Travel like a local in PH
Even with a lot of planning and preparation, visiting a new country for the first time can present a lot of surprises, especially in the Philippines with its unpredictable weather. Don’t get caught off guard on your trip, and look forward to a fun-filled holiday like a true Filipino will with these simple reminders.
Do not underestimate the Philippine weather. Don’t be surprised by the sudden change of forecast in a day – dry in the morning and wet in the afternoon. A water repellent bag (or bag cover maybe) and a jacket will make things convenient while moving around. Given the unpredictable atmosphere, packing an umbrella is a great advantage when faced with either situation.
Time is never on your side
When in the metro, be ready to face long commutes. Always be one step ahead and leave at least two hours before your check-in time at the airport. Also, don’t be surprised by the so-called Filipino time. Not all public vehicles have schedules and most of the time they will stay at their stops until all seats have been occupied.
Let’s get real; some locals charge foreigners at a higher price. Don’t buy into this. Filipinos and foreign travelers should be charged the same rate, especially when availing of certain services. Do your research, get tips from trusted Filipino friends, or ask help from a local employee. Since “negotiating,” especially when shopping at a flea market (like Divisoria), has been a part of the Filipino culture, why not try haggling like a local, right?
When two big factors — traffic and unpredictable weather — collide, expect your plans to fall apart in a domino effect of failure. Be flexible with the “must-do’s” and “must-see’s” in your itinerary. When drawing up your travel plans, always have a backup ready just in case. Check out what other things you can do in any of the nearby areas and take note of them in case you need to switch to a plan B. Not everything should have a complete plan, though, as the best adventures often have the most unexpected surprises.
Even with exaggerated travel warnings against the country, the Philippines, is just like any other Southeast Asian destination. It is a wonderfully fun place to visit. Getting firsthand information from Filipino friends and being knowledgeable of various up-to-date travel tidbits are always best when it comes to pre-travel preparation. Everybody’s travel experience is a unique one. As we speak, some expat travelers are actually enjoying some fun in the sun at the island of Boracay despite the Philippines being regarded as an unsafe travel destination. Keep an open mind and simply have fun!
While throwing caution to the wind and diving headfirst into a new adventure may seem like a fun and romantic idea, sometimes having a little plan can make even the most hectic trips go smoothly. If all else fails, you’re free to wing it and ask advice from the locals themselves. What’s there to lose, right?
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