Kalanggaman Island, Leyte, Philippines
The Philippines—also known as the “Pearl of the Orient”—is one of the best countries in Asia to have a vacation. The nation is enriched with countless tropical islands that are just difficult to find in other parts of the world. Because of its natural beauty, hospitable people, and welcoming atmosphere, it is a great tourist destination for anyone, regardless of their taste. Plus, due to the prevalence of travel packages in the Philippines, achieving a one of a kind vacation is well within reach.
Going on a vacation to another country outside your own can be expensive. You need to pay for flights, accommodation, and food, just to name a few. What if you’re traveling on a budget but still want to get the most out of your trip? Well, the good news is, there are certain things that you can do to travel in the Philippines without spending a lot. Below are some of them.
1. Use Travel Apps for Accommodation
Travel apps such as Trivago and Traveloka, among others have revolutionized the travel and tourism sector. By using them for your trip you can save 20 to 40 percent on accommodation, give or take. Not only that, you can also compare several options that can complement your needs, preferences, and budget.
2. Haggle or Negotiate When Shopping
While you can already get great offers while in the Philippines, you can shoot up the savings a notch higher if you continually ask for a lower price—in a nice and friendly way—of course. Haggling is common in markets or stalls in the Philippines, except in malls. Just remember these simple and proven tips: smile, be friendly and use your charm to establish rapport with the seller; ask the seller to give you discount if you buy additional items from them (that is, if you’re looking for other items you want that they have). You won’t believe the ridiculously low rates that you can achieve with this straightforward, say, strategy.
Commuting instead of going for cabs or Uber can drastically cut your travel expenses in more than half; especially, if you are coming from the airport. Contrary to many beliefs, a significant number of airports in the Philippines are linked by buses, jeepneys or public vans. Make sure to do your research beforehand to avoid inconvenience. Alternatively, you can download Sakay, a commuting app that can help you find your way in the city or in the urban area. Also, you might be surprised how fun commuting in the Philippines can be.
4. Eat at market food stalls
Food is essential in Filipino culture. And the good news is food in the Philippines is relatively cheap, especially if you go to market food stalls. Here, you can have food for two people for less than 10 USD. These are the kinds of foods that you may find in fancy restos. If you want to be a bit adventurous, you can try some local food that come at ridiculously low prices but are satisfyingly good.
5. Watch out for local airfare promos
Philippines is composed of 7,641 islands and to able to go to the major islands, you’ll have to fly between islands. Ferry ride is an option but if you have limited time, it will take away a large amount of your travel time. Local airlines flying within the Philippine islands are Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and Air Asia. Like their facebook pages, follow them on twitter and enroll in their frequent flyer programs to stay in tune with their travel promos. Fares can get as low as $20 or less for inter-island flights. Alternatively, book early (a month before travel date is okay) to avoid higher prices.
Word of Advice
When traveling in the Philippines, make sure to have money in your bag or wallets. This is because ATMs can be scarce in some places.
There you have it, some of the simplest, yet most effective ways of having great Philippine vacation without breaking the bank. By employing them, you can achieve a fun, exciting, and hassle-free vacation that is one for the books. All, without spending a lot.
How about you? Have you been to Philippines for a vacation? How about sharing your money-saving tips to other budget travelers out there? Give us a shout at the comments section below.
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