Planning Your Holiday
The 3 W’s Of Your Philippine Vacation
For some people, the worst part about travelling is that they don’t know what to expect from the place they are going to visit. They don’t know what’s going to happen once their plane lands. Then again, some people have such high expectations of their travel destinations that it’s nearly impossible to give them a good vacation.
The secret to a good holiday is good planning, so here’s a short guide to the most important preparations for people planning to travel to the Philippines (or have already booked a trip).
Planning Your Trip
No matter how meticulously you plan your trip, something inevitably pops up to surprise you—a delayed flight, missing luggage, getting lost in the middle of a city where nobody speaks your language.
Still, your vacation can be enjoyable and worth the trouble even if everything doesn’t quite go according to plan. You just have to keep in mind that travelling abroad entails opening yourself up to a lot of new things—new food, new people, new language, new culture and new places.
You have to plan your holiday well enough so that you can leave for your destination happy that at least you covered as many eventualities as possible, and remember that half the fun in going on a vacation is the fact that you don’t always know what’s going to happen next. You just have to wait and see.
1. When To Travel To The Philippines
Like any other tropical country, the Philippines boasts of beautiful beaches and stunning seascapes. If your purpose for visiting is to hit the beach soon after you land, you have to plan your trip to coincide with the summer season.
The best time to travel to the Philippines is from the middle of December to the middle of June, when there are no typhoons in the country and the weather is perfect for swimming all day.
The rainy season can be pretty long (from mid-June to late November) and it will surely put a damper on your trip if you can’t even go places because of the weather.
One other good thing about travelling during this time is that you will get to be a part of the many colourful Filipino traditional festivals. Likened to the Spanish fiestas, Philippine festivals are inspired by the culture, religion and history of the country. You can always plan your trip to coincide with a festival so that you will have a more memorable vacation.
However, you have to be a smart traveller and fix all your land, sea and air transfers for the duration of your stay—December to May is peak season in the Philippines and nearly everyone is on the move.
2. What To Pack For Your Vacation
It’s best to pack light and loose clothing for a standard beach trip—sleeveless blouses, T-shirts, shorts and jeans are advisable.
There are as of yet no nude beaches in the country, so don’t forget to bring your swimwear as well.
If you are a little more adventurous and are planning to go mountain climbing or visiting provinces in higher altitudes, you should bring jackets and scarves to keep you warm. It can get really cold in places like Baguio or Tagaytay, and you don’t want to dress inappropriately for all your planned activities.
For footwear, you should bring at least one pair of flip-flops and one pair of really comfortable shoes or sandals for walking around. You don’t want to stop exploring the country just because your feet are killing you.
Filipinos dress casually and would rarely bat an eye at someone wearing an outfit that’s a tad too revealing. A word of caution, though: some places in the country (most notably Mindanao) are a little more sensitive about women’s clothing, mostly because these places are dominated by Filipino Muslims. It might be best for you to don clothes that cover substantial parts of your body so as not to offend the locals.
Lastly, don’t forget to bring any medication or emergency supplies that you might require during your trip. For example, people with allergies should have their antihistamines ready all the time because the food or the weather can trigger an unexpected reaction. There are drugstores and pharmacies galore in the country, but it’s always good to have everything you need right in your own bag.
3. Where To Visit In The Philippines
Now this is something that only you can decide. To familiarize yourself with the various tourist spots in the Philippines, check out our posts on places to visit in the Philippines. There are a lot of destinations to choose from, so you have to select wisely and plan accordingly. Enjoy!