Here are some useful information you will be needing if you travel to Philippines.
Philippines is one of the “value for money” places to stay in Asia. Although it may not be the cheapest in Asia, traveling is still considerably affordable for Western standards. Travel expenses could go up or down depending on your budget. Accommodation could be cheap or moderately expensive on some touristic areas but transportation fares and food are relatively cheap.
Peso is the country’s unit currency. Banknotes are in denomination of 10,20,50,100,200, 500 and 1000. While coins are from 10 centavos, 25 centavos and 1 peso, 5 pesos and 10 pesos. Be careful in using your big bills (500 to 1000) as people are often afraid of fake bills. Some stores refuse payment with big bills.
When traveling in Philippines it is preferable to bring your “ATM cards” as it is easy to withdraw money anywhere anytime in Manila and some major cities like in Cebu. However, there are certain places like in Palawan that it is impossible to find an ATM machine that accepts international cards. Cirrus, Plus, Mastercards and Visa are widely accepted. Cash advances are subject to daily withdrawal limit depending on banks. This is normally around 5 to 7 thousand pesos. Carrying and use of travelers checks is also possible in Manila. Certain international banks, money changing shops and even SM (Shoe Mart) a commercial center accepts to change your travelers checks. But be warned of the price they will pay your TC as it often cheaper than the normal exchange rates. Exchange money is possible too in Manila and in most places in the Philippines.
15th and 30th of the Month are normally Filipinos salary day so do not be surprised to see if restaurants, shops or ATM are flooded with people during these days. Although nowadays more and more Filipinos prefer to have a different salary dates (2nd and 17th of the month) to avoid this kind of trouble. Filipinos being highly superstitious consider paying on Mondays, a sign of badluck. As it is not good to start the week by money getting out of the pocket.
If this isn’t your first time in Philippines you know that sunblock lotion is a must in your travel bag. Protecting your skin against the scorching heat of the sun is very important. Like any other countries, there are some areas in Philippines that requires necessary vaccinations when you visit them: like in Palawan. It is preferrable to bring your own medicine with your doctor’s prescription. Otherwise, buying commonly used medicines like paracetamol or immodium can easily be made over the counter. The country’s biggest and leading drugstore is Mercury Drug with some branches that are open 24 hours a day. But other than that finding any pharmacy is definitely easy there is always one in the corner. Do not be surprise too if you can purchase medicines on some small “sari sari store” when you buy your bottle of coke.
The best thing is to go and visit your doctor before your scheduled departure to be sure you haven’t forgotten anything.Tags: cost of travelling in Philippines, Credit Cards in the Philippines, guide to philippines, Health and Safety in the Philippines, Money Changing in the Philippines, Philippine Visa, travel guide to Philippines, Travellers Check in the Philippines, Use of ATM in Philippines