The Philippines is one of the best budget-friendly destinations in the world, thanks to its cheap local eats, natural beauty and glorious sunshine. The country has everything: white sandy beaches, snorkelling spots in secret lagoons, friendly locals and laid back vibes. So, how to make the most of your travels around the Philippines on a budget?
From alternative transport routes to eating local, there’s plenty of ways you can still have the time of your life here on a shoestring. If you’re really careful with your cash, you can easily travel here on $20 USD a day.
Top Tips For Getting Around The Philippines on a BudgetHow do these rankings work?
1. Stay in Hostels – They’re Better Than You Think!
Get the notion out of your head that you’ll be sleeping in a dorm room with 10 people – you can get private rooms in hostels that are way cheaper than hotels. Another option is to rock up to local guesthouses or shacks on the beach or in the towns in person, and negotiate a good last-minute price.
2. Takes Buses/Ferries Instead of Planes
Flights can very quickly eat into your budget, especially when travelling around the Philippines. With over 7,000 islands, you might find yourself tempted to fly from place to place. Go for a long-distance bus or ferry to save money and enjoy the scenery along the way.
3. Eat at the Local Markets
This is the best way to try authentic and delicious Filipino food. If you’re in the Makati area in Manila, be sure to visit Salcedo Saturday Market. Whether you want an indulgent street cheat meal or a healthy snack, this is a must.
4. Try Couchsurfing
Couchsurfing is super popular here, so if you’ve never tried it before then it’s a great place to do so. Download the app, which allows you to stay in people’s homes for free! It’s perfect for connecting with like-minded local people who know the area better than you.
5. Sign up for the Air Asia Newsletter
Air Asia is one of the best airlines for travelling around the Philippines on a budget (that’s if your budget allows money for flying!). They have regular sales, so we suggest signing up for their newsletter to be the first to know. You can book all your internal flights in one go for cheap.
6. Skip the Taxis!
Taxis in Manila and Philippines in general are extremely pricey, so download Uber to save up to 30% on your fare. If you do have to get a taxi, make sure it’s priced by the meter or else be sure to negotiate your fare before you set off on your journey.
7. Travel Away From the Tourist Hotspots
Word to the wise: Manila is very, very expensive, so try spend as little time there as possible if you don’t want to blow your budget. While popular islands such as El Nido and Cebu are still relatively cheap, veer off to lesser explored spots such as Sagada, Port Barton, and Siargao to really travel for less.