When people think of traveling to Southeast Asia, the first two places that pop into their heads are Bali and Thailand. The truth is that Southeast Asia offers a ton of alluring destinations, and the Philippines is one of them. Unlike Thailand and Bali, traveling to the Philippines requires more preparation because not everywhere in the Philippines is safe.
For example, the southern island of Mindanao is considered off-limits to most. Usually, people travel to the safe beaches of Boracay for a weekend or week-long getaway. However, if you have enough time on your hands, exploring the Philippines will prove to be an unforgettable experience.
With that in mind, there are certain items to add to your Philippines packing list that will make the journey that much better.
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#1 Waterproof Phone Pouch
Long gone are the days of having to lug around a camera to take epic pictures while on vacay. Nowadays, there are loads of smartphones with great cameras. Plus, there are phones that are waterproof. Nevertheless, if you own a waterproof phone or not, a waterproof phone pouch is a handy item to have while in the Philippines.
It allows you to protect your phone against water damage, from dirt & debris, and it gives you the convenience of hanging the phone around your neck. As a result, you’ll be able to grab your phone more quickly when you need to capture a once-in-a-lifetime moment. Also, you’re less likely to experience phone theft, which is all too common while overseas.
#2 First Aid Kit
Since hiking and outdoor adventures are commonplace in the Philippines, you’ll want to pack a first aid kit. One important thing to keep in mind is that the tropical environment carries bacteria you’re more than likely not used to confronting. For this reason, these “superbacteria” are not something you want to allow to gain hold anywhere in your body.
Even a small cut can turn into a nasty infection. While this may all sound scary, it’s not if you’re prepared. Because of this, a first aid kit is a must-have item on your Philippines packing list. In the event that you get a blister or an open wound, it’s important to clean and cover it immediately to prevent a bacterial infection.
By adding a first aid kit to your pack, you’ll have greater peace of mind knowing that you’re prepared to treat any potential wounds.
#3 Water Shoes
Continuing along with the previous point, it’s important to always protect your feet in a tropical environment. Small cuts on the feet open the door to unwanted infections. And while it may seem like a great idea to live in your sandals or go barefoot, it’s definitely not, especially if you plan to go hiking.
Additionally, if you plan to visit Siargao to go surfing – and you should – you’ll want to protect your feet when walking over rocks. These days there are plenty of water shoes to choose from, and it’s wise to purchase them before you leave for your trip. Otherwise, you could end up getting price gouged if you buy them in the Philippines as an afterthought.
The best place to find water shoes for the beach and for other water activities is at watershoereviews.com. There, you’ll be able to find good water shoes for the whole family.
#4 Electrolyte Powder
Make no mistake, it’s hot in the Philippines, and alcohol is cheap. This combination can easily lead to dehydration, which can also lead to brutal hangovers. Furthermore, you may feel dehydrated along a hike. The solution to said problems is electrolyte powder.
Of course, you’ll need some fresh water to mix it with, but as long as you have that, you’ll be all good. Currently, there are good options in the electrolyte powder department that are individually wrapped, making them easy to bring with you anywhere.
The two key ingredients in most electrolyte powders are potassium and sodium. If you’re experiencing any cramping, electrolytes are definitely needed. Lastly, if you happen to wake up with a nasty hangover, you’ll be able to recover faster instead of losing a whole day of your trip.
#5 Bottle Koozie
No Philippines trip is complete without an ice-cold San Miguel. The local beer is none other than San Miguel, and there are several varieties available. Of those varieties, San Miguel Light goes down the easiest and is the least likely to give you a hangover.
However, the Philippines heat is always a factor, which can make keeping your beer cold a challenge. While most bars provide ice buckets to hold beer, it’s always helpful to have a neoprene beer bottle holder, aka a koozie.
A good koozie will keep your beer cold for a long time, while also keeping your hand dry. Also, another advantage is if you plan to do any drinking outdoors because a koozie conceals what you’re drinking for the most part. When choosing a bottle koozie, look for the type with a zipper. With the zipper, you’ll be able to adjust the height of the koozie for different beer bottles.
As the Philippines motto goes, “It’s more fun in the Philippines.” And this motto is entirely true if you plan your trip right. This doesn’t mean that you need to have every minute planned out, but the items on this list will help to better prepare you for the unexpected.
Because once you feel the warmth of the Filipino people, you’ll realize that doing some improvising along your trip is the best way to soak up the Filipino culture. Plus, if you’re a native English speaker, just about everyone in the Philippines speaks English. On top of that, you’ll be able to read all of the signs.
Comparatively, the vast number of English speakers makes the Philippines more foreigner-friendly than other popular destinations in Southeast Asia. All in all, once you add the items listed above to your Philippines packing list, you’ll be able to enjoy all of what the Philippines has to offer, and it’s a lot.