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Staying Comfortable While Traveling in the Philippines

Time lapse of people disembarking a plane Stay comfortable when you’re traveling in the Philippines. | Photo by Ina Carolino on Unsplash

Comfort is one of those things that people seek out. It’s why people sleep on soft beds with fluffy pillows, why people sit on padded chairs, and why many office buildings have climate control to keep everyone inside from getting too hot or too cold depending on the season. Now, traveling in the Philippines can be pretty uncomfortable, particularly for people who aren’t acclimated to the country.

Between long-haul flights and paperwork, international travel can be pretty uncomfortable, which can seriously affect your mood by the time you enter the country of your destination, and if your destination happens to be somewhere humid and tropical, the discomfort can get really bad.

Even Filipino citizens, the people who’d most likely be familiar with the country, can find themselves uncomfortable when they’re traveling in their own country and some of them are not going to be shy about their discomfort.

But there are quite a few ways for visitors to keep themselves comfortable when they’re traveling in and around the Philippines.

  1. Wear light clothing
  2. Airplanes are pretty great. They cover greater distances than trains or buses can and they have climate control. They also have a crew manning them to provide travelers with food, drink, and other amenities.

    They have air conditioning and air filtration which means that the inside of an airplane is not the same as the outside. So you may find that upon your arrival in the Philippines that the temperature is a bit high.

    So if you do plan to visit the Philippines, make sure to wear light and comfortable clothing, the kind of clothing that’s breathable and easy to move around in.

    Of course, the Philippines can also get pretty rainy with the not infrequent occurrence of typhoons, which can range in damage from light rain and winds to monumental damage. So also make sure to pack a light jacket, preferably one with a hood in case it rains and you can’t find an umbrella.

  3. Bring a messenger bag or a bum bag
  4. If there’s one thing that a person needs when they’re traveling in a foreign country, it’s their passport. Losing your passport can be a huge headache with all the paperwork you’d have to fill out with your country’s embassy or consulate, not to mention just finding that embassy or consulate in the first place. So it’s important to make sure that the passport is secure.

    So keeping your passport in a bag while you’re traveling is advisable. A messenger bag is great and a belt bag is even better given how close a belt bag is to your person.

    Not to mention that a belt bag or a messenger bag can also carry other things, like snacks and other essentials.

    It should be noted that if you are carrying a bag in the Philippines, make sure to keep it close. The Philippines has many types of public transportation. Some of them are a little safer than others.

    Riding around in the country’s most popular form of public transportation -- the jeepney -- is something that a lot of people traveling in the Philippines may want to experience and it's pretty inexpensive. Pickpockets on jeepneys are a rare, but real thing, so the public transportation cost can be a little higher than the fare if you’re unlucky. Travel in groups or be extra cautious when going around via jeepney.

  5. A really good pair of sunglasses
  6. The Philippines can be a pretty sunny place and all that sunshine, while desirable, can be irritating on the eyes. A great way to protect your eyes is by wearing a pair of sunglasses.

    If you forget to pack a pair of sunglasses, finding a good pair will not be an issue. Duty-free shops at the airport have pairs for sale, not to mention that generic pairs are sold pretty much anywhere, even by vendors out on the street, and having easy access to these vendors is one of many unseen public transportation benefits.

  7. Put on some sunscreen
  8. Continuing on with the sun, it’s important to protect not just your eyes but also your skin. After all, your skin is your body’s largest organ. Clothing is great for protection against ultraviolet light. It’s important to protect those parts that cannot be covered by clothes as well.

    Which is why it’s important to have sunscreen on hand. It’s a great way to keep your skin protected from the harmful effects of the sun. Keep in mind that sunscreen needs to be regularly reapplied if you’re out in the sun for prolonged periods of time.

  9. Make sure to have some water ready
  10. Bottles of water are readily available at convenience stores and from informal stores and vendors and water is essential because the heat can dehydrate you quickly and dehydration is not fun. So it’s important to have water at the ready in order to rehydrate.

  11. Wear some comfortable shoes
  12. Between jeepneys, taxicabs, buses, and, in certain cities, trains, there are a lot of transportation options available to travelers. But the most readily available option for transportation is simply walking from place to place.

    Now, cities in the Philippines can be somewhat unfriendly to pedestrians. The sidewalks can become extra lanes for motorcycles, bicycles, and cars. The concrete that makes up those sidewalks can be full of holes and cracks, making them somewhat difficult to traverse.

    So having comfortable and durable shoes is a must. Not only are you going to need a pair that won’t hurt your feet, you’re also going to want a pair that can withstand that varying quality of the infrastructure in the Philippines.

  13. Bring some wet wipes and hand sanitizer
  14. It’s important to have clean hands, largely because disease is spread from dirty hands. But soap and water may not always be available. Sure, there may be a tap with flowing water, but not all establishments will have soap at the ready.

    Bringing sanitary wipes and hand sanitizer are essential for someone who wants to stay clean. Wet wipes can be used to disinfect surfaces that you may find a little suspicious. Hand sanitizer, as the name suggests, can be used for your hands.

    Traveling in the Philippines can be a great experience. Sure there are also a few inconveniences, but that can be avoided with the right gear.

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