When I saw a blogger explaining her El Nido expenses, I got excited because I thought I can also afford El Nido if I just save for it. So from August 2016 up to February 2017, I tried my best to cut my expenses and save money so I could afford this trip. I have modest savings and of course I don’t want to drain it. Another thing, I believe how much you want to spend for a vacation is immensely personal. Really depends on your budget and what you want to do. As for me, I really intended to spend less but in the end I spent more than my allotted budget mainly because I made mistakes.
Without further ado, here is the breakdown of my El Nido expenses report:
UBE Airport Bus 150
Airport Meal 120
Trike from airport to terminal 50
Van Puerto Princesa to El Nido 550
Food on the way 140
Environmental fee 200
Tour A 1200
Trike (2x) 100
Nacpan + Las Cabanas Tour 1000
Tourism fee 50
Night snack 50
RORO bus 380
Trike terminal to airport 120
Trike airport to hotel 20
Puerto Princesa city tour 700
Bakers’ Hill hopia 255
Tiangge sweets 310
Crocodile Farm 40
Butterfly Garden 50
Trike to airport 15
Airport terminal fee 200
UBE Airport Bus (NAIA Terminal 3 to Robinson’s) 150
Day 0 P1,010
Day 1 P2,135
Day 2 P2,160
Day 3 P2,545
Day 4 P365
Daily expenses: P8210
Dormitels PH (3 nights) P1,856
Airportside Inn (1 night) P294
Cebu Pacific P2,780
TOTAL DAMAGE: P13,140
Tell me where did I go wrong??! Why is the total of my El Nido Expenses too much? Hehehehe
As I have explained in this blog, this is not a DIY blog. If anything, I am the guinea pig of those DIY travel blogs 🙂 I combined all the tips that I have learned from them and tried to apply it in real life. I saw a blogger who spent a little less than P6000 for her El Nido trip which is far from my 13k+ expenditure.
Where did I go wrong?
Next time, I will eat lunch at home so I don’t have to spend P120 for airport meal.
I should have been firm on my decision to take the Roro bus to El Nido instead of giving in to the trike driver. Bus is only P380 compared to P550 for van. Travel time difference is just one hour. It’s not that long. I took the van to El Nido and it was a 5-hour trip. I took the bus to Puerto Princesa and it was a 6-hour trip. It’s not much of a difference and I can save P170.
For food, eating in carinderia is cheap for 70 instead of restaurants where I spent 300 average. I think I can save at least P900.
For Nacpan tour, I can save 300 pesos if I chose the van instead of hiring a trike driver. But I wasn’t aware of the van service at the time.
I did not bring sunscreen because they said it’s not allowed in the airport or I will pay additional money if I want to bring it. So I bought it in Nacpan for P450. Now I know better. I can repack it in a 100 ml container so I can take it in the plane. So I will have P450 of savings.
The hopia and the sweets … I wasn’t really interested in buying those pasalubong (take home goods). Reasons is we live in Divisoria Manila and everything is there including hopia and local sweets. But I was sort of forced to buy them because the trike driver brought me there and it was embarrassing not to buy anything. Maybe next time I should just be firm and not buy it if I don’t want it. That would be P565 of savings.
I also bought pictures of me. Reason is I forgot to charge my phone and it was already drained during the city tour. I wanted to have souvenirs so I bought the pictures. Next time I will charge my phone so I don’t have to buy pictures. That would be P300 savings.
Total savings if I didn’t make the mistakes: P2,505 so my El Nido expenses will just be P10,635 instead of P13,140.
In case you noticed, breakfast is not really a thing in my list of El Nido Expenses. That’s because I’m not a breakfast person though I’m trying to change my eating habits because it’s not healthy. I work at night. Night shift. My work ends at 7AM and by that time I’m already too sleepy I just want to sleep.
Another factor that almost doubled my El Nido Expenses is the airfare cost. I saw bloggers booked round trip tickets for only P1500. I don’t know how they are able to do that. The cheapest that I found was P2800 round trip. They also stayed in a hostel for P450 per night. Next time I plan to stay in a hostel. But for my first solo trip I opted for a solo room.
Although I made money mistakes during my first solo travel, I am not really too regretful about it. It was a unique experience that money can’t buy. El Nido is a wonderful place and I think too many websites have already described how stunning that place is. And I am here to tell you that YES EL NIDO IS A MUST VISIT. Even once in your lifetime. Try it. No money? Save for it. I saved for it. It was so worth it. You will thank yourself. You can do it, too 🙂