Like any other traveler out there who’s too anxious to travel to a country like the Philippines after COVID and the inflation, you’re probably wondering how much it costs to travel in the Philippines in 2023?
The Philippines is one of the cheapest travel destinations in the world! Philippines’ travel cost can range from $15-$40 per day depending on how extreme you want to save money.
Look no further because, in this article, we’ll take you through the basics of traveling in the Philippines!
The Philippine archipelago is great for people who like to experience nature’s gifts. From white sand beaches to magnificent mountains and hills to majestic waterfalls, there are so much to see in the Pearl of the Orient Seas!
Is the Philippines a cheap country to travel?
The Philippines is definitely a cheap country to travel to! Believe it or not, you’ll already survive a day in the Philippines if you have at least Php800!
Well, Php800 is sort of an exaggeration but actually, it’s doable if you’re willing to set aside eating at fast-food restaurants and just sit down at a karinderya (a small restaurant where food are displayed for you to choose from) or ditch the taxi ride and hop on the jeepney or sleep at transient rooms or dorm-type hostels which usually cost around Php350 dollars per night!
Of course, to enjoy the Philippines with enough comfort, we’ll need more than just Php800!
Because of COVID and the recent inflation, the daily cost may have increased compared to that from two years ago. However, the good thing is that businesses in the Philippines are eager to attract tourists this year. This means that there are sales and discounts everywhere, especially during the first half of 2023!
There are actually 2 things to take into consideration if you’re planning on traveling to the Philippines. The first one is that the Philippines is an archipelago, which means that islands are separated and are far from each other, which also means that you might have to travel by ferry (cheapest) or by airplane (fastest). Second is that your budget will depend on where you’re planning to go. Staying in big cities like Manila or Cebu will definitely cost you a lot more. Similarly, touristy areas like Boracay will also need a bigger budget. If you’re staying in the countryside, daily expenses will cost significantly less
How much should the daily budget in the Philippines be?
Realistically speaking, a daily budget of Php2200 a day is already enough for you to enjoy a trip in the Philippines in comfort. Here’s what you can expect with that budget:
Accommodation: Dorm-type hostel prices start at Php350 per day, some even have discounts on special periods of the year.
Domestic transportation: Cheapest airplane tickets you can get cost around $35 dollars for a round trip. Fast-craft ferries cost around Php839 for a one-way trip, while ferry ship tickets start at Php280 per trip.
Short-distance transportation: Common transportation like jeepneys, multicabs, and tricycles are cheap at Php15 per ride. At the same time, the base fare for taxis starts at Php40 with an additional Php2 every minute.
Long-distance transportation: Bus tickets start at $3 per trip. Scooter rentals start at Php340 and car rentals at Php118.
Meals: Restaurants cost around Php450 per person, and fast-food costs around Php150. Karinderya meals start at Php50!
Activities: Bookable tours can start at Php1999 per person but can be cut down in half if traveling in a group. Search for cheap activities in Philippines below.
Accommodations in the Philippines
To start off with the travel cost in the Philippines, let’s talk about the place you’re going to stay in!
The cheapest place to get some sleep in the Philippines is by booking a room at a hostel. Hostel rooms typically cost around Php350 per night. If you’re lucky, you might even find a place cheaper than that.
These rooms are already complete with what you need for the night like a bed, clean sheets, pillows, and basic amenities. They’re not as luxurious compared to that of hotels but they serve their purpose. If you’re staying on an island, you’ll probably be out and about exploring different areas of the island you are visiting and will also probably be too tired at the end of the day.
The cheapest hostel rooms usually do not have air conditioning but electric fans are provided instead. Also, if your itinerary includes going to the beach but you don’t want to stay at a resort, there are hostels nearby but might take a while to walk from there.
One crazy thing that some tourists do, especially if they are out on the beach, is they sleep on the beach at night! Camping is allowed on most public beaches but always be mindful of your garbage and also of your belongings.
Hotels and resorts are more expensive but there are a lot of sales and discounts in the Philippines so you might be able to book a $100 room for two people for half the price if you’re lucky!Booking.com
Domestic Transportation in the Philippines
You can travel in the Philippines domestically in 3 ways: Bus, Ferry, and Airplane.
BUS: This is a very common mode of transportation in the Philippines since locals use this to travel back to their hometowns from the city. However, there are buses that are specific for traveling from one province to another.
In parts of the Philippines like Luzon and Mindanao, the lands are connected to each other, unlike the islands in the Visayas. There are airplane flights but depending on where you’re going, flights might not be available. That’s why taking the bus is the easiest and the most convenient as well as the cheapest.
FERRY: As mentioned earlier, the Philippines is an archipelago which means that it is composed of lands separated from each other. Although flights are more convenient, people still opt for ferry rides since they are cheaper compared to the cost of plane tickets. Sure, they take longer to travel but you’ll get a pretty good sight of the ocean and the landforms you’ll be passing by. That is an experience in itself!
This is the cheapest option if you’re planning on traveling from one island province to another that is geographically near to each other. Trip prices usually start at $5 depending on how far the distance is.
AIRPLANE: This mode of transportation is the fastest among all three. However, it’s not the most convenient since there are a lot of provinces in the Philippines that do not have their own airports, therefore flights are unavailable as well. It’s also the most expensive with tickets ranging from $100 to $200.
However, AirAsia is an airline company available in the Philippines which offers inexpensive flights as well as discounts. So, you definitely need to check them out for cheap deals and sales! Search for low-cost flights below.
Short-distance Transportation in the Philippines
If you’ve figured out how you’re going to get to your destination, you might start to wonder how you’re going to move around in the area, city, or province that you’re in.
Well, there are a lot of modes of transportation in the Philippines but the most iconic is probably the jeepney.
A jeepney is a minibus-like public utility vehicle common in the Philippines. These vehicles came from the military jeeps the U.S. left in the country after the second world war. The Filipinos converted these into something they can use as public transportation. Jeepneys are usually painted and decorated with different artworks of celebrities, animals, and even religious figures like Jesus Christ or the Pope!
Another popular mode of transportation for locals is the tricycle. Tricycles are popular because they can accommodate smaller groups of people which makes it faster compared to the Jeepney where the driver usually waits until all seats are taken before traveling. This can be a bit more expensive due to different reasons like distance, traffic, or difficulty of reaching the destination.
Warning: Some tricycle drivers might take advantage of your situation as a tourist. Every tricycle needs to have a list of tariffs displayed for the passengers to see, so we recommend you check.
Aside from these, renting a car or a scooter is another popular mode of transportation and quite possibly the cheapest since you get to have the vehicle at your disposal all day, and rent starts at Php 375/day for a scooter! Renting vehicles is good for both long-distance and short-distance travel, especially if you already have an idea of the places you’ll be visiting. But at this age and time where technology makes it easy to do things, you can use navigation apps like Google Maps to navigate through the areas.
Meals and Food in the Philippines
Restaurants will always be expensive no matter what country you plan on traveling to! So, if you’re traveling on a budget, you might want to consider replacing it with cheaper alternatives!
Luckily, the Philippines has this thing called a Karinderiya!
Karinderiya translates to “cafeteria” in English. The food in the karinderiyas is displayed in front of you on serving plates and you’ll simply point to which food you’d like to order. This act of pointing is called “turo-turo” or “to point”.
Serving portions are quite small but then again, each dish usually costs around Php25 to Php75 per meal per person! And for that price, you can already eat simple traditional meals like ginataang munggo, menudo, pinakbet, sinigang, tinola, and many more!
Additionally, if you’re up for a light snack, you can try out Filipino streetfoods! Each province has its own specialty food like the empanadas in Ilocos but common ones are kwek-kwek (deep-fried battered boiled eggs paired with a sweet sauce), bananacue (skewered fried plantains), barbecue, and who could ever forget the balut, or boiled duck eggs!
Filipinos are always up for cheap eats, so no matter where you go, you’ll find something to eat!
Activities in the Philippines
The Philippines is an adventurer’s paradise since it literally has a lot of places to discover! The things you could do are endless, that is why some tourists take a month or two in the country purely for exploring!
The Philippines profit off of tourism and this has resulted to different gimmicks and business opportunities like guided tours!
If you’re unsure about what you want to do in the Philippines, you can simply choose a place you want to go to and then book a guided tour for 1 day, 2 days, or more! Guided tours are quite inexpensive especially if you’re traveling in a group.
Prices for guided tours usually start at Php3999 pesos per person for 3 days, and 2 nights. These come in packages and this amount already includes the transportation to and from the airport to the hotel, transportation for the actual tour, accommodation, and complimentary breakfasts!
For most tour packages, entrance fees and admissions are already paid for. If not, they are discounted!Klook.com
Therefore, if it’s your first time, we recommend booking a tour package just to make it less stressful on your part in terms of planning!
Sample Computation of Costs
To give you an idea of how much the cost of travel per day or week is in the Philippines, we made you a chart of a sample computation.
We excluded the cost of other transportation like flights, ferries, and long-distance buses going to the destinations since it will really depend on where you’re going. Also, these won’t significantly affect your daily expenses. These computations are assuming that you’re already in the destination you intend to be.
Last thoughts on the Philippine Travel Cost
The Philippines is an excellent choice for a budget travel destination. Prices are cheap to start with and if you’re eager, you can further save a ton of money by taking into consideration the Philippines Travel Cost Guide we made for you! Lock in the price of your accommodations before prices increase.
If you have more questions about the Philippines and traveling to the Philippines, comment your questions down below!
Have you ever been to the Philippines? Share with us your experience!