The Philippines is one of the best – and easiest places! – to visit over and over again, as there’s over 7,600 beautiful islands to explore. Every corner of every beautiful region here has something new to discover, but there’s a few key things to know before travelling to the Philippines.
We’ve put together your need-to-know insider tips to have the trip of a lifetime.
Things To Know Before Travelling To The PhilippinesHow do these rankings work?
1. Filipinos Are Some Of The Friendliest People You’ll Meet
The Philippines residents are famously welcoming, making it such a friendly place to spend some time in. It’s a place where locals have a buzzing attitude and an eagerness to show off their city to out-of-towners. Plus, as everyone learns both Tagalog and English in school, there shouldn’t be too much of a language barrier.
2. Bring Cash Where Ever You Go
In more remote places away from the main tourist areas and mainland, you’ll struggle to find ATMs. Often, ATMs will break down for a few days and when they are repaired, the lines are very long. Keep plenty of small notes for local markets and bartering with!
3. Plan Your Trip Route in Advance
The Philippines is an archipelago, so getting around here isn’t as simple as driving from the capital Manila to El Nido. Do you want to hit up party spots, go diving or simply chill on the beach? The good news is there’s the perfect island for all tastes. Our advice is to plan out your route as much as possible in advance, as ferries can often sell out days before they depart.
4. Don’t Forget to Tip Your Servers
People working in the service industry here are generally paid a very low wage, so be considerate and try keep in mind that it’s customary to leave 10-15% tip of your final bill. This also goes for salons/spas etc and you should usually round up the taxi fare. So, for an 80 peso fare, just hand over the 100.
From lechon to halo-halo (a popular Filipino cold dessert of crushed ice, evaporated milk and various toppings such as jelly or fruit), food here is full of flavour. Hitting local markets is the best way to try authentic and delicious Filipino food.
If you’re in the Makati area in Manila, be sure to visit Salcedo Saturday Market. Whether you want an indulgent street cheat meal or a healthy snack, this is a must.
6. What You Should Pack For Travelling in the Philippines
- Reusable water containers and utensils to reduce plastic waste
- Toilet paper!
- A Dry Bag for transporting any valuables on boats
- Waterproof phone cover
- A reliable PowerBank
- An underwater/waterproof camera
- Travel Insurance
7. Know The Best Time to Visit
Generally, the best time for island hopping in the Philippines is between November and April. There’s mainly two seasons here – Dry (November – April) and Wet (May– October). The wet season falls between May and October, but it’s not so bad: there will still be plenty of sunshine.
Just take note that during wet season, certain ferry routes may experience delays or cancellations if the currents are too strong.