10 Tips for Traveling on a Budget in the Philippines

The Philippines is a great place to visit because there are lots of varied destinations to visit, depending on what you wish to enjoy – whether you want to have fun at the beach, go trekking in the mountains, or hang out at the metro for some drinks and exciting urban options.

Here are great tips for traveling on a budget in the Philippines:

  1. Look for Promo Fares

One downside to traveling in the Philippines is that you can’t simply drive a car from one destination to another since most of the islands are not interconnected by bridges. Thankfully, there are roll on roll off (RORO) barges that allow you to do that but there are also limits to the places you can visit with that.

By far, the best way to visit islands far from country’s capital is to fly there or to some near main island; then, ride a boat to your final destination.

So, when traveling across the islands, it is best for you to find promo fares. You can slash off as much as P5,000 to P8,000 per person if you can find these cheap rates! The best you can hope for are Piso Fares but there are also plenty of great options that allow you to fly to various Philippine destinations for less than P500!

  1. Look for Group Discounts

There are actually a number of legitimate sites and travel agencies offering group discounts. If you go this route, you can enjoy the country’s top travel destinations and book into popular hotels with huge discounts. You can also find great deals in restaurants or buy discounted tickets to shows and parks.

  1. Ditch the Group Tours

Of course, you can always go against the pack, so to speak. Going this route might not be the popular option but you can save more money this way – but you’ll have to do research beforehand to find the best spots to visit, cheap but safe places to stay, and cheap transport options.


  1. Travel Outside Peak Season

It is a known fact that things tend to be pricier during peak season at popular travel destinations – and there would be tons of other tourists during these days, too! So, your best time to travel is well outside the peak season when the tour spots have less people, hotels and tours cost less, and you’ll find souvenir items and food at cheaper prices.

  1. Choose Cheaper Options

No matter what the season, you will find cheaper options that might be a little bit off the wall but still decent. For example, instead of booking a luxurious hotel room, why not try renting a hut or sharing a dorm room with other travelers instead?

Instead of joining expensive tour groups, you can simply ask the locals around for advice on where to ride, where to buy, what places to visit, etc. This could save you a couple of hundreds (even thousands!) of pesos.

  1. Travel Light

Don’t pack your entire closet! By traveling light, not only can you get cheaper plane fares, you can also lug your bag around easily so you don’t have to hire porters or require spacious vehicles to travel in!

  1. Plan Your Meals or Bring Food!

Have you noticed how restaurants inside or near top tourist destinations often tend to offer more expensive rates? Plan your meals to time it while you are in town or away from the main tourist spots – better yet, check if you can bring food to these destinations so you can just bring food along.


  1. Research for the Best Transport Options

While air-conditioned tour buses and fast-craft boats are among your best options when visiting many of the islands in the Philippines, you can also find cheaper options to try; though you might not feel as comfortable in them.

Still, if you are looking for ways to save, “regular” or “ordinary” buses and RORO barges might be slower but if you are not running on a tight schedule, these options do offer you cheaper ways to travel.

  1. Bring Cash but Also Have Other Options Ready

Be aware that there are many places in the Philippines where you can find ATMs or banks around! If traveling to far-flung places, make sure to bring cash but also have other options (like credit cards) ready just in case you run out of money.

Here’s one valuable tip: do not place all your money and valuables in one place! Distribute them among your bags and pockets.

  1. Have fun!

You might be looking for cheaper options but don’t forget to have fun!


You just have to stop thinking about that tall order of ice-cold coffee with a dollop of whipped cream or your luxurious bedroom with its ensuite bathroom for a few days and simply enjoy the moment at your quiet thatched cottage while sipping on fresh buko juice straight from a young coconut…

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