Traveling to the Philippines: What to Bring

Traveling to the Philippines must be on your bucket list. And why not? There are 7,107 reasons to visit the tropical paradise.

Packing-phobes need not fret because packing to the Philippines is easy. Finding items you forgot back home is relatively easier—even in the neighborhood’s sari-sari store.

Here are the most important things to bring so you can truly internalize and experience what it’s more fun in the Philippines means.

Things to bring when traveling to the Philippines

Sun protection

Summer or not, the country can get sweltering. It is true whether you are in the city or province. Keeping the skin protected from the harmful rays of the sun is a must. So pack some lotion with high SPF.

If you are diving, surfing, snorkeling, or going to do water activities, particularly in La Union, Palawan, Davao, or Cebu, make sure that you pick a local reef-safe sunscreen. You need to protect nature the way you protect your skin.

Hat, cap or umbrella

You will definitely do a lot of walking, especially at the beach. So bring a wide-brimmed hat for her or Trilby cap for him. Make sure it is breathable, so minimize sweating. 

If not a hat or cap, an umbrella will do. It does the same in shielding your head from sun damage. It is perfect when it rains too because you’ll never know. It gets so warm in the morning and drizzly in the late afternoon. 

Scarf

Scarves in different lengths, making them so versatile. You may use it as a coverup or towel. You can also use it as a protective gear. 

When it gets cold, you may use it as a wrap-around. Put it around your neck or let it slide on your shoulders for extra warmth.  

Breathable clothing

In the Philippines, when it’s hot, it’s really hot. When it’s cold outside, layer your clothes and you’ll be sweaty in no time. Even when it rains, it’s hot. Balancing the weather is really a challenge. 

Make sure you wear lightweight clothes made from breathable fabric. Cotton and linen are your best options. Loose and light-colored clothes are also advisable.

Comfortable shoes

You won’t need fancy shoes when in the Philippines. A pair of comfortable shoes is all you need. 

The last thing you need is painful blisters that take away all the fun in your travel. 

Rain jacket

Be extra prepared by bringing a rain jacket. When it rains, it rains so hard. 

Choose a lightweight and foldable jacket that you can carry anywhere you go. When the downpour inevitably strikes, it’ll come handy.

Beachwear

Your trip to the Philippines will never be complete without visiting the beach. Pack some swimsuits, trunks, and rashguards.

Rashguards are perfect since they give you the level of comfort that suits and trunks cannot.

Quick-dry towel

Drying up things can be messy, and they become heavy. Also, moist towels become a breeding ground for bacteria, so don’t be surprised when opening a smelly backpack.

A quick-dry towel doesn’t take much space. It dries in an hour or two.

Money belt

Money belts are a practical choice when traveling. You need something to stash your valuables, so pack one. Better yet, wear it while going to the Philippines. The fewer items on your baggage, the better. Remember?

There are stylish money belts that you may use as an accent. There are also concealable ones, so one would know that you are actually wearing one.

Insect repellent

Another imperative when traveling to the Philippines: insect repellent. Mosquitoes are everywhere. Even in hotels!

Dengue fever and other diseases caused by mosquito bites are undeniable healthcare issues. So better be safe than sorry. 

Reusable water bottle 

You cannot really trust the quality of tap water in the Philippines, but you need to keep yourself hydrated at all times. Bring one with you.

Some reusable water bottles have built-in filters. You may invest in this too to ensure that the water you’re drinking is 100% safe. This helps the environment as well.

Toiletry kit

Bring the basics. Most hotels and hostels provide the essentials, but again, you’ll never know. It is best to call the accommodation ahead of time, so you only need to bring what they cannot provide.

A pro tip: always bring a tissue roll or two. Toilet papers are not always immediately available in hotel rooms.

Underwater camera

Think of a waterproof camera as your best ally when traveling to the Philippines. 

Choose an inexpensive camera but is reliable enough to take some lovely underwater photos and videos. GoPro is not your only option, though.

Adapter 

Of course, you’ll bring some gadgets with you to immortalize your experiences on the tropical island. A universal (or all-in-one) adapter is what you need. 

While at it, familiarize yourself with different plug sockets, so you don’t end up using an American style plug on European style plug ports. Confusing 110 with 220 volts socket is a fire hazard. Just so you know. And please, don’t take chances.

Power bank

If you are planning to stay in the Philippines for one week or more, bring with you a power bank. For one, capturing moments with your phone exhausts the battery life as quickly as you’d expect.

It also gets handy when the electricity goes out, which is commonplace wherever you are at in the country. Keep it full at all times as well.

Dry bag

A dry bag is a miscellaneous item that really does its work. This is only true if you bring a decent dry bag with you. You can buy a dry bag for two dollars but don’t expect them to perform as they should like when getting on and off the boat or carrying your valuables inside it.

As a tropical essential, you don’t want to ditch the role of a quality dry bag. When you’ve witnessed travel buddies and other travelers lost their smartphones or gears to water damage, you’ll want to use an air-tight dry bag so these things won’t happen to you.

When traveling to and around the Philippines, these are the essentials you must take with you. Thank me later.

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