Visiting a new place for the first time is a totally new experience. The language is different; the climate is different; the culture is different; food is different, and the adventures are totally new. It can be crazy different than your place, but definitely crazy fun and exciting, too. This is especially true if you visit the beautiful Philippines.
Surely you will love the beautiful sights, the exciting adventures, the wonderful people, and the delicious foods, but being a first-time tourist can be overwhelming. To help you enjoy your stay in the Philippines, here are some travel tips you can put in mind.
Clothes and accessories
- Wear light clothing since the Philippines has a warm, tropical climate, especially during the summer months of March to May.
- A hat, umbrella, and sunscreen can also be helpful for sun protection.
- Be prepared with an umbrella or other rain gear during the rainy season from June to October.
- Since you will be doing a lot of walking or trekking during trips, wearing a sturdy pair of footwear or sandals is advised.
- You can shop for more comfortable clothes in the Philippines where they are cheaper.
- Since the Philippines is an archipelagic country, going from one island to another may be done via airplane and boat trips.
- There are also trains in Metro Manila, buses from town to town, tricycles and pedicabs in smaller towns, and the popular jeepneys within cities.
- Taxis are also found in larger cities, as well as the ride sharing mobile apps, Uber and Grab in bigger cities, such as Metro Manila and Cebu City. Grab is also available in the cities of Davao, Bacolod, Cagayan de Oro, and Iloilo.
- English language is commonly spoken and understood by many Filipinos, so it is not very difficult to ask for directions and other questions. Most pubic signs and notices are in English language, too, while some are in Filipino language.
- Internet in the Philippines is available in many public places, but don’t expect the speed to be as fast as other advanced countries.
- Prepaid mobile SIM cards are also readily available in malls, while prepaid load can be easily bought in many “sari-sari” and convenience stores. Mobile signal is good in many places, except in remote places, such as mountainous areas.
- The Philippines has a variety of food specialties, but most cities and tourist destinations like resorts have a variety of international restaurants.
- Drink bottled water on your travel and do not just drink tap water to avoid contracting water-borne diseases.
- The Philippines has a variety of sights and activities to offer. Choose your favorite destination and pick a hotel or place that caters to your needs, such as proximity to tourist spots, as well as one with the services and amenities you need.
- You will also probably be staying in different hotels if you are planning to stay from one island to another for different adventures.
- Contact the hotel in advance if you have questions and special requests.
- Except for larger hotels, most rentals have 220V outlets.
- Philippine Peso is the currency in the Philippines. You can have your foreign currency changed at the airport upon your arrival or in money changers.
- Hotels, restaurants, resorts, department stores, and other big establishments in large cities generally accept major credit cards.
- Bring cash when visiting smaller cities and rural areas, where establishments do not accept credit cards and where ATM is limited or not available.
- Bring loose change when planning to ride around town or to the public market.
- Giving tips is common for various services, such as for hotel personnel, as well as in salons and restaurants. Sometimes, a 10% service charge is already included in the bill. In this case, you do not need to give a tip, but you may give an additional amount if you want.
- Avoid bringing valuables or expensive jewelry on your travel. Should you need to bring one for a party, leave them at your hotel room’s safe when not in use.
- As with any travel, bring a photocopy of your passport and airline tickets or at least have a file of them in your email.
- Put on some insect repellant, especially when going hiking, trekking, and camping.
- Toiletries are often provided in your hotels, but if not, you can easily buy them at grocery stores once you arrive.
- If you prefer to go places with a guide, ask for recommendations from your hotel or from friends and relatives who have been to the Philippines.
Finally, as you travel the Philippines, do not forget to always carry with you your smile. The Filipinos are friendly and easy-going people. Top that with amazing sights, wonderful adventures, and delicious food, then you will have the vacation of your life.