When looking to come to the Philippines for the first time please be aware it is a third world country and that the weather affects things considerably. Its all about planning and leaving lea way for things going wrong to get the most out of your trip to the Philippines. For example it may seem that something is a couple of miles away by car or bus but in reality the roads can often become flooded or prone to landslides in bad weather which is why you need to assess a few factors :-
- Is it rainy season or is rain expected.
- Do you need to make the trip?
- If you get stranded on the other side are there any locations that have accommodation while a road is repaired/reopened.
- Is there another way round and if so how long will it take to cover the distance.
- Is it safe to travel the route in bad weather or even at night (as you may get delayed but still able to continue).
All of these things can severely affect your enjoyment of your trip to the Philippines and its why you really need to weigh up the options on things and if there are better things to see nearer to where your staying.
Search the internet for areas and key towns for where your looking to go, a lot of the time the information given by government authorities is very poor but people like to share holiday snaps and trips they have already had so searching for the towns your likely to come across many things you weren’t aware of before.
Don’t ask don’t get is a common problem in the Philippines as many people assume you know what you want to see and may not suggest anything you are interested in seeing and don’t know about so ask! Sounds a bit odd but I have got into the habit even asking in the towns near where I live as they know where hidden caves and waterfalls are things that most tourist organization’s aren’t aware of never mind tourists.
Safety is paramount at all times and you should take a close look in news articles as well as contact the embassy about anywhere you are concerned about as lately there has been an increase in kidnappings in the Philippines. With the current economic crisis this may likely be an increasing trend long term and something to consider when here.
Plan spare days as well as your expected trips as you may end up stranded from time to time with extra time in some towns. Planning ahead for this means you may miss out on something you had really wanted to see but may find something more appealing nearby.
Most importantly never travel alone although there are backpackers and others that do this accidents can happen easily as well as other things that as a group our double party you can work round. Nothing worse than being stranded and alone you have to remember the Philippines is a cash society which also means medical care often is all about the money and not your health another reason for having someone with you to make all the emergency calls and deal with the medical side of things. Main thing is to think about all the options open to you and assess the trip which is why getting the most out of a visit to the Philippines is all about planning a trip to the Philippines rather than doing it on arrival because you will find doing it when you get here you will leave without seeing everything you wanted to.