In a recent Agoda Travel Trend Survey, conducted by YouGov, respondents from across Asia were asked about their travel budget for this year. A 2023 spending range of USD 201 – 500 (P11,200 – 28,000) per person was selected most often, including in the Philippines.
Never one to shy away from a challenge, Agoda has split the difference, called it at USD 350 and came up with two great itineraries for travelers to spend five days exploring the Philippines or three days traveling abroad – all for under USD350 or approximately PHP19,500 per person.
“As a platform that is passionate about getting the best deals for our customers, we wanted to look at travel options that fit well within the expected travel spends, said Enric Casals, Regional Vice-President, Oceania and Southeast Asia, Agoda. “Bundling accommodation and flights, capitalizing on additional discounts in the Agoda app, or by using money-saving features like ‘price freeze’ are great ways to make your money go further, and enable travelers to create and discover many different itinerary options.”
For this “350-dollar” challenge, Agoda explored its platform to discover flights, accommodation as well as some activities to keep guests entertained at their destination, while adhering to the set budget. Some of the best value domestic and international itineraries are shared here for two people traveling in June.
Ho Chi Minh: Classic and cosmopolitan
The sprawling hub formerly known as Saigon is considered the “Economic Heart” of Vietnam, and an enticing tourist destination to many. Fly to the melting pot of traditional and modern sensibilities without worrying about accommodations by availing a Flight + Hotel bundle through Agoda. Check out the Agoda-preferred and newly renovated Hotel Nicecy, which is located at the heart of Ho Chi Minh and boasts a Hygiene Plus badge.
Do as the locals do, and dine at Bánh Xèo 46A for only PHP200 per person. Afterwards, take a stroll through the city and check out the Post Office, the Notre Dame Cathedral, the War Remnants Museum, and Independence Palace—all for free. End the day with dinner at Com Nieu Saigon which will cost around P500 per person.
For only P3,564 embark on an exciting cruise along My Tho River (Mekong Delta) to see Dragon, Unicorn, Phoenix, and Tortoise Islands, and visit a local coconut candy workshop as well as a side trip to enjoy seasonal delicious fruits completed by honey tea. For your last day, don’t leave Vietnam without a sip of coffee at Cong Ca Phe which has multiple branches, and enjoy a last-day lunch at Bánh Mì Phượng. Make sure to get everyone from home a souvenir at Ben Thanh Market!
Iloilo: More than a gateway
The City of Love is an excellent destination with its rich culture and diverse culinary scene. Iloilo, however, is more than a stopover—it’s a destination in its own right, offering experiences for every traveler’s fancy.
Bundle your flight to Iloilo with a room for two at the 4-star Figtree Hotel. During the Independence Day long weekend, a flight + hotel Agoda bundle would cost around PHP9,845 for three nights for two travelers.
After getting settled, immerse immediately in various culinary delights. One unmissable delicacy is the Batchoy from La Paz Public Market, a distinct soup made with round noodles, pork organs, beef loin in kaldo (broth) and sprinkled with chicharon (crushed pork cracklings). Get it piping hot at Deco’s, where it is loaded with lots of extras for only PHP200.
You can view an array of prehistoric relics, carrying the cultural heritage of locals in the Iloilo Museum of Contemporary Art for only PH50 per person and side trip to Museo Iloilo, an homage to Iloilo’s heroes, ancestors, and heritage which you can access for only PHP15 per person.
Cap off your trip with Iloilo’s unique island experience. Take off to Agho Island, an eight-hectare paradise with white sand beaches and even a coral garden. Spend the whole day there for only PHP600, which already covers costs for entrance for one, an environmental fee, and day cottage rental.
Image credits: Agoda