Money Saving Tips while Travelling in the Philippines
Who doesn’t wanna save money, right?
Traveling need not be expensive. With the rise of couchsurfing, airbnb and so many backpacker travel guides, you’ll surely get to visit great places on a budget. It doesn’t matter if you’re traveling with friends, doing an Island Expedition (ahem!) or going around town with your family while being wise about your cash.
Allow us, the #1 Expedition Company in Coron, to give you some tips on how to save money while traveling to the Philippines, especially around Coron.
Avoid Traveling during the Holidays
Like with any place on Earth, people take vacations during the holidays. In the Philippines, long weekends are such a huge thing. Filipinos love outings and family get togethers so the long weekends and holidays are almost guaranteed to spike up the prices for everything. This means more people will be traveling, especially to tourist spots, which evidently means the demand for tour packages and accommodations are higher. You know what they say, the higher the demand, the higher the prices.
Book Major Activities off season
Which brings us to our next tip. Booking early is one thing but booking offseason is another. This applies especially when it comes to your major expenses in the trip like tour packages and hotels. Companies do promotions when it’s the “dry season” and this is a good way to score big discounts. Search for hotels or travel companies with familiar names as the smaller ones don’t usually offer big deals like the big chains. Sometimes, all you have to do is ask because they might have exclusive discounts running for a certain period of time.
Beware of hidden charges
Some companies don’t include the tax and/or service charge in their quotations or announcements. Sometimes, they include the fine print in super tiny texts that you barely see it. We also don’t require tip, especially if the service charge is included in the fee.
Getting a good deal will most likely get you excited and you don’t wanna ruin that by finding out later on that you have to pay more than the advertised price. So many people have been caught off guard by these hidden charges and you don’t want that hassle. Make sure to verify everything before booking. You might also wanna check the international fees with your bank if you’re using your card to pay for these things.
Ride local transportation
Okay, we know you love Uber but we don’t have that here. FYI, in the Philippines, Uber was absorbed by Grab. So if you were wondering about that, there’s your answer. Anyway, booking a car or getting a cab may be a convenient way to go around town but it is also pretty expensive. I mean, sure, it’s not as fancy as a private car and you will have to ride with other commuters but if it’ll give you more budget for more important things like food, then.
The tricycles and jeepneys are unique to this part of the world. It’s the cheapest way to get from point a to b. Imagine paying for 10 pesos for a jeepney ride as compared to paying for 300 pesos for the same route. That’s a huge difference right there and you don’t get scammed by the cab driver too! (Yes, I’m sorry, but some cab drivers will try to get more of your money. Insist you stick to the meter if you MUST take the cab. Otherwise, find another ride.)
Live like the locals
I don’t know if you came from a comfortable life or a humble life but regardless, it’s always a good experience to submerge yourself in the culture and practices of the places you go to (within reason, of course), and it’s loads cheaper! Ditch the “international cuisine” coz you’re not in the Philippines to eat Japanese or Korean food, right? Those are more expensive than Filipino restaurants or “carinderia” (small time or hawker type) food places.
Buy small items (if needed) at “sari sari stores” (corner stores) instead of convenience stores because they’re cheaper. Try the pan-de-sal (a staple breakfast bread) from the local bakery instead of the commercialised bread in the supermarket. This is how the locals do it, and you can learn a thing or two from this strategy.
Pack your own food
We all know that airport food can be very expensive and the ones in touristy or higher end places aren’t any different. You’ll be surprised that some McDonald’s branches have higher prices compared to others so if you’re going on a tourist attraction, bring your own food whenever you can.
Go to the market and cook your food instead of eating out at restaurants. Buy your meat, fruits and vegetables at local vendors because they are cheaper compared to those in the groceries. Maybe learn a local recipe or try the street food while you’re there? You can also bring your own tumbler and get water at refilling stations. This is loads cheaper than buying a bottle of water every time you get thirsty.
I hope these tips come in handy! Let us know if you have more tips to share.
Okay, so now that you’re probably gonna save some cash, time to focus on the fun! If you’re feeling a little adventurous in Coron, do an Island expedition. Click here for schedules.