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How Much To Spend/Budget for Elyu Trip

How Much To Spend/Budget for Elyu Trip

La Union, or colloquially known as 'Elyu', has been rapidly growing lately, as it now offers much more compared to the last 5 years. The local scene expanded in both directions catering to those who want to party up, as well as to those who just wish to have a more laid-back vacation.

If you haven't been to Elyu for more than five years now, it's definitely time for you to visit once again, and see the changes for yourself. As as guide, I'm going to share through this article how much you need to budget should you decide to visit this place.

El Union Cafe in The Great Northwest, San Juan, La Union
El Union Cafe in the Great Northwest remains as the popular choice for coffee needs

Two of my usual go-to coffee shops are El Union (on the left) and Timpla (on the right)

More cafes, restaurants and bars!
Newer cafes and restaurants emerged around the area providing more options for those who want to just chill. They even just renovated the Great Northwest, a famous food park, and it now houses new interesting food finds.

Likewise, there are more clubs/bars now along the stretch of San Juan which is great for those who like to party. There are even LGBTQIA+ bars you may check out which feature local drag queens and upbeat music selections. 

Overall Budget for Elyu Trip
The overall budget you need for a typical weekend getaway (3D 2N) in Elyu will be around ₱6,000 to ₱8,000, depending on the activities and restaurants you'd like to explore. If you plan to stay for more than 3 days, you may use the tool above. Just change the number of days by any number you planned to stay. It will automatically give you an updated estimate. Go ahead try it!

Accommodations range from beach-hut like houses, hotels and even airbnbs

What is the breakdown of these expenses?
Bulk of your expenses will come from accommodation especially during peak season (i.e. summer from March to May). While there are several options when it comes to hotels (best ones are just 3-star hotels), the prices still average between ₱2,000 to ₱3,000 per standard room per night, which may accommodate 2-3 pax. 

Umi Japanese Restaurant in La Union
La Union now has a restaurant serving authentic Japanese food. It's called Umi.

The second and third largest expenses that you may incur are food and activities, respectively. Depending on the type of restaurants you will explore, you may spend an average of ₱300 to ₱500 per meal. Expenses related to activities depend whether you will go for surfing, bar hopping or any partying. Surfing sessions average ₱500 to ₱600. Bars commonly do not have entrance fees but may pressure you to buy drinks in-house.

Renz Cheng in La Union circa June 2024Edna, Emil and Renz in La Union circa June 2024
Pre-sunset is a great photo opportunity

The fourth major expense is going to be your transportation going to Elyu. This typically averages around ₱1,400 (round trip) via bus. However this can be a higher amount if you plan to rent a private car, but may also be lower if you have your own car which means you only have to allocate budget for gas and toll fees. 

Timpla Homemade Cafe, is my favorite coffee shop in Elyu
Timpla Homemade Cafe, is my favorite coffee shop in Elyu

What are the tips to lower down cost and be within the budget?
There are certainly ways that you can do to further reduce the amount that you will need for your Elyu travel.

For accommodation, you have the alternative to go for a cheaper place to stay such as hostel or budget hotel/inn, which may charge you roughly around ₱700 pesos per night. If you are the type of person who will mostly be out during the day, you don't have to spend a premium on accommodation. Most of the places to stay in La Union are decent anyway. 

Ube Mama in The Great Northwest, La UnionCoco Mama in The Great Northwest, La Union
It's very tempting to avoid spending on food, because they have Ube Mama (finally) and Coco Mama there. You don't have to go to Boracay anymore for these!

For food, you will be able to save a little bit if you will avoid going into the fancier stalls or restaurants. This means maximizing alternative dining places such as those that are offering tapsilogs (i.e. Silong) or those found in food parks, with the exception of The Great Northwest (since this is where fancier food are food). 

For example we had a boodle-type of dining in Seafoodobo, one of the food stalls in Tavern by the Sea, and we just spent around ₱160 each. Imagine comparing this to other more posh establishments where you will be spending ₱300 to ₱500 pesos per person each visit.

Sabong Chicken Kitchen, The Great Northwest, La Union

If you don't intend to party in Elyu, you will be able to save up a little bit from alcohol spends or entrance fees (for select bars/clubs). Alternatively, you can just buy beverages from 7-Eleven or nearby sari-sari stores, and just drink along the shore with your friends. That will be more intimate and way cheaper!

Likewise if you are not the adventurous type of a traveler, and you are not game for a surf, you will further save about ₱500 from that.

Classic Sabong Fried Chicken in La Union
Sabong Fried Chicken is one of the classics in Elyu long before other food establishments

Don't be too stingy! 
If you keep your expenses lean, you can lower down your budget down to ₱6,000 for a weekender. However, spending anything below this will already compromise your level of enjoyment. Hence, I suggest that you do not overly deprive yourself. You deserve this vacation! 

Should you have any questions suggestions or recommendations feel free to drop a comment below or messaged me in my socials. Thank you very much for reading this article. Enjoy your next travel soon!

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