How much does a trip to the Philippines cost?

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.

Per day

$41 / day

Per Week

$288 / week

In total

$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
Budget for 2 weeks in the Philippines - here's how much to spend, including tips on where to stay and what to see. #philippines #budgettravel

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.

Budget for 2 Weeks In The Philippines

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)
Budget for 2 Weeks In The Philippines

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!

Ferries ($16.7)

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).

Fees ($24)

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)

Budget for 2 Weeks In The Philippines

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.

Read next: 25 Budget Travel Tips That Will Save You Money To Travel More

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.

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57 Comments

  1. You’d go really far with that amount of money for 2 weeks over here. Like you said, you can stay for the same amount of time, hop from one Philippine island to another, and have awesome fun for much, much less.

    Glad you enjoyed Bohol. I’m from there.

    1. Thanks, Ludwig. You have a beautiful country! Sure, it’s easy to live for way less than I did – this is more a mid-range budget than a low budget.

  2. Heading there in a couple weeks. I’m defintiely going as budget as possible. I’m hoping everything isn’t too much more considering it is high season.

    1. That’s awesome, Dave! You’ll love the Philippines. I wouldn’t worry about the prices – in general everything is really cheap so you can easily travel on a budget. Boracay is one of the more expensive places.

  3. Every time I read a post about the Philippines it makes me more desperate to go. I was gutted that we couldn’t fit it in to our Asia trip this time round!

    Beautiful photos!

    1. I traveled to Asia many times before I visited the Philippines. It truly is a hidden gem in many ways so I hope you get to visit someday – if not this time, then the next.

  4. Hi there, I am looking to book a holiday to the philippines for 2 weeks, would you recommend booking accommodation prior to arrival or it is similar to the rest of Asia where you can just turn up and look around? I will be going in low season so I shouldn’t have the worry of everywhere being fully booked. Thanks!

    1. I always book a room the first couple of days and then I take it from there. If you’re traveling in low season, you’ll find plenty of accommodation. I’ve heard that it’s difficult to find hotels/hostels in Banaue so if you’re heading up north make sure to research.

  5. Looking for a free place to camp in the philippines. Especially near Baguio area. I plan to spend less and save more

  6. Hi Miriam, I’m a Filipino too, thank you for your accurate and informative article. I can now have an estimate cost whenever I plan to go on a trip. Good reads !

  7. You have to come back for El Nido and Coron (Palawan!). I’m a local and those are my favorite places ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m glad you liked it here.

  8. I have been planning to go to Palawan. I am looking forward to more articles about your budget trips. Hopefully somewhere near the metro like in Subic, Tagaytay or Pampanga.

  9. Hi Miriam! I’m traveling to the Philippines next month and wanted to know, do you think your budget would still be suitable in 2017?

    1. Hi Elizabeth,
      Yes, I would think so. I was there just 2 years ago so I guess prices are pretty much the same (more or less). Have a great trip!

  10. Hello,
    Im looking to visit the phillipines for about two weeks and im concerned about what is enough money to have.

    My gf who lives in batangad has a place so between staying there and possibky staying in a hotel about 6 to 8 days out if the two weeks will be my major expense.

    Othere then that its more food..transportation..and a couple of theme parks with her jids but for the most part this vacation is about us meeting for the first time.

    What do u think is a good amount to have with me?

    Thx…Oscar

    1. Hi Oscar,
      You can withdraw money when you get there, but better check with your girlfriend if there are any nearby ATM’s (it depends on which island you’re headed to).

      I spent about $13 per day on food (3 meals) and you can see my transportation budget at the top of the article – it depends on which kind of transportation you go for. Taxis are quite cheap, and jeepneys (local mini-busses) are even cheaper.

      The Philippines is a really inexpensive country so you shouldn’t worry about breaking the bank. Everything is very, very cheap!

  11. Hello,

    Loved coming across your profile and ready your information about the Philippines. Myself and three friends are travelling across in two weeks. We are looking at booking our internal flights and accommodation today.
    Could you please give us some tips on where to stay in Cebu close enough to visit the whale sharks and the waterfalls? Also would you have any tips on how we could arrange a tour guide for these this tour?

    Have you also got any tips on a two night away boat trip in el nido, Palawan for island hopping?

    1. Hi Meagan,
      I stayed in Bohol, not Cebu so I can’t help you there. The easiest would be to book a tour when you arrive. It shouldn’t be a problem and they arrange tours on a daily basis.

      I didn’t go to Palawan, but you might be able to find some inspiration on http://www.justonewayticket.com by Sab. She has traveled a lot in the Philippines.

  12. Hii, I’m Robert and am pleased to converse with you about traveling to the Manila, Philippines in May. My question is, should I get traveler’s checks before going to the Philippines or just exchange my American currency once I arrive? Thanx so much for your assistance in advance.

    Robert in U.S.

    1. Hi Robert, welcome to my blog! I wouldn’t bring currency from the U.S. It’s much easier to just withdraw money from an ATM once you arrive. There should be plenty of ATMs in Manila, but they might be few and far between on the islands.

      Have a great trip!

  13. Hi!

    I was just wondering if you have information on cheap flights from the United States to the Philippines.

    Thanks!

  14. do u prefer AIR bnb for living or just do hotels? i’m meeting a pen pal for the first time and i dont feel completely comfortable staying at her place.

    1. Hi Cameron, I usually stay at hotels or hostels. I totally get your situation and would also prefer a hotel. Good news is that they’re very cheap in the Philippines.

  15. Hi Miriam, can fly to Philippines with out a visa . I want to meet my feance for the first time . in manila. I just gut my passport in. What is my next step. I know I have to get shots. And ticket. Do I go to airport. Or do I need more paper work. Where do I get my passport stamped. I never did this ever . so lost. Please
    Help. Love your plog.

    1. Hi Dale,
      Sorry for the late reply, I just had a baby ๐Ÿ™‚

      Depending on your citizenship, you might need a visa to enter the Philippines. You can check here if you need it: https://philippines.visahq.com/ If you’re from the US and only plan to stay in the Philippines less than 30 days, you don’t need a visa.

      Start with getting the vaccines (your doctor will know which ones you need), then apply for a visa and buy the ticket. I always buy plane tickets on Momondo.com or Skyscanner.com, which I find to be the cheapest. You can do most of this online so there’s no need to go to the airport.

      I hope you get it all in place, Dale. You can always call the Philippine embassy in your home country and let them guide you. They’ll know what to do.

  16. Hey Miriam, I’m from South Africa and I would really love to go to Philippines this year, I wanted to know about the issue of connecting flights how does it work and whether do you pay extra money for the other flight aside that you paid for your original flight

    secondly, at Philippines airport do they exchange the currency of other foreign countries other than US dollar?

    thirdly, when you book a hotel in the Philippines, do you pay upon arrival or in advance from your home land? do you trust the legitimacy and validity of finding hotels through booking.com ?

    your response will be highly appreciated.

    1. Hi Walter,

      If you buy a ticket from South Africa to the Philippines and it’s a connecting flight, you pay for the whole distance – it’s one ticket. I think there’s a currency office that offers several currencies at the airport, but it’s expensive. Your best option is to bring your visa card and withdraw Philippine pesos from an ATM. That’s what I always do.

      I trust Booking.com, hotels.com and hostels.com – I’ve never had any issues with them. Some of the hotels are paid upon arrival while others are paid when booked online – Booking.com will let you know which one it is during the booking process.

  17. Hey Miriam,

    I am only browsing and almost know everything you are saying, so there is no need for me to reply except the fact that I really admire you replying even though you just had baby, that really shows who you really as a person and what this blog means to you.

    We are so lucky to have you, your baby is lucky for you to be his mom and your baby daddy is the luckiest man a live.

    Keep up the good work I’m sure people need people like you in this life.

    Regards,

    Omar

    1. Omar, you just saved my day. I’ve been going back og forth about creating another blog with more focus on lifestyle and my everyday life in Denmark, and your comment just tipped my decision to a big YES! Thank you so much for the inspiration and the beautiful words. It means the world to me.

  18. Hi,

    My husband and I will be travelling to the Philippines in a few weeks, we booked all the internal flights and accommodation but I was wondering if we should book the tours in advance too?

    I’ve read that tours are cheaper if booked locally than online. But I’m afraid I might not find availability. Most of all, we would like to go to the Underground River Palawan Tour in Puerto Princesa and the Kawasan Falls tours in Cebu.

    Looking forward for your advice. Thank you!

    1. Hi Maria,

      I haven’t been to Palawan or the Kawasan Falls in Cebu so I can’t give you specific advice on that I’m afraid. However, as a rule of thumb it’s always best to book tours locally – unless it’s an extensive tour like the Inca Trail, because then you should always book in advance. The advantage of booking locally is that it’s cheaper and you can ask around which tour company is better.

      If you’re short on time and don’t want to risk it, I would book online or ask my hotel for recommendations. Often, hotels work with tour companies or know which ones are better. They might even be able to help you book (sometimes for a small fee).

  19. That’s super rad. How did you carry your cash though? My girlfriend and I are heading out in about a week and are a little torn about how we should be carrying our travel money (AKA cash or use our VISA/Mastercard and just absorb the conversion charge).

    1. Hi Audrey, it depends on where you’re headed because the smaller islands don’t necessarily have an ATM.

      I always divvy up my travel cash and credit cards into multiple safe spots. For instance in my wallet, which is always on me. In my bra, in the hotel’s safety deposit box. You can even hide some in your shoe. I withdraw around $100 and carry that with me and then use the card whenever possible and safe (only at reputable hotels and restaurants, airport, etc.)

      Have a great trip!

  20. Hi Miriam…I salute you for answering each and every comment. You seem genuinely nice person. I am leaving tommorow morning from Brisbane to manila. I will be there for 1 week. 2 days work and rest holidays. Love to hit bars and night club. I heard a lot about night life in Philippines. Thenk you for such a wonderful information. You are trully cute soul. Cheers

    1. Thank you so much, Dr Anirudha! What a nice message ๐Ÿ™‚

      I hope you had a wonderful trip to Manila and found some great night clubs. All the best to you in Brisbane.

  21. That’s some very helpful and informative article! Knowing how to spend less is better and that’s why I am so very thankful for you for sharing these on the internet, a lot of people who will saw this will be thankful too.

  22. Thank you for the article!

    I generally avoid ATM because of the fees and the unfavourable rate at the exchange offices.

    Just discovered a new mobile app for my next trip Fairswap. It allows to exchange cash currency in real-time by meeting with each other at a pre-agreed location.
    Widely, you can post your need in foreign currency and if there is someone nearby facing the reverse need, then he can contact you and you will meet him and make the swap.

    Could be a good way to change before travelling or get rid of some leftover after holidays

    1. Hi Robin,
      Thanks for the tip on Fairswap! This is news to me but definitely sounds promising. I’m always left with too much currency when I leave a country.

  23. Hi, I’m Jack. I was looking for information to travel to the Philippines and I found with this post, first, thank you, Miriam, for taking the time of putting all of this info together, excellent! I just wanted to know if this information is up-to-date (I mean the prices and the fees?)

    Plus, since we are in a pandemic, I will leave here this information to complement your post, it is regarding the Health Pass (https://www.philippinesvisa.com/one-health-pass/) that’s needed to Travel to the Philippines. It can come in handy for those of you like me who would like to travel there. Cheers!

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