The Philippines are a country in Asia that is known for its rich history, beautiful nature, and delicious cuisine. This makes it a very popular destination for international and domestic travelers. There are many ways to travel to the Philippines including air travel, boat travel, land travel, and via motorcycle or motorbike ride.
Air transport is the most popular way to visit the Philippines as it is the cheapest and most reliable. The major airlines that operate international flights to the Philippines are Philippine Airlines, Philippine Constellation Airlines, and Metro Pacific Airlines. All of them fly out of Manila so there will be no problem finding a flight to your desired destination!
Boat transport is also very popular as it is cheap and reliable. There are several boat companies that operate within the Philippines making it easy to find a affordable trip. Most of them connect with Manila making it very easy to find a flight.
While it is definitely wise to pack a few things for your comfort, here are some tips to help you save some money and time while you’re on vacation in the Philippines.
1. Stay in budget hotels
Most budget hotels are around Php500 per night, and that is excluding breakfast. Most have a couple of good amenities such as free wifi, a kitchen, and a bathroom.
2. Stay in local accommodation options
Many tour companies offer stays in local homes or small towns as an additional package on their travels. You can also look up your potential destinations on the internet and ask if they have any suitable homes available.
Prepare your money
Before going to the Philippines, it is important to prepare your money. The Philippine peso is low compared to other countries so it is important to have some money in your account before the trip.
Many banks and credit cards offer prepaid visa debit cards. You can load this card with money that you would not use immediately during your stay, and then when you leave the country, you can reload the card with more money to travel around the Philippines.
You can also buy Philippine bills in the Philippines as they are no longer commonly used back home, though they are easy to recognize since they look just like US bills.
More tips for traveling with only your phone are available here.
Have a destination plan
You’re going to the Philippines, so it’s time to get a destination plan. There are many places you can visit in the Philippines, and you should know them by name. You can visit Boracay Island, Waterworld Manila, SM Megamall, and even Legazpi Castle. Each of these places has a special something about them that makes them worth visiting.
Many travel destinations have a “go-to” destination that people always look forward to visiting. You don’t have to have all of these things mapped out when you go, but having some ideas laid out will help you feel more at home while traveling.
Having a destination plan can also help cut down on stress while traveling. Because you have ideas set down, you are less worried about being unprepared for your trip and for finding your place in the world in different countries.
Get visa ahead of time
In the Philippines, you must have a visa that allows you to stay in the country for more than a short period of time. You can get a Philippine Visa at your embassy or consulate, but it requires a wait.
You can obtain a visa up to two weeks before arrival to pick up at your Philippine embassy or consulate. The fee is Php 10,500 (US$225) for one-time use and Php 12,500 (US$250) for multiple use.
The Embassy or Consulate will give you an orientation and help with any questions to get you ready for the process. It is recommended that you bring some copies of yourself and your documentation to prove your identity and travel credentials.
Do not go ahead with applying for the visa if you do not plan on visiting the Philippines until after December 25, 2016 due to new travel regulations.
Know the currency
The Philippine currency is the peso. Most countries use the term dollar but that is not the case in the Philippines. The US dollar is not used but the Philippine Peso instead.
The peso is always named a currency but the US dollar is not sold at all, it is only accepted. This makes it harder to know which product to purchase because you do not know what product cost what product!
The main difference between the Philippine Peso and the US Dollar is that the former can be exchanged into foreign currencies whereas the latter cannot. There are also some small differences in color and structure of the Pesos such as being thicker or having ahour written on them!
Another difference is that foreign cards can be used in Philippines whereas no country cards are valid.
Stay safe and aware
While travel to the Philippines is not recommended due to terrorism, political unrest, and therefore safety issues, stay informed. The Philippines is a dangerous place to visit at any time of the year, even during the summer months.
Terrorism has been a issue for the Philippines for years and currently has a strong presence. The most prominent fear is political violence, such as assassination attempts or support for ones political candidate but not their ideology.
Political violence has occurred in both government and non-government institutions. Government entities include elections boards, governing bodies for organizations like churches or clubs, and even police stations. Due to the fact that this issue can affect anyone with no warning, keep informed of your surroundings.
Personal safety issues are important to consider when traveling to the Philippines.
Enjoy your trip!
There are two main things you can do in the Philippines. You can visit historical places or you can fish! Both are amazing and unique things to do.
Visiting historical sites like churches, museums, andidences is a great way to learn about the country and its past. Fishing is a fun way to spend your time while in the Philippines!
Don’t be intimidated by the size of fish you catch. There’s a good chance you’ll make some good friends along the way as they travel through your fridge and dust-coat them up as you enjoy them.
Come back again soon!
If you would like to visit the Philippines again, you can do so easily. There are many flights to and from the country every day, so it is not a necessity to travel every week for vacation.
Flights are cheap as well as they cost just under $1000 per trip. Saver flights offer several flights a week for $999 per person, so this is an affordable way to travel.
Philippine Airlines has daily non-stop flights between the US and the Philippines with a cost of approximately $800 per person. If you are travelling with children, make sure they have enough clothes and bedding because you will be spending a lot of time outside!
If you are planning on going on any tours or travelling independently, make sure you have enough funds for your trip as there are no refunds for missing events or arriving late due to flight delays or oversaturations.