travel Tour Expo in February and the Philippine Travel Mart in September.
The greatest discount I have seen so far during these sales is 50% off the regular fare. So it's really worth watching out for these sales. In our case, since I travel with kids who go to school, we usually have no choice but to travel during peak season.
Check out my article on when to catch SEAIR promo flights to Batanes.