Many people often ask how much money they need to have to be able to live in the Philippines for a month at least. I decided to take a closer look at this and explain why it is even better to come for a month instead of for two weeks. This is based on Siquijor island, where I live, so bare it in mind when planning your travel and holidays in the Philippines, as the prices may vary depending on the region or on how popular the given place is.
Doesn’t matter for how long you plan to come, return flight will cost you more or less the same. I’ve heard about people who traveled from Poland and paid about 2k PLN (approx. 460 euro) or even twice more, so the price rage may be huge. One thing I wouldn’t recommend – buying one-way ticket with hope for any great promotion for the flight back. It usually doesn’t happen! Honestly speaking flights are usually cheaper when booked from Europe and back than in opposite way. And there are much more promo offers for return flights from Europe, too.
Visa costs should be considered when your planned stay in the Philippines would exceed 28 days. Up to that time free visa on arrival is valid and you get this one at the airport. If you want to exceed your stay by one or more days you will have to extend your visa for another month minimum, which is the cost of 150 PLN (approx. 35 euro).
Coming for two weeks you have to expect you will be charged for short-term, which means more expensive stay. If you will be offered any discount for two weeks it would be unnoticeable and incomparable to what could you get for a month. It happens quite frequently that property owners offer “discount” for your two weeks stay and the final price is exactly the same (or higher) as they would charge you for a month. Many tried to convince the owners it is without common sense, but it was not working and they, for example, ask for 15k pesos for two weeks and the same price for a month. Simply regular daily rate always applies for short-term stay and you can pay the same for twice-longer stay. Holiday homes cost about 1000-1500 peso per day on Siquijor and the cheapest ones I personally saw were for about 10k peso per month.
Food expenses are hard to estimate as that depends on how much individual want to spend. I do recommend reading about prices in the Philippines in other posts. One is pretty sure – the longer you stay, the less you spend daily because once you know the prices in shops, local markets or restaurants you become more aware and stop paying more once you know you can pay less. That way you can easily save money. Furthermore when you stay longer you would probably rent an apartment with own kitchen and be able to cook yourself from time to time and save even more. I usually eat outside and do not cook everyday and that way I spend about 6-7 thousands peso for food monthly. Such budget you may consider for food for one person per month.
Living on the island without a scooter is like living without one hand and I will always keep saying that. You simply have to rent it, unless you do not want to see anything around during your holidays. Or your wallet is just bottomless pit and you can afford paying for private tricycles all the time. If not, then expect the price 250-300 pesos per day per motorbike. Of course total price will differ depending on the time you take a motorbike for; the longer, the cheaper it will be per day. If you want to rent scooter for a month you can get nice offer, like 3000 or even less per month, so about 100 pesos per day. Don’t talk to anybody who would like to offer you a motorbike for 5-6 thousands pesos monthly. That simply would be cheating on you!
It is strictly related to individual preferences and is hard to estimate. Everybody likes different things, however alcohol is cheap and that matters!
All above has one purpose – to give you better understanding why two-weeks visit in the Philippines does not pay off comparing to longer stay like a month or more. I understand sometimes longer holidays are just impossible but I do recommend at least a month to anybody who has such possibility. Even on such a small island as Siquijor you will always find many thing to see and to do.
If you liked this article or any written by me, please share this with others. It will be nice feedback to me that I do something valuable. Cheers, Rafał.