There are a lot of advantages to visiting the Philippines with the whole family, despite what you hear on the news. The Philippines has tropical weather, very minimal language barriers for English speakers, and you can stretch your dollars for miles with the favorable exchange rate.
But like in any Southeast Asian destination, there are some challenges to prepare for. Here are a few family travel hacks to help you get ready for your trip to the Philippines.
Find Accommodation in the Center of the City
Identify the places you want to visit around Manila, the capital, and choose accommodation within and central to these points of interest. They may be more expensive than the hotels you’ll find a little farther down, but this is where you don’t want to scrimp your money. Manila traffic is ubiquitous, and you can spend hours on the road going from one place to another — even if they are just a few kilometers apart. Stretch your budget by choosing from the many Airbnb properties around the city. As English is predominantly spoken, you have much use for concierge support.
Plan Your Mode of Transportation
If you heard that Manila’s traffic is terrible, its public transportation systems leave a lot to be desired. It is admittedly crowded and inefficient, which is not a great way to shuttle kids to and from places. Most ride-hailing services have their hands full, with Uber no longer on the list.
For convenience, arrange for a self-drive car for rent in Manila from sites like RentCarManila.com, to help you and your family get around the city quickly. Waze is widely used so you don’t need to worry about getting lost.
Avoid the Bugs Both Inside and Out
Being in a tropical region, the Philippines is home to armies of bugs and mosquitoes. Mosquito-borne illnesses are still a real risk in this area, and you don’t need that sort of problem when you’re supposed to be having fun. Bring mosquito repellant and apply it often. Don’t worry about running out of stock as it is available in most department stores. For younger kids, use natural essential oils like Citronella and Eucalyptus diluted accordingly to avoid exposure to chemicals.
Purchase distilled water by the gallon if you’re staying in an Airbnb property and transfer them in individual bottles for each member of the group. Tap water may not be safe for consumption in some areas. Manage your risks of catching a stomach bug to avoid spoiling an otherwise fun family vacation.
With these travel hacks, you and your family can stretch your vacation dollars and have a fun-filled holiday in the Philippines.