Still slightly off the beaten path, the Philippines is an up and coming tourist destination, new hotels are popping up daily, make sure you add this to your bucket list before mass tourism saturates the blissful islands.
The Philippines is a country of contrasts, 5 star hotels and designer shopping malls stand side by side with inner city slums.
Poverty is rife in the Philippines, unfortunately you can’t help everybody even though it breaks your heart. Try to eat at locally owned restaurants and buy groceries from market sales where possible. Give your money to local b&b owners rather then Mr Hilton.
Also, don’t haggle too hard. Even if you’re on a tight budget, just the fact that you can afford to travel makes you a millionaire in comparison to a lot of the locals, don’t take advantage of their desperation to make a sale. Anyway, lecture over. 🙂
We did feel slightly on edge in Manila, although as soon as we were out the city we relaxed and felt completely safe. We didn’t see any indication of the violence reported in the European news and we found ourselves becoming more relaxed by the day. If your still feeling weary about traveling to the Philippines, click HERE for some official UK government advice.
It was by far the cheapest country we have visited so far, we stayed in pretty nice hotels, ate like kings, had regular massages, I even got my hair cut. We took taxis and went on day trips. Our average daily spend, including internal flights, accommodation and meals etc was only £45, and we could have done it so much cheaper if we tried.
There are a few major airlines operating in the Philippines, the only drawback is that a lot of the time you will need to take a connecting flight through Manila to get anywhere.
Ferry transport is very popular in the Philippines, unfortunately I can’t give you much information because we didn’t use any. I found a post online (click HERE) that explains ferry travel in more detail.
Three wheelers are really cheap for short distances, make sure to agree a price before you get in.
UK passport holders are allowed to enter for up to 30 days but you must have your outbound flight booked before you try to enter.
At the time of writing (February 2018) there are no vaccinations required, anti-malaria medication is recommended for some of the islands but not all, check the NHS travel map HERE.
The currency in The Philippines is Pesos and there are ATM’s in most places (though you may need to walk 20 minutes or so). Not many cafes or shops will accept card, the Philippines is very much a ‘cash’ country. Exchange rates in February 2018 below:
£1 (GBP) = P71.24
$1 (USD) = P50.20
€1 (EUR) = P63.18
Hope you found this useful.
Click HERE for some itinerary ideas.