WikiPilipinas Tourist Tips
When to Visit
The best time to visit the Philippines is from around October to May. Aside from the dry weather, most of the colorful festivals occur during these months. The beautiful Philippine beaches are also a great escape from the heat, and it is during this time that tourism is most alive.
Nevertheless, the wet season, from the months of June to September, do not totally prohibit travel. Activities such as diving, surfing, and other water sports can still be done in places such as Anilao or Palawan. However, one must be ready for some travel delays and cancellations, as tropical storms can ravage the country during these period (Ask Quentin Tarantino).
The Christmas and Lenten seasons present some of the most lively events in the Filipino calendar. However, costs for travel and accommodations are at their peak, so if you choose to value your money more than experience, you can reset your trip to later dates.
Manila and Cebu City, two of the countries urban centers, present the priciest costs. High-end hotel and resort accommodations average around US$100 per night. Meals at good restaurants cost around P500 or more per person, while full-day car rentals can clock in at P1000. Boracay, one of the most demanded spots on the Philippines tends to be more expensive too, compared to the other beach destinations.
But of course, more modest arrangements exist for midrange and budget travelers. Once outside Manila and Cebu City, the prices tend to decrease. For midrange travelers, an allowance of around P2000 can sustain an individual, while half of it can maintain a globetrotter in a tight budget.
What to Bring
Traveling light is always the best way to go, especially in the Philippines, where there is an array of activities to do. You do not need to put everything in your backpack, as most tourist stops have shops where you can get all your last minute needs. However, it is still advisable not to forget these:
- A headlamp or a flashlight, especially when touring remote beaches and islands
- A blanket for air-con buses and ferries
- Zip-lock bags or other waterproof containers, which come very handy in diving
- Medication for sea sickness
- Tampons for women, as sanitary pads are more common in the country
- Earplugs, to deal with roosters and karaoke machines