The more I am here the more you miss certain things and as a tourist it may be a bit of an irritance initially but long-term can be a real pain as you start to think “why didn’t I bring good razors” for example.
10. Obviously is Razors most I get here seem to last 1 – 2 cuts at most they are extremely blunt and clog up easily, in comparison to razors from the UK for example.
9. Roll up raincoat, when it rains here it hammers down so having a good rain coat at hand is well worth it even if you use it just once. Reason for that is that get caught in the rain here heavily I normally get sick but also you will see locals avoid the rain for the same reason. The humidity and damp are not a good scenario on the health.
8. Good boots are always worth having and although I wear flip-flops around the house etc. I recommend boots for most things not just hiking but wandering around the cities. There are open sewers, dirty streets, puddles where people urinate that in a downpour may get splashed up on you as you cross a street etc. Keeping your feet dry and clean are important.
7. A book to read is always an essential for travelling especially when you can be stuck at the airport waiting for a transfer or waiting for a ferry at the port. It helps relieve stress at the same time queuing is something most people don’t seem to like doing here its more about shoving to front than actually waiting in line. This is generally where a book comes in as the impatient passengers clamber aboard getting all hot and sweaty trying to be first you can board afterwards when the dust settles.
6. Small tub of Sudocrem, its designed for nappy rashes and bed sores which aren’t likely to happen on your trip but it also treats many other things such as burns and acts as an antiseptic. If going off the beaten track having some of this stuff at hand can make the difference between infection and a clean wound. Its cheap and well worth the investment.
5. Mosquito repellent is a must especially at the moment here where we are finding that the rainy season has let the mosquitos breed like crazy. Malaria and Dengue are in the Philippines even if the figures by the government are a bit vague on real numbers. Prevention is always better than cure and if only here for a couple of weeks and going to regions that may have malaria talk to your doctor about malaria tablets.
4. Notebook and Pen, may not be so obvious right now but sometimes you want to note things down even if its just a phone number. Having a good notebook to store things in stops them getting lost. Also good for hotels etc. you find that you may want to use next time you visit the Philippines for keeping their information.
3. The all essential camera is something you shouldn’t forget to bring but also get a camera that is suitable to you. I notice a lot of people going for expensive DSLRs who have little interest in getting into photography and would be better spending the money on a good compact. You could even opt for an underwater digital camera for the same money which also means you don’t have to worry about the camera getting wet in the rain.
2. Essential medication (plus extra!), although medication can be purchased in the Philippines I have come across some placebo’s being sold as drugs as well as birth control tablets. On top of that several people have mentioned to me concerns about the strength of medication in some of the tablets especially for heart medication. Bring extra in case you get stuck somewhere, if your travelling in typhoon season sometimes planes are grounded or ferries can’t sail. Which is why its worth carrying extra supplies.
1. Emergency essentials, Make sure you have with you at all times a point of contact and Insurance information and also confirm how your insurance company operates in emergencies in the Philippines before buying the insurance! Many expect you to pay first and then reimburse which isn’t very good in a serious situation. Always use a reputable insurance company.