How Much Does It Cost to Travel in the Philippines
Twelve days in a warm and sunny tropical paradise without breaking the bank? Sign me up! Beyond the beautiful beaches and crystal clear waters, I’ll admit that the price of everything from accommodations to food was definitely an attraction for me. Now that I’m back I find myself daydreaming about banana shakes and $10 massages.
If you were really diligent (or broke) you could spend very little while staying in the Philippines, but I’m me and I like some comforts and a bit of luxury now and then. I love being able to splurge a little on a nicer guestroom or a bit of Western food or an extra tour now and then and still know that I’m staying on budget. And the Philippines was gracious enough to allow me to do just that.
This budget breakdown spans 12 days and 12 nights in the Philippines for two people, and includes all domestic flights. You could definitely spend less than we did, but it wouldn’t be hard to spend more either.
Before You Go: Make sure you have your travel insurance sorted out. Trust me.
How Much it Cost for Two Weeks in the Philippines for Two People
|Transportation||$879||(domestic flights, shuttles and taxis)|
|Food & Drink||$466||(restaurants, water, snacks, alcohol)|
|Activities||$364||(rentals, classes, tours, etc.)|
|Miscellaneous||$95||(souvenirs, laundry, etc.)|
Total Spent: $2,680 CAD
Daily Average per Person: $112 CAD
Getting around the Philippines is a bit more costly and time intensive than you might think. We visited three islands and took three domestic flights along with shuttle vans, busses, taxis, tricycles, and a ferry. It took us five forms of transportation and the majority of daylight hours to get from Nuts Huts in Loboc, Bohol to El Nido, for instance.
Transportation ended up being a much larger chunk of the budget than we had initially thought it would. This was mostly because domestic flights weren’t as cheap as we know they can be and we also decided that our time was worth the expense so we took the direct (and pricey) AirSwift flight from Cebu to El Nido rather than flying into Puerto Princesa and spending 6 hours in a shuttle van.
We chose to stay at fairly modest small guesthouses for the most part. We spent two nights in a nipa hut in Bohol but other than that I wanted a solid floor and roof, and ideally AC. Hot water wasn’t a given and we had the worst water pressure known to man in El Nido but the rooms were all clean and serviceable..and air conditioned. We splurged with two nights at the Dos Palmas Island Resort near the end of the trip, and since the fancy El Nido resorts were way out of our budget, this was a nice alternative.
Food & Drink
In general, we found that local meals (without a drink) could be had for 200 pesos ($5.70 CAN) or under. Western meals were more in the 300+ ($8.60) range. Our most expensive meal was pizza, salad, and two bottomless glasses of Coke at Shakey’s in Manila for 500 pesos each. Expect to pay about 70 pesos for a beer in a restaurant, 45 in a store.
Eat only local food and skrimp on hot water, AC, or a real floor if you have to, but don’t shortchange yourself on activities when visiting the Philippines. We rented a motorbike, went island hopping and snorkeling, waterfall hiking, had massages, and visited the Underground River. The only thing I would potentially change would be to look harder for a rental motorbike on the day we hired a tricycle driver to take use to the Nagkalit-kalit Waterfall and Nacpan Beach. We could’ve gone for a third of the price by driving ourselves.
I didn’t shop around and may have overpaid for our Underground River tour since we booked through our hotel but after having so much trouble booking other things in advance, when the hotel made the option available, I just took it. Trip planning fatigue was real.
Though we could’ve done the trip for cheaper, I’m happy with most of our choices. The two days we spent at Dos Palmas Resort were exactly what we needed. We certainly could’ve found a cheaper hotel in Puerto Princesa but I thought Floral Villarosa was just about perfect (if breakfast was included, it would’ve been without fault).