Travel Tips (Philippines): How to Prepare for a Trip to the Philippines

Thinking about a trip to the Philippines? Besides airfare, it’s one of the least expensive places you can travel in the world. But first, learn these important travel tips (Philippines) to maximize your trip. You want to make sure you’re prepared to visit this tropical collection of islands off Vietnam. Then, you can truly enjoy the beautiful beaches, foodie offerings, and laid back vibe of this beautiful, affordable archipelago.

tropical beach coron

CONTENTS – In this article, you will learn important travel tips to help you plan your trip to the Philippines without making beginner mistakes. Find out:

But first, let’s cover some of the basics.

Where is the Philippines?

You’ll find the Philippines in Southeast Asia. This archipelago of more than 7,000 islands and islets near the equator is south of Taiwan and about 500 miles east of Vietnam. Only about 2,000 of the islands are inhabited. The Philippines lie in the western Pacific Ocean on one side (east), and the South China Sea on the west. It is considered one of the far-eastern countries of Asia.

How to Get to the Philippines from the US?

If you’re lucky, you’ll find an affordable, non-stop round-trip flight to the Philippines from the west coast. By affordable flights, about $1,500 US pays for a flight to Manila from LA, Las Vegas, and San Francisco. A direct flight from the west coast to the Philippines is about 11 hours long.

If you can’t get a direct flight, you might look for one with a stopover, like South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, and Dubai. (You’ll probably save about $300 if you do.) You can also fly into Cebu.

Related Article: New airline flies to points in Asia with a stopover in Anchorage Alaska.

When to Visit the Philippines?

As far as airfare goes, there isn’t much difference between the high season (Nov. – Apr.) and the low season (May – Oct.). But November through April is the dry season, and the temperatures will be somewhere between 75-88° F (24-31°C). That makes it a great time to plan your visit to the Philippines.

If you prefer the shoulder season, however, when there are fewer tourists but the weather is still good, aim for May or November.  In May, it will be hot (93°F/34°C) and humid, especially around Manila. November weather will still be on the hot side (as high as 87°F / 30°C) but with lower humidity. This makes November a great time to visit!

Keep in mind that the Philippines has multiple climate zones, so be sure to do some research specific to the region you want to visit. For instance, the wet season in Manila peaks from July to September, so you’ll want to avoid visiting during those months. 

Now that you know where and when to go to the Philippines, read these important tips to help you make the best of your experience.

5 Travel Tips To Maximize Your Trip to the Philippines 

With incredible culture, beautiful scenery, and friendly locals, the Philippines is an excellent choice for your next vacation. There is so much to see and do—you can either choose to relax or explore!

However, while you may enjoy a certain amount of spontaneity, it’s still a good idea to be one step ahead. By planning ahead, you can experience everything this country has to offer.

Interested in learning more? Keep on reading as we talk about five tips to make the most out of your trip to the Philippines!

philippines rice terraces

1. Don’t Just Visit Popular Destinations

The Philippines is full of some of the world’s most beautiful destinations. If you want to experience these hidden gems, you’re going to have to stray from the regular tourist attractions.

The most popular tourist destination in Philippines is Cebu, because there are so many amazing things to see and do there. Others locations, like the Rice Terraces in Bonaue, Bohol, Manila, Boracay, and Tagaytay city rank high on most tourists bucket lists, too.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t go to those places, but in addition, look to off-the-beaten path places to explore. Try visiting other towns and cities that may not be on traditional lists. It’s also a good idea to talk with the locals about their favorite spots.

Who knows, you may love it so much you’ll start looking for a Bacolod apartment for rent to stay on this gorgeous island?

2. Plan a Strict Budget

While the Philippines is highly affordable, it’s wise to have a budget in mind when you start traveling. This way, you can visit all of the great places without the fear of missing out.

Plan for at least $100 a day, and if you’re backpacking, you probably could get by with $20/day. But, better to be safe than sorry and budget about $2,000 for a seven-day trip. That will be more than enough to cover your expenses and allow for any impromptu opportunities, experiences, and souvenirs you didn’t account for.

While the cost of living is extremely low in Philippines, transportation and lodging will add up. However, what you spend will depend on the type of activities you want to do. It’s always possible to travel cheaply as long as you stay within your budget and spend carefully.

3. Book in Advance as Much as Possible 

It’s not always necessary to book your transfers, accommodation, and tours in advance, but it can save you a lot of hassle. Being one step ahead will ensure that you get the opportunity to stay and visit the locations you want. Activities, accommodations, and transfers might also be fully booked during the high tourist season. You’ve come this far, don’t you want to be able to enjoy exactly what you envisioned?

You’ll still be able to score some fantastic deals, and being organized can help reduce that travel stress. You don’t need to have an entire itinerary, but enough that you can still relax.

philippines islands

4. Utilize Public Transport

When it comes to traveling around the Philippines, your best bet is to use public transport. Not only is it safe and reliable, but it’s also extremely affordable as compared to other countries.

While there are cars for hire and taxis, it’s worth checking out the buses and metro system. You would be amazed at how efficient it is and how quickly you can get to and from your destination. It will save you a bit of money, too.

5. Learn Some of the Local Lingo

Finally, if you really want to immerse yourself in Filipino culture, try learning some of the most common Tagalog phrases. While almost everyone speaks English, knowing the local language can help make your experience more exciting.

A few expressions to memorize include:

  • Kumusta ka? (How are you?)
  • Salamat (Thank you)
  • Paalam (Goodbye)
  • Ingat (Take care)

If you want to learn more, you can download some great apps to get started here.

Final Thoughts on these Travel Tips (Philippines)

By following the tips above, you’ll be able to enjoy your trip in a country rich with an incredible culture. But beyond these tips, it’s also important to go with the flow and make memories as you explore and discover the beauty of the Philippines. 

Have fun!

Exploring beyond the Philippines? Check out these luxury resorts in Southeast Asia.

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