How much does it cost to travel in The Philippines? During my trip to the Philippines, I kept track of every expense. In this article, I’ll share my travel budget for 2 weeks in The Philippines.
This article was updated in May 2020.
Costs you make before your trip to The Philippines
Before traveling to The Philippines, there are some costs you have to take into account. For example:
Plane ticket to The Philippines
If you don’t live in Asia, a plane ticket to The Philippines might be quite expensive. Especially when you travel to The Philippines from Europe, the plane ticket might be one of your largest expenses. Prices for a return ticket range somewhere between €500-€700. I booked really early (almost 10 months in advance) and was lucky to find a return flight for only €448 with KLM and China Airlines, with a stopover in Taipei.
That’s a pretty good deal right? I usually search and compare flights with Skyscanner.
Before traveling to The Philippines, you might need some travel vaccinations. Check with your doctor before you go. I was traveling from The Netherlands, and I needed a vaccine for DTP and Hepatitis A. If you have good travel insurance, it might be covered. If not, those will be additional costs. For me, it was about €90. But of course, this is different in every country.
You can travel to The Philippines with a suitcase or a backpack. However, the street in most of the places (especially on smaller islands) are not that good, so traveling with a suitcase can be really hard. If you don’t have a backpack yet, make sure to get a good one. A good fitting backpack will last for years. It can be quite expensive though, a good backpack costs between €150-€250.
There are thousands of islands in The Philippines, and many of the islands have an airport. You can fly to another island for less than €30 with airlines like AirAsia, Cebu Pacific or Philippine Airlines. Check Skyscanner for the best prices.
You can also take a ferry to lots of the islands, which is cheaper than flying, but it will take you way longer, and it’s not the safest way of transportation. For example, a one way trip from Manilla to Coron will cost you about €16 and takes 12 hours. A great resource of checking the prices and routes of the ferries is 2Go Travel.
On the islands, there are several ways of transportation. I mostly used minivans to go from one place to another. For a 6-hour ride, I paid about €10. You can get cheaper rides if you take the local jeepneys (they look awesome), but those take longer and are less comfortable. You can book a spot in one of the minivans pretty much everywhere.
A tricycle is a sidecar motorcycle with a roof, and you will see them driving around all the time. It’s your best option to use these for short rides (less than an hour) and a ride usually doesn’t cost you more than €1.
In a big city like Manila, it’s better to use taxi’s (for example from the airport to Makati), they are pretty cheap. It’s even better to install an app like Uber or Grab on your phone because those services are even cheaper. For a ride from the airport to Makati, I only had to pay €3,50.
You can get accommodation for every price in The Philippines, it just depends on how much you enjoy having some luxury items, like air-conditioning.
Dorm in a hostel
Your cheapest option will probably be staying at a hostel in a dorm. In some hostels, you can sleep for less than €5. I only slept in a hostel once during my trip in The Philippines, and it was really expensive (€17 a night), but also the most luxury place I’ve stayed in during my trip. Hot showers, fantastic beds, air conditioning, big lockers, nice people, and a great breakfast. Check out Spin Designer Hostel in El Nido if you’d like the same experience.
Staying in a private room can also be cheap, but I noticed prices differ a lot depending on the location you’re staying. In Manila (Makati), I paid about €45 a night for a nice and comfortable room in a luxury hotel. And in Port Barton (Palawan) I had my own (wooden) beach hut for €24 a night. Breakfast was included most of the time.
Places where I’ve stayed in The Philippines
– Manilla: Red Planet Manila Aseana City – €48 for 1 night
– Port Barton: Ausan Beach Front Cottages – €71,57 for 3 nights
– El Nido: Spin Designer Hostel – €61,77 for 3 nights
– El Nido: Rico’s beach cottages – €30,96 for 1 night
– Coron: Sunz En Coron Resort – €61,71 for 2 nights
– Manilla: City Garden Hotel Makati – €46,91 for 1 night
On average, I spend €29,17 per night in The Philippines. I only spent 3 nights in a hostel dorm, and all the others were private rooms. I was traveling solo, so when you travel with someone, it’s cheaper. Hotel rooms in Manilla are pretty expensive compared to the hotel rooms in Palawan.
Food & drinks
It’s well-known that food in Southeast Asia is cheap. However, before I went on my trip to The Philippines, I read that the food in The Philippines can be pretty expensive. I thought it was fine, it just depends on what you want to eat. For a local dish, including drinks, I usually paid €3-€5. If you’d like pizza or a burger, you can double the price, and it doesn’t taste as good as the Philippino dishes. Drinks aren’t that expensive either. A large bottle of water costs €0,50 to €1 and you pay €1 to €1,50 for a beer.
With all the tropical islands, you should at least book a snorkeling tour when you’re in The Philippines. Especially the El Nido island hopping tours are amazing! During these tours, you can explore the beautiful Bacuit Archipel. The tours will cost you about €20 including snorkeling equipment and lunch. You can also book similar tours in Port Barton, where they are about €12. Unfortunately, I had to skip those day tours, because of a tropical storm and a typhoon.
However, one of the best tours in The Philippines is a multi-day tour from El Nido to Coron (or the other way around). This is also one of the most expensive tours you can take. For 5 days, 4 nights, including snorkel gear, food, drinks, guide, and sleeping on remote islands, you pay about €360.
You can book this tour (or a similar one) with Buhay Isla (the company I used) or Tao. A big advantage of taking a tour like this is that you barely meet any other tourists. And the sunsets you’ll see are spectacular.
A local SIM card
Wifi in The Philippines is pretty bad, so if you’d like to keep in touch with your friends and family, I suggest you’re buying a local SIM card. You can buy these when you arrive at the airport (you’ll see many stalls of Smart and Globe) and they even install it for you, so you can use it straight away. For 10 GB data (valid for a month) you’ll pay about €17.
How much does it cost to travel in The Philippines? A summary
How much did it cost to travel in The Philippines during my two-week trip? I spent €1095.05 in total.
Accommodation: €320.92 (11 nights, 8 nights in private rooms with my own bathroom and 3 of them in a 4-bed dorm).
Food: € 185.05
Excursions: € 367.68 (Buhay Isla)
Transportations: €191.17 (2 domestic flights, 3 taxi's, 2 tricycles, and 3 minivans)
Miscellaneous: €30.23 (SIM card, laundry, and tips)
Costs before traveling to The Philippines: €448 (return flight Amsterdam - Manilla)
During this trip I did everything I wanted to do and picked some more expensive food (and cocktails) and accommodation. Especially the tour with Buhay Isla was really expensive, but it was definitely worth it. If you skip this one and do day tours instead, you'll probably have a cheaper trip.
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Or check out these articles:
- Travel tips for The Philippines
- Perfect 2-week itinerary the Philippines
- The 5 best places to eat in El Nido | Palawan, The Philippines