The Philippines’ unrivaled beauty enchants outdoor enthusiasts from all over the world. Which is hardly surprising considering this epic archipelago of over 7,000 islands has no shortage of natural attractions to explore. Others come for the happy-go-lucky inhabitants who welcome visitors with open arms.
A penchant for boisterous beer and Karaoke sessions certainly wouldn’t go astray. Regardless of what brings you to the Philippines, you’re in for a treat. But you best come well-prepared, for things don’t always go to plan in this chaotic country.
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Which power outlets do they use in the Philippines?
The Philippines has two different power outlet types: The US-style Type A/B and the European Type C. The tricky thing is that both these outlets have been installed randomly throughout the country, sometimes with two different types in the same hotel room!
Philippines is a developing nation so outlets are often old and of poor quality, so always treat them with caution.
What kind of power adapter do I need for the Philippines?
If you’re making your first trip to the Philippines you’re likely wondering “What plug do I need for the Philippines?” American travelers will need a power adapter because they’ll almost certainly encounter the foreign Type C (European) outlet at some point during their trip. Be sure to get one that says “Type A/B to Type C” or “US to Europe.”
Furthermore, most Filipino outlets are the dual prong Type A, which means travelers with Type B (two prongs and a grounding pin) plugs will need an adapter to connect their devices. If that’s the case, get one that says “Type B to Type A.”
This Universal Adapter is a great choice for your trip to the Philippines because it will have you covered whether you come across the Type A/B to Type C outlet or the Type B to Type A outlet. It’s also compatible with outlets in over 100 other countries, so it will come in handy on your future adventures.
What’s the electricity and power supply like in the Philippines?
The Philippines runs on 220V and 60Hz. Compared to 120V and 60Hz in the US.
Sadly, the nation is still woefully underdeveloped, so you should expect blackouts and power surges to occur somewhat frequently.
Do I Need A Voltage Converter In Philippines?
Even though the country runs on a different voltage to the US, very few travelers will require a voltage converter. These days, almost all personal electronics are dual voltage, meaning they’re capable of charging on either system.
One common exception is the portable hairdryer, which typically runs on a fixed 120V. Check the manufactures label to be sure.
Other Philippines Packing List Items
In addition to your US to Philippines power adapter, these items will help you pack with intention and expand the possibilities of your getaway. Also, check out our Philippines packing list for more inspiration and ideas.
1. Neck Wallet / Passport Pouch
Extreme poverty has forced many Filipinos to turn to a life of crime to survive. And as a wealthy foreigner, you’ll be a lucrative target indeed. Although muggings are rare, pickpocketing remains commonplace. And should your precious passport and credit cards be stolen, you’d be in a spot of bother, to say the least. Eliminate the risk by stashing your valuables in a neck wallet, which slides discreetly away under your shirt.
Staying organized on the road is tricky business, not least when you’re lugging around a sizable amount of clothes. The best way to categorize your wardrobe is to stash each article type separately into a packing cube, which allows you to store and retrieve everything with ease.
Whether you’re snapping a selfie with your BFF on Boracay or navigating your way through Manila’s top colonial sites, you’d best have a fully charged battery to make the most of your trip to the Philippines. And the best way to ensure you’re always topped up is to carry a mini lipstick-sized charger on your person at all times.
The Philippines is showered with bursts of unpredictable rain, that may only last an hour, but are enough to get you wet and put a damper on your plans. Come prepared with this top-quality compact travel umbrella that comes with a nifty zip case that makes it easy to store in your daypack.
A direct flight from New York to Manila takes an exhausting 16 hours, making it one of the longest routes in the world. On top of that, you’ve got a 12-hour time difference to contend with, so you can all but guarantee you’re going to suffer from severe jet lag. Reclaim your first day in the country by taking jet lag relief pills. Although they won’t cure you completely, you’ll at least feel perky enough to get on with your day.
The Philippines is a hotbed of cybercrime, so travelers should take their online security seriously.
The most common attack involves a criminal extracting sensitive information from other users on a public Wi-Fi network. And should that information include your online bank details, then you could lose your life savings in a flash. Thankfully, a VPN only costs a few dollars per month and can encrypt your web traffic to keep you safe from prying eyes.
All manner of things could hurt you in the Philippines, from a dodgy curry to a car crash and everything in-between. And should you require emergency medical treatment or evacuation, you could be left with an eye-watering bill. Rather than take the risk, a smart traveler will always take out travel insurance instead. We use TravelInsurance.com to compare plans from top companies to choose one that best fits our family and travel plans.
The dry season is the best time to visit, which lasts between December and April. However, December to February is the peak season because March and April get rather hot. The wettest time of year, from May to November, isn’t necessarily the wrong time to come because the rains tend to last less than an hour and the countryside is lusciously green.
The shoulder months of May and November are particularly enticing because the weather’s fine, the flights are cheaper, and there are few other tourists around. Typhoons can hit any time of year, although August and September usually see the biggest storms. Be sure to check current Philippines travel advisories before you go.
2. What’s the weather like in the Philippines?
The Philippines has a tropical maritime climate, so you can expect ample heat and humidity at any time of year. Consequently, it’s wise to pack lightweight and breathable clothing.
The rainy season occurs from June to the early part of October, while the dry season, from the later part of October to May. The dry season can be further subdivided into the cool-dry and hot-dry season. The cool-dry season from the later part of October to February and the hot-dry season, from March to May.
3. What to do in Manila?
A haphazard array of clandestine constructions and chock full of snarling traffic, there’s plenty not to love about the country’s overcrowded capital. But dig beyond its gritty surface, and you’ll uncover a captivating metropolis with ample attractions to explore. Most make a beeline for the Intramuros, Manila’s cobblestoned old-town that once served as the capital of the Spanish East Indies. A plethora of pretty plazas, stately statues, and charming churches make it appear straight out of a European fairytale.
To put the country’s colonial and Catholic history into context, the San Agustin Museum offers a comprehensive collection. Families would probably prefer to appease the little ones by visiting the Manila Ocean Park or DreamWorks DreamPlay. For a rapid eco-escape, the Paco Park and Rizal Park provide some much-needed greenery. The latter is a popular bohemian hangout with chic museums and art installations to peruse.
4. Where to go in the Philippines?
The Philippines’ second-largest city is the more tourist-friendly Cebu. As the gateway to the central Philippines, a diverse range of pristine beaches and marine life-rich dive spots lie just within easy reach. Non-divers can face off with a Whale Shark on a snorkeling trip at Oslob. True marine aficionados, however, make their way to Palawan, a pristine archipelago that boasts some of the most breathtaking beaches on earth. Of course, there’s plenty of action under the water in this unspoiled island paradise as well.
More sun-kissed delights can be found elsewhere in the Philippines, with lush tropical islands such as Siquijor, Apo, Surigao, Dinagat, Britania, and Samal (the list goes on and on) just begging to be explored.
Bohol is a bucket list destination, mostly thanks to its famed Chocolate Hills that rise out of the landscape as if they were, well, hills made out of chocolate. While you’re in the region, be sure to visit the Tarsiers, the world’s tiniest and most adorable primates.
Trekkers can choose from an array of exciting destinations to trample all over. Up north, the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras combine authentic rural immersion with sweeping valley views. The lush rainforests of the Masungi Georeserveare are another hiking hotspot, while Mount Batulao, Mount Daraitan, and Mount Maynoba all provide challenging uphill ascents. For a quick history fix, Laoag and Ilocos Norte host an array of UNESCO-listed Hispanic ruins, while Vigan is widely considered the best-preserved Spanish colonial town in all of Asia
5. How to get around in the Philippines?
The Philippines has several transportation options to choose from, the cheapest of which are uncomfortable and sometimes downright dangerous. Given the topography involved, the ferry remains a popular way to travel around. Note that speed boat services are nauseating in rough seas, while rustic watercrafts probably aren’t as seaworthy as they seem. A comfortable and safe option is the Roll-On, Roll-Off (RORO), although these vehicle-cum-passenger ferries are painfully slow.
Domestic flights have become an increasingly popular option, and stiff competition makes airfares cheap. Cebu Pacific, Air Asia, Philippine Airlines, and Cebgo are the major carriers. Buses ply all major overland routes, although you’d be wise to opt for a premium class to avoid suffering through rock hard and rigid seats. Be sure to schedule in a jeepney ride at some point during your trip. Despite being overcrowded and kitsch, these outrageous public transport options are a quintessential Filipino experience.