Arthur and Paul went on a flashpacking deluxe trip to the Philippines. They enjoyed vibrant Manilla, relaxed at the white sand beaches of Boracay, visited the Chocolate Hills at Bohol and snorkeled in clear turquoise water with whale sharks. In the meanwhile they enjoyed good hotels and restaurants. But, what were the costs of their flashpacking deluxe adventure 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.

Beach Philippines. ©Arthur.
Beach Philippines. ©Arthur.


These prices are per person unless stated otherwise.

Standard Philippines expenses

One night in a hostel dormitory: 10,71 euro (12,04 USD)
A short 10-minute taxi ride: 1,0 euro (1,12 USD)
A bottle of water (0,5L) at the store: 0,30 euro (0,33 USD)
A local beer at a bar/restaurants: 1,25 euro (1,40 USD)
A glass of coca cola in a restaurant: 1,25 euro (1,40 USD)
Lunch at a local restaurant: 5 euro (5,62 USD)
Dinner at a local restaurant: 10 euro (11,24 USD)

Notable Philippines expenses 

Five single flight tickets (Manila – Kalibo, Kalibo – Cebu, Cebu – Manila, Manila – Puerto Princessa, Puerto Princessa – Cebu): 375,00 euro (421,67 USD)
Comfortable hotel (per room): 50,00 euro (56,20 USD)
Ferry Cebu to Bohol: 9,80 (11,10 USD)
Snorkeling with whale sharks: 19,00 euro (21,64 USD)
Boat tour El Nido – Palawan: 19,00 euro (21,64 USD)
Zipline Bohol: 7,00 euro (7,87 USD)

Chocolate Hills in Bohol.
Chocolate Hills in Bohol. ©Arthur.


About the backpackers: Arthur (28) and Paul (33), the Netherlands.
Destination and travel period: Philippines in December 2014 for 3 weeks 
Visited places: Manilla, Boracay, Cebu, Bohol, Oslob, Palawan
Type of trip: Couple, independently
Accommodation*: Standard (guesthouses and hotels)
Transportation*: Luxe (taxi’s, private cars, first class) 
Food*: Standard (food in medium priced local restaurants and western restaurants). 
Currency rate: 1 euro = 53 Peso

*4 options: basic, budget, standard and luxury

  • Book your domestic flight tickets in advance. It will safe a lot of money during high season. Cebu Air Pacific is good choice!
  • Swim with whale sharks in Oslob and visit the nearby Tumalog waterfalls (about 30 minutes by scooter or car)
  • When you go to Palawan, make sure to get cash first in Puerto Princess. There are no ATM’s on the island of Palawan.
  • For a great dinner, visit the Mezzanine Restaurant at El Nido. It isn’t cheap, but you can enjoy delicious Italian food with ocean views.
  • Visit the underwater river in Sabang (Palawan) and do an island boat trip in El Nido (Palawan). Both are quite touristy, but absolutely beautiful.
Snorkelling with whale sharks. ©Arthur.
Snorkelling with whale sharks. ©Arthur.

Have you been on a flashpacking trip to the Philippines? Can you relate to these travel costs? 


  1. Great article! We are heading to the philippines in May so this article was very helpful to help us plan! I just wondered how easy you found it to get around the islands and how you worked out which ones to go to? Thanks!

  2. Hi Ella,

    It’s pretty easy to travel around, but becuase of the distances between the most popular islands, you have to take flights instead of busses. But this is very easy (Cebu Air Pacific or Air Asia) and also very common for the locals to use. But at the several islands you can take busses, minivans and/or jeepneys. The only boattransfer we took was Cebu-Bohoh, which is less than 2 hours.

    I just read the Lonley Planet and decided to visit the most popular highlights of the philippines (Party in Boracay, Chocolate Hills in Bohol, Whale Sharks in Oslob and the beaches (+ underground river) in Palawan. In the end I can say that this was a very good choise, because of the diversity.



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