Travel in the Philippines is generally quite low in cost. This holds true especially for air travel. Hotel rooms can range from low cost or rather high in cost. If you are use to traveling in style and without a lot of thought to cost, you can get a room costing over $1000 a night. You can also get a room with air conditioning and a private rest room for under $30 a night. I usually pay between P800 to P1000 for a hotel room. So that puts my cost under $25 per night for my room. Lets take a look at some of the cost for Travel in the Philippines.
To lower your cost for hotels, don’t search for hotels. In the Philippines low cost hotels are usually called “pension homes.” They are same thing but I know that word is a little odd to most Americans. I think it comes from England. There are quite a few words that are used in the Philippines that originate in England. The way Filipinos pronounce English words is the British pronunciation and not the American way of saying it.
Cost of Travel In The Philippines
International travel to nearby Asian countries can sometimes be obtained for around $100 round trip. Usually it will cost a couple of hundred dollars for international travel but special pricing is frequently available. You can usually find very low cost hotels in those countries as well. I stayed in one in Bangkok. It was probably the worst place I’ve stayed but it was very cheap. Mostly used for short term stays.
Airfare In The Philippines
Flying within the Philippines can be achieved at an even lower cost. Earlier this year, I took a trip via ferry to a nearby city and it took about 12 hours to make the trip. I’m going back to the same location but this time I’ll be flying. I purchased my ticket for about $80 (round trip)from Bogo City in Cebu Province to Tacloban City in Leyte Province. This was normal pricing for this trip. I also flew two of us to Palawan for about $150 round trip. Now there was special pricing in effect for that trip. Normally the price would be double that. Even at full price, that is very low cost for air fare. Prices are going up though. Higher fuel cost are to blame. Cebu Pacific announced that it was open to being acquired by another airline. If PAL gobbles them up, prices might rise even more. I expect them to remain very low however.
Cost of Hotels for Travel in The Philippines
In some of the remote areas of the Philippines, you will find it difficult to find a three star hotel or above. The cost will be under $30 but the rooms could be below your standards. You can’t expect a great Western style bed and other furnishing for this kind of money. You’ll get a room that will get you through. It will usually be very clean but it will not be plush. It will usually include cable TV but no in the room Internet connection. For Internet you’ll usually have to go to the lobby. However, sometimes you can pay more to get it in the room. This is true for both Cebuview Tourist Inn and Pacific Pension House in Cebu City.
I often stay in rooms priced at under $22 a night. I have been happy with all of them except one and that was for my trip to Tacloban last week. I will stay at a nicer hotel on my return but I will pay about $37 a night. It is generally held to be the best hotel in Tacloban City.
If you’ve reached a point in life where you can spoil yourself with the nicer things in life and these things are important to you, you should ask a lot of questions before booking a hotel to make sure they can meet your expectations. You should always ask about a private restroom and air con. Many Filipino are use to living without those things so you should ask. Don’t expect anything to be provided that you would expect in a Western nation. I see a lot of Westerners write bad reviews for hotels and resorts in the Philippines. They are expecting five star accommodations at one star pricing. That is just not going to happen.
Western based hotels will sometimes be a little lower in cost in the Philippines but some are as expensive here as they are in the USA. Palawan has some plush hotels costing in excess of $3500 a night. In Angeles City, I know of rooms priced at around $1000 a night. Both Cebu City and Manila can provide rooms of three and four star quality for about what you would pay in the USA. Microtel, Marriot and the Hilton all operate in the Philippines. I stayed at the Palawan Microtel and it was quite nice but my cost was $75 a night instead of under $25 like I usually pay.
Car rentals and taxis are available and often with a driver. I recommend you avail of the driver unless you are familiar with driving in the Philippines. In some cases, you’ll be limited to using a bus and that is often less than comfortable. At least the bus rides are very low cost. Less than P150 for 100Km in general. Prices will vary depending on the location. They will be higher in Luzon while Mindanao and Cebu cheaper. There have been some attacks on buses in Mindanao and Luzon. Buses are sometimes robbed in Manila.
You can buy cars at a very low price here. Now I think the reason for that is that they are not required to meet the emission and safety standards required in the USA. Cars made in America will probably be more expensive here. I’m not sure about the cost of Japan made autos. There are a lot of them here. Toyota SUVs are very popular among the middle class here. A small truck, about the size of a Ford Ranger in the 90′s called multicab here is very low in cost. They don’t have a lot of creature comforts though. Usually no air con and I’m not sure their little engines can handle that well. They are often three stroke engines.
Buying A Used Car In The Philippines
Buying a used car in the Philippines can be tricky. While they are usually not stolen, their title may not have been kept up to date. You may have trouble getting it put in your name. I’d at least confirm that you are buying from the title owner on record. You can usually get all this taken care of but it can lead to some headache. You might also have to travel to another province to get it registered. Before buying a used vehicle in the Philippines, you should read up on these issues. I’m not overly familiar with them as I have not purchased a car in the Philippines.
In larger cities, you can also use taxis. Of course they are a bit more expensive but they probably won’t seem that way to you when you first get here. Really, their cost is very low when compared to the West. Twice I’ve taken a taxi from Cebu City back to Bogo City for under P2000 or just under $50 each time. Since the bus only cost me about P120, I rarely do that. The benefit is you can stop where you want too. I’ve stopped at some of the churches along the way when I took the taxi and got some nice pictures. I’ll very likely do that again.
Jeepney in the Philippines
For in town, I usually use a tricycle. I enjoy jeepneys for short trips but Jessie hates them. They also have very few of those in Bogo City. They are mainly used to get to one of the many smaller towns around Bogo. Jeepneys are hot, sometimes the target of robbers and pickpockets. You can also run into some seedy characters there. However, what I like about it the most is to interact with the locals. Many times they are overstuff with people though. Too crowded and I don’t like that. In years gone by, people would be on top of them too. You still see some standing on the bumper but they are not suppose to do that either and authorities are sometimes cracking down on that.
Travel in the Philippines is one of the things I like most about the Philippines. Its low cost makes it easier for most of us to see many interesting locations. Please use the comments to tell us about your travel in the Philippines.
Filed under: Travel In The Philippines
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