There is truth to the rumors that the Philippines is having major inflation happen. The cost of everything is going up and that includes the cost of traveling in the Philippines.
The important to do is know how to travel, when to travel and where is best to travel. Having the knowledge here will save you money to explore of the country while you can.
The other good thing to know before we start is while the Philippine Peso has tanked bad, it actually is in the traveler’s favor currently. (the damage will be down the road)
#1. Never use the Airport Taxi
This should go without saying but using the taxi system out of the airport in Manila is dangerous and not just to your wallet. The reality of it that there is no real need to use it, anyways.
If you are landing at Terminal 3, where most budget flights come into; you have a few options besides the taxi driver. There is actually a shuttle to ESDA (Main road of Metro Manila) and you are in reasonably walking distance to the jeepney stop.
If you go to the end of the drop off area to the right (as you walk out) there is a place for the shuttle that runs from early in the morning to late at night. It is just P20 (around 50 cents) and it will take you to the first MRT stop called Taft.
The other option is to walk out of the airport and cross Andrews Ave. There is a round about there and in front of 711 is where the jeepneys form to go to the same basic place as the shuttle does. It is a better of paying P7 or P20 to be honest.
#2. Use the ferries when possible
One of the best things about the Philippines is the ferry system. They service most routes between islands and they offer competitive pricing. I highly recommend the ferry from Iloilo to Palawan.
One of the benefits besides saving a little money (and not paying for your luggage) is that you save on a place to sleep on many trips. For example, there is a 2Go Travel trip from Batagas to Boracay that is overnight. You just saved a night in a hostel by using the ferry.
For the most part, the ferries are very relaxing and it is just a great way to travel around the Philippines if you have the time to do it. I actually prefer using them over flying everywhere.
#3. Stay in dorms at hostels
One of the best things you can do is stay in dorms at hostels. There is no real need to get a hotel room in most cases. After all, all you are doing is sleeping there. I have stayed in many across the Philippines (and around the world)
These hostels are probably your best resource for finding out what is happening on the ground and what you need to know about where you plan to go next. It is very common to find someone just back from Baguio and if you are heading there, that resource is critical.
Many of them even include a light breakfast. This is not a bad option for people that do not need much and want to only pay $1.50 to $6 a night for a cheap place to get a little sleep.
#4. Network with travelers
While connected to the last point, it is important to realize the power of networking with other travelers in the region that you are in. While reading blogs (Thank you!) and reading travel guides can be helpful; it does not replace first hand knowledge.
Connect with people. It is just not about getting information but it is about hearing stories and what has driven them to travel. Many of the stories are quite inspiring to put it lightly.
This is also a great way to find people to hang out with in the evening. I always try and make a point of having dinner with some other traveler that I have met during the day.
#5. Don’t be a Casanova
The last tip goes without saying but it seems it best to say it anyways. Remember, you are there to travel and see the country, not make a baby. For some reason, some travelers, mainly older men, think traveling means to act like a casanova.
Staying away from the girls is the best way to not get sidetracked from what you plan to see in the Philippines. There is also long term issues that you just do not want to get mixed up in if you plan to travel much longer.
It is very important to see every woman you meet in the Philippines as strictly platonic. This will be the best thing you ever did in all your travels.
Disclaimer about traveling the Philippines
This information is current as of this writing but with the Philippines, anything can change quickly and it can cause major security issues across the region. Always check for the latest information about safety in the Philippines.