People arriving in the Philippines usually do so at the Manila airport. It is very easy to find flights to Manila through Cathay Pacific and several other top airlines. And a visit to Manila is a unique experience you want to fully enjoy. To do so, here are some great tips you definitely want to remember.
Be Aware Of The Exchange Rates
It is important that you are aware of the exchange rates since you do not want to be taken advantage of. There are several ways to do this with the use of the internet and if you have to transfer money to another country or from another country, apps like Wise are definitely a really good idea because of the very low commissions.
If you are careful, you can notice big matches between foreigners and locals when transfer prices are converted to local currency. Some people will ask you for $200 to take you downtown, which is definitely too much. And these people do not actually care since there are way too many people coming in that they will be able to take advantage of someone. When you know the exchange rates, you cannot really be taken advantage of.
Since airport scams are much more common than they should be, it is highly recommended that you pre-book your transportation from the airport. This is particularly the case in the event that you arrive the country during rush hour.
If you cannot pre-book your transfer from the airport, the best options available are Uber and metered taxis. Many locals in Manila use Uber as an alternative to the conventional taxi rides. It is particularly useful when you do not have local currency on you on your arrival.
If Uber is not a good option for you, Grab is another service to take into account. You do not need to pay cash and the prices tend to be lower than those of Uber.
Get Your Tourist Sim Card
It is free and you should seriously consider getting yours when you arrive in Manila. Many tourists do not because they do not understand the point as they will most likely not contact anyone. But, what you should know is that in most airports in the country the free WiFi zones can only work if you do have a sim card from the Philippines. Since we are talking about Manila Airport, be aware of the fact that there is free WiFi present literally everywhere. But, it is impossible to connect without the local free sim card. Also, many of these cards have some free credit available or at least some free internet data. When you want to top the free sim card up, it just costs you around 20 p.
Be Aware Of Manila Rush Hour Times
If you drive in the city, you have to know the traffic hours with the peak congestion. This is one of the best travel tips anyone will offer you. It is quite easy to underestimate how long it will take to get to your final destination and a fifteen minutes ride can lead to losing an important meeting.
What you might not know is that Manila is among the places where it is not that great to drive. In fact, it is considered to have the very worst traffic everywhere. A ten minutes ride can easily turn into a 50 minutes ride during rush hour. So, make sure to avoid evening and morning commutes between 7 and 9 AM and 5 and 10 PM.
The reputation of Manila is definitely horrible. It is thus completely normal to worry about safety since you read articles online telling you otherwise. In reality, Manila is both safe and unsafe, based on exactly where you are. This happens because of inequality gap. There is a huge divide between rich people and poor people in Manila.
Tourists are recommended to be careful and always be aware of their surroundings. Make sure to avoid flashing around jewelry or cash. Basically, if you look like a tourist that should be targeted, there is a pretty good possibility you will end up targeted. If you do not look lost and you blend in, you will not have a problem and you will be safe.
Do Not Travel Without Travel Insurance
Your visit to the Philippines will not be a pleasant one if all you do is think about your safety. Also, you do not want to ruin an important moment like a honeymoon due to some bad thing that happened. Travel insurance is always a very good idea. We think about it as a very good safety net but what we should consider it is a safety feature. You can always be faced with unwanted situations like stolen bags, cameras, travel documents, losing money, and so on. Travel insurance helps as you can use the money you receive to replace the valuable items stolen or lost.
We should also mention that when you fall ill and you need hospital services in Manila, this is going to cost you. Your travel budget might not include these costs. So, you can always stay safe and have your health protected regardless of what will go wrong.
As you can easily notice, there are some things that could go wrong and some things that you have to think about when you visit Manila. Fortunately, everything can become a wonderful experience when you just plan everything in advance.
In Manila, you can experience everything you want. There is a wide range of possible travel activities and there are tourist destinations that can show you the time you want to have. It is really important though that you take the time needed to plan. You can easily have an affordable and rememberable vacation in Manila. But, without proper planning, you can be taken advantage of. Just be patient and only trust sources that have a high reputation. A Manila getaway can easily turn into a highlight for years to come.