I really cannot believe what people bring on vacation! Two pairs of leather hiking boots! I saw one guy carrying a white water kayak out of Terminal one! The things I have seen people bring with them on vacation are enough to make your head spin and it never fails to see some of the most outrageous things and the reasons behind why many people choose to bring unnecessary things on holiday never ends.
If you are planning a long vacation to the Philippines or perhaps might be planning to make the trip to the islands more of a staycation don’t worry about over-packing your belongings before you leave your home country. Anything you cannot live without in your home country nine times out of ten you will find (often a close copy) the exact same item or thing here in the Philippines when you arrive. From luxury to everyday household items, to that large everyday item you can’t live without everywhere you go, chances are you can surely find it here someway somehow. If you are only planning to visit the Philippines for a short period of time than you really can pack light and it’s best to leave more space in your luggage for souvenirs and items you wish to purchase to take or send back home when you leave.
Going Scuba Diving? LEAVE IT AT HOME!
EVERY dive shop you go to has a full set of gear waiting for you to use I can assure you that. I PROMISE! Most do not even charge extra for using their gear if you have already paid and plan on diving with the shop why not take full advantage of the perks that come along with it. One being Less stress of the airline losing your very expensive gear while traveling, and another giving you the peace of mind knowing you don’t need to haul around a bunch of gear for every leg of the journey and then some. Many shops now have balanced Apeks regulators for customers to use. Trust me, we sell 40 of them a month to dive shops. Just ask for a list.
Bring your own mouthpiece for hygiene. Bring your wetsuit for a piece of mind… There are basically two types of divers. Those that pee in the rental wetsuits and those that lie about peeing in rental wetsuits. Maybe a mask if your face is difficult to fit or you need prescription lenses.
Sporting Goods. THE AIRLINES DON’T NEED YOUR MONEY!
Do the research. You can buy or rent everything you need here for fun and for a lot less if the worst-case scenario happens in you losing something at the airport and have no way of getting it back. Bikes, kayaks, kiteboards, surfboards, etc you can find almost every type of extreme sports activity item and equipment all here when you get to the Philippines. Rent them or buy when you arrive and sell when you leave it’s really that simple and often times you will find something you may have been keeping your eye on for a while for the exact price if not lower than what you were willing to pay for it back in your home country. I will buy almost anything or know someone who will and this is great for those who are wanting to truly get the best experience while staying here in the Philippines as it eliminates much of the stress and worry from your travels at the same time. Contact me anytime at our contact page if there is something, in particular, you are wanting or perhaps wanting to sell as well.
Jewelry. GIVE IT UP!
Please remember this is a poor country. Don’t make these wonderful people feel any more desperate than they already are, any more covetous of who we are and what we have than they already do. I once saw a couple sitting in a beachfront restaurant in Sabang wearing, no lie, KILOS of gold on their bodies. All fingers wearing rings and flashy necklaces, I could not help myself and sat at their table to clue them in and they immediately understood and safe-boxed everything. Subsequent trips were without. Can you imagine, just $1,000 worth of Jewelry could be worth SIX MONTHS SALARY for a local!
Travelers Checks. FORGET IT.
If you do manage to find someone to accept them you’ll need to show the original receipts as well to cash them. You know the ones you are not supposed to travel with, and on top of that, you’ll get a crappy exchange rate.
Appliances using 120 volts. SAVE THEIR LIVES!
They will die a tragic death, I promise you. The outlets here are identical to North America. You will forget and suddenly the magic smoke will escape, reminding you it is too late to use the transformer.
At home we do it…….. THEY DON’T CARE HOW YOU DID IT AT HOME.
This is the Philippines and they will do it how they want. Sometimes it will be done the opposite of how you want, or not at all, just to prove their disdain. Don’t fight the system, you will not change it. Best example. Spain was in South America and Mexico for 400 years and now they speak Spanish. Spain was in the Philippines for 400 years. They speak Tagalog.
Drugs & Pornography. DEFINITE NO NO’S
If you like prison life then you can try to bring your own but the arrival card says it all. “ Death to Drug Traffickers”. Might ruin your day. No worries, you can still buy it here. I was actually going to say “ If you like prison food” but they do not feed you in prison here, you must have someone bring it in or pay them to get it for you.
You will be buying stuff here, souvenirs and probably some cool things to make travel easier. Leave some space in your bags. If they are full when you leave home……
Cheers, Pack light, and have fun!