Station 2 beachfront almost clear of tourists. (Care Balleras)
Were you among those who took the chance to visit Boracay when it reopened and airlines offered bargain rates?
Maybe you also created a group message to invite your barkada to join the trip.
Traveling to the paradise island, however, isn’t as fine as its white sand, especially now that only essential trips are allowed in the “NCR Plus” bubble.
But if and when things settle down, here are some notes to remember before booking your flight to Caticlan Airport.
Paraw sailing experience.
Swab test and contact-tracing
Paperwork for travel during this pandemic is tedious. I had to answer multiple health declaration forms for my swab test and entry to Boracay.
Before heading to the airport, download the TRAZE app on your phone. You need this to check in your luggage.
The forms consist of five pages asking for personal information including recent travels so it may take some time to be completed.
After testing negative from Covid-19, I immediately packed my luggage. Half of what I brought was pandemic-related essentials such as extra surgical masks and face shields, two bottles of alcohol and gloves.
Even if I tested negative, I wore two masks and my face shield during the entire trip. And you, too, should do the same.
Background-check your accommodations
Always check if your choice of hotel is Department of Tourism (DoT)-accredited. I checked in at four-star Hue Hotels and Resorts accredited by the DoT.
I highly recommend Hue because it has complete facilities including food, relaxation and work hubs.
Hue has also partnered with disinfectant brand Lysol for its sanitation protocols. Hue staff are also trained to implement other health and hygiene measures.
Support local merchants
Despite having a good time at the hotel, I took time to walk on the beach and take a dip in the sea, as well as buy souvenirs. I bought gifts for my loved ones from local merchants.
Take home beautiful, handmade souvenirs from ambulant vendors.
Instead of buying goods from shops, take a look at the ambulant vendors with their handmade products.
And if you feel like engaging in outdoor activities such as parasailing, island-hopping and scuba diving, book them through the locals to help boost their income and morale.
With Covid cases on the rise, the best option for everyone in the meantime is to stay at home.
Hopefully, you can have your sun-kissed skin and sea-salt hair again sometime soon.
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