Metro Manila may not be the most expensive city in the world, but it’s not the cheapest either. So if you’re looking to save on your stay in this crazy metropolis, make sure to follow these 5 tips:
How to Save Money in Manila while Travelling
1. Look out for freebies.
Some of the top tourist attractions in Manila can be accessed for free. For starters, entrance to the centuries-old fort city of Intramuros is free; you can literally walk on its walls without having to pay for anything. The National Museum is also free every Sunday and on certain dates. And a few meters from the National Museum is Rizal Park, which is the venue for some free open-air concerts and events.
2. Check out deal-buying sites.
Groupon may be gone from the Philippines but that doesn’t mean that the deal-buying industry is dead. Local sites such as Deal Grocer offer a bevy of deals for hotel accommodations and other popular attractions in the metro.
3. Study your geography.
Metro Manila is a city of stark contrasts—several high-end developments sit next to mid-range or low-income communities. Hence, you may not need to go very far to find more affordable accommodation in the metropolis. So before you book a room at a swanky hotel in the middle of the business district, look for other options a little farther away from the area or other forms of accommodation. You could easily save thousands of pesos per night.
4. Know the right prices.
Let’s admit it—even if Filipinos are known for their hospitality, there are still a few rotten apples that spoil the bunch. And those rotten apples will quote you “tourist” prices that’s twice what a local would pay. Hence, before you get that tour, check other providers. Before you buy that bag from the flea market, haggle. And make sure to ask cab drivers to turn on the meter.
5. Enjoy the city like a local would.
Sure, 1 US Dollar is equivalent to around 45 Philippine pesos. But if you shop and eat where all the expats are, your travel funds won’t last long. Hence, it’s best to go where the locals go, like shopping in one of Manila’s many street markets. That way, not only can you stretch your budget; you also get to experience the real Manila.