Flip Flop Tours started from the urge to show people the Philippines away from beach resorts. The aim is to get you out of the typical tourist haunts and provide not only accommodation but an experience, and from this a different perspective. This is done by providing homestay accommodation in Bohol, Bantayan, Malapascua, Panay or Cuyo. They don’t sugar coat your accommodation, you will live in a similar fashion to the local people. This is your best chance of experiencing the Filipino way of life; you meet families instead of hotel staff, and you feel the country with all of your senses. Each person/group will have a different experience. The communities that you will stay in always seem to be preparing for some event – you may arrive in time for their fiesta, village dance, or be catching shrimp to sell in the markets. They might take you to their farm, or to the beach near their house, or to the local videoke room. You will experience more and give back to local communities as you travel. This is what we believe travel is all about. You see more, and grow from the experience.
Flip Flop Tours originated as a tour company but has grown to include services to accommodate independent travellers. They believe their homestay network will bring you the most authentic experience of Filipino life. This is their focus. You, the traveller, will benefit as you grow from the experience. The family will benefit from the extra income of the accommodation, as well as the shared cultural experience. The company was incorporated in the Philippines in July 2011 and the homestays opened in April 2012. They have had very good feedback from all of their guests so far which you can read in the testimonials below.
Location: Location varies depending on the homestay. Please check the website.
Specifics about cost, in- & excluded: The accommodation is basic, but always in great locations with lots to see and do in the area. They give you instructions on how to get to each homestay as getting there is part of the adventure. Travel costs vary depending on the homestay but if you are getting local transport it will be minimal. Your tour guide is your host, they will show you around their area, introduce you to people and show you a good time!
Timeframe: You can stay with the family for up to a week. Longer stays cannot be guaranteed but may be available on request.
What to bring: They set your homestay up with a foam mattress, bedding, in most cases a fan and mosquito net, and two towels. However there are some things you may like to bring.
1) A lock for your bag – while they trust all of their homestay owners implicitly, and have screened them all before adding them to the register, they realize that some people need the knowledge of extra security.
2) In the Philippines it is always handy to carry a roll of toilet paper!
3) Soap and shampoo – some homestays will be well equipped and others won’t be. It is easy and cheap to pick up a sachet of soap and shampoo at local sari store which will be good for one or two washes.
4) You may like to bring something from your own country to share with the homestay owner. They will be very appreciative. In the Philippines a gift that you bring from another place is called pasalubong.
5) Mosquito repellent for the evenings.
6) Mask and snorkel! – This is a great way to explore the Philippines and means that you won’t have to hire.
“Stayed in Anda for 2 nights on my way to Camiguin. The area is lovely, almost no tourists whatsoever. White deserted beaches, waterfalls, caves, you name it, has it all. Lamanok island is a beautiful and mysterious place I recommend. Accommodation was cozy, homemade food was great, you really get the feel of how people live there. Efrena and Judito are sweet and helpful people, so is everyone in the village. In a nutshell : if you want to relax and explore, give it a try!”
“Staying at Mercia’s home brought such good memories to my Panglao trip. Though the family is not related to me in any way, still me and my friend Alex was treated like their own family member. It was the warm welcome that we received and the family’s care really makes my Panglao trip more memorable.”