How Much Money Should I Bring To The Philippines?

If you are on a limited budget, determine how much money you can spend per day on food and lodging expenses.

in short:

The daily allowable cost for an actioner on vacation or an extended holiday in the Philippines may not be more than $40 – $70 per person. If your accommodation includes meal prices, your daily allowable expense will be less.

For a more comfortable vacation, allow $100 per day on average. This may vary depending on how you intend to spend your holiday:

If you travel for at least four nights in some places and three nights in others, your daily allowable expense should be about $70/$80.

On the other hand, if you plan to stay for five days or so in one place and take it easy, then your daily expense should not be more than $30/$40.

The money you bring should also depend on where you want to go and what you intend to do during your visit.

For instance, if you plan to stay at a five-star hotel, you must allot more money for your lodging expense. How much more?

  • If you average $30 daily for lodgings, expect to spend about $70/$100.
  • On the other hand, if you plan to stay in village inns or farmhouses, expect to allot $30/$50 per day.
  • However, if you engage in such sports as golf or go deep-sea fishing, then expect to spend about $80/$140 per day.

If your objective is to visit some beach resorts like Boracay or Samal Island, you will need to allow at least $80/$100 per day since these islands are always crowded during the summer season.

If you plan to travel all over Mindanao to visit beaches and resorts, expect to spend about $80/$120.

  • If your objective is an adventure of scuba diving in Sipalay, whale and dolphin watching in Donsol, trekking the mountains of Cebu, or visiting Mt. Apo, you will need to allot $150/$200 per day.
  • If your objective is partying (which means you want to visit discos, nightclubs, and bars almost every night), expect to allot $150/$250 daily.

However, the good news is that you need not spend so much money if your objective is to have a vacation in the Philippines.

On average, you can go anywhere in the country for just about $30 per day. This may be less expensive than most people pay for their vacations abroad.

For instance, if you spend $50 per day on average, at least half of this expense is for airfare between the Philippines and your country.

Even if you stay in first-class hotels during your entire vacation, you will only be spending about $80-$100 (which does not include tips). This is why more and more people are spending their vacations in the Philippines.

How much money should you bring?

Cocktail at Boracay beach

It depends on how much you want to spend, where you plan to go, how long (or short) your stay will be, and who is with you. But don’t worry about it too much because a typical vacation in the Philippines must not be expensive.

  • For US$ 50 per day, you can stay at a good hotel (with cable TV and a hot shower), eat in the best restaurants, and go on day tours around Manila or other big cities. You can’t expect to do much shopping since this amount won’t be enough to pay for the transport fares.
  • For US$ 100 per day, you can rent an air-conditioned 4×4 vehicle with a driver, visit sights around Manila or other big cities, do some serious shopping, and still have money left to party hard.
  • For US$ 200 per day, you can stay at the best hotels (with a swimming pool), rent airconditioned cars with drivers whenever you want, eat in the most expensive restaurants, and still have money left to buy souvenirs for friends and family back home.

The above are only suggestions; the actual amount of money depends on your personal preferences.

The more you spend, the more money you can save by staying in budget hotels and eating street food.

If you plan to go around the Philippines island hopping, your daily budget should be higher since this would mean additional expenses for plane tickets, boat fares, and entry fees to tourist sights.

Generally speaking, you should bring enough money to cover your initial expenses for at least one month. This amount should be in cash, credit card, or traveler’s checks.

It is advisable to bring small denominations because exchanging larger bills often incurs additional fees and may take longer.

How much does it cost to live in the Philippines?

Tropical beach in Coron, Philippines

What you spend on your daily needs determines the cost of living in the Philippines.

It’s hard to figure this out since it varies depending on where you are. People in provincial areas cannot avoid budgeting for food since they must cook fuel. 

To give you an idea of how much it costs to cook Filipino style, here are some figures: (See also: What Can $100 Get in the Philippines)

  • Rice, $0,99 per kilo
  • Meat, $6,42 per kilo
  • Milk, $1,70 per liter
  • Internet $45 per Month
  • Rent 1 Bedroom Apartment in City Centre for $300 per Month

A family of six comprising two adults and four children will spend about $600 to $700 for food alone in a provincial area. If you add other daily needs such as transportation, clothing, and entertainment, your expenses may increase to $1000/$1200 monthly.

Rent Average price in the Philippines

How much does it cost to live in the Philippines?

Depending on where you’re staying, this could be anywhere from $200 to $600 a month. If you are unsure of the rent charged in your area, ask some Expats or consult an agent.

Hotel Average price in the Philippines

While finding hotels as low as $12 per night is possible, this might not be your best option. Expats living in the Philippines often stay in 4/5-star hotels for about $50 a night.

If you are staying alone, you can share with other travelers and split the cost of renting a room. The average hotel rate is around $23-$30 a night, depending on your location.

Food Average price in the Philippines

Budget at least $20 a day for food. This includes your restaurant meals, street food, and the occasional midnight snack.

If you are offered free food from your hosts, that’s an added bonus! 

Transportation Average price in the Philippines

Public utility jeepneys usually charge $0,18. Taxis are around $0,80, and Air-conditioned buses (like the famous Victory Liner) cost anywhere between $0,20/$1 depending on the distance.

Entertainment Average price in the Philippines

Those staying in the Philippines for a short time and who want to experience everything this country offers will save at least $10 per day.

This would include entrance fees to museums, parks, zoos, and other popular tourist spots, as well as movie tickets, bowling, and billiards.


Money for laundry, soap, toothpaste, medicine, and other necessities should be at least $2 per day. If you plan to buy souvenirs or gifts, prepare at least $4/$6 daily. This all depends on your shopping habits, of course!

Source: For more data, visit

How much money can I bring to the Philippines?

Generally, people coming to the country can buy personal items for up to 10,000 dollars.

You will be asked to declare any cash or equivalent, such as traveler’s checks above 10,000 USD. However, it is not mandatory to communicate your exact amount of money when you enter the Philippines.

If you are bringing cash with you over 10,000 USD, you should declare them; otherwise, you may be penalized if you are discovered by a customs enforcement officer.

Suppose you have business interests that require a more significant amount of cash. In that case, I suggest contacting the Philippine Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) for specific regulations on how much money is allowed to be brought into the country.

Carrying a large amount of money while traveling is always a bit risky, whether in the Philippines or elsewhere.

So to make sure you don’t lose your money during your trip, put your money in different places on your body, instead of all of it being in one wallet or purse. If you lose one part of it, you won’t lose all of the money you carry!

What happens if I bring more than 10000 USD?

Considering that commercial transactions and foreign exchange of over 10,000 USD are prohibited without the appropriate license from BIR, if you are caught bringing more than 10,000 into the country, it is treated as smuggling.

What if I have to declare more than 10000 USD?

When you arrive from abroad, if your baggage exceeds P10,000 in value as declared in your customs declaration form, you must file a supplementary report with an inventory of your bags. Kindly coordinate with Customs Officers on the new record that needs to be filed.

You have the option of filing a waiver if you are sure that you can justify why you can’t file a supplementary report. However, this is only allowed under certain circumstances.

For more information on Traveling With Cash in The Philippines, please visit:


Similar Posts

Leave a Reply