Asia is full of alluring destinations that we can never get enough of- the Philippines is one of them! It’s one of the most spectacular budget travel destinations in the world. This country has its charm with a unique culture. White-sand beaches, enchanting marine, obliging people and mouth-watering delicacies speaks volumes about the beauty of this country.
But why should you visit this place? You can find beaches and good-food in so many other countries- what makes the Philippines stand out?
Well, talking realistically, finding a place where travelling is as cheap as $20/day with thrilling activities, underground rivers, rice terraces, exotic wildlife and finger-licking good food- it’s quite rare. This paradise-like country is also well-known for its grand festivals. If you’re planning a trip to the Philippines on a budget, these are the only tips you need. Even if you’re looking for expensive stays and luxury, the Philippines has abundant options. Let’s have a look!
1. Get the timing right
You get better deals on flights when you book early, not just for here, but any country. Air Asia and Cebu Pacific are the best options to opt for. Being the cheapest airlines, Air Asia also has some noteworthy deals going on throughout the year. You can log on to Sky Scanner to compare flight prices and book the ones that suit your budget the best. You can get the cheapest tickets to fly to the Philippines during October.
2. Avoid travelling during the peak season
While it might be exciting to travel during the festive season, a smarter choice is to travel during the low season. Not only would you save up on money but also avoid the rush on the beaches. A lot of tourists tend to avoid the Philippines during June-September. Take advantage of this time and save up a fortune on hotels and flights. However, the weather might not be at its best. The Philippines is a Catholic country. Avoiding festive months is also a smart choice as there tends to be a huge demand for transport service and tourist centres.
3. Exchanging Currency
It is ideal to get carry USD and get the currency exchanged to ₱ (Filipino Peso) outside the airport to get a better deal. The currency exchanges at the airport usually have high charges. You can also carry your Citi bank or Metro bank cards with you to make purchases during the trip, without having to pay additional commissions.
The Philippines is ridiculously cheap, especially when it comes to hotels and hostels. The accommodation options can be as cheap as $5/night. You can look for dorm rooms, hostels, local stays with the Filipinos in Palawan and Manila. Most of them include Wi-Fi and cooling.
5. Food and drinks
Filipino cuisine is the best emersion of sweet and savoury that you can find anywhere. You can get a plate of delicious and authentic Filipino food for as less as $1. In Makati, Manila, Quezon and other posh areas of the Philippines, one tends to fall in the trap of spending on expensive food and drinks. So, if you’re looking for cheaper alternatives, you can try out the local cheap beer and rum that is available on pretty much every roadside. Stick to the food that the locals eat and enjoy fresh fruits which are filling and very inexpensive.
The Philippines is known for making the cheapest spirits in Asia. local rum is cheaper than any other food or beverage in the entire country. Bottles of beer usually cost around 50 cents only. Fried spring rolls, Pancit or fried noodles, the Halo-halo dessert often cost less than a dollar.
If you’re a sucker for seafood, you’ll fall in love with the Philippines even more. You can manifest the best kind of seafood including lobsters, which are generally expensive for such a cheap price and no compromise on the flavours! You can easily get a three-course meal for two at less than $10. Sounds bizarre! Right?
6. In-city travel
If you’re an adventure freak, hitch-hiking or trekking can save you a fortune. For the less adventurous ones, they are long-distance public buses, ferries and cab services. You can also rent out a tricycle or a motorbike with your partner and save up on transportation drastically. Uber is also a widely used means of transportation here.
Has diving been on your bucket list for a while now? Now is the time to live your dreams. You can get training from the best divers in The Philippines for just $25. Other activities such as snorkelling, scuba diving, jet-skiing and parasailing can be done on most of the beaches. Doing activities in posh places such as Manila can be slightly expensive and can go up to $35. Hence, it’s advisable to save these activities for Cebu city, Lipa city, Boracay and Banaue.
Almost all beaches in the Philippines have free camping services. Camping on the beaches is safe and also gives you a decent amount of privacy. If not for staying, you can set up a tent just for fun and lit up a bonfire if the weather calls for it. Quite a few hotels also lent out their gardens if they have one for free if you are a regular at their bar/restaurant.
9. Buddy Up and share
Instead of taking a solo-trip, plan out a trip to the Philippines with your friends for an even cheaper experience. A trip for a single person for a week is usually $380. Travelling with a friend will help you get better rooms and split the cost. Also, a lot of group adventure activities turn out to be cheaper as you get to go halves. If you’re going for a solo trip, try to make friends with the localities (which shouldn’t be tough as they are very genuine and friendly) and invite them for doing adventure sports with you.
10. Go on Island Tours
Island tours are surprisingly very reasonable in almost all the places in the Philippines. They start at $17 per person and also include free alcohol and some food. There are a variety of small agencies that offer these services. Hence, it’s advisable to do your research and compare the prices.
One of the major reasons as to why the Philippines is so inexpensive is because the best things you get here are free. Watching the world-famous sunrise and sunsets, chilling on the idyllic beaches and sunbathing, hanging out with the localities and experiencing playful outdoor activities, trekking though the mammoth caves and breathtaking sights, and of course, the country’s grand festivals that can light up your trip like no other!