TURKEY, GEORGIA, ARMENIA & DUBAI for less than Php75,000 Budget Travel

A number of people have asked us how much did our Turkey-Georgia-Armenia-Dubai for 12 days cost.

First of, we’d like to share our major travel hack: plan and prepare the trip long before the travel schedule for more opportunities of scoring cheap flights and reservation promos. As I mentioned already in my previous blog, we started saving for this trip since November 2017, giving us 7 months to prepare.

Below is an overview of our total expenses. Note that:

1. They’re broken down as “individual” or “per person” expenses except for (1) the taxi rides where the fare is shared by the two of us as well as for (2) Marhaba Luggage Transfer.

2. Marhaba Luggage Transfer is only necessary if (1) you have check-in luggage, and (2) if you have to transfer from DXB Terminal 1 to Terminal 2. Like in our case, our Manila-Dubai flight landed at DXB Terminal 1 but our Dubai-Istanbul departure is at DXB Terminal 2.

3. The breakdown does not include food.

CATEGORIES

TOTAL EXPENSES

Transportation ₱ 40,281
Accommodations ₱ 5,374
Visas ₱ 7,820
Marhaba Luggage Transfer (DXB T1 to T2) ₱ 1,200
Travel Insurance & Travel Tax ₱ 2,420
Tours/Museum Entrance Fees ₱ 16,720

TOTAL COST

₱ 73,815

You may further cut the expenses by not availing the Marhaba Luggage Transfer… Still, the 73,185 already covers 4 countries for 12 days!

The following are broken down by individual expenses already converted to Philippine peso from Turkish Lira, Georgian Lari, Armenian Dram, and UAE Dirham.

1. TRANSPORTATION

Arranged successively. Taxi prices are by individual. Each flight includes baggage allowance of 20kg shared by me and Jayvee.

Trips Airline/Bus/Train Cost
Manila – Dubai Cebu Pacific  ₱ 7, 630

ISTANBUL, TURKEY

Dubai – Istanbul Fly Pegasus ₱ 6,467
Istanbul Sabiha Gocken Airport –Kadikoy Ferry Port Havabus ₱ 120
Kadikoy – Eminonu Ferry Ferry ₱ 45
Eminonu Ferry Port – Sultanahmet Tram ₱ 48
Galata Bridge – Sultanahmet Tram ₱ 48
Sultanahmet – Taksim Square Taxi 340/2 = ₱ 170
Taksim Square – Sabiha Gockhen Airport Havabus ₱ 170

SELCUK, TURKEY

Sabiha Gockhen Airport – Izmir airport Turkish Airlines ₱ 842
Izmir – Selcuk Train ₱ 80
Ephesus ancient city and House of Mary Taxi (package) 1,130/2 = ₱ 565
Rebetika Hotel – Selcuk Train Station Taxi 120/2 =  ₱ 60

DENIZLI, TURKEY

Selcuk – Denizli Train ₱ 170
Denizli Bus station– Pamukkale Mini bus ₱ 45
Hierapolis – Pamukkale Taxi 340/2 = ₱ 170
Pamukkale – Denizli Bus Station Mini bus ₱ 45

CAPPADOCIA, TURKEY

Denizli  – Göreme RH Turizm Bus  ₱ 848
Göreme – Uchisar Mini Bus ₱ 30
Uchisar – Göreme Mini Bus ₱ 30
Göreme – Kayseri Airport Airport Shuttle ₱ 340
Kayseri – Istanbul  – Tbilisi Fly Pegasus (connecting flight) ₱ 5,185

TBILISI, GEORGIA

Tbilisi – Dubai Fly Dubai ₱ 10,103

DUBAI, UAE

Dubai – Al Fahidi area Taxi FREE
Al Fahidi – Dubai Mall Metro ₱ 90
Dubai – Manila Cebu Pacific ₱ 7,630

TOTAL

40,281

Note: We were victimized by one of the luxurious airport cars in Dubai when we got out from DXB. While at the taxi lane, a guy led us to a black Lexus car. Everything happened so quick that the next thing I know,  we were already inside the car. I asked the Indian driver if it was a taxi he was driving. I insisted that we take the regular taxis but he annoyingly drove right away and kept making bola to us. The building where we stayed was just near the airport yet it cost us Php1,300 for that horrible ride. Sigh. So guys, be very vigilant. 🙁

2. ACCOMMODATIONS (cost per head)

Location Accommodations Cost
Istanbul Hotel Han Sultanahmet ₱1592 ( 1 night)
Ephesus Rebetika Hotel ₱1,287 (1 night)
Cappadocia Local Cave House Hotel ₱4,443 (2 nights)
T’bilisi, Georgia Kipiani Guest House ₱3,426 (2 nights)

TOTAL

10,748/2 = ₱5374

We didn’t spend for accommodations in Dubai because we stayed at a friend’s house, kuya Bok, who was so hands on in taking care of us! ^_^


3. VISAS

Visas

Cost

Georgia Tourist Visa

₱ 1,040.00

Turkey Tourist Visa

₱ 3,200.00

Dubai Transit Visa

₱ 3,580.00

TOTAL

₱ 7,820

4. TRAVEL INSURANCE AND TRAVEL TAX

Good for 12 days, we got our travel insurance at Pacific Cross Travel Insurance through this website: https://www.ecomparemo.com/travel-insurance

We paid close to ₱800. Note that the price varies depending on the duration of travel.

Philippine Travel tax – ₱1,620

5. TOURS

Tours and Museums

Cost

ISTANBUL, TURKEY

Basilica Cistern ₱455
Hagia Sofia ₱230
Blue Mosque Free

SELCUK, TURKEY

House of Mary ₱285
Ephesus ₱455

PAMUKKALE, TURKEY

Pamukkale Travertines ₱450
Hierapolis Free
Cleopatra’s Ancient Pool (included in Travertines entrance fee, unless you want to dip in the pool which costs ₱375)

CAPPADOCIA, TURKEY

Göreme Open Air Museum ₱285
Hot Air Balloon Ride ₱7,680
Uchisar Castle (₱340) We didn’t went inside anymore.

GEORGIA – ARMENIA

KAZBEGI TOUR ₱2,710
ARMENIA TOUR ₱3,150

DUBAI

Sea Wings Dubai Tour (₱13,000) for free!
Dubai Desert Safari ₱1,020.00

TOTAL

₱16,720

Notes:

  • Don’t forget to tip! 🙂
  • You may lessen the cost in Kazbegi, Georgia tour if you’d be traveling in a group of more than two persons as you will pay the same price even if there’d be three, four, or five of you.
  • We got our Dubai Desert Safari in a promotion at headout.com. It included dune-bashing in 4×4 SUV, brief camel ride, free drinks, buffet dinner, and live entertainment. All from 3:30pm-10pm. Warning! Upon arrival in the desert safari camp, a guy would put a turban or ‘shemagh scarf’ on your head “as a sign of welcome” but apparently it’s not for free! It costs 110 in pesos. SCAM! Haha. So better decline right away if you’re not interested just like what our Indians SUV-mates did. Hats off to them, they’ve done their research well!
  • The Sea Wings Dubai Tour was for free! Thanks to my best friend’s brother, kuya Bok for the treat! Bow down to his immense hospitality. He’s been like that to me and my best friends since we were ‘kids.’ Haha! <3

The flight took off from the waters of Dubai Creek and flew over the landmarks of Dubai for 25 minutes. We were able to see from above the Burj Khalifa, Palm Jumeirah, Burj Al Arab, the new Dubai Frame, among others.

It was definitely one for the books!!! Check seawings.ae website for further details and other packages.

  • If you want to reach atop the Burj Khalifa, the cheapest price we found was at ₱1,950. And it requires advance booking! We thought we can just purchase it by walk-in. Apparently not. So we didn’t push through with it. There’ll be next time, for sure. 😉
  •  Marhaba Baggage Transfer –  ₱2,400 divided by two

This part is really tricky. We organized our belongings for Manila-Dubai flight in such a way that it will all fit in in a hand-carry luggage (maximum of 7kg for each of us) so that we won’t need to check-in our luggage because that would mean availing this baggage transfer service.

Why?

Our Cebu Pacific flight to Dubai lands in Terminal 1 of DXB. Our connecting flight via Fly Pegasus is at Terminal 2 of DXB. That being the case, if we will check-in our luggage, we needed to pass through Dubai Immigration to get our luggage in Dubai. Which means, we needed to get an entry visa for that. Not only it would be hassle but also costly!

So upon check-in at NAIA 3, we thought we can get away with it by appealing to the Ceb Pac personnel to allow us to hand carry all our bags (2 backpacks and 1 trolley) because after all, we purchased a baggage allowance.

They didn’t allow us. Instead, they told us to avail the Marhaba Baggage Transfer. Que horror! Because according to our research prior to the trip, that would cost around ₱4,000But lo and behold, the desk officer told us it will cost only ₱2,400. Still costly but at least not that much.

Upon disembarking the plane in Dubai, we were fetched by a representative from Marhaba who is a Filipina, holding an iPad with my name on it. She assisted us in the “Transfers Desk” to inquire the status of our luggage. The Marhaba service covers the transfer of our luggage from Cebu Pacific to Fly Pegasus. We’ll only see and get our luggage in Istanbul already.  The Marhaba representative also assisted us in transferring from Terminal 1 to Terminal 2 by giving us instructions and tips. It was all worth it. 🙂

 

Feel free to comment for any questions or simply… comments. ^_^ 

14 thoughts on “TURKEY, GEORGIA, ARMENIA & DUBAI for less than Php75,000 Budget Travel

  1. Good job Kim! Been staying in Dubai for 5 years now and still haven’t try Sea Wings Tour. As for the cab ride, just charge it to experience. We do take Lexus cabs which charge the same as a regular cab, but from the mall and never from the airport. Big thanks for the tip!

  2. Hi Kim,

    Your blogs are the most detailed and most helpful article I have read so far. Very organized and well explain all the things I have to know. From the sracth to all executions. More blogs to come. Travel More!

  3. Hi Kim! It was wonderful coming across your blog! I’m also planning to do the mla-dubai-istanbul route (got cheap cebu pac tickets to dubai) then back to mla through dubai also. My question is, did you have to book hotel dates in dubai from the start of your trip (the ones you cancelled)? or just those days that you actually stayed there? also, how was your experience with fly pegasus? thanks in advance for the huge help. 🙂

    1. Hi Jane! We just booked the hotel dates covering only our stay in Dubai.☺️

      Our experience in Fly Pegasus was actually fine. Their service is at par with Ceb Pac. 🙂

      Have a great and safe travels!

  4. Thank you for this blog post! I actually have an upcoming MNL-Dubai flight wherein we plan to take an onward flight to Turkey. I am already thinking of getting a UAE visa just for the sake of our luggages. HAHA. I’m gonna check the Marhaba services now c/o Ceb Pac. Just wondering though, how many luggages were included in 2,400 PHP? I’m thinking of availing the 32kgs for myself and two more friends then avail this Marhaba service. 🙂

  5. Maam,

    Can I ask the tour guide contact no?

    I like your itinerary.
    And I’m planning to do this on July my bday.
    Baka kunti lang bagohin ko pero super ganda ng pagka details mo. SALAMAT!

    1. Hi Gene! Thank you.

      You may find Gia Bulauri on facebook. If you can’t find him, message me on facebook (Kim Laurente) so that I can send you a link on his profile. 🙂

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