A suitcase.

As you may know by now, I recently traveled to the Philippines to visit some family on my mother’s side. While it turned out to be an eventful one, the many islands while beautiful are culturally and religiously different than the one I’m accustomed to in the States. Here are 7 important things to consider before visiting.

Know the Currency Rates

With the American dollar having its moments, the rates often tend to fluctuate, making it one of the most important things one must learn before traveling outside of the country. For example, on the day of our flight, it was 40 pesos (PhP) for 1 USD. The next day, it was 47!

Budget Accordingly

When traveling here, you get more than your dollar’s worth as shown in the previous step. This makes it incredibly tempting to spend frequently, however, you always want to make sure that you have enough money to get back home.

Some that are worth taking a look at are Mint and Goodbudget.

Be Aware of Cultural Norms

Each country has their own set of unspoken rules and regulations, and the Philippines is no exception. Knowing these secret laws will not only make your trip a pleasant one, but it will leave a good impression on those you meet.

Plan an Itinerary

I’m a notorious note-taker and for good reason: I like knowing what to do in advance. Having this guide in hand will reduce your stress as you already know what you’ll be doing the next few days.

Know the Local Transportation

I’ve mentioned before that there are different ways to get around, especially in the provinces. The more you know, the better you’ll get around and the more money you’ll save.

Watch for Air Pollution

Air pollution is fairly common, especially in the more populated cities such as Metro Manila or Tuguegarao¬†City, just to name a few. If you know you have a weak set of lungs, then I suggest planning around these places instead (mine aren’t that strong, too) or bring a handkerchief.

Check the Weather Forecast

I had the pleasure of visiting during the rainy season, however, that doesn’t always mean it will rain. I soon found out the weather changes frequently and can be unpredictable. So, it’s perfectly okay to bring a jacket or two.

Regardless of these 7 pieces of advice, I hope you’ll have a wonderful trip to the Philippines!

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