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    Updated on Dec 6, 2019. Posted on Jun 28, 2018

    16 Things That Tourists Should Know To Travel Safely In The Philippines

    How to keep yourself safe and worry-free while in Manila.

    1. The Philippines is an archipelago, so plan your trip carefully.

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    You don't want to spend most of your vacation time travelling, so you should make sure that the places you want to visit are located on the same island or region.

    2. You don't want visit during a typhoon.

    Claudio Accheri / Creative Commons / Via flic.kr

    Typhoons in the Philippines are relentless. An hour of rainfall can flood the main streets to closure, and strong winds can destroy some establishments. Try to schedule your visit during the summer season, which is from March to June. These are hot months, though. If you want to avoid the heat, choose December to January instead.

    3. Most of the flights to the Philippines land in NAIA.

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    Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), is located in Metro Manila, so your itinerary should start there. NAIA was once called the worst airport in the world, but it is slowly improving. Don't worry about it.

    4. You don't need to tip at the airport.

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    You may encounter some personnel in NAIA who will ask you for tips in exchange for help with your bags or other small task, like access to the PWD bathroom. Just say no, because there is a strict no tipping policy. You can even report them to airport authorities.

    5. Get a pocket wifi device.

    Globe

    Don't lose your connection to your loved ones while you are in the Philippines. Get a pocket wifi device immediately at the airport. Just find a kiosk of any of the major mobile networks (Globe or Smart) and purchase your own device for about 1000 pesos. (Buy it! Renting it is more expensive.)

    6. Don't hail a taxi cab to leave the airport.

    Grab

    Locals avoid hailing a cab to exit the airport because many of its drivers extort higher fares. You should also do the same, and book a Grab car instead. Grab is the equivalent of Uber in the Philippines (we used to have an Uber, but that's gone now).

    7. That said, you should also learn about other ways of transportation.

    Philip Brookes / Creative Commons / Via flic.kr

    Jeepneys are everywhere in the Philippines. Read the signboard on its windshield so you know its destination, before you climb aboard. The minimum fare is 8 pesos for short trips.

    8.

    Bernard Spragg. NZ / Via flic.kr

    This is a tricycle. You ride it to go to places that are out of bounds for jeepneys. The fare depends on how long the trip will be, but it is normally under 50 pesos.

    9. Be wary of money changers.

    Carol Mitchell / Creative Commons / Via flic.kr

    Majority of the transport vehicles in the Philippines do not accept credit card payments, so make sure you have enough cash with you. Make sure that you exchange your foreign currency in reputable establishments like banks, because there are small money changers that are reported to scam foreigners.

    10. AirBNB is allowed.

    AirBNB

    There is no law that disallows AirBNB in the Philippines, unlike other Asian countries like Singapore or Japan, so book away!

    11. Bring water everywhere.

    Todd Morris / Creative Commons / Via flic.kr

    It's easy to get dehydrated in the Philippines because of the heat, so don't forget to bring bottled water everywhere. Don't drink from the tap; even Filipinos do not think it is clean enough to consume.

    12. Bring tissue and other hygiene products.

    John Herb / Creative Commons / Via flic.kr

    While bathrooms around the Philippines are clean (in general), it is rare that there are tissues, soap, or sanitizer. Don't forget to bring your own.

    13. Learn a few Filipino words.

    Canva / Mark Angelo Ching

    Most Filipinos can understand and speak English, but it is still useful to learn a few common words to help you get by.

    14. Avoid going to shady places.

    Tim Albano / Creative Commons / Via flic.kr

    There are a list of places where even Filipinos do not go, because these places are not that safe. One example is Divisoria (pictured above), a cheap shopping district that is full of thieves and pickpockets.

    15. Protect your belongings.

    Twitter: @aljemmedrano / Via Twitter: @ALJEMMEDRANO

    Make sure that your stuff is within sight at all times, because pickpockets can take them at any time. Locals wear their backpacks in front of their bodies for this reason. It may look silly, but it's better to be safe than sorry.

    16. Do not be flashy.

    Rawpixel / Unsplash / Via unsplash.com

    Look as simple as possible. Do not wear jewelry, and do not take your expensive phone out in public. They might get snatched.

    17. Just be friendly.

    Glendale Lapastora / Creative Commons / Via flic.kr

    But don't you worry because only a small percentage of Filipinos are shady. MOst of us are hospitable and friendly to visitors, so just be nice and smile. If you ever get into trouble, just approach a Filipino and they'll help you. Salamat (thanks) for visiting!

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