Planning our Luxuriously Frugal Guam Trip

View from Dusit Thani Guam

We planned our trip to Guam way ahead of our planned dates. I wanted to use my US Visa and at that time, I wasn’t expecting to go to mainland US anytime soon. We booked our flight to Guam before we realized we needed to go to California earlier this year. Unexpected travel means we have to be more frugal with our budget. Nevertheless, we planned Guam with the intention of staying at the best area, Tumon Bay. This means, we want luxurious accommodations, but we want to use our budget wisely. We have to choose hotels that are worth every penny we spend. We started saving for our Guam trip as early as last year. We allotted 5k pesos every pay day.

Manila to Guam Flight via Cebu Pacific

We booked our flights more than 6 months before our trip. We got really affordable rates from Cebu Pacific’s seat sale at  Php 5,390.20 (all-in) for a round-trip ticket. It was such a steal! We panicked and booked for a 10-day, 9-nights trip (July 22-31). After we booked, we had buyer’s regret. It dawned upon us that 9 days is too long for Guam. What are we gonna do for 9 days in a small island? I stood firm with our decision and assured ourselves, I can handle this. I will find affordable AirBnb stays, or book bed and breakfast hotels. But nope, hotels are really expensive! I’ll get to that in a bit. I used all my online powers to skim through all hotel booking sights and millions of alternatives. 9-day trip is really expensive!

Luckily, 2 months before the trip, I logged in “Manage my booking” area of Cebu Pac’s website so I can finalize our travel plans. To my horror, they changed our return flight to August 3!  That means our trip is for 12 days! But it can’t be, I did not sign up for August 3! They would usually email flight changes, but they didn’t in my case! In a way, I was relieved when I saw this, that means I can change my flight date without any fee! Lucky!!! I called Cebu Pacific and complained that I did not receive any email regarding the flight change. The girl I spoke to was the best Cebu Pacific customer service I’ve ever spoken with. She was very helpful and didn’t ignite any wrath in me, despite the inconvenience. She helped me change my flight, and I booked our return flight a little earlier, July 27. That leaves us with 5 nights, instead of 9. Yaye!

Hotels in Guam

The best beach front resorts in Guam aren’t cheap! The cheapest 3-star and 2-star hotels are already priced at Php 4000 ($80).  These aren’t beach front and would also take money and time to go around. Transportation isn’t cheap either. Bus trips are at $4 per ride, per person. Taxis are expensive too. The next best thing is to hire a Stroll ride, it’s like their UBER in Guam. They are cheaper than taxis but still quite expensive! For a short 1km-2km ride (without traffic), our Stroll bill was $8-$11.  Better than the bus though because we’d have to walk to the bus stop, and the price is the same ($8 for both of us).

View from Aqua, Dusit Thani Guam

Since we are already staying at beach front hotels, there isn’t any reason for us to go around Guam anymore. Sure, we can go around the island, rent a car, and explore touristy places, but this means we will sacrifice using the facilities and amenities that the hotel/resort provides. Plus, we would spend extra for car rental and entrance fees. Since we wanted to maximize our stay in the Tumon area, we decided to have a chill-cation and enjoy the perks of booking 5-star hotels in the area.

Customizing your travel

I’ve been blogging for 9 years now and I have grown more mature about it. In the past, I would do everything and anything to build my personal brand, which paid of, but at a cost. Because I wanted to be visible everywhere, I kept going to so many places and joining so many activities that it was getting hard to keep up with myself. This includes traveling. I love a good adventure, but I realize it is not what I’m after anymore. Allow me to speak in 3rd person, because  I see FlairCandy as my alter-ego. Sometimes I want to be her, she is the embodiment of all my dreams. She has accomplished so much, it’s cool to be her. But in other times, I just want to be the normal Hannah, the one who likes to just stay at home, read a book, play a game and not think about anything. It is fun to be both, that’s why I keep both of these personalities and bring them out when I need to.

When you travel, don’t forget to ask yourself what you want. What you really, really want. Prioritize. Are you after a luxurious vacation? A sporty adventure? A budget-limited trip? Sometimes you can’t have it all. In my case, we didn’t want to pay for things we don’t want to do, but we were willing to pay for to comfort and the view (that rhymes :P). In doing that, we stuck with our budget and let go of the unnecessary expenses. Just because it’s a touristy area, doesn’t mean you have to go there. Why would you want to go to temples or museums if it’s not your thing? Or, it could be the other way around. You’re after the historical importance of a place and would want to put your money on that, than pay for a hotel that you’re only there 1/8th of your trip?

Coming up!

In the next few days, I will be uploading blogs and vlogs of our Guam trip! Do subscribe if you want to check out hotel reviews of three, 5-star hotels in Guam.

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