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Must Haves When Exploring the Philippines

A photo of the shoreline in Balabac, Philippines With over seven thousand islands, you’re sure to find paradise in every nook and cranny across the archipelago. | Photo by Cris Tagupa on Unsplash

White sand beaches, mouth watering street food, and some of the best dive sites in the world, are just a few examples on why you should visit and start exploring the Philippines. With over seven thousand islands, you’re sure to see paradise in every nook and cranny across the archipelago.

Over the decades, there has been rapid urbanization of some places in the country. That makes the Philippines a more versatile tourist destination as you can explore nature and the tropics, whilst also having the option of exploring the metro and its modern architecture.

Now a travel itinerary, accommodation plans, and transportation options are all the necessary things you’re going to have to prepare before landing in paradise. But do you really know what are the essentials when exploring the Philippines? When I say essentials, I mean the items that you will need to have in your travel purse all the time. They may be little things but they will definitely make your exploration stress free.

fancy title for the different places you’ll visit

As mentioned, the Philippines is an archipelago with thousands of islands. However, the Philippines also has large cities where hundreds of historical and cultural sites are located. Metro Manila for example is a highly urbanized metropolis, and yet it is also just a few hours drive away from the nearest resorts. Aside from the modern concrete jungle and the white sand beaches, the Philippines also has mountains and frost.

Planning an itinerary when exploring Philippines will then be easier as there are literally thousands of places you can and will surely want to visit. This makes your vacation in the country more diverse and you will thus be required to be flexible regarding the essentials that you will have to pack.

Travel Essentials

In this list, we will jot down all that you would need in your travel bag for a stress free trip to the Philippines. Now the Philippines is a well developed country, so when you do realize that you have forgotten any of these things while you’re up 30,000 feet in the air, rest easy in the knowledge that you will be able to find these things quite easily.

  • Swimwear
  • Come on, this is an absolute given, right? With over seven thousand islands all of which have relative access to pristine shorelines, it’s quite literally impossible to say you’ve explored the Philippines without taking a dip in its blue waters. Bringing swimwear with you will help you enjoy these beaches and get that sun tan you’ve always wanted.

  • Sunscreen
  • The Philippines is a tropical country, which means that when the sun is out, the sun is literally out. Temperatures can soar as high as 105 degrees Fahrenheit in some places. Whether you’re exploring the capital city or the white beach of Panglao Island of Bohol, you’re sure to be spending a considerable amount of time bathing in sunshine.

    Packing a good quality sunscreen will help you avoid sunburns and may even prevent other forms of skin conditions brought forth by extended periods of exposure to the sun.

  • Tumbler or Reusable Water Bottle
  • With temperatures rising to over 104 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s an absolute must to keep yourself hydrated. Go for zero waste and bring your own reusable water bottle. If your tummy is sensitive, fill it up with mineral water from the hotel before you head out for the day.

  • Umbrella
  • We’ve just talked about the Philippines and a whole lot of sun, but what you also might not know is that unexpected showers do occur in the Philippines. These showers may be as manageable as a light drizzle or a full blown downpour.

    Packing a compact and windproof umbrella with you will help avoid the soaking wet situations of exploring your travel destinations.

  • Travel Adapter
  • Voltage standards vary from one country to the next. The majority of the sockets in western countries offer a 110 volt power supply. In Southeast Asian countries, the Philippines specifically, they serve a 220 volt power supply.

    A travel adapter will allow you to prevent damage to your valuables. This will also prevent the headache of finding a socket that you can actually plug into. Like voltage standards, socket configurations also vary.

  • Cash
  • This might seem like common sense right? But cash is actually something essential when going around town. Unlike other cities where they offer city cards to pay for various services, Manila still largely relies on cash-based transactions, most especially when you’re buying in small establishments, and public transport.

    The Phillipine currency is the Phillipine peso, and you can easily convert your own currency in any banks or money changing stations found across the country.

    There are huge movements to promote cashless transactions in the metro, however, only larger and more established businesses have followed suit.

  • Powerbank or Portable Charger
  • The Philippines might be a crazy place to navigate. The urban areas are densely populated and therefore would have hundreds of alleyways; while in the rural areas, tourist spots could be hours away from each other.

    It is essential to bring with you a portable travel charger, that way you can make sure your devices never run out of juice. If you are a photographer, digital nomad or just love your tech this is a necessity when wondering what to pack for the Philippines.

  • Hand Sanitizers
  • Regardless of where you are, this should be a commuting essential. At some point along your commute, you’re bound to hold on to a grab rail. Bringing a hand sanitizer will allow you to clean your hands prior to touching your other items. It’ll help you clean your hands as well as you dig into some delicious street food in the Philippines.

  • Insect Repellant
  • When travelling to a country that’s often famous for being a “tropical country”, it’s a bit of a given that there will be some annoying insects around.

    When exploring the Philippines, the most common insect that usually bothers tourists are mosquitoes. They are found pretty much in a lot of places around the archipelago, most especially during the rainy seasons. Bringing along an insect repellant will help you avoid the annoying insects and the itchy bumps that are usually associated with these insects.


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