Philippine Tourism: Preparing for Your Trip to the Philippines
If there is one thing really popular about the Philippines, it’s the tourism. Philippine Tourism generates the highest revenue out of all the industries in the country. There are so many places to visit in the Philippines. Many foreigners also enjoy the warm and hospitable personality of the Filipinos.
Before you go to the Philippines, you have to be prepared. Here are a few things you might need to know about going on a vacation in the Philippines.
There are many airlines that offer flight services to the Philippines. If you haven’t heard, many people say that there are Filipinos all over the world. That is why it is easy to book a flight to the Philippines no matter where you are from. The usual landing destination is Manila, our capital city. It is located in Luzon. There are also flights where you land to Cebu, a city in the Visayan region.
Since the country is divided into three major islands, going from one major island to another would require you to ride a plane. There are many Philippine tourism spots in each island. The most popular to foreigners is the Boracay white sand beaches. They are found in the Visayan region.
Passport and Requirements
In order for your Philippine tourism adventure to go smoothly, make sure you secure all the requirements. You will usually need just a valid passport from your country if you intend to stay for less than 21 days. If you intend to stay longer, you would need a visa. If you intend to stay in the Philippines for less than 59 days, you may get the visa once you land in our country. If you intend to stay longer, look for the Philippine embassy in your country and follow the visa application procedure. If you are married to a Filipina, you automatically get a 1 year visa pass to stay in the Philippines.
English is the second language of the Filipinos. Most people here can speak it, even those who did not enter college. You would not have trouble finding an English-speaking Filipino, especially if you are going to malls, restaurants or Philippine tourism spots. However, not everyone is fluent in the language. If you go to the streets and engage in conversation with people who did not get the opportunity to complete much education, do not expect them to converse smoothly.
Best Months to Go
If you are planning to visit many of the Philippine tourism spots, you should get a rain check. There are only two seasons in the Philippines – wet and dry season. Wet season begins around the end of May until around October or November. The dry season begins around November and ends at around May. The most popular months to get a vacation in the Philippines are the summer months – April and May. While there are a lot of Philippine tourism spots, the most popular ones are the beaches. If you want to see the vacation spots but you do not really like hot, summer days, you may opt for the other months. Popular drier months are January to early March.
Costs of Living
If you come from a well-developed country, you would probably find that prices in the Philippines are cheaper. Food is very cheap, and you can survive even with just street foods. Hotel and accommodation prices depend on how great the facilities are. They also have an increase during the popular months. Fare has been more expensive than it used to be ten years ago, but you could still find cheap rides.
While credit card can be convenient, it is important to save some cash while you stay in the country. Many Philippine tourism spots will accept your card, but common places such as food stalls and restaurants might not do the same. There are money changers in the airport. It is best to have your currency converted there as it is quite hard to find money changers outside. This would also allow you to get the best rates without getting scammed.
What to Pack
Pack light especially if you intend to go around on camping and hiking trips during your vacation. Pack your essentials. It is much better if you pack miniature versions of them. In case you forget anything, I’m pretty sure you would find essentials in supermarkets and malls. If you are on special medication, pack enough for your trip. You can research online if they are available here, but unless you are absolutely sure, don’t take chances and prepare.
If you intend to go on various land and water adventures in Philippine tourism spots, pack sunscreen (it is pretty hot and humid in the Philippines), hats, mosquito repellent (if you intend to go to grassy places) and clothes. If you are going during the summer, pack thin and light clothing only. If you are going during colder seasons (December to February), pack a light sweater. Compared to countries with four seasons, it is not that cold in the Philippines that you’d need a trench coat.
These are the things you have to remember when you go visit the Philippines. Remember that it is important that you pack stuff you think would not be found here. It is best to do a bit of research so you could find out about these things. Have a safe trip!