Orlando, Emily and a married couple.
How did we pay for this trip:
We bought tickets 6 months prior to the trip. We looked up locations on Google Flights that were less than $650 per ticket for the Month of March. We found tickets for under $650 on EVA airlines. We recommend using Google Flights when you are on a budget and have no set location.
What Airline(s) did we fly on:
We flew economy on EVA Arlines. So far, it has been one of the best airlines that we have ever flown on. We decided to give EVA Airlines the following ratings:
Comfort: 8/10 – Pretty spacious seats for basic economy. Emily is 5’7 and petite and Orlando is 5’7 and weighs about 165 lbs.
Food: 9/10 – Tasty food, plenty of snacks and drinks.
Service: 9/10 – Friendly faces everywhere.
Kid Friendly: 8/10 – Although we didn’t take any of the kids on this trip, we saw plenty of young kids with their parents.
Entertainment: 9/10 – Plenty of movies to make the time pass by. Wi-Fi is available for $20 dollars, although we didn’t try it.
We flew economy on Cebu Pacific from Manila to Boracay. Cebu Pacific is your standard low budget airline. You have to pay for a seat assignment, luggage, food, water, etc. Tickets were reasonably priced at $150 round trip.
Comfort: 5/10 – Not bad for a 1 to 2 hour flight, pretty comparable to United Airlines.
Food: N/A – We did not try the food since you have to pay for it.
Service: 9/10 – Friendly faces everywhere.
Kid Friendly: 5/10 – Not being able to choose a seat unless you pay is a pretty big problem.
Entertainment: 5/10 – No entertainment available, but the flight attendants conduct a guessing game during the flight (in English).
Where did we stay:
Monaco Resort in Boracay, 5 star hotel. Overall, one of the best hotel stays. The staff goes out of their way to make sure you are taken care of. Gym, restaurant, outdoor pool, a private beach and ocean views from your balcony.
Price: $300 per night for a 2 bedroom suite using a time share discount provided by our family friend.
Family friendly rating: 10/10
The Fullerton hotel in Taiwan, 4 star hotel. Overall, the location is great and the free breakfast is reasonable. The hotel claims that your stay includes a free minibar. Don’t be fooled by this, you get water, 2 soda cans and fruit. No alcohol.
Price: $130 per night on hotels.com.
Family friendly rating: 7/10
Don’t be afraid of long layovers at the Taipei Airport. Taipei airport has a free gym facility, free showers, souvenir shops and plenty of restaurants. The free gym is right next to the Adidas Shop in Terminal 1 and the showers are right next to the gym. You do need to buy a towel from the pharmacy nearby as the airport does not provide towels. Towels are $2 dollars though. You can walk from Terminal 2 to Terminal walk in about 30 to 40 minutes.
Book a flight with a 24 hour layover in Taiwan and leave the Airport. Taipei is an amazing city and although 24 hours may not be enough time, it gives you a chance to see the night markets and the city. Make sure to pack some clothes in a carry-on as your baggage will not be available to you until your last destination (unless you asked for it to be available for your layover). Rent a bike with a credit card! make sure you have a Visa or Master Card for each renter as the machine will not allow to swipe the same credit card for 2 different bikes. Visit the Memorial palace, elephant mountain and Taipei 101. If you are planning on visiting the secret Starbucks on the 35th floor, call ahead to make reservations (Google Taipei 101 Starbucks how to make reservations).
Stick to Filipino food, otherwise you will be disappointed. There are tons of foreign restaurants that promise to be good at (insert food type here), but really, it’s not the same. Stick to Filipino cuisine and try an Ice Mango from the Mango place (you will know what place we are talking about once you see it… and the line), or Halo-Halo from a local Coffee Shop.
Avoid the typical tourist activities, kite surfing, kayaking, parasailing, etc. you can do that anywhere else in the world, why do it in such a pretty place? Do go on the island hopping tour. Crystal Cove is amazing and a must see!
We were a little bit afraid about taking a 3 year old on a 16 hour plane ride with multiple connections. However, we think he would have been OK. Next time, we won’t hesitate to take the 4 kids on such a cool adventure!
P.S. take lots of sunscreen and water shoes, you will thank us later.