10 Pinoy Travelers Share Their Budget Secrets

Moneymax Editorial Team

Moneymax Editorial Team

Last updated May 15, 2015

top travel bloggers in the philippines

Here at MoneyMax.ph, we believe you don’t have to give up the good things in life to save money. Thanks to the miracle of Internet crowdsourcing, traveling on a budget has never been easier. If you’re looking for a break from your daily routine in the city, there’s no better time than now to start the adventure of a lifetime!

Read More: How to Save When Travelling in the Philippines

We’ve rounded up 10 of our favorite travel bloggers, along with some choice bits of wisdom they’ve shared for hitting the road on a shoestring budget.

1. Angel Juarez of Lakwatsero[1]

Angel Juarez



Will you tell us a little something about the blog and how it started?

When the travel bug started to bite me, there was still a scarcity of travel information available on the web; information a traveler usually needs—the hows and whats of a certain destination and everything in between. So I decided to keep notes of my travels to serve as a reference not only for me but for others as well.

Everything grew from there, then I just woke up one day realizing that I am not the only one reading my blog anymore. Emails and comments poured in, mostly asking questions on destinations I blogged about, some just dropping a line to say "thank you" and some random messages expressing how my blog inspired them to travel.

These messages fueled me to travel more and blog more.

If you were to be known for one budget travel tip, what would it be?

Six years ago, when Calaguas Island was still greek for most, we embarked on a P2000 per person budget on a DIY trip to this once-secret paradise in Camarines Norte. The details of this trip, as well as the travel guide I published on my blog, served as guides and inspiration to others. Today, Calaguas Island is one of the emerging tourism destinations in Bicol and more and more people are heading to the place.

2. Yoshke Dimen of The Poor Traveler

Yoshke Dimen



Will you tell us a little something about the blog and how it started?

Although most people easily assume that The Poor Traveler[2] is about budget travel or how to spend less on trips, it wasn't really the intention. We made the blog to document our many misadventures on the road. The only thing we share with most travelers is the drive to see the world. We do not claim to be an authority in budget travel. But we share ways on how to make the most out of every trip through the lessons we pick up on the road, cost-related or otherwise.

If you were to be known for one budget travel tip, what would it be?

Be open to possibilities. Get out of your comfort zone. For example: If you've always stayed at a hotel, try a hostel (it's cheaper), camp, or even sleep under the stars. Embrace things you never thought you’d do and you might find yourself enjoying (and saving) a lot more along the way.

3. Ivan Henares of Ivan Henares[3]

Ivan Henares



Will you tell us a little something about the blog and how it started?

I still remember the scene vividly. Ten years ago in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, I sat down in front of a rented computer at Trekkers Lodge (a hostel which no longer exists) and typed my first blog entry. It was a spur of the moment thought to actually start a blog.

The blog title, something I simply came up with off the top of my head, in the few minutes I had on the rented computer, was inspired by the thought of being a man about town for travel. And so Ivan About Town became the silly title of my blog.

It was 2005. And I was among the first Filipinos to take advantage of the entry of low-cost carriers in the Philippines. Seat sales and Piso fares were unheard of before these airlines entered the Philippine market. I booked a "free seat" plane ticket to Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia and what happened next is history.

If you were to be known for one budget travel tip, what would it be?

Save your money to buy local products. When you travel, you have to leave value to the host community. And buying their products is the best way to do that. It not only gives them income, but it also encourages them to continue producing traditional arts, crafts, and cuisine. Buying local products is a good investment, plus you bring home memories.

4. Mervin Marasigan of Pinoy Adventurista

Mervz Marasigan

Will you tell us a little something about the blog and how it started?

PinoyAdventurista[4] started as a simple personal blog until it evolved into a travel blog in 2009. It aims to chronicle my travels and adventures around the Philippines and beyond and to provide useful and easy to follow travel tips and guides to help travelers plan their next ultimate adventure.

If you were to be known for one budget travel tip, what would it be?

I want to be known as someone who spends wisely on travel. Be it on transportation, food or accommodation, I see to it that every peso I spend is worth the experience.

5. Ferdz Decena of Ironwulf[5]

Ferdz Decena

Will you tell us a little something about the blog and how it started?

Ironwulf En Route is an adventure and travel photography blog that started even before the word blogging came in. It was a portfolio of graphic work with a side log of travels and anything under the sun. I started independently traveling back in 2000 but eventually focused on writing about my travels in 2006. Eventually, people noticed it and somehow became a sort of resource and inspiration to travel. It was a time when people thought that traveling was expensive but it can be done on a budget without taking away the experience.

If you were to be known for one budget travel tip, what would it be?

Spend smartly. Doing budget travel isn't always going for the cheapest but spending on the things that would be more efficient and convenient when traveling on a destination. For example, I don't always go the cheapest lodging, I wouldn't mind spending extra if the location is convenient that it's easy to go around and need not spend much on transportation.

6. Nina Fuentes of Just Wandering

Nina Juarez

Will you tell us a little something about the blog and how it started?

In 2006, I decided to go on a solo backpacking trip to Thailand. In the course of my research about my destination, I discovered travel blogs. I found them useful in plotting my route and knowing how much it costs to travel there.

At the time, most of the travel blogs I come across are written by Europeans or Americans. While they were really helpful with my research, I find that their perspective is different from mine. So I decided to start my own travel blog, where I can write about my experiences from planning the trip, to the actual trip, and even my post-trip accounting. Since there were only a handful of Filipino travel blogs then, I also hoped that the site would encourage Pinoys to go out and explore the world.

Just Wandering[6] turned 9 years old last April, and since then, I’ve traveled far more than I’ve ever imagined. The blog not only witnessed my travels, but it has also enabled me to go places through advertisements and sponsored trips. Since that first solo trip to Thailand, I’ve visited all nine ASEAN member countries, Australia, China, Japan, Guam, Morocco, Greece, and Canada.

If you were to be known for one budget travel tip, what would it be?

Time is your biggest investment if you want to travel cheap. The Internet has made it easy to research destinations and how to get the best deals for your trips, so use this to your advantage. Research extensively before you travel; know how much it costs to do the things you want to do so that you can save and budget your money accordingly. There's nothing worse than going to the destination of your dreams, but not having enough money to get the full experience.

7. Chino of Juanderful Pinoy


Will you tell us a little something about the blog and how it started?

Juanderfulpinoy[7] is a Filipino travel blog that focuses on travel experiences around the Philippines and abroad. It features ideas for people who love to travel, take photographs, and want to live the dream they want.

It started in 2009 as a personal travel journal which eventually became a community blog for wanderers inspiring people to share the same passion. We share everything from this blog; travel stories on the road, budget travel, insights on traveling, and photographs of our adventures.

If you were to be known for one budget travel tip, what would it be?

How much your trip actually is going to cost depends on where you want to go and what you want to do. If you’re realistic about where you want to go or what you want to do then it’s not going to be too much.

Start your budget with the biggest expenses first—usually this will be your flights, but accommodation also adds up. Plan in advance and visit discount travel websites to see if there are perfect deals. With a rough idea of how long you'll be away, you can work out a daily cost based on room rates and meal costs. Add in a little more for activities, museum entrance fees, a couple of souvenir t-shirts, and a lot more.

8. Gabz of Pinoy Travel Freak

Rogelio Gabiano

Will you tell us a little something about the blog and how it started?

PinoyTravelFreak.com[8] is a place where I share my travel stories and photos to promote the best spots in the Philippines and to help readers know how to travel to these destinations on a budget.

If you were to be known for one budget travel tip, what would it be?

Do your online research first. If you really want to travel on a budget, pre-trip planning is a must. Google is your friend.

Honorable Mentions:

Pinoy blogosphere is a big and beautiful place. While there’s no shortage of fantastic travel blogs out there, sadly we could only make room for a handful of them in our list. Here are two other bloggers we also highly recommend for all you budget travelers:

9. Melo Villareal of Out Of Town Blog[9]

Melo Villareal

If you’ve never checked out Melo Villareal’s blog before, you’re seriously missing out. We are huge fans of his recent post “How to Travel with a Shoestring Budget,” which went live just last May 7. Here you can pick up a batch of nifty travel hacks, which covers everything from packing your luggage to booking accommodations.

10. Owen Ballesteros & Nikka Corsino of Two2Travel[10]

Owen & Nikka

This artsy duo blew us away with their travel photos, which are so gorgeous it felt like we were right there on the road with them. As if the visual feast wasn’t enough, we also love their November 2013 post “Boracay on the Cheap.” Want to hit the island’s iconic white sands without spending a fortune? Owen and Nikka will show you how.

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The Moneymax Editorial Team consists of talented and experienced writers, editors, investors, and subject matter experts on a mission to help Filipinos build healthier financial lives. Browse the Moneymax blog for information and advice on credit cards, loans, insurance, investments, and other personal finance topics. For more financial news and articles, follow Moneymax on LinkedIn.


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