Small Tabinay, Puerto Galera

+63 939 914 8819



Get Your Kit Together!

Getting your gear together before you come to the Philippines is one of the most important things to do and one of the toughest things to give advice on. So much depends on what kind of a person you are, what items you must have with you at all times, and having the right size travel bag makes all the difference in the world from making or breaking your experience. I won’t even talk about the differences between males and females as these differences vary a great amount. Both species have their own idiosyncrasies and I’ve seen some real GO girls here in the Philippines that pack lighter than a lot of guys I know. Just as important is what are you going to do when you get here? Basically, there are only a few choices. City, Beach, Jungle. However, I will say that it is really, really tough to pack for all three!

I have seen lots of people pack a bunch of crazy things in their travel bag with no thought as to why they really must take so much to a place that will have all the same stuff. One of my sisters actually brought bottled water! Trust me, you can get almost anything here in the Philippines that you can get back at home believe me on this one. There may be a few exceptions especially when it comes to personal hygiene items, and perhaps not all the same “brands” you’re used to seeing will be available, but they will, however, be close enough. Asians don’t grow a lot of body hair so you will probably only find shaving equipment in the city or tourist areas as these are the most common areas that foreigners in the Philippines will be and thus will provide a market for these items to make sense in carrying for the stores.

Most of these lovely little brown people, unfortunately, want to be white so most of their cosmetics, soaps, etc. contain bleaching agents to help them stay Lily white. Also, for some bizarre reason, no tampons are available as well, so just a heads up on that just in case.

Let’s start with the basics. Good sunglasses and a hat are mandatory! Next in line is comfortable footwear. Personally, I don’t really like flip-flops. When it rains your feet slide around in them, sometimes right out of them and this can be a major annoyance if you plan on doing a lot of walking, which in most cases around the islands you will be. Instead, I prefer sandals with straps or, a great shoe I have found here made of mesh that can be worn barefoot, lets the air circulate, dries almost instantly, is well ventilated so they don’t get hot, and can be worn hiking upstream in the jungle, down the beach to the bar, or to a business meeting in Makati. (Yes I have done this myself as well)

Top marks go to something that dries quickly. You WILL get your feet wet here eventually!

Not really much to be said about clothing as there are entirely too many variations. The best material, overall, is lightweight, wrinkle-free, and fast-drying. You will be packing and unpacking and packing and unpacking your travel bag quite often so keep this in mind. You’re going to want to look good and you will not have an iron at your disposal as you would staying in hotels in western countries. Clothing that you can roll up into a ball and stuff into a bag has my vote every time. Also, do not bring a lot of it. There are cheap laundry shops everywhere and, honestly, if you are traveling you’ll not see the same people often enough for anyone to realize you only have 4 pairs of shorts and 6 shirts.

How about electrical stuff? The Philippines is 220 volts but, luckily, most of the really cool stuff we carry have these really smart adapters that will accept anything from 110 V up to 240 V. Laptops, cell phones, cameras & shavers should not create a problem regardless of where you are from while charging things here in the Philippines.

For travelers from North America, the outlets in the Philippines are exactly the same as the ones you have at home so you can plug directly in IF your gadget will accept 220 V. However, many a time I’ve seen the magic smoke emanate from items that were not dual voltage! My advice. If it is not dual voltage then leave it at home. Just about anything you need will be the same price or cheaper here.

Europeans have the benefit of using the same voltage however they have funny plugs so you should go directly to a hardware store and purchase a cheap power strip that adapts to all plugs. Give it away when you leave.

Best Travel Backpack for the Philippines

Finding the best travel backpack for your adventures and holiday excursions is always a controversial topic among many backpackers and travelers in Southeast Asia. There are as many opinions as there are options. Just remember one thing. You are going to the beach! I guarantee it is going to be no fun to drag one of those little wheelie things up and down the beach from your hotel room and believe me, I have seen it first-hand many times. You are going to be getting in and out of taxis and tricycles and native outrigger boats and it is entirely no fun if you have to lift and carry these unwieldy items on and off the boat. Great for the Western world, perfect for airports or if you plan to stay in the city but it will take the fun out of your trip here really quickly. The benefit of a backpack is that your hands are free to maneuver, get money out when you need to among other tasks that require the use of your hands.

I travel with two small backpacks actually, much easier to manage than one big one, and finding a travel organizer bag that fits inside your main compartment is also a great idea to keeps things well packed and organized along the journey. There is a great Drybag with backpack straps we found that you can wear in front of you across your chest. Pack this with all the electronic toys, passports, and important goodies you will be traveling with here to keep these important items nice and dry. It also serves double duty when you go on day trips or to the beach to protect your valuables from the elements. You can then also carry another travel backpack on your back for the clothes and all the stuff you brought that you wish you’d left at home.




Traveller Review Award 2024

TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice 2021

Books About the Philippines

Scroll to Top