Luzon Backpacking on a Budget

Travel Budget

We compared the cost of booking trips through package tours and doing it by ourselves. Then, we realize that we can save more if we will do the #DIY. After the plan was laid out as well as the budget, we invited some friends to join us to lessen the cost. But no one wants to go on an adventure with less than P10,000 estimated budget.

Now, everyone wants to know how we do it. How did we enjoy our 9-day backpacking trip with that budget? Here is our story with some tips.

To lessen the cost of our transportation, we’ve chosen an accommodation that is near to the town proper. In that way, we just have to walk/hike going to this and to that. We also brought some biscuits, coffee, and candies when we’re in Cebu so we didn’t spend much for these goods during the actual trip. Most of the restaurants (except for the fast food) offer big serving. So, we ordered those large serving meals and divide the cost. We are lucky that our drivers were friendly and they gave us some tips. Lastly, we keep track of our expenses.

Flight

Our round trip ticket to Cebu – Clark was booked in September when Cebu Pacific was having a seat sale. It only cost us P2,1131.76 each that includes 30 kilo baggage allowance.

Accommodation

Destination Cost per night Cost per person
Ilocos Sur (Vigan) at Green R Hotel P750/night Aircon room with two single beds; T&B P375 (1 night)
Ilocos Norte (Laoag City) at UKL Ever Lodge P900/night Aircon room with one double bed  with T&B; hot and cold shower

*P1800 for two nights

P900 (2 nights)
Baguio City

Bob’s Homestay

Hotel 45

P500/night One double bed with kitchen utensils, but no hot and cold shower

P900/night two single beds with free breakfast

P250 (1 night)

450 (1 night)

Banaue at People’s Lodge P800/night Two single beds with T&B; hot and cold shower P400 (1 night)
Banaue at Stairway Lodge and Restaurant P750/night Two single beds with T&B; hot and cold shower P375 (1 night)
Hapao homestay P700/night Three single beds with T&B, hot and cold shower P375 (1 night)
Hungduan at Happy Homes P500/night Two single beds; Common/shared T&B P250

Note: We canceled our reservation at Happy Homes as we prefer to stay in Hapao homestay, but we didn’t request a refund for the one night deposit we’ve paid.

Foods

  Total cost Cost per person
Vigan dinner at Café Leona – Bagnet platter (sinigang, pinakbet, Daing na Bangus, 1 cup of rice, and bagnet); Sizzling Thai food; 1 extra rice Breakfast at Abuelita’s Ilocano Cuisine (Longganisa with rice and coffee) 4 pcs of Empanada P1,020 510 + P15 bottled water purchased by Kareen
Laoag City – Lunch and dinner in McDonalds

Breakfast at Jollibee

Lunch at Johnny Moon Café in Pagudpud

Dinner at Chowking

P810 P405
Baguio City

Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner at McDonalds, Jollibee, Greenwich

Dinner at Café by the Ruins (Bagnet Meal, Earnie’s BLT for Kate, and Fresh strawberries with whip cream)

 P1470 P735 Kareen’s total food cost
Banaue, IfugaoBreakfast and Lunch at People’s Lodge and Restaurant

Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner at Stairway Lodge and Restaurant

2 pcs of 1.5 liter Bottled water

P1790 P895
Dinner at Hapao Homestay P100 P50

Transportation

In getting around Ifugao, your mode of transportation is either PUJ (top load is a must try!), tricycle or motorcycle. By the way, they don’t know what “habal-habal” means. So, we’ve suggested it to the local tourism officer in Hungduan to call their motorcycle drivers as “habal-habal drivers.” 🙂

Clark airport to the bus terminal P250
Clark to Vigan via Partas P500
Vigan terminal to hotel P15/person
Calle Crisologo to hotel P20/person
Vigan to Laoag P137
Laoag to Pagudpud P70
Pagudpud to Paoay P50
Paoay to Laoag P30
Hotel to Laoag terminal P15/person
Laoag to Baguio City P450
Baguio City terminal to homestay via taxi P25/person
Homestay to Burham Park via PUJ (RT P20
Homestay to KMS Bus Line terminal via Taxi P30/person
Baguio City to Banaue via KMS Van P406
Taxi going to Mine’s View 30/person
PUJ going back to Baguio City proper P10
PUJ back to Bob’s Homestay 10
Banaue to Hungduan via PUJ P40
Hapao to Banaue via Van P35
Banaue to Baguio City via KMS Van P406
Baguio City terminal to Hotel 45 via taxi P25/person
Burham Park to Bob’s Homestay (pick up our things) P10
Bob’s Homestay to Hotel 45 via Taxi P30/person
Hotel 45 to Mine’s View via PUJ & Taxi (RT) P60
PUJ going to Good Shepherd (RT) 20
Hotel 45 to Victory Liner Terminal P30/person
Baguio City to Dau Bus Terminal P306
Dau Bus Terminal to SM Clark P35/person
SM City Clark to airport via taxi P175
PUJ going to Good Shepherd (RT) 20

Tour Fees

Ilocos Sur Tour (Vigan)Bantay Bell Tower, Cathedral, Calle Crisologo, Arce Mansion, Abel’s pot making P300 P150
Ilocos NorteBurgos Windmill, Kapurpuran Rock Formation with horseback riding (two-way) and Cape Bejeador Lighthouse P600 P300
Paoay TourMalacanang of the North and Paoay Lake P200 P100
Banaue Tour

Viewing decks and Hiwang Village costume rental

Hiwang Village entrance fee

Viewing deck donations for Igorot

P600 P300

Other expenses

  • Scarf and bonnet bought at the souvenir shop: P380
  • 5pcs mini windmill from Burgos: P100
  • 1pc Ube jam from Good shepherd: P200
  • 3pcs Strawberry jam:  P100
  • 5pcs Peanut brittle: P100
  • Ifugao skirt: P130

If we are going to sum everything, the whole trip cost me P10,880.

You may check out my travel diary and itinerary HERE.

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