SIARGAO for Families
Everything you need to know when traveling to Siargao with Kids
1. Reserve your hotel before booking your flights– Siargao has a variety of hotels opening every week and there is a lot to choose from but because of the island’s popularity, you will still end up running out of options when you book last minute. Most hotels have a 2-month waiting list and your only choice will be in a small cabin far from the main street of the island. Avoid last-minute bookings to the island especially when you’re with your kids because you do not want to compromise your safety (though the island is relatively safe) and comfort because you did a last- minute booking. In our case, we booked 3 weeks before our flight which gave us limited hotel options. We ended up booking 2 different hotels for our whole stay simply because we did not have any other choice.
2. Double check your essentials- Siargao island does not have an actual grocery store and the closest you can get is a corner store with some supplies. Make sure you stock up on all the essentials especially when traveling with kids. On our last night, Travis caught a fever (which ran for a week and brought him to the hospital in Davao) and we did not have any paracetamol in our bag so we had to look for an open drugstore in the middle of the night. It was hard to find an open drugstore after 8 pm so we asked the motorcycle driver to keep driving until we found one.
Always double check your bags before going to the island so you won’t miss anything out. On my vlog, you would already know that I forgot very important things, my son’s bathing suits and sunscreen. It took us so much time to look for a store that would have swimsuits for our kids our size.
Bring a first aid kit with you at all times. The island has no visible medical aid available and the nearest hospital is an hour away by tricycle, which is why we brought all the needed first aid kits we thought was necessary for the trip. Thankfully, nothing serious happened to us aside from a few cuts from the seashells and reef corals but we didn’t need any medical attention during our vacation.
3. Schedule your trips- The island has a lot of tourist spots that have amazing scenery and Instagram- able but not entirely safe for young kids. Our sons are 3 and 1 year old and their safety is more important than getting Instagram worthy photos so we chose where we can visit while in Siargao. Some of the famous tours involved 1-2 hours in a motorcycle and another 45-minute boat ride which was not ideal for my kids since they get tired and bored fast. So we decided to skip most of the tours but still ended up with fun activities with the kids.
No toys? No problem! Pick up some rocks and count them!
We were lucky that our resort had a beach front and we took advantage of it by swimming every morning. We didn’t bring a lot of toys with us to save space so we ended up keeping the kids entertained with rocks and seashells. This is a great way for them to explore nature and be familiar with new things.
The island hopping tour is a must when you visit Siargao and it really is as good as everyone says. The beach is majestic, the sand is fine, and the water is crystal clear. We were really impressed with the beaches and loved the different Islands. Daku Island, Guyam and Naked Island were all so clear and well preserved. There were a lot of tourists in the area which was expected for a new tropical destination, but we were able to get some sun and swim in the clear water. All the island tours were safe for kids, the boat was smaller than the usual island hopping boats (literally a bangka or fisherman’s boat) but it was safe and fast. The ride to the island took about 10-15 minutes or less but it was noisy. Since the fisherman’s boat was very small, we could hear the engine loudly. This was a problem for my older son because he is very sensitive with loud noises, so we covered his ear with towels to keep him comfortable while traveling.
4. Expect the island to have a lot of dogs- my youngest son was only a year old when we went on this trip and he has always been afraid of dogs. He wouldn’t go near them and away from a dog that is a mile away. There were times that I had to walk away with him because he was so scared of the dog that he would be holding on tightly while crying. Of course, as much as we want him to get used to dogs, we didn’t want to traumatize the poor kid so we were cautious when we let him walk around in restaurants.
There are dogs absolutely everywhere! May it be along the main road, in restaurants or even in your resort. There will always be a dog around. These dogs don’t necessarily have owners, in fact, on our last day a beautiful Great Dane joined us for dinner. This huge dog gave my son a scare but once he was assured that he was safe, he loosened up to the dog. We have asked the waitress on who owns such a beautiful dog but apparently, they don’t even know. The waitress told us that the dogs on the island just wander off during the day and go home to their owners at night. They live off food from the tourists or the restaurants and are clean because of their daily baths in the ocean water.
Unlike his younger brother, Aiden loves dogs and wants to pet them all the time!
5. Download your games ahead of time- One last tip on traveling to Siargao with kids has to do with their gadgets. My boys are not dependent on gadgets and we rarely use their iPad. We bring the iPad along when we are on the airplane or when we have a long car ride. Watching videos on YouTube and Netflix are the ways that my son utilizes their iPad but during this trip, we made sure that we downloaded their favorite movies and shows. Internet connection was close to impossible so we made sure that we pre-downloaded movies and games on our iPad.
There you go, Mommies! My Tips and on Traveling to Siargao with Kids!
Always remember that not everything planned will be followed and you just have to trust your instincts when traveling with your kids. Let your motherhood instincts kick in, and everything will be fine! Don’t forget to chill and have fun, traveling with kids might not be as relaxing, but the memories you make as a family will all be worth it.