Essential Travel Tips When Visiting Philippines

Tips When Visiting Philippines

Beautiful beaches, a laid back vibe, warm and friendly people, and a nation full of history are some positive things tourists say about the Philippines. Some decided to stay for good, and some planned to revisit before leaving the island. Are you visiting the Philippines soon? Make the best of this paradise! Read along and learn these practical travel tips before setting foot in the Pearl of the Orient!

Tips When Visiting Philippines

Set your travel dates to days with good weather.

The Philippines faces the Pacific Ocean and is a regular destination for typhoons and tropical cyclones. These natural calamities usually happen from June to October, the country’s rainy season. In rare cases, some typhoons visit the country from March to May. If you travel to the Philippines during the summer, checking the weather forecast days before your trip is best to avoid plane cancellations or being stranded on an island while surviving a storm.

The weather in the Philippines is generally predictable and desirable between December and May. Meanwhile, expect to pay slightly higher tickets and be in more crowded places during these months.

Get your own Simcard or eSim.

Kiosks selling SIM cards are readily available in the airport. Before leaving, you must consider getting your SIM card and a Philippine number. Compared to other countries, the Philippines does not have a reliable WiFi connection in public areas. Thus, having your Internet connection spares you from stress when reaching out to friends and loved ones, when using Google Maps, or when booking rides or hotels.

Globe and Smart are two giant networks in the country. If SIM cards are not for sale at the airport, you can find Globe and Smart stores in malls. You can also buy a SIM card at 711. E-sim cards are a convenient option to install before leaving your home country.

Book tickets in advance

Advanced ticket booking offers myriad advantages when traveling to the Philippines. Be it on flights, hotels, or experiences, booking in advance offers flexibility and freedom that you may not experience in on-the-spot bookings.

Booking days before the trip will let you grab the best seats and more affordable accommodations without complications. Airline companies (AirAsia and Cebu Pacific, among others) offer cheap seats on tickets booked in advance. Meanwhile, tickets would still be relatively expensive during peak season, usually from December to May. It would help to consider that holidays such as Christmas, New Year, and Holy Week can influence ticket prices.

Be more open and adventurous with food

The Philippines ranks among the friendliest countries in the world. And most locals speak English! When traveling around the islands, try starting a conversation with them, and you will be surprised to learn cheaper recommendations and more authentic food choices you may not find in a mall or among online reviews. Do you want to get to know the Philippines better? Try the local cuisine! Trying out lechon or adobo may be on your bucket list. Philippine street food has left an impression among tourists. If you are brave enough, try them, too! Also, try the delicacies that are unique to each region.

Prepare and bring all the necessary medications you may need

Are you currently on medication? It is best to buy and bring an ample supply of medicine before coming to the Philippines. Yes, you can find pharmacies in Manila, Cebu, Davao, and other larger cities. Meanwhile, there are fewer ones in the countryside. Some brands are not distributed in the Philippines. Thus, spare yourself the hassle and carry a full arsenal of your meds wherever you may go.

Delays are part of the journey

Delays are quite normal when traveling to the Philippines. Filipinos are quite flexible with time, and delays are acceptable in many situations. Thus, try to relax and avoid getting stressed whenever flight delays happen. Even in restaurants, service staff may take time to deliver your orders, and there are instances when organized tours may also experience delays. Some tourists have difficulty adjusting to the ‘Filipino time.’ However, this has become habitual and part of the local culture.

Be extra careful with your things

Like any other tourist destination, theft happens, especially in touristy and crowded areas. Be watchful of your belongings whenever you are relaxing on a beach, eating at a restaurant, or chilling in public areas. Reports of stolen iPhones, DSLR cameras, wallets, and other valuables have continued to pop up all these years, especially during festivals or peak seasons. When eating at a restaurant, always put your bag on your lap. Do not flaunt your iPhone and expensive gadgets in public to not draw attention to possible criminals waiting for their next victim.

Consider multiple trips to different islands.

The Philippines has so much to offer! With its 7,000+ islands, you will always find something to look forward to. Island-hopping is a must when visiting the country. Surely, Boracay, Siargao, Palawan, and Cebu are on your list. Meanwhile, if you stay longer in the country, you will learn about more beautiful places that you want to add to your bucket list. When visiting these places, always travel light and bring the most essential and practical items, such as aqua shoes, sunscreen, a waterproof case for your gadgets, mosquito repellent, an umbrella, comfortable clothes and leggings, and flip-flops.

Always keep some cash in your wallet.

Cash is still the most acceptable payment option in the Philippines. Credit cards are convenient when in major cities. However, this may not apply on off-the-beaten-track trips in remote areas where ATMs charge more for every transaction. Some ATMs may not be offline or have a withdrawal limit. Thus, it is safest to bring cash before going to the countryside. Cash also allows you to conveniently buy souvenirs, food, and transport without going to the nearest ATM.

Take the window seat

Whether you are on a bus, ferry, or plane, the window seat lends you a vista of endless views. Get your camera or camcorder and be ready to take the best shot of dense jungles, stretches of blue seas, breathtaking sandbars, or wildlife. The window seat will also provide you with plenty of sunlight and pleasant aromas, preparing you for more unforgettable sights waiting for you at your next destination.

About Vidya

I am a restless soul. The only time I am sitting, still is when I am reviewing all the various places I’ve travelled. Yes, I love to travel, shop, eat good food, and write about it. I am truly living a blessed life.

View all posts by Vidya →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *