Money Matters: How much it costs to travel in the Philippines

Money Matters: How much it costs to travel in the Philippines

Grietje Evenwel and her boyfriend traveled the Philippines for 29 days. For Bunch of Backpackers they kept track of all their spendings. So, let’s find out how much it costs to travel in the Philippines! 

This article is part of the Money Matters series in which we ask travelers to keep their expenses for Bunch of Backpackers. Real travelers, real expenses.  


*These daily travel expenses are per one person per day. Including all tours, domestic flights, souvenirs, lodging, food, drinks, entrance fees, tips etc. Excluding international flights.

Philippines. ©Grietje Evenwel.
Philippines. ©Grietje Evenwel.


These prices are per person unless stated otherwise.

Standard Philippines expenses

One night in a hostel (6-p dormitory): 8,00-10,00 euro (8,64-10,8 USD)
One night in a double room in a simple guesthouse: 15,00-30,00 euro (16,2-32,4 USD)
A short 10-minute tuk tuk ride: 0,40-2,00 euro (0,43-2,2 USD) (depending on your bargaining skills and the place)
A bottle of water (0,5L) at the store: 0,40 euro (0,43 USD)
A local beer at a bar/restaurants: 0,87 euro (0,94 USD)
A glass of coca cola in a restaurant: 0,40 euro (0,43 USD)
Lunch at a restaurant in the tourist places: 5,00 euro (5,4 USD)
Dinner at a restaurant in the tourist places: 6,00 euro (6,5 USD)

Philippines. ©Grietje Evenwel.
Philippines. ©Grietje Evenwel.
Notable Philippines expenses 

Inland flight from Manila to Puerto Galera: 53,00 euro (57,4 USD)
Diving: 70,0 – 90,0 euro (75,8-97,4 USD) (First time was a scuba review, the second time a group dive)
Hotels in general: max. of 35,0 euro per night for a double (37,4 USD)
Tour from El Nido to Coron (6h by boat): around 30,0 euro (32,4 USD) 
Boat tour in Port Barton: 12,0 euro (13,0 USD)
Expensive dish at a hotel: 20,0 euro (22,0 USD)

Philippines. ©Grietje Evenwel.
Philippines. ©Grietje Evenwel.


About the backpackers: Grietje Evenwel, a 27-year-old travel blogger and her boyfriend. 
Destination and travel period: Philippines in January 2015 for 29 days
Visited places: Manila, Puerto Princesa, Port Barton, El Nido, Tapik Beach (Sibaltan), Back to El Nido, Coron Town (Busuanga), San Jose, Bulalacao, Puerto Galera
Type of trip: Couple, independently
Accommodation*: Standard (mainly guesthouses / hotels)
Transportation*: Budget with the cheapest available modes of transportation. Between the islands Grietje traveled by boat, with exception of one domestic flight. On the islands she used tuk tuks. 
Food*: Budget (local places and cheap western places), sometimes standard. 
Currency rate: 1 euro = 53 pesos

*4 options: basic, budget, standard and luxury

Philippines. ©Grietje Evenwel.
Philippines. ©Grietje Evenwel.


  • Knowledge is everything! We asked a Philippino worker what the average monthly salary was to get an idea of the local standards.
  • We also checked the price of gasoline. If you know the distance of your tricycle ride, you can easily calculate how much you should roughly pay someone. In Puerto Galera, for example they asked us 500 pesos (10 euro!) for a 20-minute ride. This was way too much. Eventually, we went with someone else for 100 pesos for a 15-minute ride.
  • Book your domestic flight tickets in advance!
  • Keep on smiling. Getting angry or annoyed works against you in the Philippines.
  • Bargain. The walk-away technique often works!
  • If you’re in El Nido, don’t forget to visit Tapik Beach. Tapik Beach is only 1,5 hrs from El Nido and lies on the other side of the island. Since El Nido itself has become quite touristy, Tapik Beach offers a great alternative with friendly locals, like-minded tourists and there is loads to do in the surroundings. It also less expensive than El Nido.
  • If you like peace and quiet, stay on Talipanan beach in Puerto Galera. No music. Just relaxed. We stayed in Bamboo Beach resort, and this was our best stay in the Philippines! A good room, well-priced (we got a free update to a room at the sea :D) and friendly people. Just around the corner: great pizza’s at luca’s. Omnomnom!
Philippines. ©Grietje Evenwel.
Philippines. ©Grietje Evenwel.
  • Dive in 37 degrees Celsius in a lake near Coron town (also check out Grietje’s video below)! This is a unique lake, where salt and sweet water meet. The salt water goes to the bottom and the sweet stays on top. When it gets hot the warm salt water can’t lose it’s heat and so a 37 degrees layer forms around 12 meters under the surface). It feels like being back in your mothers uterus! Really special.
  • If you want a ticket for a ferry to another island, go directly to the pier to book. People on the street can ask sometimes even 300 pesos (6 euro) commission per ticket!
  • In El Nido (for example), most of the prices are pre-arranged. However, if you search thoroughly, you are still able to find cheaper prices or you can try to bargain. Booking in a place out of town may also help. It saved us 400 pesos on ‘tour C’ in El Nido. Don’t forget to ask if lunch is included in your tour.
  • Stay in Calaan, Kalinga village (and eat there) when you’re in El Nido. It’s a bit out of town, but nice and quiet and not too expensive. It was the best we found in the close surroundings of El Nido.
  • Getting money can be complicated. You can get up until 10.000 pesos per time from the machine. How often you can get money within 24 hours depends of your bank. In some places there are no ATM’s or they are broken. Always, check beforehand if your destination has an ATM. El Nido for example, doesn’t have an ATM, so you will to bring enough cash.
  • If you are traveling alone, bring a back-up card. Sometimes my card worked and my boyfriends didn’t.


Grietje Evenwel is a travel vlogger. Find her other cool Philippines video’s here.

Have you traveled in the Philippines? Can you relate to these travel costs? 

Meet 'travel mastermind' Manouk: a 29-year-old sassy girl from Rotterdam, the Netherlands. With BoB she inspires you to explore the world, meet the unexpected and follow your dreams. Happy travels!


  1. Maybe strange to say but i wonder what would make it worth the trouble of going so far over just going to Dominican republic or Nicaragua or Ecuador. I am from Montreal and really, all i need to be happy is a place where the beach is wide anough to enjoyed naked without problems and a couple of girls to take good care of me.
    Based on those simple but not so easy to find needs, is it worth the trouble to get to Philippines and will i even find what i am looking for there and if so, where because it a huge country.
    Venezuela was good until i got attack and rob. Chesapest country in the world but too dangerous.

    Regards Mathieu

  2. As a traveler, expenses is a big thing for me! I always budget my money whenever I have plans for vacation. Thank you for sharing this article, it helps a lot. I love Philippines and I will never get tired of exploring my very own country.

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