Author Topic: Traveling to the Philippines - any tips?  (Read 2068 times)

ChipmunkSavings

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Traveling to the Philippines - any tips?
« on: July 26, 2017, 06:10:49 PM »
We will be traveling in late September to Cebu, and staying for 5 days. I am looking at itineraries online, but all of the options so far seem extremely expensive considering the low COL of this country. If you have any tips or advice, I would appreciate, thanks!

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: Traveling to the Philippines - any tips?
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2017, 06:11:54 PM »
We will be traveling in late September to Cebu, and staying for 5 days. I am looking at itineraries online, but all of the options so far seem extremely expensive considering the low COL of this country. If you have any tips or advice, I would appreciate, thanks!

Why dont you PM Adventine. She is very helpful and lives in the Phillipines.

JoJo

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Re: Traveling to the Philippines - any tips?
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2017, 06:41:06 PM »
What specifically is costing alot?   Hotel?  Activities?   Transport?

Philippines is quite cheap as long as your not staying in 4* resorts and willing to rough it a little bit.

Maybe I can give clearer advice if you give more info.

mxt0133

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Re: Traveling to the Philippines - any tips?
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2017, 11:20:10 PM »
If you are looking online then those places will have inflated prices because they know people that go online mostly foreigners and can afford it.  I have checked online such as AirBnB and the prices are definitely inflated compared to what my relatives pay when they make the travel arrangements.   That places that I have stayed at do not have an online presence and are more modest.

Your expectations might be off, when people throw off terms like low COL it's normally for how locals live.  It doesn't mean that you can get the same goods or services that you might be used to at the same quality for less.

Labor in general is a fraction of what it would cost in the Philippines vs a developed country, laundry service, driver, maid, haircut, ect.  But for imported goods it's actually more expensive, for example cars, phones, computers, imported foods, ect.  If you expect to have the same amenities as you would find in a developed country, from my experience it is actually more expensive in the Philippines.

If you eat where the locals eat and stay where the local's stay it will be very affordable, but if you stay at resorts or eat at western chain restaurants its about the same price.

ChipmunkSavings

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Re: Traveling to the Philippines - any tips?
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2017, 09:18:58 PM »
Thank you for your replies. We are used to staying in budget hotels and certainly do not expect the same level of comfort than at home. The expensive packages are for 'day trips' for activities. From experience in other locations, it is usually cheaper to buy it directly once we arrive. I am also trying to figure out how to travel by ourselves (ex: Ceres buses go to Kawasan Falls). Activities seem to be the most expensive options so far. We have traveled to Thailand in the past, and have managed on a somewhat small budget (about 70$ per day for 2).

Also, I have heard that certain parts of Cebu might not be safe. It's a concern in the back of my mind to keep an eye on the safety level.

Adventine

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Re: Traveling to the Philippines - any tips?
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2017, 06:30:28 PM »
Hello! I'm based in Manila but I went on holiday to Cebu for 4 days last May.

Thing is, it was a company-sponsored team building vacation, so I can't really provide you with an actual budget. I do agree with the previous posters that living like a local can be done cheaply but visiting the tourist places will be expensive because... It's the tourism industry.  I'm on day 3 of a 5 day holiday in Palawan right now with family and already I've logged about PHP 25,000 worth of expenses for all 4 of us (3 star hotel, tours, food, public transport). Without the free flights for 3 people (won in an airline promo) and 40% hotel discount (hotel owned by a family friend), we would easily have topped PHP 50,000 by now.

Maybe my personal experience can help you, though. We stayed at B Hotel in Mactan, Cebu (an island 45 minutes drive away from Cebu City). Mactan is the jump off point for a lot of island-hopping and beach tours.

Cebu City and Mactan are pretty safe and tourist-friendly. As with anywhere, just avoid the depressed areas and you should be fine.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2017, 06:47:06 PM by Adventine »

JoJo

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Re: Traveling to the Philippines - any tips?
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2017, 07:00:35 PM »
I did not go to Cebu, but found everywhere I visited in Philippines, locally booked tours were abundant and very cheap.  If you are looking to go to a farther location, you can negotiate with a local taxi and maybe even find others locally that want to share.

I was there several years ago but a sample tour was $17 for a full day of snorkeling and beaches, including a huge lunch.