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How to Travel the Philippines on the Cheap

October 26, 2017 Destination ASEAN No Comments Email Email

With its magnificent landscapes, tropical weather, and fascinating cultural sites, the Philippines seems like an expensive destination. It is completely possible to spend a bundle; on the other hand, it’s very easy to enjoy a budget-friendly Philippines vacation. Want to save money on travel? Here are nine tips for cheap Philippines travel.

Start with a budget flight.

Despite its remote location, the Philippines is a very popular flight destination and it’s not terribly difficult to get in on a great deal. Shop around, and be sure to check different times and days of the week to see which ones will save you the most money.

Enjoy inexpensive accommodations.

Again, shop around! It’s very easy to find great deals on highly-rated hotels; in many cases you can find a nice room for less than $100 per night. You might save even more by selecting a travel package that includes a flight and a hotel stay. An even cheaper alternative – and one that will help you make friends with locals – is CouchSurfing. Hosts offer sleeping space and more, and are quite likely to add even more value to your trip by acting as guides. Hostels are common in the Philippines too; many are off the beaten path and it’s acceptable to haggle for a lower priced stay.

Don’t blow your budget on communications.

It’s important to stay in touch, and if you’re like many travelers, you’ll also want to make some calls to the Philippines during the planning phase. For international calling, give Viber a try. This app works anywhere you can connect to the internet, and you can choose from a few different plans including a convenient pre-paid option. Not only can you use this app to call the Philippines, you can use it to call any phone, anywhere. Need to call home while you’re traveling, or chat with new Filipino friends once you return to your home country? Viber has you covered.

Eat and drink like a local.

Street food abounds in the Philippines, and prices are rock-bottom. Whether you enjoy meat, seafood, veggies, noodles, or a combination of all the above, you’ll find no shortage of inexpensive fare from cheerful street vendors and open-air market stalls. Specialties like Pancit, Snigang, and Adobo are a bit less adventurous than other local options like Balut, and of course there are tropical fruits in abundance. If you’d like a beer to go with your barbecue, hit the supermarket. Rum costs less than juice, and it’s perfect for making delightful mixed drinks.

Pamper yourself.

Spa treatments are expensive, right? Not in the Philippines! Manicures, pedicures, and relaxing massages are very inexpensive; at some places it’s possible to enjoy an hour-long massage for under $10.

Explore the outdoors.

Beaches and hiking destinations are budget-friendly, and if you like scuba diving or snorkeling, you’ll find that the Philippines offers a number of exciting dive destinations. The reefs are beautiful, and sites like Coron Bay offer world-class wreck diving. Don’t care to hop in the water? Relax on one of the nation’s beautiful white sand beaches – with 7,107 islands, there are lots to choose from! You’ll find lots of opportunities to brush up your photography skills while visiting waterfalls, hiking through gorgeous green jungles, or cooling off in one of the many caves and caverns found throughout the islands. If you’re in the mood for adventure, try an activity like windsurfing or take a ride in an outrigger canoe.

Take in famous sights.

The Banaue rice terraces, Mount Mayon, the Chocolate Hills of Bohol, the Ponds of Lapulapu and Puerto Princesa’s Subterranean River National Park are some wonderful attractions to consider – they’re all unique to the Philippines, and they’ll bring you face-to-face with some unique birds, animals, and plants. Don’t miss Mount Pinatubo – it’s one of 37 volcanoes worth exploring.

Look for live music, fire shows, and more.

Whether you’re at the beach or enjoying a colorful street scene, it’s easy to find very cheap or free entertainment. Live music is common in many places, and big parties complete with dancers and fire shows happen frequently too.

Take in the nation’s historic and architectural wonders.

If you feel like taking a break from the great outdoors, you’ll still find plenty to do. Manila is home to several intriguing sites including San Augustin church and Fort Santiago; while you’re there, check out the National Museum of the Philippines. If you find yourself in Cebu, be sure to visit the Taoist Temple, Fort San Pedro, and the Jose R. Gullas Halad Museum.



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