Not to spend huge amount of money for flights – that is probably the dream of anybody who wants to visit paradise place, for example Philippines, where I currently live.
Each day people who read my blog ask questions regarding cheap flights: where to find them, how to book etc., and I keep repeating that is not very obvious they can buy cheap tickets to get here and the whole journey is not the most comfortable.
Regular trip usually requires at least one stopover in one of the airports and if somebody thinks about cheap connection has to be ready for more than one stopover or long waiting for connecting flights somewhere on the way.
In this post I try to explain how to search cheap flights to the Philippines.
First option – flights search engines
There are lot of search engines in the internet and they are quite user friendly. It’s enough to type departure place, required destination, flight dates and after a while there are many search results with price, travel time, number of stopovers and other details. It is important to be aware of time provided – it is always local departure and destination time. Also time between one flight and another is important; sometimes it is not too long and sometimes it will be necessary to wait many hours or stay all night. However flights with long waiting are usually cheaper, so you need to decide.
If you are searching flight to the Philippines that way, choose Manila or Cebu as final destination. These two are the biggest airports and if there are any cheap flights available, they will be available to one of those two cities. Then, if you want to get to Siquijor, you have to buy separate ticket to Dumaguete and you can to that online either on Cebu Pacific website or Philippines Airlines. That is the best choice if you want to book local flights with good price.
Also choose bigger city with bigger international airport as departure place. Fares will be much lower in that case. I’m from Cracow in Poland, but I have booked flight from Warsaw because the same main flight was much cheaper than in case, when I chose Cracow as departure place.
Generally speaking if you want to “catch” good price, you have to invest some time to calculate and choose the best option meeting all your expectations.
Second option – searching combined flights by your own.
This is the option for adventure lovers, who feel comfortable with long waiting hours on the airport or even spending one or two days on the way and do sight seeing during stopover. In this case it is good to join Couchsurfing community for example (visit my profile), stay overnight with local host and spend that short travel break with great company who will, for sure, recommend the best spots in the area.
Once you decide to search flights that way, you need knowledge on which flights (including budget airlines), from where and to which destinations are the most popular. It could be the best if you search travel options and flights from Europe to the Philippines, step by step:
Step 1 – from your place of living to the cheapest departure airport in Europe
Step 2 – searching flight from Europe to Asia
Step 3 – flight connection from arrival place in Asia to the Philippines
Step 4 – final destination in the Philippines
Second step is obviously the most expensive and you should start from this one if you want to spend as little as possible on flights to the Philippines. If you travel from Poland, you will rather not find cheapest connection between Warsaw and Asia, so you need to check flights from Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague or other airports in Europe you can easily reach from Poland. It is worth to check Dubai too, because you can take Cebu Pacific from there, and there are also budget airlines operating between Poland and Dubai. Milano or Dusseldorf are also worth considering.
So, if only you can find good connection Europe-Asia you are in a half way to the Philippines.
Now you need to fully focus on Step 1 and find the best way to get to departure airport from your place in Poland. Sometimes it is better to search and choose other transport option, not necessarily flight. However always check budget airlines or regular flights promotions. Same rule applies in Step 3 (sometimes even in Step 2, if you take any budget airline from Dubai to Manila for example).
Last step, Step 4, is the cheapest one. If you are going to Siquijor, depending on which place in the Philippines you arrive to, you have few possibilities. The most convenient connections are from Dumaguete and Cebu. If you come to Manila it would be the best to take flight to Dumaguete (Cebu Pacific or Philippines Airlines). If booked in advance flight fares would be about 1500 peso (about 130 PLN/30 euro). Both from Cebu and Manila you can also take ferryboat (from Cebu to Siquijor, from Manila to Dumaguete). Ticket price could be lower, but it takes a lot of time (from Manila almost 2 days!), and if weather is bad, ferry departure can be postponed for the next day.
Important: when you are searching local flights online it is better to take decision and book immediately. Booking system is “clever” and if only you try to find the same connection after a while, you will see much higher ticket prices for the same flight. And next time even higher. In such case you will have to clean internet browsing history and cookies and try again.
Cheap flights to the Philippines – how much it could finally be?
First of all remember that return ticket will be usually cheaper than one way to and then another back. Regular price is about 3000 PLN/690 euro plus local flight/ferry to Dumaguete and Squijor. If you invest more time in searching flight connections by your own or track available promotions you will pay half of the price at least. Sometimes even less. That’s worth the effort as you can see.
Remember that you will need visa to cross Philippines border. It is free of charge up to 30 days and you can get this “on arrival”, but if you want to stay longer, after 30 days you will have to apply for new one in the nearest immigration office and pay defined fee.