Ultimate Philippines Packing List: What to Bring, What to Wear, Travel Essentials

Ultimate Philippines Packing List: What to Bring, What to Wear, Travel Essentials

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Get ready to explore the Philippines, a gem in Southeast Asia! Known to be one of the best tropical destinations in the world, the Philippines offers a diverse and captivating range of attractions that draw travelers from across the globe. The Philippine geography is composed of over 7,000 islands, with three major islands: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. 

There are tons of best places to visit in the Philippines. From cities, beaches, islands, and highlands, there’s a place for you to unwind in this country. The country is a paradise that boasts a spectrum of wonders, from the most beautiful beaches in the world, like Boracay, Palawan, and Siargao, to the iconic landscapes that showcase the natural beauty of the archipelago, like the Chocolate Hills in Bohol and the Banaue Rice Terraces. 

Chocolate Hills Bohol

One of the provinces in the Philippines, Palawan, is known to be the Philippines' "Last Frontier" because of its rich biodiversity, featuring pristine beaches, hidden lagoons, islands, limestone cliffs, and vibrant marine life. It also features the renowned destinations: Coron, El Nido, and Puerto Princesa. The Puerto Princesa Underground River is named one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, with the Tubbataha Reef in Sulu. Aside from Palawan, Boracay is also named the "Best Island in the World" because of its white sand beach and crystal-clear waters.

Beyond the beautiful islands and beach destinations in the Philippines, the country offers unique charms from beaches to cities. Baguio and Tagaytay are known to be a refreshing escape because of the city's cooler temperatures and scenic landscapes. For a cosmopolitan lifestyle with luxury hotels, restaurants, and vibrant nightlife, Manila and Cebu are the urban cities to visit. The Philippines is also home to religious landmarks, including centuries-old churches in Intramuros, Manila, and the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño in Cebu. 

When looking for a destination that combines the vibrant energy of urban city life and beach life, going to the Philippines should be considered. There are flights to the Philippines available to book and you can also include Philippines airport transfers, with the best Philippines itinerary travel packages, and Philippines guided tours to check. You can also check Philippines hotel booking for your stay or car rental in the Philippines if you wish to explore the country on your own.

Moreover, because of the country's many offerings, it's important to note some of the packing essentials and what to bring to the Philippines. Each city or island in the country needs different packing items and clothing, as some areas require you to be modest or comfortable. This ultimate Philippines packing list will guide you on the things you need to pack, what to wear in the Philippines and other travel essentials. 

What to Consider When Packing for the Philippines

Packing for the Philippines

Packing for a trip to the Philippines requires planning and consideration to make sure you'll have a comfortable and enjoyable stay. Once you have done creating your Philippines itinerary, the next thing you need to do is figure out the things you need to bring in your visit to the Philippines. Here are some essential factors to know when packing for a trip to the Philippines:


Weather in the Philippines

The average temperature in the Philippines is 25 °C to 30 °C. The country has a tropical climate with two distinct seasons: dry and wet season. The dry season usually starts from November to June, making these months the best time to go to the Philippines. On the other hand, the wet season usually occurs from July to October, when an average of nine typhoons hit the country. During these months, it doesn't rain every day or the whole day, so it's still good to travel to some of the areas in the country.

What to wear in the Philippines during rainy season

During the rainy season in the Philippines, between July to October, wear a light rain jacket or raincoat. You can also bring boots, and umbrellas so you’ll stay dry. 

Pack lightweight, breathable clothing for the hot and humid weather. Also, bring a portable fan and bottled water. Don't forget your swimwear for beach activities.


The Philippines may experience periods of high humidity, especially during the wet season, that can cause discomfort with stickiness and sweat. It is advisable to pack moisture-wicking clothes to stay comfortable and consider packing waterproof dry bags, waterproof phone cases, and insect repellents. Also, bring good quality sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses for sun protection during the summer or hot months.



You may experience commuting in the Philippines via jeepneys, tricycles, or buses. Also, expect a lot of walking and vehicle transfers, so it is advisable to pack light and wear comfortable footwear. 


Festivals in the Philippines

There are some areas in the Philippines where it is recommended to wear modest attire, especially in conservative areas. The country has a diverse and vibrant culture shaped by various influences. As one of the largest Catholic countries in the world, the Philippines showcases a deep-rooted religious heritage, which is evident in its numerous historic churches and religious celebrations. 

Aside from the country's Catholic population, the Philippines is also home to regions with Muslim communities, such as Mindanao, where Muslim traditions and customs are observed. Wear clothes that cover your shoulders and knees when visiting temples, religious landmarks, or churches. 

Aside from religious sites, you might visit a certain area where there are cultural events or famous festivals in the Philippines. Festivals like Sinulog and Ati-Atihan showcase the enthusiasm and dedication of Filipinos. So, make sure to check if there are specific events to happen on the day of your visit. Expect that during these times of festivity, areas could be crowded, so pack accordingly.


Things to do in the Philippines

You can do a lot of activities in the Philippines, from beach outings to city tours, hiking, canyoneering, whitewater rafting, island hopping, or even swimming with whale sharks in the Philippines

Wear comfortable clothes and shoes, and pack light if you are planning for walking tours. If you're going to the beach for an outing and swimming, bring flip-flops, swimwear, and sunblock. Sporty or comfortable clothes and hiking shoes are advisable to wear if you go trekking or hiking in the Philippines.

Don't forget essential accessories like a reusable water bottle, a small or belt bag, and a power bank for other outdoor activities.

If you plan to visit the country during Christmas or the holiday season, you can try checking out some things to do in the Philippines in December to maximize your vacation in the country. You can look for Christmas lanterns in San Fernando, Pampanga, or have a staycation in Baguio. However, expect the traffic and crowded malls and terminals, so make sure you wear a comfortable outfit and bring a belt bag. 

Availability of ATM and Money Exchange

Philippine Money

Major cities in the Philippines have ATMs, while other remote areas may have limited access. Carry enough local currency cash, especially if you plan to visit rural areas in the country.

Before heading on your trip, make sure you exchange your money to Philippine peso. If you brought your card, you may also need to notify your bank ahead of your travel to avoid any issues with card transactions.

How much money to bring to the Philippines

The amount of money you bring to the Philippines depends on the number of days you'll be staying in the country. Plan your travel budget, check hotel accommodations rates, tour prices, and meal costs. Make sure you exchange your money to the Philippine currency.

Hospitals and Medical Facilities

Check any medical facility around the area you plan to visit since there are some rural destinations that don’t have fully-equipped hospitals. Consider travel insurance as well for emergencies. 

What to Pack for the Philippines

Packing Essentials in the Philippines

There are some essential things you need to pack when going to the Philippines, especially since different destinations in the country differ depending on the activities you want to do. Below is the list of what to bring and what to wear to the Philippines, with details of activities and destinations and when to pack them.

Breathable, Quick-Dry, or Hiking Clothes

Because of the Philippines' tropical climate, it's best to wear lightweight and comfortable clothing. There are clothes made with quick-dry fabrics, which are ideal for the country's humidity. If you plan to explore beach or island destinations like Palawan, and if you are going for hikes like in Banaue, comfortable clothing is a must.

Swimwear and Cover-Up

With tons of beaches in the Philippines, from Palawan, Boracay, and Batangas to Siargao,  there's a big chance that you'll visit one. Make sure to pack swimwear and a cover-up if you like.

Sunglasses and Hat

Sunglasses and Hat

Bring sunglasses and a hat to protect yourself from the intense heat of the sun, especially when visiting Luzon tourist spots, since it usually includes more walking tours. Whether you're lounging on the beaches of Batangas or Palawan or exploring the historic streets of Vigan, Intramuros, or Taal, Batangas, these accessories can help you on your tour.


Aside from sunglasses and hats, sunscreen is the best essential to protect you from the sun. Whether you’re exploring hiking spots in the Philippines or surfing in the Philippines, it’s best to keep your skin protected from the hot weather in the country.

It is not mandatory, but it's best to bring reef-safe sunscreen, especially if you are to explore and snorkel in the vibrant coral reefs, diving spots, and snorkeling spots in the Philippines, like Apo Island or Tubbataha Reefs in Palawan. Some sunscreens contain Oxybenzone and Octinoxate, which are harmful to marine ecosystems, specifically the coral reefs. So, it is recommended to use reef-safe sunscreen to help save the reefs.

Quick-Dry Towel

For beach outings or waterfall adventures in Kawasan Falls, a quick-dry towel is recommended. It is compact, lightweight, and dries quickly, making it convenient for on-the-go activities. It could be a hassle to bring towels that don’t dry fast and are a little heavy to carry around. 

Dry Bag

If you intend to engage in activities like boat tours, island-hopping in El Nido, or exploring waterfalls in the Philippines and the underground river of Puerto Princesa, it's best to bring a dry bag to protect your electronics and valuables from moisture. It is also useful during unexpected rain showers. 

Waterproof Phone Case

Coron Palawan

Engaging in activities with boat tours, scuba diving in the Philippines, island hopping adventures in Coron, and canyoneering in Cebu involves having your phone near the water. Bringing a waterproof phone case can help protect your phone from sudden downpours or falling in water. It can also help you capture underwater experiences like snorkeling in the clear water of Moalboal.

Hiking Sandals/Flip Flops

Hiking Shoes

If you want to go trekking through the beautiful landscapes of Sagada or hiking in some Philippine mountains in Rizal, wearing hiking shoes or flip-flops is advisable for a comfortable hike. 

Aqua Shoes/Water Shoes

Wearing aqua shoes or water shoes is recommended if you are going to walk along the white sand beaches in the Philippines, canyoneering in Kawasan Falls, or exploring the islands of Islas de Gigantes in Iloilo to protect your feet from cuts, unintentional coral abrasion, and sea urchin stings. 



For those planning on cave tours like in Sagada or exploring one of the tourist spots in Mindanao, the Enchanted River in Surigao del Sur, a headlamp would be helpful for hands-free illumination. It is also reliable in times of sudden power interruption or when you're staying somewhere with not enough lighting.

Light Rain Jacket or Poncho

Light rain jacket

It's not cold in the Philippines, but you'll never know when a sudden rain shower pour or if you go to malls and areas with cold temperatures like Baguio and Tagaytay. So, it's best to have a light rain jacket or poncho with you.  

Carry-On Backpack

Bringing heavy bags is a hassle when traveling, so it's best to bring a carry-on backpack that is light and convenient. If you are going on day tours and countryside tours like in some Visayas tourist spots, city explorations, or island-hopping in the Philippines, it's easy to bring essentials with you with a backpack. 

Travel Essentials to Pack for a Philippines Vacation

Other than the things you need to bring and wear during your stay in the Philippines, it’s also best to know some travel essentials for your hassle-free journey, especially when you’re on tours and travel destinations. Below is the list of what to pack for a trip to the Philippines:

Insect Repellent/Bug Spray

El Nido Palawan

Since the Philippines is a tropical country, bugs or mosquitos can be prevalent and tend to linger in areas with the most people, especially in lagoons found in El Nido, villa pools, waterfalls in Iligan, countryside of Bohol, or campsites like in Rizal. It's advisable to pack insect repellant to protect yourself from insect bites.


For long bus rides, day tours, or island-hopping adventures, you want to make sure your devices stay fully charged. Bringing a power bank is essential since there is no guarantee that you will find an outlet to charge when you are on tours.

Personal Medicine and First-Aid Kit

If you are taking any medications, make sure you always bring them with you. Also, pack a small travel medicinal kit with essentials like pain relievers and bandages. You might not have any access to nearby medical facilities, especially when engaging in outdoor activities, and there are remote areas that might have limited access to these.

Toiletries in Small Containers


Opt for travel-sized toiletries to save space in your luggage. When you are having a staycation in different cities like Manila or Cebu, or having a nature trip in Batanes, it's best to have compact toiletries with you so it will be easy to carry around.

Reusable Water Bottle

Manila tours

Stay hydrated and bring a reusable water bottle when traveling in the Philippines. Whether you are hiking or trekking in the mountains or participating in day tours in Manila, having a water bottle will not only help you stay hydrated in the tropical heat but also contribute to reducing plastic waste.

Money Belt


Keep your valuables secure while walking in the crowded markets in Baguio or Manila or experiencing the vibrant street food scene in Davao. A money belt is convenient and provides an added layer of security. 

The Philippines is a safe country, but in every place, you'll never know if there are strangers taking advantage of people. So, a money belt would be helpful for you when you roam around the cities in the Philippines.

Universal Travel Adapter

Outlets in the Philippines are in types A, B, and C. Just to be sure, you may bring your adapters for electrical outlets. A universal adapter ensures you can charge your devices in various locations, whether you're in the urban sprawl of Quezon City or the rural landscapes of Dapitan.

Action Camera

Cebu Moalboal

Capture the stunning underwater scenery while snorkeling in Moalboal or while riding an ATV around Mayon with an action camera. It's a perfect companion for adventure activities in the Philippines. You may bring your own action camera or opt to rent one.


Make sure you stay connected on your travels with an eSim in the Philippines. This is useful for navigating the bustling streets in the country, especially if you’re on a 2-week tour in the Philippines. This way, you can stay in touch with fellow travelers during tours. 

Travel Insurance

Ensure a worry-free vacation by investing in travel insurance. Travel insurance provides peace of mind in case of unforeseen circumstances, whether you are simply roaming around the cities or island hopping. 

Travel-ready to the Philippines

Boracay Philippines

Traveling to the Philippines is exciting and will surely make your visit worthwhile. With tons of beautiful destinations to visit, from cities to beaches, and fun activities to do, like food trips or water adventures, there is room for every traveler in this tropical country. 

For a hassle-free journey, make sure to pack all the essentials that you might need, and check all the Philippines travel packing lists and travel guides for every destination you visit. Knowing all these details will not only help you enjoy your visit to the Philippines but will also provide you with a seamless and light journey.

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