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The Philippines is, in one word, INCREDIBLE! Discover waterfalls in the jungles of Cebu, go wreck diving in Coron or explore pristine beaches on a 4-day expedition. You’ll feel like a real Robinson here!

During my backpacking trip in 2019, I wanted to explore the Philippines on a budget and I kept track of almost all costs to be able to share this with you.
You don’t need a fortune to visit this beautiful country, but it is slightly more expensive than other countries such as Thailand, Cambodia or Laos.
This is because you often have to travel by ferry or plane from one island to another and these costs add up very quickly.

In this article, I will share with you how much it cost to travel to the Philippines with a complete cost breakdown of my trip.

READ ALSO: 42 x Best hotels in the Philippines

Cloud 9 Siargao

Travel the Philippines on a budget

There are many beautiful islands to explore and fun things to do in the Philippines, which makes it one of my favourite places to explore in Asia. Although it’s a bit more expensive than other Southeast Asian countries, it’s well worth it!

The cost of transportation to the other islands, as well as the many exciting activities I’ve done, has taken up the biggest part of my Philippines travel budget. (for example, the popular island-hopping tours, scuba diving excursions, or adventure trips)

The total cost breakdown was based on two trips to the Philippines in one year, each journey lasting 28 days. Also, most of the Philippines travel expenses went to food, activities, and transportation.

I divided this budget breakdown into five categories and listed the total amount me and my partner have spent as well as the average daily expenses for each category. So whether you have a Philippines itinerary for 2 weeks, 4 weeks, or 2 months, this article will give you a good cost indication for your own trip.

Flight over Coron - BLOGPOST HQ

What’s not included in this Philippines travel budget

Flights, travel insurance, and backpacks are not included in this Philippines budget because they vary for everyone and every occasion and we purchased these way in advance. However, you’ll find below how much we’ve spent on these items.

International flights

The first trip, we flew with Cathay Pacific from the Maldives to Manila and paid $290 per person (one-way ticket). The second trip, we flew with Cebu Pacific from Japan to Cebu and paid $127 per person for a one-way ticket.

Travel Insurance 

World Nomads is the go to insurance if you are planning to travel for a longer period.


I used a Deuter Aircontact 75L and my partner a Osprey Aura AG 65L. For the camera gear, we used a Thule EnRoute 25L and a WANDRD PVKE Rolltop.


Nacpan Beach - BLOGPOST HQ

Food and drinks in the Philippines – 56 days – $1624

(based on two persons)

It can be hard to find vegan food in the Philippines but we were lucky that we could find lots of great vegan places almost everywhere we went.

Although the prices were slightly higher than those at a nearby restaurant, we are more than willing to pay the extra money for a satisfying and nutritious lunch. So, depending on your diet, you may be able to cut these costs.

To give you a proper idea of some general food costs, I listed it down below:

  • Eating out – $1438 or $25/day
      • Drinking water is free in most restaurants
      • Smoothie bowl around PHP 250 ($4,8)
      • Noodles with vegetables in a more popular restaurant around PHP 220 ($4)
      • Vegan burger in a more popular restaurant around PHP 280 ($5,4)
      • Filipino dish in a local restaurant around PHP 150 ($3)
      • Fresh juices around PHP 120 ($2,3)
      • Soft drink around PHP 30 ($0,5)
      • Local beer around PHP 60 ($1,2)
      • Rum & Coke around PHP 80 ($1,5)
      • Small bottle of local rum around PHP 50 ($1)
  • Groceries like water, snacks & fruit – $186 or $3/day

Money-saving tip: buy oats and fruits in the local markets and try to prepare your own breakfast. 

Food stall along to way to Puerto Pinseca- BLOGPOST HQ
Smoothie Bowl

Accommodations in the Philippines – 56 days – $1401

(based on two persons)

While we were in the exploring this magnificent country, we decided to stay in cute, trendy, and inexpensive places to stay and during those 56 days, we spent an average of $25 a night on accommodation in the Philippines.

In general, places to stay in the Philippines are slightly more expensive than in other Southeast Asian countries, but you may make it as cheap or expensive as you like.

To make the most of our backpacking trip, we mixed staying in hostels, hotels, and even luxurious glampings. However, there are a few places I would recommend staying at such as Nacpan Beach Glamping in El Nido & Soultribe Beach Retreat in Siargao

12 nights in mid-range hotels – average $37/night
2 nights in a guesthouse – average $ 28/night
10 nights in hostels with a private room – average $24/night
25 nights in hostels – average $21/night
2 nights glamping – average $57/night
2 nights overnight ferries – average $33/ferry
3 nights camping in a tent on the beach, which was included in our Balabac Expedition

READ ALSO: 42 x Best hotels in the Philippines

Port Barton
Socorro - Bucas Grande - BLOGPOST HQ

Transportation in the Philippines – 56 days – $1124

(total for two persons)

The costs of transport in the Philippines can quickly increase because you often have to fly or travel long distances with different types of transport.

The cost of your trip can vary depending on how many islands you wish to explore and whether you want to go fast and comfortably to every destination.

My partner and I visited many Islands such as Coron, Balabac, Siargao, Camiguin, Siquijor, …, which quickly took a large amount from our budget and therefore, we listed down the prices and types of transportation that we used.

TIP: Domestic flights can get pricey if booked at the last minute, so it’s a good idea to buy them in advance.

  • 3 domestic flights – all booked with Kiwi
      • Manila to Coron – $103 per person
      • Puerto Princesa to Cebu – $23 per person
      • Cebu to Siargao – $78 per person
      • Dumaguete to Manila – $68 per person
  • 2 overnight ferries – Check 12GoASIA for the best fares
      • from Cebu to Surigao – PHP 850 per person ($17)
      • from Surigao to Cebu – PHP 850 per person ($17)
  • 7 fast boats and ferries – Check 12GoASIA for the best fares
      • Coron to El Nido – PHP 1800 per person ($35)
      • Bohol to Siquijor – PHP 600 per person ($23)
      • Surigao To Siargao – PHP 220 per person ($4,3)
      • Siargao to Surigao – PHP 350  per person ($7)
  • Some buses & minivans
      • Puerto Princesa to El Nido – PHP 700 ($14)
      • El Nido to Port Barton – PHP 500 per person ($10)
      • Cebu City to Moalboal – PHP 150 per person ($3)
      • Cebu City to Maya (Malapascua) – PHP 250 per person($5)
  • Scooter/motorbike rentals – average rental prices are around PHP 350-500 per day ($7-10)
  • And we took a Grab taxi from Cebu City to Cebu Airport – PHP 250 ($5)

TIP: We went to Siargao twice, did you catch that one? We couldn’t do anything the first time due to the awful weather, so we decided to return the second visit to the Philippines. So always check the weather in advance.

Tuktuk in El Nido - BLOGPOST HQ

Excursions & activities in the Philippines – 56 days – $1825

(based on two persons)

It still feels like we missed out on seeing and doing things in the Philippines even though it was our third visit to this amazing country. There are just so many incredible experiences for every type of traveller, which makes this one of my favourite destinations in the world.

The main reason our costs for things to do in the Philippines are so high is because of this. (Somewhat of a FOMO issue?) The activities that we experienced are mentioned below, along with the average cost of each activity.

Based on what you want to do, this will give you a good idea of how much money you will need to plan your trip to the Philippines.

Socorro - Bucas Grande
Island tour B - BLOGPOST HQ
Travel the Philippines on a budget: Our budget breakdown

Other costs in the Philippines- 56 days – $329

(based on two persons)

Besides the things you have read in this article, there were also other expenses. For example, we got sunscreen at a local grocery store which was more expensive than everywhere else. We also needed to stay connected, so we bought sim cards.

On the Islands, we rented scooters to explore most places and had to pay for petrol. Luckily prices are more afffordable than back home. Another cost that many travellers forget is laundry! When you travel for an extended period of time, you will need to do laundry multiple times.

  • Visas – Our visa-on-arrival was free for 30 days
  • We used 2 different SIM-cards & data packages because they cover different areas
      • GLOBE – ‘Go Surf package’ for PHP 1000 ($20) / 10GB for 30 days – worked a lot better in Palawan & in our opinion the better choice
      • SMART – ‘GIGA VIDEO’ package – PHP 500 / 8GB for 30 days – worked slightly better in Siargao en Bohol
  • Laundry – PHP 60 ($1)
  • Petrol – PHP 55 /liter ($0,9)
  • We bought new diving masks – $56
  • Sunscreen – PHP 600 ($12)
  • Haircut – PHP 150 ($3)
Cafe in El Nido - BLOGPOST HQ
Daku Island - BLOGPOST HQ

Total Philippines travel budget – 56 days – $6327 

(based on two persons)

With an average daily budget of $56 per person, we spent a total of $6327 throughout our 56-day adventure in the Philippines.

The delicious food and the awesome excursions in the Philippines took the most amount of money out of our budget but in our perspective, these are the things that made the trip so memorable and enjoyable.

However, you can easily lower your average daily budget by skipping excursions and eating more at local restaurants.

Coron View

I hope you can put all this information to use when you create your own itinerary for the Philippines. Let us know in the comments below if there is any information that is missing. Please get in touch with us!

Save these pins for later!


Discover the Philippines with my favourite travel apps

To plan my adventures, I use these FREE websites and apps as they provide the best information, the best deals, and they are user-friendly. 


All the pictures on this page are made and owned by me. If you are interested in some pictures to use for your magazine, website, blog, or any other purpose, just send me an email and we’ll figure it out.

Do you like the edits? My Presets will be online soon so you can edit your pictures in just one click!

The camera gear I used for this trip

I never go out without my camera and many people ask me which gear I use. So to make it quite easy, I listed all the gear I used for this trip below.

Most of the time, I travel with the Sony A7III and the Sony 24-105mm/f4 as my primary lens but depending on the location, I change to another setup. However, I love the Tamron 17-28 to shoot in the big cities.


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