Wondering how much it costs to travel in the Philippines?
A trip to the Philippines is quite affordable! Accommodation is typically inexpensive and food and drinks can be found at very reasonable costs. Plus, some of the best attractions in the country are free.
In this post, I’ll share our complete budget for one person per day.
Let’s take a look.
Read next: The perfect 10 day Philippines itinerary
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How much for 2 weeks in the Philippines?
The cost of travel in the Philippines is quite low.
Expect a daily cost of USD $20 per person (approx. Php 1,000) if you’re on a budget, while more comfort and activity can be experienced with a daily cost of around USD $50 per person (approx. Php 2,500).
We traveled around the Philippines for two weeks and spent in total USD $577 per person. At no point did I feel like we were living on a tight budget – in fact, we splurged on most things and stayed in nice hotels and hostels.
$41 / day
$288 / week
$577 / 2 weeks
Budget per day in the Philippines
- Hotels: $7 – $20 USD / day
- Food: $5 – $15 USD / day
- Activities/tours: $5 – $13 USD / day
- Transportation: US$7 on average per taxi ride
How much should you budget for accommodation?
Accommodation was our obvious budget buster! Even though general lodging in the Philippines are high standard, we had decided to stay comfortable so we spent a little extra.
Accommodation in the Philippines typically costs $7-20 per night for a couple. For $20, you’ll get a private room with own bathroom in a mid-range hotel.
How much does food cost?
If you’re looking to enjoy a nice dinner out, expect to pay around $13 per person including a beer or soda.
Like everything else, the food on Boracay was also expensive. Expect to pay almost double price here compared to other islands like Bohol.
How much do tours and activities cost?
In general, organised tours are inexpensive, but expect prices to be doubled if you visit Boracay.
Organised day trips or smaller tour groups to explore sites more thoroughly tend to cost between $5-30 per person per activity.
If you book through Klook or GetYourGuide, which I use, they are a little higher, but in return you know the standard is top-notch.
Entry fees for museums and art galleries in the Philippines are typically between $14 per person. These are examples of the activities we joined:
- Helmet diving ($28) was a fun water activity we did in Boracay. As this is a really touristy place, you can expect all water activities to cost around $28-$35.
- Visiting the Tarsier Sanctuary ($0,9) was the best experience I had on Bohol. These cuties were so tiny and adorable and at an entrance fee of less than a dollar, it’s definitely worth both the time and money.
- Hinagdaman Cave ($0,4) is on Panglao and easily reached by scooter, jeepney or tricycle. We paid an entrance fee when we got there, and one of the local guys showed us around the cave.
- Chocolate Hills ($1)
- Massages and spas ($20)
How much does transportation cost?
The Philippines consist of 7,000+ islands so it takes a lot of planning and time to get around.
Add to that the fact that Cebu Pacific Airlines has a tendency of canceling or delaying their flights due to bad weather, so this is also something you must take into account.
We flew with them 4 times and they were delayed twice – one of which made us late for our connecting flight.
Rent of scooter ($14)
We rented a scooter for two days on Panglao which gave us a discount. If you rent it for one day only, expect to pay $13 plus gasoline.
Domestic flights ($95)
We had three domestic flights: Manila – Cebu (Airasia), Cebu – Kalibo (Cebu Pacific Airlines) and Kalibo – Manila (Cebu Pacific Airlines) and they were all inexpensive.
If you’re heading to Boracay, you can fly to Kalibo or Caticlan, but Kalibo is way cheaper, so I would recommend you to go for that one. It will take you 1,5 hours longer in a minivan, but we’re talking about a price difference of nearly $100!
When travelling between islands in the Philippines, ferries are a popular option. There is a wide range of ferries to suit your needs, whether you are looking for a shorter trip with no vehicle, or a longer journey with luxury accommodation.
For instance, ferries from Cebu to Bohol ($11) and Kalibo to Boracay which included minivan and boat ($5,7).
We paid environmental and terminal fees on the ferry to Boracay and Bohol, and they charged $3,4 for storing our luggage. We also paid an airport fee ($13) when we left the country.
Local transport ($10)
In the Philippines, you can get around by taxi, tricycle (tuktuk) or jeepney (local transportation). The two latter are the cheapest and you need to agree on a price before you get in. Most taxis charge by meter.
Read next: 8 common taxi scams (and how to avoid them)
Remember extra expenses
Traveling always comes with unforseen expenses. Fees you didn’t know about, delays, taxis, a souvenir you just had to own.
For instance, our flight to Manila was delayed by two hours which meant that we missed our connecting flight to Cebu and had to buy new tickets for $67 per person.
It ended up being cheaper to buy a new ticket than changing it (which would have costed $54 with Cebu Pacific Airlines).
If I have learned anything from traveling in the Philippines it is that you should always have at least 3 hours in transit if you have a connecting flight. These extra expenses are not included in this budget.
In typhoon season, the weather can be rough which means that Cebu Pacific Airlines can cancel or delay your flights. If they cancel, you will get a new flight, but if you have a connecting flight with another airline, you will lose it.
Bottom line, always budget around $200 as a buffer when you travel - no matter where you're going.
Free activities in the Philippines
- WiFi is easily reached in the Philippines. Many hostels and guest houses are wired with WiFi, plus it was free in all the airports we visited.
- Cliff diving. There are some great spots for this at Boracay.
- Visit churches
- Nature and beaches
- Enjoy the sunsets. The ones in Boracay sunsets are particularly stunning.
- Meet locals. Filipinos are genuinely interested in talking to you so it’s easy to get a conversation going with the locals.
How to save money in the Philippines
- Buy food in the local grocery stores
- Plan in advance. Plane tickets are always cheaper if you buy them at least two weeks before departure.
- Visit during low season. This is general advice for saving money, but as always it comes with the chance of bad weather so you need to take this into account.
When to visit the Philippines
The weather in the Philippines is unpredictable. You can come in high season from January to March and experience heavy rain, and you can get bright blue skies in low season.
Typhoon season is from June to December with November having most typhoons. We were there in July during typhoon Glenda that hit Manila and Luzon (the North).
Luckily, we were on Boracay and only got bad weather for three days or so. The photo below is taken the day before the typhoon hit.
I would say that Boracay is easily visited during low season whereas Bohol was cloudy. You can still do the activities and have a good time, but if sunshine and blue skies are imperative to your travels then Bohol is probably better to visit in high season.
More posts from the Philippines you might like
- The perfect 10 day Philippines itinerary
- The ultimate Philippines bucket list: 20 places to visit
- Why you should experience island hopping Bohol
- 10 fun things to do in Panglao
- The perfect 3 day itinerary for Boracay Island
- Budget for 2 Weeks In The Philippines
- Helmet Diving, Boracay: Everything you need to know
- The perfect Bohol 3 days itinerary
- Best snorkeling gear for your next underwater trip
- The Insanely Beautiful Sunsets of Boracay
- Philippine Tarsier – The cutest animal alive