How Much Does It Cost To Travel To The Philippines?

A typical Filipino boat (the Balangay) with floaters on both sides and colorful paintings on the hull.
After spending a month and a half in New Zealand, I was positively surprised by the cheap prices in the Philippines! Never having traveled outside Europe before and therefore being used to a pretty high price level, I was completely amazed to find out that you can get a whole meal for just a 100 peso (about 2 euro).

Traveling to the Philippines had been a dream of mine for years. To be more precise, since the moment I found out one of my favorite TV shows (Survivor or Expeditie Robinson as it is called in the Netherlands) was recorded there.

The islands I saw on the show were just perfect. Everything you ever imagine about a tropical island. Palm trees. Coconuts. White sand. Jungle. Clear blue ocean. Colorful fish. The only thing missing was a hammock, but hey, it’s a TV-show about survival;-).

I dreamed about going there one day to see such beauty with my own eyes. And after years of dreaming that’s exactly what I did!

Have you been dreaming about visiting this amazing country too and are you interested in the costs of backpacking around the Philippines? Keep reading, in this post I’ll try to answer all your questions!

A beach on Bohol, an island in the Philippines

How much does it cost to travel the Philippines?

In this post you can find all the information you need about traveling the Philippines on a budget. The article covers:

  • An infographic with the full budget breakdown of our 3 week itinerary around the Philippines
  • Facts and figures about our Philippines backpacking budget
  • Categories of our expenses in the Philippines
    • Accommodation costs
    • Transportation costs
    • Cost for food and drinks
    • Cost for activities

Big Lagoon, El Nido Palawan. One of the most beautiful places in the Philippines.

Philippines travel budget

In this infographic you can see a summary of all our expenses in the Philippines.

Read all about out the costs of traveling in the beautiful Philippines in this budget breakdown infographic.

Facts and figures about our Philippines backpacking budget

• I traveled the Philippines with my husband, all expenses mentioned are for the two of us together.

• Because the exchange rates varies from day to day, I quoted all prices in Philippine peso (php). When we where in the Philippines (February and March 2015) the exchange rate was approximately 50php for €1 and 45php for $1.

• In total we spend 56650php (= €1133 = $1259) during the 3 weeks we spent in the Philippines. This comes down to an average of 2833php (=€57 = $63) per day and includes all expenses in the Philippines. As you can see, it’s definitely possible to travel the Philippines on a budget!

• This budget breakdown does not include the plane ticket from Hong Kong to Manila and the plane ticket from Manila to Hanoi.

• We visited three islands in the Philippines: Luzon, Palawan and Bohol.

Sunset on the beach of El Nido, Palawan

Our Philippines travel expenses are divided into four categories

1. Accommodation: 26% of our travel budget, on average 725php (= €14,50 = $16,10) per day
2. Transportation: 24%, on average 682php (= €13,60 = $15,20) per day
3. Food: 35%, on average 990php (= €19,80 = $22) per day
4. Activities: 15%, on average 436php (= €8,70 = $9,70) per day

1. How much does accommodation cost in the Philippines

Good accommodation doesn’t have to be expensive in the Philippines! In total we spend 14500php (€290/$322) on accommodation, averaging 725php (€14,50/$16,10) per day. We stayed at a private room with our own bathroom most of the time, sometimes even with breakfast included!

In the table below you can find the places I stayed at (only the ones I recommend!), you can find more details about the accommodation in my 3 week Philippines itinerary.

BatadHillside Inn Batad€11,50/$12,50Agoda
Cebu CitySkypark Pensionne€16,5/$18,15Agoda
LobocFox & Firefly Cottages€28/$31AgodaBooking
PanglaoRoyal Paradise Guesthouse€25/$27,5AgodaBooking
Puerto PrincesaPalawan Village Hotel€14/$15,40Agoda
Puerto PrincesaTia Mers Guesthouse€11,40/$12,65AgodaBooking

Where to stay in the Philippines on a budget

2. How much does transportation cost in the Philippines

In total we spend 13630 (€273/$303) on transportation, averaging 682php (€13,60/$15,20)per day. Transportation costs are split into four categories:

• Flights
• Night bus
• Boat tickets from Cebu to Bohol and vice versa
• Other transportation

Cheap flights

With a mascot like CEB, who doesn’t want to fly with them;-)
With a mascot like Ceb, who doesn’t want to fly with Cebu;-)

You know the beautiful tropical island I was talking about at the beginning of this post? There are more than 7000 of them in the Philippines! This means that to get from one place to another, you will have to take a flight every now and then. Enter Cebu Pacific. They have regular peso sales where you only pay taxes for your flight. Not a bad deal. If you are planning a trip to the Philippines, I strongly suggest to keep an eye on their site because these seats sell out fast.

Night bus

From Manila we took a night bus to Banaue, a journey of around 355 kilometers. The good thing about taking a night bus is that is saves you a night of accommodation costs and a day of valuable time.

The downside of traveling by bus?

Sometimes a night bus is just a regular bus, meaning you try to sleep sitting up while driving over the most bumpy road ever so your head keeps banging into the window or against the head of your neighbor:-). Totally worth it though, because the ancient bus did manage to get us to Banaue where we got to hike the incredible rice terraces!


Boat tickets

A small oversight on my part in my research before going to the Philippines was failing to notice that there is an airport in Tagbilaran. Which lies on Bohol. Which was where we wanted to go. Instead, I booked a flight to Cebu city, meaning we had to take a boat to get to Bohol. Not a problem, there were plenty of boats. On the way to Bohol we took a boat from Cebu Pier to Tubigon, costing us 590php. On the way back we took a boat from Tagbilaran to Cebu Pier at a total price (including luggage and terminal fees, whatever works to get more money from tourists;-) of 1030php.

Other transportation

When writing this post I considered splitting the costs per type of transportation. But then I started counting and realized we traveled with 10 different types of transportation vehicles! Yes I was pretty amazed too! You already know about planes, night buses and boats. We also traveled in a jeepney, a tricycle, taxis, a public bus, a minivan, a scooter and last but not least: a private car. Read all about getting from A to B in my trip itinerary.

hilippines Travel Budget Spend Less Than €60 A Day As A Couple

3. The cost of food and drinks in the Philippines

In total we spend 19800php (€396/$440) on food, averaging 990php (€19,80/$22) per day. After cooking our own meal in the back of our camper van for one and a half month in New Zealand, eating our three times a day was a nice change.

I did get sick, like pretty much anyone traveling to Asia for the first time, but only for a couple of days. I have to admit, the Philippines was not my favorite food country in Asia. It’s not as varied and spicy and incredibly delicious as the food in Vietnam. Or Malaysia. Or Thailand. Hmm, I’m getting hungry just thinking about it. Nevertheless, we ate some really good food as well, particularly at Oasis Resort and Seaquest Divers on Alona Beach.

Food in the Philippines - BBQ fish and fresh fruits
This food was cooked on makeshift BBQ and tasted absolutely delicious

4. Price of activities in the Philippines

Last but not least, we spend 8720php (€174/$194) on paid activities, averaging 436php (= €8,70 =$9,70) per day. We did three main activities:

A three day hike at Banaue (4240php for two people)
Tour A and C at El Nido, Palawan (3600php for two people)
Sightseeing at Bohol (880php for scooter rent and some entry fees)

Now you know all about the costs of traveling the Philippines. I had an amazing time and it completely lived up to my tropical island vision, so I totally recommend going there! Below you can download the budget breakdown inforgraphic. If you have questions, leave a comment or send me a message!

Looking for more travel planning resources? Check out the Phenomenal Globe Travel Planning Library and my Travel Resource page!

Important note: we did a PADI Open Water Course in El Nido. I did not include those costs in the budget breakdown because I feel this would not be a fair representation of the daily costs as not everyone will go diving. I recommend you do by the way, it is amazing, I love diving!

Read all about the costs of traveling in the Philippines (accommodation, transport, food&drinks and activities).Read all about the costs of traveling in the Philippines (accommodation, transport, food&drinks and activities).
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  1. January 4, 2016 / 6:21 pm

    Wat een overzichtelijk manier om je uitgaven bij te houden! Zeker handig voor toekomstige reizigers.

    Ik vond Luzon het meest speciaal. Prachtig, al die rijstvelden.

    • Lotte
      January 4, 2016 / 9:08 pm

      Dank Jenny:-) Ik vond Luzon ook fantastisch, ik had nog nooit in mijn leven rijstvelden gezien en dan meteen zulke fenomenale als die van Batad!

  2. January 5, 2016 / 10:17 am

    Wauw zeg, zo uitgebreid en in detail. Hier gaan veel toekomstige Fillipijnen-bezoekers écht iets aan hebben. Bij mij kruipt deze bestemming ook steeds hoger op het lijstje, zeker na het zien van jouw foto’s! Die infographic is super handig.

    • Lotte
      January 5, 2016 / 11:02 am

      The Philippines are awesome, definitely recommended! Fijn te lezen dat je de infographic handig vindt:-)

  3. January 8, 2016 / 7:50 pm

    Wat een super mooie infographic is dat zeg! Helemaal zelf in elkaar geflanst? En 57 euro met z’n 2’en is een mooi bedrag! Heb je hier een app voor gebruikt om dit bij te houden?

    • Lotte
      January 8, 2016 / 11:42 pm

      Dankje:-) Ja €57 is een prima bedrag met z’n 2-en! Ik heb de infographic gemaakt in PowerPoint. Het kostenoverzicht heb ik bijgehouden in Excel, ik had een kleine laptop mee waarop ik een uitgebreid reisverslag en reisoverzicht (waaronder financiën) bijhield. Afgelopen trip naar Parijs heb ik voor het eerst de Trailwallet App gebruikt en dat beviel ook prima. Maar omdat ik nog meer dingen noteer, naast alleen budget info, heb ik toch voorkeur voor Excel;-)

  4. Denise - Follow my footprints
    January 9, 2016 / 11:36 pm

    Mmmmm… dat eten! De Filippijnen lijken me schitterend. Die stranden! En knalgroene rijstvelden, daar hou ik ook van.

    • Lotte
      January 10, 2016 / 9:53 am

      De Filipijnen zijn echt prachtig, zeker de moeite waard ondanks dat het eten een beetje tegenviel;-) Gelukkig hebben we daarna nog heerlijk gegeten in de rest van Zuidoost Azië!

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