2021 El Nido Travel Bubble Review & Tips (Part 1)

It was our family’s first time to visit El Nido, and it was definitely a trip to remember! We joined the 4D/3N El Nido travel bubble trip to Miniloc island, and everyone had an amazing adventure! Our kids couldn’t stop talking about how much they enjoyed all the activities, and I can’t help but smile while writing about our experience.

Booking & Preparations

We booked our 4D/3N El Nido vacation directly with Ten Knots Development Corporation via e-mail. Our booking agent Hannah was very helpful and prompt with her responses, even giving personal recommendations on what we should look out for during our trip.

Everyone (even babies!) is required to have a PCR swab test.

Tip: Ten Knots has a tie-up with Qualimed, and I would personally recommend getting swabbed there. For kids, it was only a swift and painless cheek swab, and we got our results within 24 hours. Qualimed also directly sends the results to Ten Konts for faster coordination.

Also, get ready to fill out LOTS of forms as part of the booking process, but don’t worry, it’s worth it!

Getting There

We took a chartered Swift Air flight from Manila to El Nido and back. One of the things I appreciated about this El Nido Travel Bubble package was that the flight times were very comfortable. Our flight left around 10am, and our flight back to Manila was at 4pm, allowing us to maximize our four-day stay there.

Check-in was swift (no pun intended) and the courteous Swift Air staff led us to the waiting area before our flight. The airline also gave us a sanitation kit with an extra face shield, mask and alcohol.

Tip: We forgot to weigh our baggage because I assumed we wouldn’t be overweight, but ended up paying an extra P1,000 for every kilo over the limit.

There were helicopters and airplanes at the hangar.

As part of their efforts in social distancing, passengers were split into groups, and each group had their own waiting room. Groups are then called to board one at a time.

A family photo before boarding
We were among the first to board, and the plane was around 70% full. Not much leeway to distance socially, but our group took two rows and a half.

It was a really quick flight, and we arrived at the Lio Airport shortly before lunch time. Inside the Lio Airport arrival area, seats were marked with our names, and pastries were served while we waited for our transfers.

Hooray! Paul’s first domestic flight; our arrival at Lio, Palawan.

From the airport, it took as less than an hour to reach Miniloc Island.

First was a quick van transfer from the airport to a waiting shed. At the waiting pavilion, the coast guard took our temperature and noted our arrival.

From the pavilion, we rode to the port on a large golf cart and boarded the motorboat for a 25-minute ride to Miniloc Island.

Lifevests are required everytime we were on the sea. Paul didn’t like it at first, but he eventually got used to it.

Life vests are mandatory, even for babies.

The last transfer was from the motor boat to a smaller speedboat that docked us right at Miniloc Island.

Welcome drinks for everyone!

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