The Backpacker’s Guide to Hassle-Free Travel
Let’s assume further that you are travelling on a tight budget, such that every single penny is accounted for in a pocket notebook.
Let’s assume, finally, that you are ready and willing to see all that the Philippines has to offer without lugging half the contents of your home inside an array of suitcases.
If you feel that you’re ready for a little more edge to your adventure, then you’re all set to backpack your way across the Philippines’ 7,107 islands.
A Courageous Traveller
Backpacking is quite possibly the most difficult way to go around in any country. You are forced to travel light (quite literally) and to purposely look for the off-the-beaten track places where few people have been to.
That said, backpacking requires a good amount of commitment, preparedness, imagination, and gung-ho attitude on the foreign traveller. Not only do you have to deal with the foreignness of the place, you also have to break through the language barrier and understand the currency system while hopping from one destination to the next.
At its core, backpacking is about visiting places that most other travellers tend to avoid or overlook and doing things in the most unconventional manner.
Before you leave home, ask yourself if you are really up for this kind of travelling. Backpacking works both ways—it can give you a unique experience that you would not otherwise be able to capture in an overseas trip, or it can ruin the whole place for you to the point that you’ll never want to return again.
What’s Inside Your Backpack?
Still excited to go backpacking in the Philippines?
Here are a few items you will want to include in your bag, aside from the obvious stuff that you regularly carry around:
Flashlight: Invest in a sturdy rechargeable flashlight that’s small enough to fit nicely in your bag. Depending on your destination, you may find yourself spending the night in near-total darkness. Some rural areas have electricity at certain times of the day only.
Insect Repellent: All types of dengue are especially prevalent during the monsoon season (July-December), so if you’re going to be in the Philippines during this time, it is highly suggested that you protect yourself with generous amounts of quality insect repellent.
Lots of Small Change: The good thing about backpacking is that you can simply buy stuff along the way. The Philippines is the dreamland of retail, such that you can purchase cigarettes per stick and half a head of cabbage in the same store. Having enough loose change on hand will certainly save you time and money when making these purchases.
Umbrella: Good for both sunny and rainy days. And with global warming wreaking havoc on weather patterns around the world, it’s best to be armed with a strong umbrella when the monsoon rains suddenly swoop down on you.
Fan: Be it a battery-operated contraption, a hat that can be converted into a fan, or a simple folding number, this can spell the difference between comfort and unease on especially humid nights. Fans are also good for shooing away flies and mosquitoes lest they find you on your way.
Extra Flip-Flops: Good footwear is hard to find when you’re in the middle of a tropical rainforest or lounging away on a deserted beach. Pack an extra pair of flip-flops to help rest your feet in between destinations.
Sleeping Bag: If you’re really intent on experiencing the great Philippine outdoors, packing a sleeping bag or roll should be at the top of your list.
Water Canteen: There are still places in the Philippines that have no running water, and the best that you can hope for is that the nearest hand pump is working properly. A full water canteen is always a must-have.
Wishing You Wonderful Travels!