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 backpacking budget. Further down there is details on the local currency and sample prices for travellers in the country.
Is Philippines expensive to travel?
Philippines Travel Costs on a Shoestring Budget
US$30/day | 1600 Peso
The Philippines is perhaps marginally more expensive than most of mainland Southeast Asia but not by a considerable amount. There are certainly less backpackers here which 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 to prices over on the mainland 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, perhaps more if you’re not doing many organised-type trips during the day.
However what really makes travel in the Philippines slightly more expensive than in say Vietnam or Laos is that there are 7,000 islands to choose from and getting from A to B is a bit more complicated and requires some planning in advance if you want to get the cheapest fares.
More Comfortable Philippines Backpacking Budget
US$40/day | 2100 Pesos
If you are more of a fan of the ‘go with the flow’ kind of travel than rigid planning then you might want to allow for more like US$40 per day. 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 more and book later on when you are more sure of your plans.
The Philippines does have some fantastic beach destinations but many cater more towards a mid-range budget than a shoestring one with the popular Boracay being a good example. A Philippines backpacking budget of $40/day will enable you to visit a few more of them and perhaps stay in a slightly better class of accommodation every now and then.
Read more: Laos travel itinerary
Cost of Travel in The Philippines
Flight from Manila to Cebu (1 hour 15 mins) – about $25 + baggage (when booked a week + in advance)
Dorm bed in most destinations – from $6/night
Dorm bed in Boracay – from $10/night
Meal at a budget restaurant – $2.50
Large local beer in bar/restaurant – $1
Entrance Fee for Fort Santiago, Manila – $1.50
Note, these prices haven’t been checked since 2016. Everything else on this page was updated in early 2019.
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance!
These budgets do not cover any pre-trip costs such as the cost of travel insurance and flights to the Philippines. Therefore remember to factor all that in before getting too excited about how cheap your trip may work out to be!
For insurance, we recommend SafetyWing who provide medical travel insurance for digital nomads and backpackers (including COVID-19 cover).
Currency – Philippine Peso
£1 = 67 Peso
€1 = 61 Peso
US$1 = 53 Peso
(All exchange rates are correct as of January 2019)
One or two places accept US Dollars but most will not.
This post was last updated in January 2019.