We talked about 10 things you should consider before living in the Philippines. Now, here are a few vacation packing tips that you must do when traveling to the Philippines. As a foreigner coming from a first world country, it can get frustrating as things in the Philippines are more manual and much slower. So this is an advanced solution to possible trouble of inconvenience you might experience when you are there. This will make your life easier with lesser frustration.
What you need to have while you are there?
- Prepaid SIM card – As soon as you arrive in the Philippines buy a SIM card with a data plan so you can browse the Internet, use gps and find what you need while getting settled. While a SIM card is more expensive in the Airport, it will be worth it while you are figuring things out. Prepay for about a month of service, then get a cheaper one once you get established.
- Broadband Stick – Once you have some idea of the area you will be staying, get a broadband USB. SmartBro is a popular brand of broadband USB. Broadband in the Philippines speeds range from super slow to decent depending on the area you are in. You should get decent speeds in the city little to no access in some provinces. This will be your permanent solution and get you off of the Prepaid data on your phone. If you can afford it, I would recommend both. Internet in the Philippines is pretty unreliable. It goes down sporadically for no apparent reason so it’s nice to have a back up. Just like prepaid SIM cards, you can get broadband in the airport or in the malls.
- Mosquito lotion – Traveling to Philippines means dealing with mosquitoes especially if you are going to live or stay in or near the jungle or provincial areas where there are lots of stagnant pools of water. Arm yourself with mosquito repellent.
- Have Cash – Have Filipino pesos but don’t carry too much cash. Certain places do not have ATM machines. Also many places do not take card to pay for items. If you are in the middle of Manila or Cebu City, then of course you can use your debit card. But cash is king in the Philippines. Cash is safer since you are not giving out your credit card information to random people.
Phone – If your phone is unlocked, it may be restricted to one provider in your country of origin. You should look into getting the phone unlocked before you get to the Philippines or plan on buying a phone there. You can get a very cheap phone for 30 USD. You will meet expats, friends and important contacts so you will need a mobile phone. There are some mobile phone repair shops in the Philippines that unlock phones for cheap.
Flip flops (sandals) – Why? What is wrong with my shoes? There will be times when you don’t want to wear shoes. You will notice that 98% of the people there wear sandals. When you experience the rain you will know why. It always rains in the Philippines and the weather is unpredictable. Flooding is an everyday occurrence during the rainy season. Sandals prepare you for ankle high floods. Its also extremely humid which can reek havoc on your feet if you constantly where close toe shoes.
- Soaps – If you are using a specific types of body soap bring enough that will allow you to choose a local brand in the Philippines. Soap ingredients may differ from what you use to have in your country.
- Adapter – The Philippines voltage is 220. If your appliance and electronic charger only take 110, you may end up destroying it. With some small electronic devices you are better off getting only items that don’t need to be plugged into the wall. Get items that take batteries. Or can be charged via USB. You may even consider buying small electronic items (such as electric shavers) when you get there. For computers, tablets and monitors you will may need an adapter.
type A / B / C
Voltage: 220 V
Frequency: 60 Hz
- Toilet paper – This one sounds funny until you go to the province (what is the Philippines’ province?) and you have no toilet paper. If you are in the city, you will be fine so there is no need to pack it in your luggage. But if you are in a city in the Philippines and going to the Province, you might want to grab a roll.
- Face towels – If you are not used to a hot and humid climate, it is a necessary to carry a face and back towel while hanging out around town. You can get very sweaty and sticky immediately.