In today’s post, we would like to give you a brief overview of our expenses during a week of travels in the Philippines. The good news is that we managed to follow our $25 a day budget plan. The bad news is that we spent most of the time on local buses, bus stops and stations as well as on planes. The journey was exhausting and intense, but this is how we did it as we were short of time.
Local currency in the Philippines is PHP (Philippine peso).
PHP100 = $1.90*
*Updated in December 2018
Example of prices you might be expected to pay while in the Philippines:
- Apple – PHP27 = $0.60
- A small basket of strawberries – PHP100 = $2.24
- Jeepney ride – PHP8 = $0.18
- Coffee – PHP5 = $0.11
- A bottle of water (1,5L) – PHP20/25 = $0.45
- A half of grilled chicken – PHP100 = $2.24
- Street cookies – PHP2-10 = $0.04 $0.22
- Grilled fish – PHP80 = $1.79
- Hostel – PHP400 a person = $8.97
- Bus tickets- between PHP450 and PHP814 depending on the distance = $10-$20
- Ferry from Cebu to Bohol and back – PHP800 = $17.93
- Single tricycle ride – PHP22-30 = $0.50 – $0.70
- Cigarettes – PHP60 = $1.34
- Toilet paper – PHP20 = $0.45
- Souvenirs – PHP25-40 = $0.60 – $0.90
Our expenses during week 1 (for two people)
- Fruits = PHP357
- Jeepney = PHP40
- Tea = PHP204
- Coffee = PHP244
- Water = PHP389
- Breakfast = PHP675
- Lunch = PHP354
- Dinner = PHP820
- Hostels = PHP2,600
- Bus tickets = PHP3,028
- Toilet = PHP23
- Snacks (cookies, buns, sweets, crisps) = PHP195
- Tricycle = PHP53
- Internet = PHP10
- Cigarettes = PHP180
- Attraction entrance fees = PHP121
- Souvenirs = PHP25
In total: PHP9,318 = $209
$209 a week per two = $104 a week per person = $14.92 per person a day
On top of that we bought 2 flight tickets which costed £36 and £44 a person = £80 = $133
How did we manage to travel for less than $15 a day?
1. We walked a lot and avoided taking taxis/jeepneys/tricycles
2. We rarely dined out in restaurants
Instead, we did food shopping in local supermarkets, visited fruit and veggies markets every morning and had quick snacks from the street.
3. We generally avoided touristic places and walked around local areas
- We definitely spent too much money at airports and bus stations in week 2. The coffee at the airport costed PHP120 ($2.70) which is a lot in comparison to coffee you can get in the street for only PHP5 ($0.11).
- We have not booked our accommodation in advance hoping to bargain but as it turned out it would be cheaper for us to book a room online. Most of the time we arrived at hostels after midnight and the staff knew we had no other options around so they were not willing to haggle at all.
Things to be aware of
- There are always different prices for foreigners and locals.
- Be patient. Sometimes Filipinos do not want to haggle.
- Locals are very loyal. If you were quoted an ridiculously high price for an apple at one store, you will be quoted the same price at other stores nearby.
- Prepare some change as locals ask foreigners to pay them for taking photos of them, street food, etc.
- There are always some extra fees to pay at ferry stations and airport.
The Philippines turned out to be much cheaper than we though. We know if we stayed in one place for a longer period of time, we would be able to spend much less.
How expensive/inexpensive do you find the Philippines now?