17 Things You Must Know before Traveling to the Philippines

What do you need to know about your first trip to the Philippines? For those who are traveling to the Philippines for the first time, there are 17 things you must know before traveling to the Philippines. You can learn about it to avoid unnecessary troubles during the Philippines trip.


1. When is the best time to travel to the Philippines?

Any season is a good time to travel to the Philippines, while the best tourist time is from May to September. Each season has its advantages and disadvantages. You can arrange travel according to your own preferences.


Fort Santiago

Fort Santiago


2. What is the weather like in the Philippines?

The Philippines has three seasons: cool season, dry season and rainy season. The average annual temperature in the Philippines is between 25 and 32 degrees Celsius.

Cool season (December-February of the following year) is cool and less rainy, which brings a lot of conveniences to travel. It is the peak tourist season, so the various expenses are slightly more expensive.


Dry season (March to May) is also a summer holiday for the locals in the Philippines. Many holiday spots are sparsely visited and suitable for a quiet holiday.


Rainy season (June-September) in the Philippines is actually not that terrible. There will be a certain pattern of rain in each area (such as morning, noon or dusk), and the rain will not last for too long. The air is extremely comfortable, and the sun is still bright. Most importantly, the price is very cost-effective due to the low season.


3. What is the time zone of the Philippines?

The time zone in the Philippines is UTC+8.


4. What language do the locals speak?

The official languages are English and Filipino (Tagalog), and most hotels, restaurants, and resort staff can speak fluent English.



Water Activity


5. What can't be brought into the Philippines?

Carrying live animals, plants, fish or related products, narcotics, chemicals, drugs without prescriptions, jewelry, electronic products, and business samples must be declared.


Without the approval of the Central Bank of the Philippines, it is illegal for any inbound or outbound traveller to bring in or bring out more than 10,000 pesos in notes, coins, checks or other money orders drawn in the Philippine bank. It is not illegal to carry foreign currency. In principle, any foreign currency in excess of a price equivalent to us $3,000 is subject to declaration.


The duty-free items allowed to be brought into the country include 1.4 liters of alcohol, 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars, and 250 grams of shredded tobacco.


6. How to book a ticket for a trip to the Philippines?

At present, tourists can book tickets online on major airlines, such as Philippine Airlines, AirAsia, Cebu Pacific Air, etc. The air tickets are electronic tickets. After the booking is successful, the email box will receive the confirmation of the electronic ticket. You can print the confirmation and go to the airport counter to check-in.


7. How to book hotels in the Philippines?

Tourists can make reservations on the hotel's official website and reservation websites like Agoda.com, Booking.com, or Hotels.com.


In the capital, Manila, there are many high-end brand hotel chains, such as Sofitel, Shangri-La, Hyatt, etc. In other major cities and major tourist islands, there are also resorts and specialty homestays.


8. What are the voltage and power supply in the Philippines?

Voltage: 220V; Frequency: 60Hz; Socket: American two-hole or three-hole sockets


9. What are the necessary items for traveling to the Philippines?

Personal documents: passport, air tickets, credit cards, cash (US dollars or pesos);

Clothing: clothes, shoes, swimwear, umbrella, sunscreen products;

Medicines: gastrointestinal medicine, cold medicine, motion sickness medicine, heatstroke prevention medicine and private habit medicine, anti-mosquito liquid;

Toiletries: towel, toothbrush, toothpaste, slippers, plug converter.





10. What currencies are in circulation in the Philippines?

The peso (abbreviated as P) is the unit of Philippine currency. The subsidized unit is centavos: 1 peso = 100 centavos. Banknotes have denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, and 1,000 pesos, and coins have denominations of 5 centavos, 10 centavos, 25 centavos, 1 peso and 5 pesos. The exchange rate fluctuates at any time, and the transaction price at the bank counter shall prevail during the transaction.


Philippines Peso

Philippines Peso


11. Where to exchange money in the Philippines?

After arriving in the Philippines, you can exchange US dollars for pesos at airports. After entering the city of the Philippines, there are many places where you can exchange currency. Pesos can be exchanged in department malls, banks and private money exchange offices.


12. Do I need to tip in the Philippines?

In the Philippines, tipping is customary but not mandatory. The service industry has a habit of tipping, which is about 10% of total consumption. Most hotel and restaurant bills already include a 10% service charge, so there is no need to tip. It is recommended to give the waiter 20 pesos a day.


13. Do I have to buy insurance to travel to the Philippines?

There is no compulsory insurance policy for traveling to the Philippines, but safety comes first when you go out. So, you are suggested to buy insurance. Once there are flight delays, lost luggage, and unacceptable conditions during the journey, it will make you very uncomfortable. In this case, insurance will reduce some troubles and losses. Of course, the more important thing is for your own travel safety.


14. How to solve Internet access when traveling in the Philippines?

At present, the main overseas Internet access methods are as follows: rent portable Wi-Fi router, buy a local internet card and open international roaming. It is recommended to buy local internet card at the airport or convenience store.





15. Is it safe in the Philippines?

The Philippines is one of the safest countries in Southeast Asia, ranking second after Singapore. In fact, the Philippines is relatively safe. As long as you don’t show off or show off your wealth when you go out. Most of the Filipino people believe in Catholicism, and they are very friendly to people from foreign countries.


Security personnel in shopping malls, restaurants, airports and other places in the Philippines can be seen almost everywhere. There are also police officers on the streets. Whenever you encounter problems, you can take the initiative to seek help from police and security.


Emergency call for help:

Emergency & Police & Fire: 117

Philippine National Department of Tourism: (632)524-1728, 524-1660


16. Where to eat local food in the Philippines?

Manila: La Cocina de Tita Moning, Max's Restaurant, Aristocrat

Cebu: Light House Restaurant, Sea Food City, Gerry's Grill

Boracay Island: Smoke Restaurant, Olé Spanish Tapas, Bar and Restaurant, Jonah's Fruit Shake & Snack Bar

Bohol Island: Bohol Bee Farm, Isis Thai Restaurant, Chicken Ati-Atihan


Local Food

Local Food


17. Where to shopping in the Philippines?

Here are some of the hottest malls in the Philippines: SM Mall of Asia, SM City Cebu, Robinson Place Dumaguete, Island City Mall, Budget Mart, The Buzzz Shop.


Please note that the price of goods in the Philippines already includes the 12% tax collected by the government and cannot be refunded.

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