It’s four o’clock in the morning and you are up pinning. You now have 3 new secret boards and one called ‘trip to the Philippines’. You are super excited and want to wake up your partner to tell them about all the awesome things you are going to do in the Philippines, but you can’t it’s 4 am. Does this every happened it you? It seems to happen to me all the time. I get super excited about a new travel destination and all the pretty ‘Photo Shopped’ pictures make me want to quit my job and jump on the next plane.
Unfortunately, you and I are unable to just drop everything at a moment’s notice and we must plan our trips based on reality, not Pinterest. So, to help you plan your trip to the Philippines, I have put together this article. What can you expect on your amazing trip to the Philippines?
What to expect on your trip to the Philippines
The first thing many people think of when they hear ‘The Philippines’ is beaches. This makes sense, after all it is an island. If you are planning a trip to the Philippines, you are probably thinking about lying on a beach and soaking up the warm rays. There are many beaches to choose from, Yvonne and I, went to the north of the Philippines and spent time near La Union. We had a great time surfing and stayed away from the major tourist spots. Many people like to spend time on Boracay Island; I don’t blame them, the beaches look amazing there. Since we couldn’t go to all of the beaches, never enough time and money, here is a list of resources to help pick the best beaches to visit on your trip to the Philippines:
- The Philippines’ best beaches and islands
- It’s more fun in the Philippines: Beaches
- Top Ten Beaches in the Philippines
When I think of an island getaway, I think of exotic foods, fresh fruit, and delicious seafood. Unfortunately, the Philippines did not offer us the variety or exotic meals we were hoping for from a tropical island. We found the food to be quite blend and a little disappointing. We didn’t go the normal ‘tourist’ route and we didn’t spend time on the islands, which is one of the reasons I think we missed out on the food options. We found a lot of fried chicken restaurants and not too much in the way of local dishes. We did get to try Adobo (pictured below) and I liked it. But other than this dish, the options were limited. On the smaller islands you might find more food options, keep your eyes out for these dishes:
- 50 Filipino foods that define the Philippines
- List of Filipino dishes
- 24 Delicious Filipino Foods You Need In Your Life
One of the things we love about traveling is meeting new people and learning about different cultures. Some people might fly-in, plop down on a beach and order drinks from the local boy (which is fine everyone travels differently), but for us we like to learn more about the country and people. We do this by talking with locals and avoiding the super touristy spots. This gives us a (little) more authentic feel for how the locals live. The Philippines is an extremely poor country, so if you do not lay in a resort for two weeks be prepared to see poverty.
I was not prepared and it was tough to handle. You often see pictures on TV or in magazines of far off lands were people are poor, but seeing it face-to-face can be difficult to deal with. I felt helpless and sad when children were asking for water on the streets. So, if you do get away for the tourist spots bring an extra bottle of water or a small snack you can hand out. Many people might disagree with this tip, but it is more for your own peace of mind. I was unable to help and it still upsets me thinking back.
The people are poor in many areas, but they are also very happy and very friendly. So, don’t be scared away. It is okay to talk, laugh, and enjoy your time in the Philippines! The people are aware of their own situation and they are grateful for the tourism industry. Remember to always be respectful and kind and in return, you will be treated with respect.
We have put together a great budget post about our trip to the Philippines that can be viewed here. Again, every traveler is different. I don’t know your style or budget, but for Yvonne and I, we travel cheap (hostel & transport) and splurge on food. So, the budget post might not be useful to you, if you are all about the resorts and private jets. We spent a total of PHP 28,948.35. That’s an average of PHP 1207.18 pesos per person, per day. Converted to US dollars that would be around $26.50.
Final thoughts on your trip to the Philippines
Plan ahead and you will have an amazing time in the Philippines. There is so much to see and do or you can relax by the ocean and enjoy the sunshine. I’m sure I missed some important things in the post, but we will be writing more about the Philippines, so, click around to see our other content or feel free to subscribe to Trip Bitten and stay up to date with all of our travel stores. Until next time and remember keep your forks clean and passports close!