How We Managed a Boat Tour with Kids at Puerto Galera
Mom and Dad with girls’ age five and six, a ferry transfer from Batangas to Puerto Galera, a boat tour and RoRo on our way back home. Challenging indeed. The secret to this amazing Puerto Galera trip?
- Tag along your ever-willing single friends with you to babysit your young even for a few minutes
- Instill an image that the sea is a wonderful place, they will be willing to dive right into the ocean once you mention something like, “Let’s find Nemo & Dory.” “Be Moana for a day or Little Mermaid”
- Ask your other married friends to bring their kids so they’ll have someone to play with during long hours of waiting from port to port
We had a great time at Puerto Galera. My colleagues and I decided to take a few days off from work and planned for three-day stay last November 1-3, 2018. Here is the sample itinerary including cost for a budget trip to Puerto Galera. Total of 12, 8 adults, 4 kids ages’ 3 to 6 years old.
Travel Tip Going to White Beach
- Start early. During high season, go to Batangas port early. We expected 7:30am departure for 6:00am meet-up but got a 10:30am instead.
- Bring play cards or anything to pass the time. Good thing, my colleague brought along her kids’ ages three and six thus they had someone to play with while waiting for our departure.
- Since our meet-up was early, we ensured that we would have something to eat while waiting. Although there were lots of food stand at waiting area (Terminal 3)
- If you want to save, bring water bottle. There were water stations where you can refill. Bottle of water costs Php25, 50.
Where to Stay at White Beach
- I recommend Manalo’s Lodge for those looking for budget hotels in Puerto Galera.
- AC was cool, De luxe room with 3 beds large enough to accommodate 6 persons. The water shower was weak but the room and bathroom were clean, small TV with cable, no WIFI but you will be exploring the island anyway.
How You Will Enjoy The Island Tour
- Go to bed early the night before the island tour as it will be truly exhausting.
- Start island tour early. We planned for an early tour but got up late. Since we cooked and packed our lunch, we were only able to start the tour at 9:30 am.
- We rented big boat for the island hopping and small boat for snorkeling. Bring your own snorkeling gear for kids; all gears available were for adult only. Kids need training beforehand; I only allowed fish feeding for my girls because it’s too risky. Life vests fits three years old and above.
- Strictly three persons ONLY per boat to protect the corals so discuss on which parent the child will be with if you are a family of four.
- Packed lunch was a good idea. Since we cannot berth due to strong waves, we ate on the boat and it was as if we were on a floating restaurant.
- Check if the waves are strong or else you will miss what we missed like the underwater cave and other beaches due to berthing issue although snorkeling alone was awesome.
- You can opt for land tour; Tamaraw Falls, Overview Deck, Virgin Beach, Mangrove Conservation and Ecotourism Area for P330/head. I would suggest for 4 days and 3 nights so your kids’ will not be too exhausted.
Night Life by the Beach
- Savor the night by the beach, watch fire dancing, enjoy the comedy bars. If with kids skip the alcohol specially if no one will look after them.
- Try Mindoro sling, classic Puerto Galera Cocktail made from Tanduay Rum, Mango and Orange Juice, Grenadine and Sprite. Manalo’s Lodge, offered complimentary drinks, I took a few shots and it was superb.
Going Back to Batangas
- Atienza RORO ticketing agent will arrange a multicab ride; Balatero port is only 15 minutes away from White Beach so do not let your group be harassed by drivers who want to take you early so they can have more trips going to port.
- We waited for more than an hour for us to board and the port cannot accommodate us all. We were sitting on the floor at an open area and it was uncomfortable for the kids. Unlike in Batangas port, there was no AC, no food or water so bring some for your kids.
- Take the fast craft, Minolo Lines was preferable. Atienza RORO’s service was not good, no one will assist you to your seat, and some were standing while some passengers’ bags occupied seats. It was too hot inside and you cannot change AC setting, too noisy due to engine so better to bring headset for your children.
For only Php2330 per head excluding food, you can enjoy a trip to Puerto Galera with your family and friends. We decided to have a cook-out for 3 days and saved a lot more, we just paid kitchen fee, Php500 at Manalo’s Lodge, chipped-in Php1000-1500, did our grocery, went to wet market and it was like fiesta everyday.
Are you planning to go to Puerto Galera and would like to ask more questions? Go to comment section or send us an email. We will be more than happy to help! Follow mykmag.com for more family travels!