Ways & How

How to Travel to the Philippines

How to Travel to the Philippines

The Philippines is a developing, tropical country in Southeast Asia with seven thousand islands. This means that there are seven thousand postcard-perfect beaches, some of which sink when it’s high tide. The Spanish colonized the country for three hundred years, so its mainly-Catholic populace distinguishes it from other Asian countries. Catholic and Spanish influences are seen in its centuries-old churches and food.  Whether you plan to visit its beaches or marvel at cathedrals held together by egg white, here are some tips for how to travel to the Philippines.

  1. Do your research

    The Americans have colonized the Philippines for forty years, so English is widely-spoken and many of the signs are in English. It won’t come as a surprise to know that American tourists will not need a visa to enter the country. A U.S. passport that is valid for six months after your date of arrival in the country, as well as a ticket leaving the country, will suffice. Upon arriving, you will be given an entry visa for 21 days.

    te that you will need a transit visa if you are coming from the Philippines and going to another country aside from the United States. View the U.S. Consular Affairs and the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs websites for additional information.

  2. Book and prepare

    When booking your ticket, it is highly recommended that you avoid the southern part of the Philippines i.e. Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago. These areas have a history of unrest with some rebel groups. Metro Manila, the capital, and Metro Cebu have business districts and American restaurants and bars. Popular tourist beach destinations include the Boracay and Palawan islands. Palawan boasts the eight-kilometer-long underground river, which is one of the new wonders of the world. Since it is a tropical country, you only have to avoid the rainy months of May to December when planning your visit dates. Pack light, comfortable clothing in linen or cotton. Some churches require that your clothes have sleeves or that you are covered with a shawl and may refuse to admit those wearing shorts.

    There are no required vaccinations for visitors, but putting on mosquito-repellent lotion several times during the day and prior to sleeping are recommended to avoid mosquito-borne diseases. You can bring first-aid items and your prescription medicines that are labeled clearly, accompanied by a doctor’s note. Other medicine brand names under the same generic name are likely to be available in the Philippines. U.S. medicine brands are sold in specialty stores selling U.S. products.

  3. Bask in the sun

    Upon arrival in the Philippines, you might want to check in with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. Note that there might be peaceful demonstrations happening outside, so plan your visit accordingly. Tourists are susceptible to petty theft and scams. Be aware of too-friendly strangers and make sure that the cab you take turns on its meter and provides you with a receipt. When converting your dollars to the Philippine peso, make sure that you use a bank or an accredited moneychanger, like at the airport.

    As it is often sunny and you may have flown to the Philippines to experience the beach, wear high-SPF sunblock and reapply several times a day. You can also bring a light umbrella to ward off the sunlight and in case of rain. Avoid drinking tap water, and if you have a sensitive stomach, avoid drinks with ice as well.

The Philippines has been the site of several tapings of the Survivor television show due to its abundance of islands. Tourists have also stayed there to experience the Christmas season that runs from September to December.  Given the vigilance prompted by these tips on how to travel to the Philippines, you will be able to enjoy your visit there.


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