TURKEY, GEORGIA, ARMENIA & DUBAI in 12 days for less than 75,000php Budget Travel

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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
Here’s an overview of the total expenses:
CATEGORIES
TOTAL EXPENSES
Transportation
₱ 40,281
Accommodations
₱ 5,374
Visas
₱ 7,820
Marhaba Luggage Transfer (DXB T1 to T2)
2,400/2 = ₱ 1,200
Travel Insurance & Travel Tax
₱ 2,420
Tours/Museum Entrance Fees
₱ 17,060
OVERALL TOTAL COST
₱ 73,815
Note that the breakdown does not include food. You may further cut the expenses by not availing the Marhaba Luggage Transfer… And Dubai just recently released that transit visas are now free of charge!!!
Still, that 75,000php is already good for 4 countries at the other end of Asia.
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
Price
Manila – Dubai
Cebu Pacific
₱ 7, 630
ISTANBUL
Dubai – Istanbul
Fly Pegasus
₱ 6,467
Sabiha Airport (Istanbul) – Harem Ferry Port, Kadikoy
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 Airport
Havabus
₱ 170
EPHESUS
Istanbul – Izmir
Turkish Airlines
₱ 842
Izmir – Selcuk
Train
₱ 80
Ephesus and House of Mary
Taxi (package)
1130/2 = ₱ 565
Rebetika Hotel – Selcuk Train Station
Taxi
120/2 =  ₱ 60
PAMUKKALE
Selcuk – Denizli
Train
₱ 170
Denizli – Pamukkale
Mini bus
₱ 45
Hierapolis – Pamukkale bus station
Taxi
340/2 = ₱ 170
Pamukkale – Denizli
Mini bus
₱ 45
GÖREME, CAPPADOCIA
Denizli – Geröme sleeper bus+51
RH Turizm Bus
₱ 848
Göreme – Uchisar
Bus
₱ 30
Uchisar – Göreme
Bus
₱ 30
Göreme – Kayseri Airport
Airport Shuttle
₱ 340
Kayseri – Istanbul  – Tbilisi
Fly Pegasus (connecting flight)
₱ 5,185
Tbilisi – Dubai
Fly Dubai
₱ 10,103
Dubai – Al Fahidi area
Taxi
FREE (Kuya’s)
Al Fahidi – Dubai Mall
Metro
₱ 90
Dubai – Manila
Cebu Pacific
₱ 7,630
 
TOTAL
₱ 41, 581
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
FEE
Georgia Tourist Visa
₱ 1,040.00
Turkey Tourist Visa
₱ 3,200.00
Dubai Transit Visa
₱ 3,580.00
Total
₱ 7,820
4. TRAVEL INSURANCE
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 ₱800Note that the price varies depending on the duration of travel.
5. TOURS
Tours and Museums
Price
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
(included in Pamukkale Travertines entrance fee)
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
₱7,680
Uchisar Castle
₱340
GEORGIA – ARMENIA
KAZBEGI TOUR
2,710.00
ARMENIA TOUR
3,150.00
DUBAI
Sea Wings Dubai Tour
(13,000) for free!
DUBAI DESERT SAFARI
1,020.00
TOTAL
 ₱17,060
Notes:
  1. Don’t forget to tip
  2. 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.
  3. 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. Haha.
  4. The Sea Wings Dubai Tour was for free! Thanks to my best friend’s brother, kuya Bok for the freebie! Bow down to his immense hospitality. He’s been like that since me and my best friends were ‘kids.’ Haha! 
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.
5. 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 when we walk in. Apparently not. So we didn’t push through with it. There’ll be next time, for sure. 
6. Travel Tax – ₱1,620
7. 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, that is, maximum of 7kg for each of us. We even bought a luggage that would exactly fit in to plane’s overhead compartment.
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 🙂

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