Commonly asked questions about the Philippines and traveling to the Philippine Islands.
The best time to visit The Philippines is between November and June, which is outside the "rainy season" of July to October, and is generally cooler. Christmas, New Year, Chinese New Year, and Easter are the busiest times, unsurprisingly. Having said that, The Philippines is "open" to visitors all year round!
The maximum length of stay for most foreign nationals visiting the Philippines, without the requirement of a visa, has now been increased to 30 days. If in doubt, please check. More info...
Passports should be valid for at least six (6) months beyond the intended period of stay in the Philippines.
Visitors should be in possession of return tickets, or at least a ticket out of the country to another destination.
Proof of a financial capability to finance your stay in the Philippines may be required.
Please ask if in any doubt, or visit the Phiippines Embassy Website.
Dengue and malaria occur in the Philippines, as in many parts of the world. These diseases are transmitted by mosquitoes. There are no vaccinations against these diseases but there are sensible preventative measures that you can take, as advised on the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) Website.
You should visit your GP to discuss malaria prevention tablets.
As in many hot countries, to avoid water-borne diseases, you should drink or use only boiled or bottled water and avoid ice in drinks. If you suffer from diarrhoea during a visit to the Philippines you should seek immediate medical attention.
The extent of medical care varies across the Philippines, and sometimes may not meet the standards of care in the UK. Although sufficient in major cities, medical care is limited in more remote areas. You should be aware that medical treatment can be very expensive.
We strongly recommend that you obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling. You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for all the activities you want to undertake. In particular you should be aware that your insurance company may not extend cover to areas to which the FCO advises against travel. (Philippine Trails does not offer holidays in the Sulu archipelago of Mindanao).
Around 70,000 British tourists visit the Philippines every year (Source: Philippines Ministry of Tourism). Most visits are trouble-free, and as in any foreign country, normal safety precautions should be observed. The FCO advises against traveling in the very south west of the country - (the Sulu archipelago of Mindanao), and Philippine Trails does not offer any holidays in this specific region.
The Philippines' monetary unit is the peso, divided into 100 centavos. Foreign currency may be exchanged on arrival at the airport, in hotels, most large department stores, banks, and authorised money changing shops accredited by the Central Bank of the Philippines. Please note that some money changers, such as at the airport, do not buy Philippine Pesos back.
International credit cards such as Visa, Diners Club, Bank Americard, Master Card, and American Express are accepted in most hotels and major establishments, as well as many restaurants. ATMs are widespread in most large cities and towns, but not so in some isolated and rural communities. Be sure to carry enough cash when travelling to out of the way destinations. Cashpoint machines at BPI (Bank of Philippine Islands) and Metrobank accept debit and credit cards readily.
Let your guide know if you need a cash machine. They will know the locations and stop for you.
Be sure to let your card holders know you will be using your cards abroad, so they don't get blocked.
You should carry some Philippine Pesos with you to purchase small items at bars and shops.
Tipping is not a requirement, but is customary, and often appreciated by the recipients, who often are not on high wages.
For sit-down restaurants, if a service charge is already incorporated, leaving a gratuity of Php 20.00 - Php 50.00 for good service is adequate. If the restaurant does not incorporate a service charge, we recommend you leave a tip corresponding to about ten percent of your bill (up to a maximum of Php 100.00).
When traveling: For taxi drivers, Php 20.00 to Php 50.00 on top of the cab fare is customary. For a driver that is with you all day, you may wish to give a little more - maybe Php 200.00 - 500.00
Give a similar amount to a guide if you have appreciated their service.
Hotels: For hotel Porters Php 20.00 tip is customary, but maybe give more (up to Php 50.00) if you have a lot of luggage or if they go out of their way to assist.
For hotel maids and cleaning staff, Php 20.00 - Php 50.00 for each day that you stay in a hotel is welcome. Simply leave the money on top of a table with a thank you note.
Visitors from most parts of the world can purchase Travel Insurance from World Nomads - Buy Online >>
Travel insurance is essential for all Clients undertaking our Holidays, Tours and Excursions.
It should provide adequate protection for the full duration of the Holiday Package to cover personal injury, medical expenses, repatriation expenses, loss of luggage and the expenses associated with cancellation or curtailment of the holiday.
Failure to obtain travel insurance and supply the Company with the policy details, before the Holiday commences, will constitute a breach of these booking conditions and result in the termination of the Contact, and all monies paid to the Company will be forfeited.
If a Client becomes ill, all hospital expenses, doctors' fees and repatriation costs are the Client's responsibility and the Company shall not be liable for any refund of the Holiday Package costs.
Our Terms & Conditions can be viewed here.