How to Travel the Philippines on a Budget

Tips to Make Your Cash Last and Experience an Incredible Time Visiting the Philippines

The Philippines literally has everything an intrepid traveler could ask for with palm fringed beaches, impressive volcanoes, lush jungles, spooky caves and some of the best snorkeling in the world around corals reefs and maybe even a WWII shipwreck if you’re in the right spot.
And of course the smiley, welcoming locals and laid back vibe makes the Philippines a place you might never want to leave! If you’re from a western country, it really is a cheap place to travel in compared to living in your own country, but there is the other side with expensive hotels, flash packer guesthouses and westernised restaurants popping up everywhere.

If you want to keep things to a budget and stretch your cash as far as possible, here’s some great tips;

Eat Local Filipino Foods

Foods like lumpias (fried spring rolls), pancit (fried noodles) and halo-halo dessert (condensed milk, ice shavings and kidney beans) are all less than a dollar and are delicious. Other famous local foods to try are; kare-kare (thick oxtail stew with vegetables), adobo (pork or chicken pan fried in a sauce) and lechon (seasoned suckling pig roasted over charcoal) to name a few.

Stay in a Local Guesthouse, Hostel, a Hammock or a Campsite

You’ll find tons of locals running their own no-frills guesthouses and you’ll even occasionally find beach front huts for $5-10 depending on the season. There’s plenty of hostels wherever you travel in the Philippines, where you can also score a bed for around $5-7 (just be prepared to share and put up with a bit of noise).

If you want to keep your accommodation budget super lean, you could even travel with your own tent or hammock. Some guesthouses will let you put up your hammock or tent up on their property for a small fee, or you could even set up on the beach for free! Just make sure you’re not annoying any locals and keep an eye on your belongings.

Catch Ferries Not Flights

If you’re planning to island hop, flights are obviously the quicker way but they will take a larger chunk out of your budget. The bus and ferry route will take longer, so factor this in if you only have limited time, but this option will cost you a lot less.

Drink Rum Not Soft Drinks!

The local Filipino rum can be cheaper than a coke in some places! Other popular cheap drink options are; beer, gin and a local coconut wine called Tuba. All sorts of local cocktails have been invented, so you may only need one or two to get merry, which is great if you’re on a budget!
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