Although it’s generally safe to travel around the Philippines, there are some risk that travelers should avoid.
Certain things are indeed dangerous, while other simply lack the reward to justify the risk.
Follow these travel safety tips to help you make your vacation to the Philippines a really memorable one.
✅ Choose your destination carefully
While much of the Philippines is safe, it’s best to avoid the southern part of the country. Zamboanga Peninsula and the Sulu archipelago are no-go zones. These places are considered extremely dangerous and travelers are advised to stay away. You might come in contact with terrorist groups which are responsible for numerous kidnappings, violent incidents, and frequent clashes with the Filipino security forces
✅ Don’t walk barefoot
Don’t go barefoot. Wear sandals or flip-flop at all times.
Walking barefoot can lead to serious injuries which may not just ruin your vacation, but also cause permanent damage to your feet.
Foot infections are also very common in the tropical region of the world, and travelers should avoid walking barefoot on the beaches where the sand may be contaminated with faeces.
✅ Think twice about renting a motorbike
There are many tourists who end up getting seriously hurt or even perish on the road.
Poor state of roads is a major issue in the Philippines that contribute to the increasing number of incidents.
If you still want to ride a motorbike, be sure to wear a helmet and be prepared to face mixed traffic (no segregation of motorcycles from bigger vehicles), faulty road-infrastructure design, deteriorating road conditions, manholes and drains without covers, and other roadside hazards.
✅ Avoid food poison
Whether it’s the mild inconvenience or a more serious case of food poisoning, no one wants to spend their vacation in the bathroom.
Although the street food may look very delicious, it doesn’t necessarily mean that is hygienic and clean.
Drink only bottled water and wash your hand thoroughly before touching your meal or eating.
✅ Don’t get wasted
Getting drunk abroad can often be a recipe for disaster. There is nothing wrong to have a few drinks while traveling, but there’s a big difference between getting buzzed and getting wasted.
Drunk tourists may become an easy target for certain types of crime.
✅ Don’t Buy or Use illegal drugs
I trust you don’t want to see the conditions inside a prison in the Philippines. Just testing positive to a drug could land you in jail and the law may not be kind to foreigners. Buying or using illegal drugs in the Philippines, is possibly the worst thing you could do.
✅ Bring more cash than you think you’ll need
There may not be any banks and ATM machines in rural areas in the Philippines. Many stores, inns, guesthouses and restaurants don’t have the credit card machine.
The Pesos is the official currency, and foreign currencies may not be always accepted.
✅ Don’t book Tight Flight Connections
The airlines in the Philippines, unfortunately, have a poor record for being delayed most of the time.
In case of bad weather conditions or air traffic congestion at the Manila airport, your flight could be delayed long enough to miss your connection and you could easily get stranded and lose a lot of money.
It’s important to leave plenty of time to cover unexpected delays.
✅ Monitor the weather
Around 20 typhoons hit the Philippines each year.
Most typhoons occur from June to December. There may be flooding and landslides.
During a tropical storm, monitor local media reports, follow the advice of the local authorities, including any evacuation orders and check the latest typhoon information at the Pagasa website.
✅ Don’t travel without insurance
Travel insurance is a necessity when you travel in the Philippines.
A typical travel insurance policy will have coverage for a traveler’s main concerns, including trip cancellations, medical emergencies, travel delays, and lost luggage.