How to budget your trip in the Philippines?

In total, we stayed 17 days in the Philippines. We really felt in love with this country. It was an amazing experience with a rather cheap budget. It cost us about 65 GBP = 4,250 PHP = 75 EUR = 85 USD / day / person [as of February 2020] without the cost of our international flight. In this post, we are telling you everything about our budget.

Our budget breakdown

I provide you a lot of information regarding our budget.

Note – we were not on a tight budget for this trip. Of course, we were careful with some expenses but we also chose comfortable hotels and did a lot of visits, island hoppings and day tours.

El Nido island hopping
El Nido island hopping

The local currency is the Filipino pesos – PHP. The rate was about £1= €1,17 = $1,3 = 65 PHP [as of February 2020].  

Our total budget was £3,150 for 17 days for the two of us. Hence, it is an average of about 65 GBP = 4,250 PHP = 75 EUR = 85 USD / day / person day / person without the cost of our international flight. All of the expenses are detailed below for both of us.

Filipino pesos
Filipino pesos

Our travel expenses in the Philippines are divided into 5 categories:

Our budget - 17 days itinerary in the Philippines
Our budget – 17 days itinerary in the Philippines

1. International flights from Europe

Our main expense for this trip was our flight tickets. We paid 1,000£ for the 2 of us with Eithad.

Unfortunately due to the coronavirus, this expenses grew quite a bit. Our international flight was cancelled only 3 weeks before our departure. So we had to book last minutes airline tickets which increase the total cost of about £400. Initially we found a return ticket at about £300 / person, which was extremely cheap. 

2. Transportations costs in the Philippines

In total, we spent 35,100 PHP (725£) which is 18% of our full budget for the domestic transports expenses (i.e. transports used in the Philippines).

  • 30,550 PHP (£470) – domestic transfers. We took 3 domestic flights and also some ferries and buses. The domestic flights between different islands can be quite expensive. See our We choose to fly directly from El Nido airport and not from Puerto Princesa to save time. But there is only one airline company (Air Swift) and our two flight tickets cost £195.
  • 4,550 PHP (£70) – other transportations. Our main expenses in this category were renting scooter and riding tricycles. Note – renting a scooter usually cost between 300 PHP to 500 PHP per day, depending of the island.

3. Accommodation costs in the Philippines

In total we spent 47,125 PHP (£725), which is 25% of our full budget for the accommodations.

Hotels are quite expensive in Coron and El Nido. And we read a lot of blogs, which recommend to book the hotel in advance for those 2 places, above all when it is the peak season. 

Kasagpan resort

4. Food expenses – 27,950 PHP (£430)

The food accounted for 14% of our full budget.

Food is quite cheap in the Philippines compared to Europe. But as for the rest, there is a real difference between the prices in Dumaguete vs in El Nido. If you are a foodie and/or if you want some recommendation where to eat – check our dedicated post – food in the Philippines.

5. Tours and visits – 21,450 PHP (£330)

Tours and visits accounted for 11% of our full budget.

We did 2 private boat tours in Coron, one private guide tour in Bohol and 2 island hopping with a group. Those expenses also include the fees for our different excursions (e.g. beach entrance fees, canyoneering etc). If you want to do a tour with private boat we definitely recommend to do it in Coron instead of El Nido, as it is much more affordable and as you can enjoy empty spot as there are less tourist in Coron. We write a dedicated post with many tips about our Island hopping with private boat in Coron.

The cheapest place we stayed is definitely Dumaguete and then Bohol. On the opposite, the most expensive ones are El Nido and then Coron. One of our guide explained us that in Coron and in El Nido there are often prices for tourists and for locals!

Note – we didn’t had any issue to withdraw cash. However, it is true that there is a maximum limit of 10,000 PHP per withdrawal in most ATM machine and a fee of 250 PHP/withdrawal.

Like this post ? Save it for later 🙂