The Philippines Backpacking Budget – How much money do you need per day?

cost of travel in The Philippines

This post details the estimated cost of travel in The Philippines. We have outlined two daily travel budgets – one for shoestring travellers and one for those on a slightly more comfortable Philippines backpacking budget. Further down there are details on the local currency and sample prices for travellers in the country.

Philippines Backpacking Budget
Map of Philippines from wikitravel, can be re-used under CC BY-SA 3.0

The Philippines Cost of Travel in 2023

Shoestring Backpacker Budget

  • US$25/day | 1,400 Philippine Pesos per day

The cost of travel in The Philippines is roughly in line with a typical backpacking budget in Southeast Asia. For anyone backpacking The Philippines on a low budget, you can expect to spend roughly 1,400 Pesos per day (around 25 USD). That should be enough for a budget traveller to cover all their daily expenses including the cost of accommodation (hostel dorm bed), transport and meals.

There are certainly less backpackers in the Philippines when compared to other places in the region. That can be both a good and bad thing depending on your perspective. One effect of that is there isn’t quite as much hostel style accommodation which can see you spend a bit more on that although the main destinations tend to have a few budget cheapies where you can find dorms with other backpackers.

Eating out is very cheap and certainly comparable and often better value than prices over on mainland Southeast Asia while beer and Filipino rum is also dirt cheap meaning you can certainly fit maybe a couple of nights out a week on this budget, as long as you avoid the more expensive bars and clubs.

More Comfortable Philippines Backpacking Budget

  • US$40/day | 2,200 Philippine Pesos per day

If you stay in one part of the country or one island, the previous budget shouldn’t be at all hard to stick to. However, what can make travel in The Philippines more expensive than in a country like Vietnam or Laos is that there are 7,000 islands to choose from. Getting from A to B is a bit more complicated and requires some planning in advance if you want to get the best deals.

If you plan on backpacking around The Philippines and taking in many different islands and parts of the country, you might want to allow for more like US$40 per day here, particularly if you are more of a fan of ‘go with the flow’ travel as opposed to rigid planning. You will need to take several boats and probably a few flights to really see the best the country has to offer and this kind of a budget gives you a bit more freedom to see and do more than would be possible on $25/day.

The Philippines does have some fantastic beach destinations but some of those cater more towards a mid-range budget than a shoestring one with popular Boracay being a good example. A Philippines backpacking budget of $40/day will enable you to visit a few more of those places too and perhaps stay in a slightly better class of accommodation every now and then.

Philippines sea
The Philippines is a good destination for snorkelling and scuba diving on a budget.

How much do things cost in The Philippines?

Approximate Price in USD
Flight from Manila to Cebu (1 hour 15 mins) From $25 (plus baggage fees)
Meal in a local restaurant$3-5
Local beer in bar/restaurant$1-1.50
Dorm bed in a hostelFrom $6
Budget private roomFrom $10
Entrance Fee for Fort Santiago, Manila$1.35
Travel insurance for backpacking The PhilippinesDepends on age, length of trip & other factors – Get a quote from Heymondo in less than a minute!

As you can see from the short selection of sample prices above, The Philippines is great value by most international standards. There are subtle differences, but you shouldn’t notice a huge difference if travelling here from mainland Southeast Asia and it is certainly a lot cheaper when compared to the cost of travel in Singapore for example.

Prices for some things, most noticeably alcohol, are also cheaper when compared to those featured in our suggested Malaysia backpacking budget which is $30/day for shoestring travellers as of 2023.


Currency – Philippine Peso

£1 = 67 Pesos

€1 = 59 Pesos

US$1 = 56 Pesos

These exchange rates are accurate as of February 2023. One or two places in The Philippines accept US Dollars but paying for things in Dollars is nowhere near as common here as it is in Vietnam or Cambodia for example.

This Philippines backpacking budget was last updated in February 2023.

The Philippines Backpacking Budget – How much money do you need per day?

One thought on “The Philippines Backpacking Budget – How much money do you need per day?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to top