This is a guest post Josephine Ibarra, who is a travel blogger and loves to experience the uniqueness of different places here in the Philippines.
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime” -Mark Twain
Traveling is one of the most invigorating experiences in life. The thrill of discovering a new place and immersing yourself in its beauty is nothing short of exhilarating. One of the many countries where a unique travel experience is guaranteed is the Philippines. Indeed, your travel itinerary would be filled with things to do such as whale shark watching in Cebu to sampling the gastronomic dishes of Pampanga Philippines.
However, no matter how fantastic a trip to the Philippines might sound, a trip to these tropical islands would indeed be fraught with inconveniences and if this is your first-time excursion to this country, it can be a bit off-putting. Before getting to the underground rivers of Palawan, or the beautiful beach nightclub scene in Boracay or even take a whiff of cold fresh air in Baguio, you will have to endure the perpetual bumper to bumper traffic of Manila. Though this might sound like a hassle you would not rather experience, once you get to your destination, you would realize that it was all well worth it.
Undoubtedly, some of the experiences in the Philippines would take a little getting used to before you can truly appreciate its subtle charm and get acquainted with its inherent beauty. So, if the Philippines is in your travel plans, it might be helpful if you had a few pointers and tips from the get-go to make your trip less of a hassle and more enjoyable.
#1 Passing security checks in the airport
No matter which airport you are in the world, it will always be invariably the same—you will have to go through security. As this is the case, it would be readily apparent how much of a hassle it is to wear a belt, but if you insist on wearing it then at least put it on after the required security check.
Another thing worthy to note is that it would be convenient if you carried a small bag where you can put all of your valuables once you need to go through the security machine. In this way, you would not need to extricate them one by one which would expedite the whole security process.
#2 Airport Freebies
Foreigners, OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers), and backpacking tourists are in for a treat as they would not need to worry about buying a dispensable sim once they get to the country, they will get one free! One of the leading telecommunication companies (Globe) in the Philippines is giving away a free sim in one of their small stands. Just ask the airport concierge where you can avail of this and present your ID and passport to claim it.
#3 Finding a cheap vehicle for hire in the Manila airport
Taxi drivers in Metro Manila are notorious for charging foreigners a lot more than the regular rate which is why you would need to be extra meticulous when it comes to flagging down a taxi. Download apps such as Waze and pin a destination and have the cab driver take that route. The flag down rate is only about forty pesos with an increment of 3.50 pesos per 250 meters. However, you can also consider the safer alternative, download Uber, and GrabCar to your phone and you can find your ride with a click of a finger instead.
Also Read: 9 Things You Need Before You Travel Anywhere
#4 Book Island trips ahead
Suppose you have extra time to explore the country after your stint in Manila, do so by booking your trips in advance—and by advance, we mean months prior. Airline tickets can get pretty expensive when you travel close to your booking dates, so it is best to book them ahead of time. Travel with local low-cost carriers such as Cebu Pacific and Air Asia. Both have regular deals in rotation during the year, and you will be amazed at how much you can save with their promo fares.
#5 Get Travel Insurance
Some of the best places to go in the Philippines are remote islands where you can find virgin beaches and gorgeous landscapes. Unfortunately, these remote islands rarely have any access to hospitals, and more often than not, banks are virtually non-existent. Considering this, it would be an inopportune time for you to get injured. However, should the untoward occur, it would be advantageous if you are covered by a comprehensive travel insurance. Look for one with a plan that allows doctors to come to you instead of going to the nearest hospital. It is better to be safe than sorry after all.