Find out how to do the Philippines on a Finances (2018 Version)

traditional boat in the Philippines
At this time’s visitor put up comes from Will Hatton from The Broke Backpacker. He’s an adventurer and site impartial entrepreneur who has spent quite a lot of time within the Philippines. Sadly, I’ve solely been to the Philippines as soon as and it was only for a really quick time frame. But it surely’s such a beautiful place that I need to characteristic extra on this website so I invited Will to share his experiences on find out how to journey the nation on a funds.

The Philippines is without doubt one of the most unbelievable funds journey locations on the planet because of its good white-sand seashores, enchanting seas, mesmerizing sunsets, pleasant locals, and relaxed, tropical vibes.

I’ve been fortunate sufficient to journey by way of the Philippines a number of occasions and have spent practically six months exploring this wonderful nook of the world. The nation has every thing, from towering volcanoes and pristine coral reefs to lush jungles, underground rivers, mammoth caves, and among the most enchanting waterfalls on the planet. You’ll be able to snorkel round WWII wrecks, camp out within the jungle, and head deep throughout the earth by way of limestone cave techniques.

And, on high of all of it, The Philippines is ridiculously low-cost!

Rum is cheaper than most delicate drinks, and scrumptious Filipino meals like lumpias (fried spring rolls) or pancit (fried noodles), or halo-halo dessert (ice shavings, condensed milk, small chunks of candy boiled kidney beans, coconut gel, and tapioca) are sometimes lower than a greenback. You’ll be able to sleep in a hammock for lower than 5 {dollars} an evening in lots of hostels (or at no cost if you happen to merely arrange on the seashore).

The Philippines is a rustic you’ll be able to journey on for as little as $20 USD a day if you happen to’re doing it on a broke-backpacker funds — and it’s attainable to journey less expensive than that if you happen to actually push it by hitchhiking and tenting. Clearly, your funds can balloon, particularly if you happen to’re staying at luxurious beachfront resorts, consuming out at fancy eating places, and taking costly excursions.

the countryside in the Philippines

Listed here are some typical prices for backpacking the Philippines in 2018:

  • Dorm mattress in a hostel: $5–7 USD per evening
  • Public ferry trip: $4–6 USD per trip
  • Jeepney trip: 20–50 cents
  • Avenue meals: $1–Three USD
  • Restaurant meals: $4–6 USD
  • Lengthy-distance bus: $8–10 USD
  • Home flight: $40–70 USD
  • Native beer: $1–2 USD
  • 1.5L bottle of water: 75 cents
  • Island-hopping: $14–25 USD
  • Diving with whale sharks: $25 USD

Lodging – Posh backpacker hostels might be fairly costly within the Philippines, setting you again as a lot as $18 an evening for a dorm mattress. Fortunately, there’s loads of funds lodging obtainable as soon as you might be out of Manila; for instance, you could find dorm beds for as little as $5 an evening in Palawan. Most hostels embrace patchy Wi-Fi and air-con. Native guesthouses and shacks on the seashore are even cheaper than hostels; you’ll be able to typically rating a shack for simply $2 an evening.

Foods and drinks – Avenue meals can value as little as $1 for a plate of tasty thriller meat. In case you determine to eat in tourist-centric eating places, costs can be larger with meals costing between $5 – $20 in most tourist-aimed eating places. In Manila and different posh components of the Philippines, you’ll be able to find yourself spending rather a lot on foods and drinks, particularly on an evening out, so attempt to pregame (drink some beers on the road) earlier than heading out for an evening in town. A coconut, for that inevitable hangover, will value lower than a greenback.

Transportation – Flights can shortly eat into your funds, so it’s finest to stay to ferries in case you are lengthy on time however quick on money. There are fairly first rate long-distance buses working throughout among the greater islands, comparable to Luzon, however inevitably you’ll find yourself on a ferry… It’s merely the one approach to get to most of the islands.

Actions – The Philippines is without doubt one of the most cost-effective locations on the planet to study to dive; a dive can set you again as little as $25 in some locations. Snorkeling is even cheaper; you’ll be able to rent snorkeling gear for $3–5 a pop on many seashores.

How a lot it prices to journey in The Philippines actually relies on your journey fashion and the place you go. Manila (particularly) and Boracay are considerably costlier than different components of The Philippines and as soon as you might be out of the vacationer hot-spots it’s comparatively simple to thrive on a funds of $35 a day.

$35 a day will allow you to remain in a good shared room if you happen to’re splitting the fee with a buddy or a cushty dorm in a cool hostel if you happen to’re by yourself. You’ll have loads left over to eat in first rate eating places thrice a day, get round by Uber and drink some beers within the night.

You’ll be able to go excessive or decrease than that relying on how low-cost (or costly) you need to get along with your lodging, how a lot you drink, and what number of Western meals you eat.

Find out how to Save Cash within the Philippines

traditional boat in the Philippines
The nation is already tremendous low-cost to go to however that doesn’t imply there aren’t methods to chop your bills even additional with out sacrificing an excessive amount of consolation or native experiences.

Stick with locals Couchsurfing could be very widespread within the Philippines, and it’s a good way to satisfy folks and save on lodging prices. In case you don’t fancy Couchsurfing, keep at a domestically run guesthouse; they’re typically cheaper than hostels.

Maintain an eye fixed out for Air Asia gross sales – Air Asia is without doubt one of the most cost-effective airways servicing The Philippines and has pretty frequent gross sales the place you’ll be able to snap up cheaper than regular fares – it’s value signing as much as the Air Asia e-newsletter to be saved within the loop on these as a way to pre-book all of your inner Philippines flights subsequent time there’s a sale.

Buddy up – Many of the finest actions are rather a lot cheaper if you may get a bunch collectively to separate the fee.

HitchhikeHitchhiking can be fairly widespread within the Philippines and a improbable approach to meet new folks, have an journey, and avoid wasting cash on the identical time. Hitchhiking does carry a sure diploma of threat in each nation however, in my view, The Philippines is without doubt one of the safer international locations on the planet to stay out your thumb. The massive threat is drunk drivers so if you happen to suppose anyone has had just a few too many, don’t get within the automotive with them. (Matt says: I don’t know sufficient in regards to the Philippines to say if that is additionally good for ladies too. Perhaps some with expertise can remark!)

Persist with meals locals eat – There are many tourist-trap eating places which can be very costly. Keep away from these and observe the locals — they know the place the perfect worth and tastiest meals is! I prefer to ask hostel and guesthouse employees the place they themselves prefer to eat – it is a nice approach to discover gap within the wall eating places aimed toward native Filipinos with low-cost pricing.

Camp – In case you’re actually on a funds, I like to recommend taking a tent; there are many epic locations to camp, and no person will thoughts. You’ll be able to camp at no cost on many seashores in The Philippines and loads of hostels can even allow you to pitch of their backyard after they have one if you happen to’re shopping for drinks at their bar.

Normal Journey Suggestions for the Philippines

busy Manila
Keep away from Manila – Manila hasn’t received a lot to supply aside from visitors, scams, air pollution, poverty, costly resorts, and midget wrestling. Your time within the Philippines is best spent elsewhere.

Sadly, it’s fairly arduous to fully keep away from Manila, as most flights round undergo it. Nonetheless, you’ll be able to keep away from scams whereas stopping over in Manila. The primary rip-off issues transportation to a special terminal within the airport and when leaving the airport.

In case you have arrived at a specific terminal however fly out of one other, use the free shuttle bus that runs all through the airport.

There aren’t any metered taxis within the arrivals part, solely personal transfers. That is the place nearly all of vacationers get ripped off, as they leap right into a automotive with out pondering, overlooking the trade price and the way a lot it’ll really value. It’s the Philippines, so it’s going to be low-cost, proper? Improper. Once I first arrived within the Philippines, I very practically ended up paying $50 USD for a non-public switch to my hostel in downtown Manila! Fortunately, I knew the trade price and the way ridiculous that was so I didn’t use that taxi and as a substitute caught a metered taxi.

In case you’re attempting to get downtown, take a public metered taxi on the departure degree as a substitute. The strains are often fairly lengthy, however they have an inclination to go quick, as there are tons of cabs in Manila. Simply just be sure you consider peak-hour visitors. Manila is without doubt one of the most congested cities on the planet; typically a ten-minute trip can take as much as two hours. So keep away from the 5pm–10pm loopy rush hour(s) and plan accordingly.

Anticipate your flights to be delayed – I took about seven home flights and never one in all them was on time. The climate is usually a tad unforeseeable, particularly throughout storm season. So count on delays and canceled or postponed flights within the moist season, which is from Could to October.

Deliver sunscreen – Sunscreen is thrice costlier within the Philippines as locals don’t put on it, due to this fact they cost an arm and a leg to vacationers who desperately want some safety from the solar.

“What do you imply the ATM is out of cash?” – My ideas precisely. You must have seen the look on my face once I arrived in El Nido with no cash and couldn’t get money out. I needed to wait two days till they restocked the ATM machine, and the road was enormous! Apparently, it’s fairly regular for it to expire of money, because it’s the one one on the town on this widespread vacationer vacation spot. Ethical of the story: all the time carry some spare USD or PHP with you in case the ATMs run out of cash otherwise you go to a small city, like Port Barton, the place there aren’t any ATMs.

Wi-Fi connections are restricted – Wi-Fi within the Philippines is much like discovering a needle in a haystack. Your chances are high fairly rattling slim, particularly if it’s raining. In case you rely on the web, the Philippines can be a pleasant trip for you — away from the net world. What web is offered, furthermore, is sluggish and sporadic. In case you’re visiting distant components of the nation, don’t depend on being related in any respect. Your finest wager is to buy pocket Wi-Fi — the perfect supplier I discovered was Globe.

Get away from the vacationer crowds – In case you actually need an genuine Philippines expertise, enterprise away from the everyday vacationer spots and backpacker meccas. Vacation hotspots like Boracay and El Nido are wonderful, nevertheless it’s the much less touristy locations like Sagada, Port Barton, and Siargao that provide you with a glimpse of actual Filipino tradition, traditions, and methods of life.

mounds in the Philippines

Use Uber – Uber has now come to the Philippines and is a less expensive approach to get round cities than by taxi! Basically, an Uber will value you 30% lower than catching a taxi.

Deliver a transportable battery – Whenever you head away from vacationer hotspots and main inhabitants facilities, you could battle to seek out dependable electrical energy. If you’re mountain climbing in Sagada or Kalinga, it’s effectively value bringing a transportable battery charger to maintain your telephone and digital camera charged up!


The Philippines remains to be one in all Southeast Asia’s best-kept secrets and techniques and plenty of backpackers don’t make it right here. My time within the Philippines was actually memorable, I met quite a lot of unbelievable folks, was blessed with a Kalinga tattoo by a dwelling legend and had my first correct expertise snorkeling. I hope to return to this epic land within the close to future and take to the excessive seas, with rum provides aplenty, to discover remoted islands by boat. The Philippines is my favourite nation in all of Southeast Asia. Get there earlier than the key is out and the backpacker hordes descend!

Adventurer and vagabond, entrepreneur, and hustler, Will has been backpacking world wide for a decade and likes to discover actually wild locations. He spends a good chunk of time in Pakistan main journey excursions; the remainder of the time he’s on the highway or dwelling in Thailand along with his spouse. He blogs about funds journey and on-line entrepreneurship at The Broke Backpacker and enjoys a cheeky smoke, a very good e-book, and an ideal sundown to spherical off the day.

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