Travel Guides

Bookaway: An Online Express to a Transit from a Paradise to Another

I recently went on a 17-day solo backpacking in Palawan and it’s seriously one of the best thing I’ve ever done in my entire existence (so far). Considered as a home to some of the best islands not just in the Philippines but the world, Palawan indeed has a lot to offer which can effortlessly make everyone fall in love with it.

I have heard of and seen people who have shared their backpacking trips and stories to a town or two of this province. Given a long break from my job and in the best season of the year, I thought of doing a long backpacking, too. Good thing, planning and traveling is a whole lot easier most especially with Bookaway.

About Bookaway

Bookaway is an online booking platform that lets you arrange your sea, air and land transfers anywhere in the world. It is hassle and stress-free as you can do it anytime and anywhere as long as you have internet connection and debit/credit card. What I liked about it is that there are no hidden charges on their rates and the voucher or e-ticket is just sent to my email upon the booking confirmation.

Traveling with Bookaway

One of the most convenient way to transfer to and from any points in Palawan that I have learned of is through booking with Bookaway. Though there were booking and ticket outlets near the ports and terminals, I find it even more convenient to book online as I didn’t need to go there myself.

Departing from Coron port via Montenegro Lines’ Fastcraft

Coron Port to El Nido

The first leg of my backpacking was the trip to Coron. I may have planned well but I chose to take my time to explore the best of its islands so I didn’t dare book yet prior to my trip. When I thought that I have seen the best of it, that’s when I decided to instantly book a transfer from Coron to another paradise, El Nido. I was actually on an island hopping trip when I booked my ticket.
Coron is just three hours away from El Nido via fast craft. Bookaway gave me two options: The Phimal fast craft at 8:30 AM and a Montenegro at 12:00 PM. I chose the latter to avoid the morning rush and hassle. I had a tiring week during the first leg so I decided to take my time to relax than hustle; thus, the last day was dedicated for some good slumber. I was told by the front desk officer of my hotel accommodation that I should get ready by 6:00 AM pr 6:30 AM at least if I would be taking the first trip which is at 8:20 AM. Also, Phimal usually gets fully booked faster. I was lucky enough that there were still several slots  for the next trip even if I booked a day before my departure. Anyway, the booking only took me five minutes to book.

An hour prior to my scheduled trip, I was asked by the staff at the port to exchange my voucher sent by Bookaway to my email for a ticket from Montenegro Lines’ ticket outlet just outside. After then, I paid for the Php 20.00 terminal fee then waited for the transfer. According to the staff, trips often get fully booked and it was better that I have reserved a ticket online.

Arrived at the El Nido Port

Since the ship departed later than its schedule, we arrived at El Nido port at 4:00 PM instead of the expected time of arrival which is at 3:00 PM.

Aside from the sea travel, Bookaway also offers an air travel from Coron to El Nido. But of course, the other is way cheaper. I also consider the ferry the better option as I get to have a lovely view yet a last glance of the stunning islands of Coron as we pass by them and get the feeling of being warmly welcomed by the islands of El Nido as we approach the port.

El Nido to Puerto Princesa City

The third leg of my Palawan backpacking is the trip to Balabac, the southern most part of the province. Since there are no direct transfers from El Nido to Balabac, I had to take a land travel from El Nido to Puerto Princesa City where there is a terminal with vans traveling to Rio Tuba on a daily basis. I checked on Bookaway’s website and found that they have van trips from El Nido to PPS. In no time, I booked one online again just a few hours before I left.
The good thing about it is that, I was able to reserve a seat on the last trip in which being a chance passenger is highly discouraged since a lot also make reservations. At 5:45 PM, I came to the terminal and showed my e-ticket. After then, I made myself comfortable on a seat and waited for the departure. I could have also been picked up but I chose to came to the terminal instead so I can request for my preferred seat in the van.

There are four identified express vans under Bookaway. This include Eulen Joy, Camarih, Fortwally and Diskubre Transport.The latter two offers exclusive transfer. I took the Eulen Joy express van. It was an 18-seater commuter type. It may get a little uncomfortable if the passengers have baggage as the space for it is quite limited. Sixteen passengers squeezed into the standard shared minivan. It took us five hours from El Nido to Puerto Princesa but with a stop over for dinner and use of comfort room. 

Bookaway Travel offers two modes of transportation to and from El Nido and Puerto Princesa City: the minivan and tourist bus. Land travel through the minivans is more advisable if traveling from El Nido to PPS most especially if time and money is of great essence as it is quite faster and cheaper than taking the bus. Also, I was also dropped directly to my hotel in PPS. Van drivers could pick up and drop off the passengers on their preferred points or location.

Travel with Bookaway

If you want a hassle-free booking and travel to the best destinations around the globe, try Bookaway and share your travel experience with us!

Anne Elizabeth Gumiran, also known as Queenie, is a 20-something, full-time public school teacher, a part-time travel blogger and a freediver. She started putting her stories of adventures and misadventures into words and pictures in 2017 and continues to do so as she shares her advocacy, Sustainable Traveling.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *