The Philippines booming in several beaches and island paradise is a country that many travelers and tourists visit when interested in a tropical island experience. With its growing tourist destinations, beach resorts and other island adventures at hand, the preparations one must make to be able to achieve the fun filled tropical escapade does not have to be high maintenance and tumultuous whatsoever. And to pack for a trip to the Philippines is quite easy and convenient!
Traveling to a tropical country like the Philippines should actually be moderately doable compared to packing for cold countries like Sweden for example. The secret to packing light is probably a fluctuating idea here and there, but time and again it is a practical tip to take at heart. Bringing basics and a standard comfortable footwear should be the basis of your wardrobe when packing for the Philippines.
How do you pack for a trip to the Philippines:
1. Light Clothing
Start by packing light tank tops, halter tops, as well as thin blouses and cardigans since the Philippines is 70% sun and 30% rain on most occasions, thus more sweating throughout the duration of the day. Visiting beaches in the south of the country will definitely require you to bring swim suits as well. Aside from these, bottoms like shorts, cotton pants, skirts and maybe a pair of jeans or two will do you well since the weather can be unpredictable during the mid-year, so better sure than sorry. Avoid bringing thick outerwear like leather and jean jackets or blazer types because like I said, the humidity will give you the sweaty pits and nobody like seeing that, much more smelling it!
2. Slippers and Sandal Wear
It is a rule of thumb for travelers to make absolute sure that wearing comfortable shoes while exploring a new place is observed. This rule applies as well when going beach hopping, but not as strict since the sand in your feet will keep you occupied enough. It is best to pack a pair of good, sturdy and comfy slippers or sandals that can handle some island strolls, but at the same time, some island fun.
Bringing a pair of slippers is a definite must because sandals, with all the straps and what not can easily get hooked on some edge and snap from the soles. It becomes absolutely frustrating not to have any alternative to use for a temporary basis. This has happened to me twice during a beach trip to Subic last year. In the four days I spent time at the beach with a couple of friends, I have managed to buy a pair of sandals and another extra pair of slippers from local souvenir shop.
I lost my slippers while night drinking at the beach, only to find out it was floating by the shore the next day. The other pair of sandals I bought on the other hand broke due to my clumsiness, where I tripped on a bark, causing the edge of my sandal to snap from the sole. It was rather an embarrassing experience but one I definitely learned from. Thus, the ever-growing need to always keep a spare pair when traveling because you will never know when you will be shoe-less.
If you also plan to explore the metro, particularly cities like Manila and Cebu, then bringing a handkerchief is a viable suggestion to consider. The city is certainly different from the rural beach areas from the province, the weather is much more unpredictable and the air can be congested and packed with smoke due to the number of vehicles on the road. This often makes it difficult to travel by foot especially with the smoke and humidity getting right in your face every minute you walk outside. Bringing a handkerchief to cover your nose while walking or jumping from one vehicle to another can be helpful to avoid inhaling all the pollution of the urban city.
4. Sarong/Beach Cloth/Mat
Beaches during peak season are filled with locals and foreign visitors alike. Thus, making crowded beaches quite the norm for people to encounter, especially during the afternoons when the sun is out and blazing. Beach chairs and loungers aren’t always going to be vacant and available for occupancy.
Best to pack a sarong or beach cloth for various purposes besides making it a beach mat to lay on. It can also be a body wrap to overlap around swim suits, as well as lay overs for uncomfortable and sticky beach loungers.
One major item people often forget to pack and end up buying at a local store is a pair of sunglasses, which I myself is guilty of. The Philippines being a tropical country obviously entails the strong presence of the sun. Days are bright and hot with temperatures rising to 36 degrees Celsius on regular days. I can’t blame tourists for their scraping need of sun glasses when they visit the country, it’s hard to look up and enjoy the views because of the striking heat and light. Nevertheless, packing sunglasses should be an essential to consider right from your house to the airport. It should be kept in your bag or carry on for immediate exposure to sunlight.
It is best to keep in mind that whenever you are going to a tropical, sunny and warm country, the only word you must remember when packing is “airy.” Clothing should be light and airy, from kimonos to tank tops and shorts to sun dresses, attire when going to islands or beaches are low maintenance and versatile in use. Beach essentials like the sarong and sun glasses are also something to keep in mind since most people tend to forget to pack them initially. Extra cautionary accessories like comfortable sneakers and a pair of jeans are good “in case something happens” items to place in your luggage since emergencies, wild storms and unpredictable weather could still occur when visiting a tropical country like the Philippines.