Vacationing to the Philippines: What to Expect in Spending and Enjoying

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.

Screencap of deals offered in Metrodeal

Screencap of deals offered in Metrodeal

Below is my wish list of what I plan to accomplish

Massages and Spas – Like really good Spas
Salon makeover
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
Php3,175.00 $238.00

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

An AirBnB condo for rent at the Gramercy in Makati

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.


2 thoughts on “Vacationing to the Philippines: What to Expect in Spending and Enjoying

  1. Pingback: Your Guide to Philippine Travel Spending | The Adventures Of Ms. Circumstance

  2. Pingback: It’s Cheaper in the Philippines (Manila) Nov-2016 Edition | The Adventures Of Ms. Circumstance

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