Cost of traveling example in Cebu City

I arrived in Cebu City without a hotel reservation but found one easily.  I intend to stay here at least until after the big annual festival on Jan 18. The place I picked out of the Lonely Planet is as good as they say, but it is booked through the end of the festival, so I have to move on in a few nights.

I looked at 10 places today.  One was a walk right by because there was no security at the door.  Any business that serves the middle class or above has a guard at the door.  If the business handles cash, the guard is carrying a shotgun.  Banks have two guards at the door and more inside.  For the rest, I looked at a room, bounced on the mattress and verified they had both hot water and water pressure.

The hotel I chose is about 300 yards farther from the daily essentials (food market, Internet cafe, restaurants, but if I don’t want to walk it’s a 30 peso (US 62 cents)  cab ride and there is no shortage of cabs.  The amenities this place has that the current one doesn’t include:

  • View
  • Queen bed instead of a double
  • Bathroom big enough to turn around in
  • Three times the shelf space near the sink
  • Twice the closet space
  • Twice the drawer space
  • 18″ TV instead of 13″
  • A night stand that is actually bigger than the base of the lamp sitting on it
  • A/C positioned to not blow directly on the bed
  • All the common areas on the first floor are air conditioned
  • In room refrigerator
  • Free WiFi
  • A Free litre of bottled water each day

All this for $8 more a night.  I looked at a couple places that were $4 less than I’m currently paying.  For that, I would have had to give up

  • Elevator
  • A/C lobby
  • A chair and desk
  • Hot water from the pipes instead of from a limited capacity instant hot water heater next to the shower
  • Western standards of customer service
  • Included filipino style breakfast

Low cost of living is just one of the reasons why the Philippines is on my list.


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