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How to Travel to the Philippines? The Top Things you need to prepare for traveling to the Philippines

Jun 28th, 2022

In order to make the Philippines tour planning easy, a a simple checklist of the things you need to prepare can help prevent you from forgetting something important. We all know what it can be like trying to organize everything, so here is a checklist already done for you, so that you know exactly what to prepare for your awesome Philippines trip.

1. Check whether You Need a Visa to the Philippines or not

To start your trip plan, first you need to make sure your passport is still valid and have at least 6 months left for the trip to the Philippines.

Then, you need to work our whether or not you will need a visa to get in. Not everyone needs a visa for entry to the Philippines, as this amazing tourist destination likes to make it easy for you to visit.

As of now, 157 countries around the globe are permitted to travel to the Philippines without a visa for periods of between 14 days and 59 days, though the bulk of 152 countries have a 30-day visa-free period for travel. This includes all ASEAN nations and all EU citizens, as well as those from the United States and United Kingdom.

2. Take the COVID Test or Get Vaccinated before You Go

COVID-19 restrictions in the Philippines have mostly been lifted, and there is no longer any requirement to quarantine on arrival or take a COVID-19 test before departure, for most travelers.

If you have been fully vaccinated, with both primary vaccinations and at least one booster shot, you can travel to the Philippines freely without restrictions and without the need to be tested.

Once vaccinated, you can travel to the Philippines without restriction.

However, for those that are not fully vaccinated, all you need to do now is to show proof of a negative Rapid Antigen Test taken at least 24 hours before arrival, and entry will normally be permitted.

Those who arrive without the test completed will be required to be tested on arrival at the airport at their own expense. Refusal to take the test may result in entry being denied, so it is best to take it before you leave your home country.

3. Travel to the Philippines at the Best Time

Knowing when to travel to the Philippines is just as important as your passport, visa, and vaccination card. Because if you come at the wrong time, it will be a hot and wet vacation.

The Philippines is a tropical country that is subject to both northeast and southwest monsoons, which means a three-season climate: the wet season, the dry season, and the hot season.

The best time to travel to the Philippines is in the dry season, which normally runs from late November to early March. This is the time when it is dry, but cooler, and a little more comfortable for travel. It is possible to travel all year round, but the hot season from March to June can get really hot and sticky, while the rainy season from July to November can be humid and damp, though both are still options for cheaper travel.

4. Choose Your Destination in the Philippines


A small island to the north of Mindoro, Boracay has long been the paradise island getaway of the Philippines. A tropical island surrounded by stunning white sand beaches and clear blue waters, Boracay competes with the best of Asian beaches, and has a number of other attractions as well, including sailing, windsurfing, snorkeling, diving, and jet skiing.

The island is at its best from December to March, with bright skies and no rain at all, so you can party all day and all night.

Flights to Kalibo International Airport run from several Asian countries, as well as from Manila and Cebu internally, and from there you can get the buses to Caticlan for the ferry across to the island, or get a flight from Manila direct to Caticlan Airport.


Renowned as the best place in the Philippines to see Sea Turtles, Palawan is not just the largest province in the Philippines; it is the last frontier of nature. An eco-friendly tourist destination, Palawan has a number of wondrous attractions for you to see, from the stunning coral reefs to the ancient Spanish architecture, and its stunning white beaches.

Palawan is one of the best deatinations to see Sea Turtles.

It is best visit Palawan in the dry season from December to March. The best way to get to Palawan from Manila is on a flight to either Puerto Princessa, the main airport, or El Nido, on the north of the island. Puerto Princessa International Airport also has several daily flights from other ASEAN nations, including Vietnam, Brunei, and Indonesia.


The main island of the Central Visayas and a major province of the Philippines, Cebu has the oldest city in the Philippines, Cebu City, which is known as the Queen City of the South.

A Cebu tour always involves nature experiences, Bahay Kubo-style accommodations, and smaller local resorts. The tourist spots are actually located on the surrounding small islands of Mactan, Bantayan, Badian, Malapascua, and Camotes.

Most flights into Cebu International Airport come from Manila, though there are also direct international flights from Singapore, Hong Kong, Qatar, and Seoul.

The province and islands are usually at their best from late December up to March, but if you can stand the heat, can be visited right through to June. But steer clear of the rainy season, as the region is often hit by typhoons.


The main island of Bohol Province, which has 75 minor surrounding islands, Bohol Island is renowned for its Chocolate Hills, the cute little Tarsiers. It is a tropical haven of natural beauty. Bohol tours with dolphin and whales are popular with travelers, and the island has some of the best white-sand beaches in the Visayas.

The best season to visit Bohol is normally from March to June, when it is dry and sunny, though it can be a little hot by then. If you are not a fan of heat, then December to March can be just as good.

Flights to Bohol run daily from Manila to the Panglao International Airport with Philippine Airlines (PAL), Cebu Pacific, and Air Asia, and several international flights from ASEAN countries also run to Bohol.

Silver Star buses also run daily overland from Quezon City in Metro Manila to Tagbilaran City.

And for those that want to go by boat to Bohol, ferries run from Manila, Cagayan de Oro City, Dumaguete, Dipolog, Iligan City, Larena, Plaridel, Ozamiz City, Cebu, and several other ports in Mindanao.


The capital city of the Philippines and one of the oldest cities in the country, as well as the center of government, education, business, and transportation. One of 17 cities that make up Metro Manila or the National Capital Region, Manila is overlooked by many travelers that head straight for the other tourist destinations, but has some beautiful attractions, not to mention some of the best Spanish colonial architecture that is worth visiting during a Manila tour.

Travelers can easliy find Spanish colonial architecture in Manila.

Manila really can be visited throughout the year, even in the rainy season, as Southern Luzon is not as plagued with typhoons as the Visayas and Mindanao. And there are plenty of indoor things to do while the afternoon rains fall in the wet season.

The location of the country’s largest airport, the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Manila has direct incoming flights from all across the ASEAN region, as well as several flights from the United States, Europe, and South America, to name a few.

5. Arrange a Proper Flight to the Philippines

Even though there are seven international airports in the Philippines, most of them do not have flights outside Asia.

Ninoy Aquino International Airport only has direct international flights outside Asia from around a dozen countries worldwide. Along with Mactan–Cebu International Airport, which has fewer international direct flights from outside Asia, and Clark International Airport, with just two non-Asian international routes, these airports are your only options for direct flights outside Asia.

If you are arranging your flights to the Philippines, it is essential to know what route you will take, and if your flight is indirect, what your links, transfers, or stopovers are.

Outside Southeast Asia, and outside the sphere of the ASEAN, there are actually very few direct flights to the Philippines once you get past Qatar and Turkey. Most flights from Europe, Africa, and the Americas would have to be indirect, so you will need to ensure that you know where to transfer, when to stay on the plane, and when/where you might make any stopovers, and plan your flight accordingly.

6. Prepare Enough Cash for Your Philippines Tour

The local currency is the Philippine Peso (₱ or Php, also known as “Piso” in Filipino), which is linked mainly to the US dollar for exchange rates. However, unlike other Southeast Asian countries such as Vietnam and Cambodia, the US dollar is not an accepted general currency in the Philippines, and you cannot spend dollars anywhere, you need to exchange them for pesos.

Take some local currency to make your trip smoother.

How much money should I take to the Philippines?

A reasonable budget for a trip to the Philippines is around Php30,000 per week for one person, which comes to around 600 US Dollars. This is based on staying in mid-range hotels and eating out 3-4 times a week, as well as the usual trips to tourist attractions. If you want to go jet skiing or wakeboarding or scuba diving, that would cost more on top. For a single person wanting to have a good vacation, at least US$ 1,000 is adequate.

Can I use my credit card in the Philippines?

Credit cards are widely accepted all over the Philippines, especially in Metro Manila, and even in the smaller towns in the provinces, there are ATMs in every location, and many restaurants and smaller hotels take cards.

7. Pack Wisely for Your Trip to the Philippines

The Philippines is always relatively hot, even in the dry season. So you won’t really need much in the way of warm clothing unless you are visiting Baguio or Tagaytay, which are mountain areas and cooler. Pack light airy clothes that will allow you to stay cool in the hot weather. And since there are few restrictions on clothing in the country, there is no requirement to cover up, so bring out the shorts and sleeveless tops, just not in the churches.

Bring a belt bag to keep valuables in. Pickpocketing and bag snatching are quite common in the cities, so make sure you keep valuables close to your body. And don’t take out large wads of bills to pay for things. Showing you have plenty of cash can make you a target for snatchers and pickpockets.

But don’t worry if you forget something you need in your packing, as almost everything you need can be bought locally, as the country has massive imports of foreign goods, from Colgate to Snickers, and everything in between.

8. Know the Dos and Don’ts in the Philippines

There are only a few taboos in Filipino culture, with the main one being something common across Asia – don’t touch or smack the head.

You should also remain respectful of the churches and religion, as Filipinos are mostly devout Catholics, and will not tolerate disrespect from the church.

Try to stay patient when conversing. In most tourist destinations, you will find plenty of people that speak excellent English. The majority of Filipinos speak English to some degree, as it is the second language of the country, but some still struggle to get their message across.

Filipinos are generally happy and friendly people, and will welcome you with open arms. But it is essential not to take advantage of that, as it is considered rude to take their hospitality for granted.

Do a little research on the main aspects of Filipino culture so that you know where to draw the line. Or get a guide to help you navigate the country and get by better on your first trip.


Traveling to the Philippines is easy when you know what to expect, and can be a simple thing to plan with a little research. Make sure you know where you are going and what you want to see, and you can make the best of the attractions this beautiful archipelago has to offer.

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