Traveling to The Philippines
Want to travel to the Philippines with kids? Philippines travel is the easiest if you hire a car, so find out all essential info on Philippines car travel. Make all necessary preparations, vaccines included, and enjoy your family vacation in this amazing country.
Even though of late, Asia has become quite a popular destination for Western tourists, plenty of Asian countries remain relatively unexplored. The massive success of Shantaram made thousands of tourists travel to India. The most adventurous ones went over to visit Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia.
The Philippines, on the other hand, remain relatively unexplored — especially by families with kids. Most parents seem to wonder — is it safe to travel to the Philippines? The answer is Philippines travel is quite safe. This destination may be safer and more child-friendly than any other Asian country. Especially so, if you travel by car. At the same, don’t travel to the Philippines unprepared if you want to enjoy your trip. At least, consider several tips that can make your vacation unforgettable (in a good way).
Don’t Expect Air Conditioning in The Philippines
There are plenty of places to see in the Philippines, and some of the most exotic spots are in the countryside. But don’t think of a luxurious sedan with air conditioning — those are only available in larger tourist destinations, like Manila. In rural areas, a customized military jeep with an open roof will be the most widely available choice of Philippines travel vehicle. So, make sure you bring the best sun hat for your baby for protection. A light breeze will keep you cool, but you’ll still need sun protection.
Choose the Right Season to Visit The Philippines
This leads us to our next point — you really should pick the best time of year to visit the Philippines. Like most subtropical countries, the Philippines has three seasons: warm, excessively hot, and endlessly rainy. You definitely want to avoid the last option, which lasts from June to November. As for the first two, the choice is yours. If you are not fond of the heat, you should avoid peak temperatures between March and June. By the way, that also happens to be the high season in terms of tourists. So, if you would like to avoid the crowds too, travel to the Philippines somewhere between December and February. The average temperature in this ‘cool’ season will be 78-85 Fahrenheit, and there will be fewer tourists.
Go for ‘Fancy’ Cars in Larger Tourist Areas
When you travel to Manila Philippines, you can hire more ‘westernized’ cars. This is also your chance to get a local guide (slash driver) and enjoy all the benefits of relaxed Philippines travel. Still, driving on your own is often cheaper, even when going with roofed, air-conditioned cars. Besides, it makes your Philippines travel more private and memorable.
Mind Your Driving License
You do not need an international driving license for Philippines travel if you stay for 90 days or less. Any locally issued driving permit will be acceptable when you travel to the Philippines. The car-leasing company will make a copy of it when you get your brand new Philippines travel vehicle. Also, you may be requested to buy insurance. The minimal amount is 750,000 Philippines peso (approximately $14,500).
Embrace Philippines Driving Style
If you’ve never been to Asia, Philippines driving may be a bit of a shocker. First of all, most roads are single-lane (except Manila). Then, driving rules (or, to be more precise — ethics) are somewhat lax. Locals take safety for granted, so don’t be surprised by rough overtaking. Besides, you’ll be driving on the right side, which will also take some to get accustomed to this opposite driving. Your takeaway on Philippines car travel with kids is to take things slow and be extra cautious.
Avoid Night Drives
For the above reasons, you should try to avoid night drives — especially so when traveling with children. Besides, plenty of locals believe that driving without lights saves gas. And, the Philippines developing economy makes drivers very frugal. Even large trucks often travel without headlights on. So, make sure you get a good night’s sleep in a bed and resume your trip in the morning.
Plan Ahead, but Don’t Plan Too Enthusiastically!
Ideally, you should plan your itineraries. However, there is no use planning your Philippines travel routes by the minute. Leave some improvisation instead. The Philippines, like most other Asian countries, are great for chilling. So, download a map as in the Philippines, you can’t count on an uninterrupted cell phone connection. Mark your intended stops on your map, and consider this job well done.
The only thing that requires more careful planning (and action) is taking care of recommended vaccinations for travel to the Philippines while you are still at home. Centers for Disease Control and prevention recommend several options, but the one that’s necessary for children is measles. Hepatitis A and Typhoid are recommended, but not obligatory. Stick to clean, bottled water (even when washing your food), and you’ll be fine.
Pack Like a Maniac
When traveling in a car, don’t forget to pack the essentials. Those include bottled water (a lot of it), sun protection, and bug spray. Also, you might want to get a stack of diarrhea pills for Philippines travel. Even when drinking bottled water, your stomach may still be upset by unusual food. If you want all of your gadgets charged, don’t forget a power bank and a universal power adapter.
Don’t Think a Car Will Take You Everywhere
Don’t forget that the Philippines is an island country, so you will not be able to rent a car at the airport and drive through all of them. This is another reason to plan your stay ahead. You will want to visit Boracay Island while in the Philippines. Boracay beaches are famous worldwide, and that will involve a boat trip. So, consult boat schedules in advance. If you’re afraid your kids may get seasick, domestic flights are also an option.
Don’t Buy Everything You See
No matter if you travel to Palawan Philippines or any of the smaller islands, be careful with your souvenirs. Remember customs regulations and don’t get any stuff that’s supposed to stay in the country. Antiques and coral reefs, in particular, should stay right where they are.
These travel to the Philippines tips list covers pretty much all of the essentials for traveling with kids. Would you add anything to this list? What are your hacks for traveling abroad with children?