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    A Birthday in Luxury & Style – Boracay – Philippines

    We spontaneously decided to fly to the Philippines for my Birthday to spend it in Luxury & Style! As we don’t plan much in advance and do a lot of last-minute decisions, I wasn’t really sure where I would celebrate the big 3-0. Kuala Lumpur was an option – since it was en route to Australia. But spending my big Birthday in a stop-over destination just didn’t feel right.

    I loved the idea of spending it in Paradise. But it had to be an affordable Paradise as we had to stick to a budget during our RTW trip. So we decided to head to Boracay! We booked flights last-minute for a three-day-luxury-Birthday-extravaganza.

    Here is what we did.


    1) We chose a secluded accommodation with our own private beach.


    Where in the world can you have a private beach and not spend an absolute fortune? The Philippines! I’m telling you, there is no greater feeling, than waking up in the morning, putting your bikini on, walk down the stairs and go for a swim! The breakfast bar at our little resort (Baling Hai) was outstanding. We’d order our breakfast and by the time we came back from swimming, breakfast would be served for us. And after several months of budget travelling, this little bit of luxury was something we appreciated even more!


    Baling Hai Beach Resort Boracay, Philippines - Boracay in Luxury & Style


    2) We explored the Stations by the White Beach.


    White Beach is known as the party strip in Boracay and we knew when we arrived on the island that that would NOT be where we would want to book our accommodation. We loved our secluded little Paradise and were happy to travel to the stations by tricycle for little money, party the night away and travel back again. We felt we had the best of both worlds!


    Serendipity Tess in the Philippines - Boracay in Luxury & Style


    3) I had my hair braided by one of the friendly ladies by the beach.


    I never had my hair braided on a beach and felt, before I hit 30, it’s gotta be done! Plus I got to chat to the lovely lady about everyday life on Boracay – the filipinos are, in my opinion, the friendliest people in the world. Honestly. We felt so welcome and only met friendly people! They are so relaxed and always seem to be in a good mood.


    Serendipity Tess in the Philippines - Boracay in Luxury & Style


    4) We had shots at midnight.


    Because partying on Boracay is not only fun but also extremely affordable! After our little boozy adventure, we joined a crowd of locals and travelers at a nearby party and danced the night away! We had such a blast!


    Serendipity Tess in the Philippines - Boracay in Luxury & Style


    5) We woke up to this view every day.


    Yep. This is what you see in the Philippines pretty much every day. The water has the perfect temperature, the perfect colour…I knew a few days on the Philippines would never ever be enough and I made the decision to come back and stay for a whole lot longer to explore more of the Philippines! Because…look at this!


    Serendipity Tess in the Philippines - Boracay in Luxury & Style


    6) We drank ice-cold beers by the beach.


    …and chilled and read our books, went for the occasional dip in the turquoise blue waters, went for walks or did some snorkelling…what more do you want on your Birthday?!


    Serendipity Tess in the Philippines - Boracay in Luxury & Style


    7) We watched the sunset at the Shangri La.


    Yep – we went all out and even that place was affordable. We watched the sunset, took some cheesy ‘couple-y’ photos, ate our tapas, drank Champagne…gazed into each other’s eyes…yep…cheesy, I know. But, come on…once in a while, a bit of romance overload…especially if it’s your Birthday, right?! Seriously, if you want to score some Kudos with your Partner – take him / her here! 


    Serendipity Tess in the Philippines - Boracay in Luxury & Style


    8) We marvelled at how white ‘White Beach’ really is!


    I have never EVER in my life seen such a white sandy beach before and it was exactly where I wanted to spend my Birthday. On a paradise island with picture perfect beaches. What do you think? Pretty spectacular, huh!? We were actually really lucky as there were barely any people when we went to the white beach – i heard from others that it is usually extremely crowded.


    Serendipity Tess in the Philippines - Boracay in Luxury & Style


    9) We took typical tourist photos.


    Yeah that’s not usually something I like to do…but I wanted to capture the date of my 30th which would make for a nice memory! Too bad that the dude who took the photo actually cut off the date…….! Oh well….maybe next time. 😉 We later found out that usually you’re being charged for these kinds of photos…we had no idea!


    Serendipity Tess in the Philippines - Boracay in Luxury & Style


    10) We treated ourselves to a special bottle of Champagne.


    I don’t think I have ever ordered a bottle of champagne in a restaurant before. And today I decided….f**k it! You only live once – it’s my Birthday, we are SO doing this! We saved loads of money by budgeting carefully throughout our entire trip, we could afford a bit of luxury! And it was TOTALLY worth it!


    Serendipity Tess in the Philippines - Boracay in Luxury & Style


    11) We rented our own private catamaran.


    …for £20 GBP for two hours. Is it just me, or is this really cheap?! I don’t think you can do this somewhere in Europe, right? So, off we sailed out towards the horizon…watched the sun go down…kissed…did I mention I dig romantic stuff… a lot. My best friend would probably roll her eyes and sigh with disgust.


    Serendipity Tess in the Philippines - Boracay in Luxury & Style


    12) We had our private romantic dinner on the beach.


    When we heard that Baling Hai on Boracay offers a private beach dining experience, we could not resist. Picture flower petals all over the beach (and at Baling Hai you have your own private beach), candles everywhere, a table for two. This place would be perfect for a proposal or honeymoon…or a very romantic 30th Birthday!


    Serendipity Tess in the Philippines - Boracay in Luxury & Style


    13) We partied with the locals & tourists.


    There is always something going on on Boracay. We were stoked to serendipitously discover a beach shack that had an awesome little intimate party going on – and as the night progressed and people got braver, we even had a few people challenge each other to a bit of a dance contest. Yeah, the sort of stuff you see in the movies and think ‘does this even happen in real life?’. Yep. Seems that way. On Boracay, it does.


    Serendipity Tess in the Philippines - Boracay in Luxury & Style


    14) We took ‘postcard’ photos.


    …I think the Philippines rivals Thailand when it comes to picture perfect beach photos. Don’t you think?


    Serendipity Tess in the Philippines - Boracay in Luxury & Style


    15) I had an unforgettable 30th Birthday!


    …in every way imaginable. It was the BEST Birthday ever. The fact that we spontaneously decided to do this last minute and we literally did not plan any of these activities in advance but just decided on the spot what to do next, made it even better! My aim was to live a life full of serendipity after all…


    Serendipity Tess in the Philippines - Boracay in Luxury & Style



    Heart IconHave you ever been to Boracay? Did you like it? I would love to hear your opinion in the comment section below!



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    Boracay in Luxury and Style


    • Wally zebco

      19.03.2016 at 10:06 Reply

      I’m very sorrybut… these are the most clicheD photos I have ever seen. I might be taking a leap here but are you 2 voting fit Trump?

      • Serendipity Tess

        19.03.2016 at 16:51 Reply

        No, as we are both not Americans, we will not be voting for Trump. If we were, we would not either. I don’t like his hair and he looks like a giant Hamster. Plus, I can’t quite see how two budget travelers who try to stick to a budget of £15.- per person, splurging on one day, for a special occasion, would make us Trump voters in the first place. Forgive me – but I struggle to make the connection here 😉

        As for the clichéd photos: that was kind of the point. Considering we are usually people who sleep in the cheapest accommodations or travel on local busses for 30 hours, it was fun to feel like a ‘rich’ person for 1 day.

    • Jackie Sills-Dellegrazie

      19.03.2016 at 10:55 Reply

      Looks like an amazing way to spend your 30th! Traveling for birthdays, especially milestones, is great. We’ve done this and had a few close friends join. Renting an airbnb or homeaway house for all of us. It adds to the celebration, not to mention all the laughs! The private beach is a great luxurious touch.
      Jackie Sills-Dellegrazie recently posted…15 Things to Do in Prague for First-TimersMy Profile

      • Serendipity Tess

        19.03.2016 at 15:55 Reply

        I agree – renting an AirBnB is a great way to celebrate a special occasion! 🙂 I was thinking of doing this one day – get a group of people together and rent an awesome place and share the costs. AirBnB can be a really affordable way to celebrate in style! 🙂 That beach was out of this world 🙂

    • melody pittman

      19.03.2016 at 19:50 Reply

      Happy birthday! What an epic way to celebrate. By the way, you are incredibly photogenic and I liked the braids. 😉

      • Serendipity Tess

        19.03.2016 at 20:07 Reply

        Oh wow! Thank you Melody! I don’t think anyone has ever said I was photogenic! That is very kind of you! 🙂 Loved this very special Birthday and the braids 🙂

    • Bernard Tan

      20.03.2016 at 00:11 Reply

      Happy Birthday! Boracay seems to be an awesome place to celebrate special occasions.

    • Julie

      20.03.2016 at 03:15 Reply

      That sounds like seriously the best birthday ever. My 30th was fun with a bar hopping party with friends, but it was also the night I got a terribly sprained ankle and threw up in my bed in the middle of the night. I now tell myself that I was just trying to get the 20s out of me completely. (or something like that!)
      Julie recently posted…Corners of the Internet #7My Profile

      • Serendipity Tess

        21.03.2016 at 09:17 Reply

        Haha! You know what though? I think it’s never too late to feel like you’re still in your twenties! At some point it may look awkward but who cares what other people think, right?! 🙂 Sounds like you had loads of fun! Apart from the ankle bit…..

    • The London Mum

      20.03.2016 at 05:46 Reply

      I love the philippines. I went to Boracay but we did stay on the party stretch so I didn’t fall in love with the place (stayed in a hostel). I’d love to go back and experience a different side to it.

      • Serendipity Tess

        21.03.2016 at 09:15 Reply

        Yeah, we didn’t have anything booked when we arrived and we knew immediately that we would NOT want to stay on the party stretch. Not my cup of tea at all. So happy we found Balinghai – it really felt as if we were on our own secluded little island far away from all the noise! 🙂

    • Meg Jerrard

      20.03.2016 at 06:47 Reply

      Happy birthday! Boracay sounds like the perfect spot to celebrate … really does look like paradise. We’ve just set ourselves up with a base in Australia, so hoping to be able to carve out some time for the Philippines soon 🙂

      Here’s to an epic 30th year for you!

      • Serendipity Tess

        21.03.2016 at 09:12 Reply

        Thank you Meg! Much appreciated! You should really hop over to the Philippines – it is beyond beautiful! And Australia as a base is really not a bad place to be 🙂 Love ‘Stralia!

    • Mar Pages

      20.03.2016 at 12:23 Reply

      Happy Belated Birthday! It really looked like a perfect birthday celebration, beautiful and relaxing. The sand looks pristine, so white against the blue waters. Also, I need to hire myself a private catamaran. The braid really suits you too, you look great! 🙂

      • Serendipity Tess

        21.03.2016 at 09:13 Reply

        Hey Mar 🙂 haha, i felt awkward about the braids to start with…but I guess it looked alright 🙂 The private catamaran was fantastic – still can’t believe how affordable it was!

    • Mags

      20.03.2016 at 15:00 Reply

      Wow! What a way to spend a birthday! I’m way jealous. I’m turning 30 next week and I’m pretty sure I’m just going to half price wine night in downtown Orlando. You’ve set the bar pretty high.
      Mags recently posted…ZUS by Nonda, Never Lose Your Car AgainMy Profile

      • Serendipity Tess

        21.03.2016 at 09:14 Reply

        Hey Mags – honestly, if I had celebrated at home, it would have been half price wine for me too! But we decided we’d splurge this time because it was so affordable! 🙂 I know….every Birthday from now on, will feel pretty uneventful haha!

    • Jen Joslin

      21.03.2016 at 05:33 Reply

      Happy birthday!! What a spontaneous and romantic way to celebrate! Sounds like you had a perfect mix of luxury and fun 🙂 The Philippines is high on my list to visit this year, and I hope to make it there this fall. I would love to go to Boracay!

      • Serendipity Tess

        21.03.2016 at 09:06 Reply

        Probably one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen! Honestly, I highly recommend the Philippines…!

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