The Best Local Destinations to Visit When You’re a Budget Traveler

Want to go somewhere that won’t break the bank?

Breaking away from routine doesn’t have to break the bank. You’ll simply have to explore with a strategy. Planning is everything. But if—unavoidably—the urge to travel surfaces strong and sudden, direct that yearning to these local destinations. These places are affordable enough to accommodate that spontaneity.

Bataan

History, adventure and relaxation all collide at Morong, Bataan. Don’t miss the significant sight of the Dambana ng Kagitingan atop Mount Samat. After, go for a 540-meter zip line down the mountain that lasts for about 45 breathtaking seconds. Time your ride a few minutes before sunset for an even more majestic view. This is located at the Mount Samat Treetop Adventure, which also houses Dunsulan Falls.

Spend a few minutes in the past by visiting Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, too. Here, you can ride boats, horse-drawn carriages and take a stroll in cobblestone streets. And when it’s time to rest, white beaches await. Just some affordable beach-front resorts are Vista Venice and White Corals. But if you want something cheaper and don’t mind the walk to the beach, Nolette’s Inn is a great choice.

Zambales

Get your fix of the chill island life sans the crowd and plane-ticket-requirement. San Felipe houses a prime surfing spot called Liwliwa. It’s only three hours away from Manila, yet the lifestyle is so different from the hustle and bustle of the metro. Here’s how a weekend at Liwliwa may look like.

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Meanwhile, at San Antonio, you can spend the day exploring the beautiful islands and coves of Potipot, Anawangin, Nagsasa, Camara and Capones. You can also learn how to pick your own fruits and vegetables at Rosa Farms. Here’s the perfect place to hoard sweet mangoes Zambales is known for.

Camping out is the typical form of lodging in many parts of Zamabales. But if you’re not comfortable sleeping in a tent, there are many cheap hostels and resorts around.

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Leyte

Leyte is just slowly recovering from the damage done by Typhoon Haiyan, but their natural attractions are definitely still beautiful and worth visiting. Help them get back on their feet through tourism, and you go home with an awesome new experience; it’s a win-win situation!

Kalanggaman Island is incredible. It features white sand, two sandbars, clear waters and utter serenity. If you find just one day in this paradise insufficient, spend the night for as low as P225 (if you have a tent). There are also rooms that cost for less than a thousand.

Also read: 6 Beautiful Islands Every Beach Lover Should Visit in Leyte

Not a beach person? Ormoc’s Lake Danao is just as breathtaking. This guitar-shaped lake is so tranquil, making it perfect for reflection and relaxation.

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Quirino

Explore Quirino now before it’s too late—aka when it gets on majority of tourists’ radar. Quirino is filled with eco-adventures that will get your adrenaline flowing. You don’t have to go all the way to Cagayan de Oro to try whitewater rafting; you can do so at Governor’s Rapids.

How about spelunking at the Aglipay Underground Cave Chambers? You can also go camping, rock-climbing, trekking, boating, swimming and fishing at Nagtipunan. All those heart-pumping activities are budget-friendly, too.

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Davao Oriental

Veer away from the usual by visiting Davao Oriental instead of Davao City. Aside from avoiding the tourist crowd, Davao Oriental is home to wonderful, natural attractions you have to see. There’s the 1,110-feet high Aliwagwag falls in Cateel. Can you believe it has 84 tiers?! This massive wonder is definitely a sight to behold.

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For beach-lovers, Davao Oriental also houses a gorgeous, crescent-shaped, white beach—Dahican. It’s a popular spot for skim boarding and if you’re lucky enough—seeing pawikan, dugong and even dolphins. Don’t miss Mount Hamiguitan as well. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it’s uniquely a pygmy forest with bonsai trees aged about 100 years old.

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A photo posted by Debbi Baybay (@debbibyebye) on

Any other local destinations perfect for budget-travelers? Sound off below!

Love taking a road trip? Also read about: 

Beautiful Destinations You Can Visit Via Bus from Manila
The Best Pit Stops for a Road Trip to the South
Top Road Trip Destinations near Manila, Arranged by Travel Time
6 Unspoiled Beaches in Quezon Province for Adventure-Seeking Beach Goers
There’s a White Sand Beach in Baler that You Probably Haven’t Heard Of

About the Author

Shen Mascariñas

Shen Mascariñas travels mainly for the unique food each destination offers and for the "I'm on vacation" free pass to pig out.