For all the peeps out there, it is high time to reshape your perception about traveling! Who said you need high savings to travel to a popular destination like the Philippines? The Philippines is not a high-price destination, at least not when you plan things nicely and spend carefully. For a globetrotter, it is never a good deal to splurge carelessly on unwanted and unnecessary things and services. For foreign tourists, understanding the Philippines cost of traveling is very much important to plan an ultimate trip to this tropical paradise and that too in the budget. From food to accommodation to transportation to exploring attractions, the cost of each and every service is different for tourists of the different budget sort.
Therefore, to help you know the average cost of a vacation to the Philippines, I have created this post for you. Stick to the end of this post to know about the estimated Philippines cost for foreigners.
Table of Contents
- 1 Accommodation in the Philippines
- 2 Food and Drink in the Philippines
- 3 Cheap Vs Expensive Places in the Philippines
- 4 How to Save Money in the Philippines
- 4.1 Hitchhiking in the Philippines
- 4.2 Camping in the Philippines
- 4.3 Stay With Locals
- 4.4 Buddy Up
- 4.5 Prefer Air Asia Flights
- 4.6 Healthcare and Dental Care in the Philippines
- 4.7 Internet and Wifi Connection in the Philippines
- 4.8 Entrance Fees in the Philippines
- 4.9 Tours and Island Hopping in the Philippines
- 5 ATM and Money
Accommodation in the Philippines
Prices in Philippines range from very cheap to moderate. But it totally depends on whether you choose to live with a flatmate and how close you want to book a stay to the waterfront. If you are a posh backpacker, then there are high-end hotels that are as much expensive as 18 USD a night for a dorm bed. However, there are also a good number of budget options. But just to let you know, these options are not located in the Manila region. A budget hostel would cost you somewhere 5 USD for a night for a dorm bed. Most of these hostels include air-conditioning and Wifi (which is most likely patchy in every hostel). There are also shacks and local guest houses as other accommodation options that are even cheaper than hostels. It could cost you around 2 USD for a night.
If you are more of a hotel person, then the country has more than 7000 hotel options for you. The hotels available in the Philippines are available in all budgets. If you prefer comfort over money, Manila Hotel in Luzon and Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila in Manila are the best options for you. The Philippine prices of such hotels would cost you somewhere between 130 USD and 150 USD.
Food and Drink in the Philippines
Philippines food prices totally depend on the fact where you are eating and what you are eating. Street food in the Philippines is the best option if you are on a budget trip. A plate of tasty meat from the street side stall would cost you 1 USD. If you are thinking about a one-time meal from any street-side stall, then the cost of food in the Philippines would be 3-4 USD. Whereas, if you prefer to eat in a tourist-centric restaurant, then the prices for a meal would go as much as 20 USD. Whereas, in costly areas like Manila, don’t be surprised if you end up spending a lot more than expected on food. Another surprising thing is that beer and rum are a lot cheaper in the Philippines than many other drinks. The cost of beer in the Philippines is different for both domestic and imported brands. The domestic beer cost between 1 USD whereas, an imported one cost 2 USD.
Transportation in the Philippines
There are different ways to travel within the country. These are jeepneys, buses, tricycles, and rented bikes. They all are cheap transportation options but the Prices in Philippines range depending on where you’re going. These travel many different routes and connect you to the top travel destinations in the Philippines like Manila, Cebu, Siquijor, El Nido, and Coron. However, ferries rides between islands are costly and they can cost you as much as 20 USD for a trip. Despite all that, traveling within the Philippines is costly as things are farther apart and it is harder to access them. If you’re considering the airway as an ideal option to travel within the country, well, it is the fastest and an ideal means to travel only if you don’t have a budget restriction. Flight tickets could eat up your budget.
Cheap Vs Expensive Places in the Philippines
Talking about the Philippines cost of living, let’s talk about the cheap and expensive places in the country. It will also help you decide the final budget of your Philippines trip. Jagna in Bohol is one of the cheapest places in the Philippines. However, there is not much to do and explore. Boracay and Manila are the two most expensive places in the country of the Philippines. Besides, Cebu, Quezon, Davao, and Cagayan de Oro are some other cities that are quite expensive.
Rent in Manila
The monthly rent of a 1 bedroom flat would cost you around 490 USD. Whereas a meal for 2 in a mid-range restaurant would be of around 20 USD and the monthly pass of transportation is of around 30 USD.
Rent in Quezon City
The cost of one month’s rent for a 1 bedroom flat would be around 240 USD. Whereas, the meal for two in a mid-range restaurant would cost you around 13 USD. The transportation pass in Quezon is around 8 USD.
Rent in Cebu City
The expense of living in the Philippines is more in Cebu like that of Manila. The rent of a one-bedroom is around 490 USD. Whereas, the meal for two in a mid-range restaurant would cost you around 18 USD and the transportation pass would be 28-30 USD.
If you’re interested in checking out rental rates with discounts on weekly, monthly, and yearly rentals you can check Airbnb. They have a huge selection to choose from and tons of different Prices in Philippines.
How to Save Money in the Philippines
We do set a budget for a trip. But let’s be honest; somewhere down there in our heart, we wish to complete the trip even less than decided. If you want to do the same on your Philippines trip, well, here are some ways you can save on Prices in Philippines while vacationing in the Philippines. Here are some general tips for the Philippines trip if you are looking to save some expense.
Hitchhiking in the Philippines
Hitchhiking is always a great way to save some expenses, especially for the ones who are on the budget solo travel trip in the Philippines. Along with that, it is also a great way to meet new people. However, there is always a risk associated with hitchhiking and you know the reason. But, the Philippines is one of the safest places in the world. So, you can rest assured about hitchhiking in the Philippines. The only thing you should worry about is drunk drivers. So, if you think somebody has been drinking, don’t choose to go with them.
Camping in the Philippines
Undoubtedly, accommodation costs the most on any trip. The only way to save some ph price from the accommodation aspect of a trip is camping. This is the best budget option for all the solo budget travelers. You would be amazed to know that there are plenty of great campsites in the Philippines and nobody will mind. Beaches are the most popular spots for camping in the Philippines and it is absolutely free activity. Not just this, there are plenty of hostels that also allow foreign tourists to camp in their garden.
Stay With Locals
More like hitchhiking, Couchsurfing is also a popular thing to do amongst travelers in the Philippines. It is another great way to meet locals and to know more about their culture and lifestyle. The accommodation cost from this way would cost you the minimum. If Couchsurfing is not your thing, you can also choose to stay at any of the guesthouses that are locally run. They are cheaper than hostels in the Philippines.
Even if you are on a solo trip, make some friends and buddy up with them. Want to know the reason? Well, most of the best activities in the Philippines are a lot cheaper when they are done in a group. Doing so will help you save some money and you can split the amount.
**PIN IT FOR LATER**
Prefer Air Asia Flights
Air Asia is one of the best and cheapest airline companies for budget travelers. From time to time, they come up with amazing deals and discounts. If you sign up for their newsletter, trust me, you will end up getting tickets for the Philippines at a cost way lesser than the normal. With the newsletter, you will even get to know in advance about their upcoming deals and discounts on the flight tickets.
Healthcare and Dental Care in the Philippines
Healthcare in the Philippines is pretty good. It consists of both public and private systems to ensure that healthcare should not be an expensive service. Locals in the Philippines get a free healthcare service under the Health Insurance Corporation. However, for foreign tourists, this isn’t the case. If you are looking for monthly health insurance in the Philippines for a single person, then the insurance would cost you somewhere around 50 USD. Whereas, if you want to get a checkup done from a private doctor in the Philippines (with no insurance), then a checkup would cost you somewhere 13 USD. Whereas, a dental cleaning in the Philippines cost between 15-18 USD.
For all of our travel insurance, we use SafteyWing. It’s a great month to month service that allows us to pay for insurance as we need it and cancel at any time. They have amazing coverage and make sure you are always covered even during extreme sports activities.
Internet and Wifi Connection in the Philippines
No doubt, you are a digital nomad and you want a good internet connection to work. One of the biggest downsides of the Philippines is the internet connection and phone price philippines. It’s not like there is no internet connection. The internet in the Philippines is slow and sporadic, especially when it rains. On top of that, if you are visiting the countryside, then be ready to stay disconnected from the digital world. The best way to stay connected to the digital world is buying pocket Wifi or a SIM from the airport itself. There are a number of options in SIM cards for tourists in the Philippines; Globe and Smart being two major smartphone price list providers. You can also find a staple connection in coffee shops. They provide 1GB data at 1 USD with a validity of 3 days. You can search for a sim card below to get realtime updated prices.
Entrance Fees in the Philippines
There is no entrance fee for many attractions in the Philippines. However, for Kawasan Falls, you have to pay an entrance fee of less than 1 USD. Besides, there are also small islands that ask for a small fee as well as some environment fees which is not much at all.
Tours and Island Hopping in the Philippines
Island hopping is one of the best things to do in the Philippines. You can spend straight 7 to 8 hours relishing the beauty with lunch included and savoring your time at those pristine islands in the Philippines. All these can be done at a cost of 25 USD per tour for joining a group. Under this price, you also get the masks if you prefer to do snorkeling and sometimes even lunch. A great deal indeed!
ATM and Money
ATMs in the Philippines are widely available. Also, credit cards are accepted at restaurants, hotels, and shops in all areas, except those in remote regions.
The ATM machines in the Philippines only dispense their local currency, which is Pesos. Most remote regions do not have the facility of ATMs. The most prevalent ATMs in the Philippines accept Western bank cards that belong to Bank of the Philippine Islands, Banco de Oro, and Metrobank. To withdraw money from ATMs, the standard charge is 200 pesos. Most ATMs in the Philippines have a transaction limit of between P10,000 to P15000. However, with HSBC ATMs in Manila and Cebu, you can withdraw as much as P40000 per transaction.
It is a good thing to have cash in US dollars. It will help you in areas where you get stuck with no working ATM. However, stick to only US currency as other currencies like the UK pound or euro are more difficult to convert in the Philippines. Local shopkeepers will often say to you “Sorry, no change” for any purchase. Hence, it is advisable to keep coins of P20, P50, and P100 notes.
If you are on a credit card, well don’t worry, most hotels, shops, and high-end restaurants in the cities of Cebu and Manila accept payment through credit cards. However, the use of credit cards in the Philippines is just restricted to these cities only. Outside of these cities, you will be asked to pay an extra 3% to 5% as a transaction fee.
There is nothing much to worry about cheap travel Philippines on a trip to the Philippines. However, that doesn’t mean you can be careless and free when it comes to spending. Try to stick to your budget which is very easy in the Philippines. That’s all, enjoy your time in the Philippines!
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