On the first week of September, I will be flying back to Manila after a 2 year wait so I can be able to save up for a decent vacation. Unfortunately 1 house trouble, 1 ER run and a Jaw operation later- I lost about a good $1000 of my hard earned vacation money that I scraped up in 2 years.
So for the past few months I have been frugally setting aside money for my vacation so as not to put a dent on my savings and my family finances.
To be able to stretch out my budget and still enjoy my vacation took a great deal of planning on my part. First I laid down what I want to do during my trip within a 3 week period.
Originally I was planning to go to Coron for 3 nights a $150 deal which you can get via Coupon Deal sites like Metrodeal, but since I was arriving during storm season, I’m pretty much restricted to the city.
Below is my wish list of what I plan to accomplish
Massages and Spas – Like really good Spas
Dinner with friends in a good restaurant
Staying over a nice hotel with friends
Giving out gift money to nieces and nephews
Modest shopping in Divisoria
Getting my family some nice gifts and eating out.
I also had to consider the cost of getting around and other unforseen fees like travel and commute money, tips, minor groceries and such.
The good thing about making US Dollars is that $20.00 can go a long way in the Philippines. Places like McDonalds are cheaper and even do delivery. And a luxury spa can cost between $15-25.00 for 90 minute massage.
But there are things that match up US rates in commodity, like gas and clothing.
In fact Forever21 in the Philippines cost more. A $12 shirt here can cost about $15-17.00 in Manila.
And with gas prices just as much as US rates, many would opt for public transportation.
I made some calls and a little research and drafted up a Peso and Dollar conversion table of what my estimated expenses would be.
|Expenses||PHP Equivalent||Dollar $ Equivalent at $1= Php 43.25||Good For|
|Toll gate/E-Pass (Manila)||₱ 1200||$27.00||1 week commute via skyway|
|Gas Money||₱ 2000||$46.00|
|Restaurant Meal for 2 (3 star)||₱ 700||$16.50|
|McDonald Meal for 1||Php85.00-120.00||$2.50-5.00|
|Taxi Fares Paranaque-Makati||Php175.00||$5.00||Sometimes can cost Php 250|
|Tamaraw/FX fares per trip||Php20.00||Between Php 20-40.00 depending on distance|
|MRT Fares (railway)||Php15.00||$0.50||or Php 20.00|
|Jeepney Fare per fare||Php9.00||$0.50|
|Tips 8-10% for a 500Php Meal||Php500.00||$12.00||Tip Between PhP20-50.00 Per meal. Good for 10 Tips|
|High end Hair Cut/Salon||Php800.00||$20.00||Can be as low as Php500 expensive Php1200|
|Mani/Pedi/Foot Spa||Php400.00||$10.00||Can be as low as Php 350.00|
|Movies 3D||Php300.00||$7.25||Regular Php 230|
|Movies Imax on SM Cinemas||Php400.00||$9.50||Select SM Malls only|
|Massage and Spa 1 Hour||Php800.00||$18.00||Some can cost as low as Php400 High end PhP1300|
|Pocket Money to carry||Php800.00||$18.00|
|Pocket Money in Malls||Php1,200.00||$30.00|
|1 Night Hotel Stay 4 star Manila||Php3,500.00-4100||$83.00-120||Tax and other fees may apply|
|1 Night Hotel stay 3 star Manila||Php3,100.00||$58.00|
|Hotel packages via Metro deals||Php1400-2000||$32.00|
|Airfare Manila-Boracay RT||Php3,175.00||$75.00|
In the past few months Im saving at least $40 of my paycheck to go to above expenses on top of my original pocket money. this way I won’t break the bank on my Manila Trip.
Since hotels were expensive I was able to book myself a fully furnished condo in the heart of the city via AirBnb. By filtering out the location I want and price range that I need, I was able to book myself a nice fully furnished Condo near the Greenbelt shopping district located in Makati for under $65/night. Here’s a look below of the great deals you can get via Airbnb in the Philippines
I will update this cost table with the current Philippine rates as far as commute, eating out and other expenses once I return from my trip for future reference.