61 TRAVEL TIPS TO MAKE YOU THE WORLD’S SAVVIEST TRAVELER

Most people aren’t born savvy travelers. It’s something that only comes with on-the-road experience. In the beginning, you make a lot of mistakes. Travel savviness is a process born of missed buses, foolish behavior, cultural unawareness, and countless tiny errors. Then, one day, you begin to seamlessly move through airports and integrate yourself into new cultures like a fish to water.

I want to help speed up the process and help you avoid my mistakes (and I often make a lot of them), so I put together this giant list of 61 travel tips that cover everything under the sun to help you reach your full travel ninja potential:

1. Always pack a towel

It’s the key to successful galactic hitchhiking and plain common sense. You never know when you will need it, whether it’s at the beach, on a picnic, or just to dry off. While many hostels offer towels, you never know and carrying a small towel won’t add that much weight to your bag.

2. Buy a small backpack/suitcase

By purchasing a small backpack (I like something around 35/40 liters), you will be forced you to pack light and avoid carrying too much stuff. Humans have a natural tendency to want to fill space so if you pack light but have lots of extra room in your bag, you’ll end up going “well, I guess I can take more” and then regret it.

—> Click here for more tips on finding a backpack

3. Pack light

It’s OK to wear the same t-shirt a few days in a row. Take half the clothes you think you will need…you won’t need as much as you think. Write down a list of essentials, cut it in half, and then only pack that! Plus, since you bought a small backpack like I said, you won’t have much room for extra stuff anyways!

—> Click here for tips on packing

4. But take extra socks

You’ll lose a bunch to laundry gremlins, wear and tear, and hiking so packing extra will come in handy. I only take a few more than I need. Nothing beats a fresh pair of socks!

5. Take an extra bank card and credit card with you

Disasters happen. It’s always good to have a backup in case you get robbed or lose a card. You don’t want to be stuck somewhere new without access to your funds. I once had a card duplicated and a freeze put on it. I couldn’t use it for the rest of my trip. I was very happy I had an extra and not like my friend, who didn’t and was forced to borrow money from me all the time!

6. Make sure to use no-fee bank cards

Don’t give banks your hard-earned money. Keep that for yourself and spend it on your travels. Get a credit card and debit card that doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee or an ATM fee. Over the course of a long trip, the few dollars they take every time will really add up!

—> Here’s an article that will tell you how to do that

7. Travel by yourself at least once

You’ll learn a lot about yourself and how to become independent. It’s a cliché, but it’s true. Traveling solo taught me how to fend for myself, talk to people, and handle unfamiliar situations with ease. It’s made me comfortable with myself, helped me learn about what I’m capable of, and allowed me to be super selfish and do whatever I want! It can take some getting used to if you’ve never done it before but do it at least once. Make yourself uncomfortable and surprise yourself. You’ll learn valuable life skills when you push yourself!

Here are some helpful articles on solo travel:

8. Don’t be afraid to use a map.

Looking like a tourist isn’t as bad as getting really lost and ending up in the wrong neighborhood. Don’t be afraid to use a map or ask for directions and look like a tourist. After all, you are one! I always use a map when I travel. It helps you get to where you need to go!

9. But don’t be afraid to get purposefully lost.

Wandering aimlessly through a new city is a good way to get to know it, get off the beaten path, and away from the tourists. You might be surprised by the hidden gems you find. I like to wander around and try to find my way without using Google Maps!

10. Always visit the local tourism office.

They know about everything going on in town. They can point you to free activities, special events happening during your stay, and everything in between. They even offer discounts on attractions and transportation. It is their job to help you experience the destination better. It’s amazing how many travelers skip this when they are visiting somewhere but, as a savvy traveler, you know to use this resource!

11. Don’t buy a money belt — they’re stupid.

Thieves know they exist and being seen with one basically shouts, “Look at me, I’m a tourist with money! Rip me off!” The more you can blend in and act like a local, the easier it will be to get deals and avoid touts. If you’re worried about pickpockets, keep a better eye on your stuff!

12. When you go out, take only what you need.

Limit the amount of cash and bank cards you carry with you, so if something does happen, you can easily recover. Never take more than one credit card or ATM card with you. My rule for cash is to limit what I carry to $50 USD.

13. Always carry a lock.

They come in handy, especially when you stay in dorms and need to lock your stuff up. Carry a small combination lock with you when you travel. Don’t use one with keys because, if you lose the keys, you’re screwed!

14. Make extra copies of your passport and important documents.

Don’t forget to e-mail a copy to yourself too. You never know when you might need to have some sort of documentation with you and might not want to carry your original. Additionally, if your passport gets stolen having a copy will come in handy for your police report.

15. Ask hostel staff for information — even when you aren’t staying there.

Hostel staff deal with budget travelers all day, every day. They know exactly where to go for cheap meals and attractions. They also tend to be locals so they know the city very well. Ask them for all sorts of information. Even if you aren’t staying in one, just pop in and ask for help. They’ll usually give it.

16. Learn basic phrases in the native language of your destination

The locals will appreciate it and it will make your interactions easier. You don’t need to master the language but learning a few things like “Hello,” “Goodbye,” “Thank you!”, “Where’s the bathroom?” will go a long way to endearing yourself with the locals. They’ll like that you tried.

—-> Here are some tips on how to learn a language.

17. Read a history book!

You can’t understand a place’s present if you don’t know anything about its past. Read up on the destinations you are visiting. It will give you a deeper understanding of this place you’ve wanted to see for so long!

Here are some of my favorite travel reads from last year. For more awesome suggestions you can check out my monthly book club!

18. Don’t be ashamed to walk into a Starbucks or McDonald’s.

Sometimes familiarity is comforting and both places have free wifi and public restrooms you can use. (Just don’t eat the food at McDonald’s! That shit is gross and unhealthy for you! You can get it back home!)

19. Don’t fly direct

When booking flights, sometimes it is cheaper to fly into airports close to your final destination, and then take a train or bus to where you need to go. Be sure to shop around for your flight and know that direct isn’t always the cheapest route.

—> Here are some more tips on finding cheap flights!

20. Always get behind business travelers when in security lines.

They move fast since they are usually in a rush and travel light. They know the drill. Line up behind them as much as possible. You’ll speed through the line!

21. Never get behind families.

They take forever. It’s not their fault. They just have a lot of stuff because of the kids. Try to avoid getting in lines with lots of kids. It’s going to take awhile.

22. When you check in to the hotel, don’t be afraid to ask for an upgrade.

They have a lot of flexibility when it comes to assigning upgrades at check-in. It never hurts to ask. Often times they can accommodate you if the hotel isn’t full. Just be super nice!

23. Libraries, Starbucks, and most cafés have free Wi-Fi.

If you’re staying someplace that charges you to connect, check out one of these places. You can connect for free.

24. Lunchtime is the best time to visit historical sites.

Be a contrarian. You’ll have fewer crowds getting in your way as big tour buses, groups, and most travelers head to lunch. It’s always best to visit an attraction super early, late, or when people eat. You’ll have even the most popular places to yourself!

25. Never eat in a touristy area or near a tourist attraction

As a general rule, I walk five blocks in either direction before I find a place to eat. The closer you are to tourist attractions the more you are going to pay and the worse the food (and service). Use websites like YelpGoogle MapsFoursquare, or Open Rice to find some delicious and popular restaurants around you.

Additionally, never eat anywhere the menu is in like 6 languages! That means the restaurant is just for tourists!

26. Locals don’t eat out every night and neither should you.

Go grocery shopping. You can learn a lot about locals’ diets by seeing the type of food they buy. Plus, it will save you a lot of money. You won’t regret it. Cook your food, save money, surprise yourself!

27. Eat at expensive restaurants during lunch.

Most expensive restaurants offer lunch specials featuring the same food they would serve for dinner but half the price! That’s the best time to eat out when you travel.

28. Pack a flashlight.

It will let you see at night, you avoid stepping on stuff, and help you tell ghost stories. Who’s afraid of the dark?

29. Carry a basic first-aid kit.

Accidents happen so be prepared. I take band-aids, antibacterial cream, and ointments for minor cuts and scrapes. You never know when you’re going to need it and you can’t always get it when you travel.

—-> Here are some tips for packing a professional first aid kit!

30. Book flights 2-3 months in advance to get the best price.

Don’t drive yourself too crazy trying to get the absolute cheapest fare. Spending five hours to try to save $10 will cause you a lot of stress. Here are some article on how to save money on flights:

31. Stay in hostels

They are cheap, organize events, you’ll meet a lot of people, and they are just tons of fun! Plus, hostel bars sell cheap beer. Here are some posts on how to pick a hostel (and some of my favorite ones):

32. Use Meetup, the sharing economy, and hospitality websites to meet locals

These websites will help you get an insider’s perspective on your destination by connecting you with locals in the places you visit. The sharing economy has changed the way people travel allowing you to meet locals, get off the tourist travel, and save mega money! It’s a triple win – and resources that I use all the time when I travel. Here’s an article on how to use the sharing economy (and what websites to use) when you travel.

33. Be open to strangers

Not everyone bites. Say hi to people on the road. Turn strangers into friends. Remember they are just like you! They want to live a happy, full life and have hopes and dreams too! You never know. You just might make some lifelong friends.

34. But keep your guard up.

Some people do bite, so keep a healthy level of suspicion. You don’t want to fall for any travel scams or get yourself into uncomfortable situations. Be open but cautious.

—> Here is a list of travel scams to avoid.

35. Try new food.

Don’t ask what it is. Just put it in your mouth and see if you like it. If you put your guard up, you might miss out on some unusual and delicious local cuisine. Here are some articles on how to eat delicious — and cheap — food around the world:

36. Avoid taxis.

They are always a budget buster. Never, ever take a taxi unless you absolutely have too!

37. Take an empty metal water bottle through airport security and fill it up at your gate.

Drink from the tap when you can — you’ll save money and help the environment. If you’re going somewhere where you can’t drink the water, be sure to get a water bottle with a filter. I love LifeStraw and Grayl as my two preferred ones.

38. Take free walking tours.

Besides being free, these tours will give you a good orientation and background of the city you are visiting. I love, love, love taking walking tours when I travel. You pass the time, you get to pepper the guide with questions, and you get to learn so much about where you are! Take a walking tour when you travel! Here are some lists of my favorite free walking tour companies in the world:

39. Get city attraction cards.

If you are going to visit a lot of museums and other attractions in a short period of time, a city pass is going to save you money on admission (plus most provide free public transportation too!).

40. Take pictures of your luggage and clothes.

If your bag gets lost, this will help identify it more easily and speed up the process of having your travel insurance reimburse you.

41. Carry emergency cash.

Because emergencies happen. Like that time in Romania when I couldn’t find an ATM and needed money for the bus to the hostel! I usually try to keep around a $200 USD in emergency cash in case something happens!

42. Get good shoes.

You walk a lot when you travel. Don’t beat up your feet. Love them as much as they love you, and they’ll take you to amazing places.

43. Get vaccinated.

Because falling prey to an illness in a foreign country is not fun — and many countries require you to get vaccinated in order to visit them so, regardless of your opinion on the subject, you just might have to.

—> Here is an article on how to stay healthy on the road

44. Learn to haggle.

Haggling is a fun, playful way of not getting charged the foreigner price. It’s the art of negotiating and one that will help you throughout all of life, not just at the market.

45. Use points and miles for free travel.

You can go a lot further in the world when you don’t have to pay for it. Learn the art of travel hacking and collect points and miles through your everyday spending so you can get free flights, accommodation, train tickets, and other forms of travel! It’s what all expert travelers due to lower their travel costs and something you should do too! Here’s how I earn 1 million frequent flier miles every year!

46. Take a jacket.

Nights get chilly.

47. Eat street food!

If you skip the street food, you miss out on culture. Don’t be scared. If you’re nervous, look for places where kids are eating. If it’s safe for them, it’s safe for you.

48. Get travel insurance

Travel insurance is the most important thing you get that you never want to use. If something goes wrong, you don’t want to be out thousands of dollars in bills. It will be there if you get robbed, flights get cancelled, you get sick or injured, or have to be sent home. It’s comprehensive and, for just a few dollars a day, one of the best investments you can get for a trip. You may think you’re superman/woman but so did my friend who broke her arm, didn’t have insurance, and had to pay thousands out of pocket. Insurance was there when I had to replace my camera and when I popped an eardrum scuba diving! Get it! Here are some tips on how to find the best travel insurance.

49. Be patient.

Things will work out in the end. No need to rush. You’ll get to where you are going in due time. Travel is about the journey, not the destination.

50. Be respectful.

Locals are willing to help you out, but there’s probably a language barrier, so keep your cool when something doesn’t go your way. If you don’t, you’ll end up just looking like an asshole tourist.

51. Don’t overplan your trip.

Let your days unfold naturally. Schedule two or three things and let the day fill in the rest on its own. It’s less stressful, and letting the day just take you is one of the best ways to travel. Here’s my advice on how not to overplan your travels!

52. Relax.

See Be patient.

53. Be frugal — but not cheap.

Don’t be pennywise but pound-foolish. Look for deals and don’t waste money, but don’t miss out on great experiences or walk 10 miles to save a couple of dollars. Time is money. Spend them both wisely.

54. Take earplugs.

Snorers are everywhere and you need your sleep.

55. Always have an extra USB charger.

Batteries die. Your good mood shouldn’t.

56. Take photos of and with people.

Lots of photos. Years from now, you’ll want to look back on those nights you can’t remember and the people who made them memorable.

57. Book your tickets online

If you’re planning to do any activities or excursions on your trip, book them online. Companies usually offer a discounted price when compared to buying in person. Not only that but you’ll be able to pay with a credit card, giving you some extra protection as well as more travel points!

58. Sign up for flight deals

When it comes to travel, your flight(s) will likely be your biggest expense. Save money by signing up for flight deal websites like Scott’s Cheap FlightsThe Flight Deal, and Secret Flying. You’ll get epic flight deals straight to your inbox, saving you time and money. Also be sure to sign up for airline newsletters, since that is where they will announce their sales first!

59. Pre-book your tickets to attractions

Many major attractions allow you to reserve your spot and skip the line. Always look online to see if this is an option. This will you to avoid wasting time in multi-hour lines and go right in. I’ve seen people wait hours for the Paris Catacombs, Louvre, London Churchill War Rooms, churches, temples, historic fortresses, and more. Pre-book the day before, skip the line, get to see more during your day!

60. Avoid TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor is fine when you need opening hours or an address, but when it comes to reviews I ignore it completely. People always leave a negative review when something bad happens but rarely leave a positive review when something good happens so the reviews tend to be skewed. On top of that, it’s very easy to create fake reviews and make a place seem better than it is. Many hotels and restaurants hire firms to artificially inflate their reviews on the platform. Additionally, TripAdvisor has been known to take down reviews that are overly negative as well reviews on sexual assualt. Use TripAdvisor with caution. Or better yet, don’t use it at all.

61. Finally, wear sunscreen.

For as the Baz Luhrmann song “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)” goes:

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it.
The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists
Whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable
Than my own meandering experience.

https://www.nomadicmatt.com/travel-blogs/61-travel-tips/

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TOP 10 HISTORICAL PLACES TO VISIT

I like to travel and I am sure you guys do too. Travel is a means to educate you with different cultures and societies. Travelling serves as a very important learning tool. This particular list talks about ten of the most amazing historical places for you to visit. Being at these places will definitely take you back in time and you will get to learn a lot. If you ever get a chance to travel to one of the cities, please take time out to visit the historical attractions that particular city has to offer. It will be worth your time, I can vouch for that. I have recently had the pleasure to travel to Europe and it was fantastic. Enjoy the read.

10. EUROPEAN CASTLES

European Castles - Top Ten Historical Places to Visit

We recently posted an article about castles and here we are again. If you happen to visit Europe or live there, please visit countries with famous castles. The castles in Europe are truly a marvel with a beautiful architecture. They were not only built to serve as fortresses, many of the castles were purpose built for feudal lords to live in and they make such lovely homes. Some of the best castles to visit would be Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany, Palace of Versailles in France, Prague Castle in Czech Republic and Leeds Castle in England. Hope you have fun.

9. STONEHENGE

Stonehenge - Top Ten Historical Places to Visit

There is uncertainty about the usage of these ancient runes. They remain quite a mystery to date and I am sure you are familiar with that. No one has been able to figure out their purpose to the dot. The most famous theory is that it was built as an astronomical observatory and others state that it had some religious purpose. But too bad, I guess we will never know. Nevertheless, the construction began around 3000BC. How do you think it was constructed? Do you have any idea what it was used for?

8. ANGKOR WAT

Angkor Wat - Top Ten Historical Places to Visit

It is the most famous temple in Cambodia and also one of the most beautiful ones. It was built in the twelfth century under King Suryavarman II. It was to serve as the state temple. This structure is the best possible example of the Khmer architecture. The uniqueness of this particular temple lies in the fact that it is the only temple of its sort that is oriented towards the west.

7. THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA

The Great Wall of China - Top Ten Historical Places to Visit

This happens to be one of the Wonders of the world and I am sure it does not need any introduction. It is such a remarkable piece by the engineers. The wall that stands today is a product of 21 centuries of building and building. It began in the 5th century BC and was built to protect the Empire of China from Xiongnu attacks. There are sections of the wall that are in real bad shape and they age back to the times of the Ming Dynasty. Overall, however, the wall has been well preserved and is a popular tourism spot; something definitely worth seeing if you are in the country.

6. MACHU PICCHU

Machu Picchu - Top Ten Historical Places to Visit

Many of you might know this place as ‘The Lost City of the Incas’. This is the most amazing piece of legacy left by the Incas Empire and was built around 1462 AD. It was abandoned around 1562 and therefore was saved a lot of destruction at the hands of Spaniards. Hiram Bingham rediscovered this place in the year 1911. There are three structures primarily and they are thus named; Temple of the Sun, Room of the Three Windows and the Intihuatana Stone. This is a must-visit on my list, what about yours?

5. THE PARTHENON

The Parthenon - Top Ten Historical Places to Visit

The Parthenon does not represent the Ancient Greece only, it is also a symbol of democracy. It was built by Pericles in the 5th Century BC as a temple to the Goddess Athena. It was used as the treasury for the Delian League as well. There were many sculptures in the building referred to as marbles that were removed. They are now resting in the British Museum, the Louvre and many other big museums around the world. The Greek government has tried to restore them to their actual place but that has proven unsuccessful.

4. THE TAJ MAHAL

The Taj - Top Ten Historical Places to Visit

This place should not be a mystery to anyone. It is most definitely one of the most amazing structures from the ancient times and the story behind it is just as beautiful. It was built between 1632 and 1653. The man behind the structure is Emperor Shah Jahan who built it as a monument to his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The construction employed around twenty thousand workers. The structure uses many marbles and precious stones and the beauty of it at a full moon night is a sight to behold. The Taj Mahal is in Agra, India.

3. PETRA

Petra - Top Ten Historical Places to Visit

The residents of this particular locality are generally very rich because in the ancient times many trade routes converged to this very spot. It was built around 100 BC. If you happen to visit this place, here are some attractions for you to consider; Theatre and the Monastery. The most famous one of them all is Al Khazneh, which is usually referred to as the treasury. The use of the treasury was a mystery until it was discovered that the place is actually a tomb. It possibly belongs to the royal family but we cannot be certain as yet.

2. ROME

Rome - Top Ten Historical Places to Visit

Rome is known as the Eternal City and it is home to some of the most beautiful architecture. Buildings from Ancient Roman, Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque times can be seen at every corner. If you do happen to go to Rome, please make sure you visit the Coliseum, the Roman Forum, the Circus Maximus, the Pantheon and the Arch of Constantine because without that the trip will be a waste. Only recently I went to see these places and believe me, it is a sight to behold. The mere architecture literally blows you away. It’s just said that the modern architecture is nothing like that.

1. EGYPT

Egypt - Top Ten Historical Places to Visit

This is a country that is rich in culture and one of the most ancient tourist spots around the world. The place has served as a host to many visitors from ancient Greece and Rome especially. I am sure you know what places I have in mind right now; the Great Pyramid and the Sphinx. If you happen to go to Egypt, be sure to visit the Valley of the Kings, Abu Simbel, the Egyptian Museum, Saqqara and Karnak. Those places will to take you to the ancient times and it is a feeling to experience at least once. It is hot as hell though; just a heads up.

https://www.smashinglists.com/top-historical-places-to-visit/

Top 15 Surreal Places to Visit in the Philippines

There’s a huge world out there with lots of cultures to discover, cuisines to taste and people to meet. You’ve probably heard all about Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia but how about the Philippines? With approximately 7,197 islands, it’s kind of hard to decide where to go! That’s why we’ve prepared for you a list of the 15 places you should visit if you go to the Philippines!

Ready to discover all these beautiful destinations?

north-2

1. Vigan, Ilocos Sur

Photo by justjamie7 via Instagram
Photo by justjamie7 via Instagram

Vigan is an exceptionally well-preserved 16th-century town. You’ll easily feel like you’re travelling back in time, back to when it was a European trading town in East and Southeast Asia. There is no wonder it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site!

What you can’t miss:

• Being a 16th-century town, there are lots of heritage museums to visit. The most recommended ones are Syquia Mansion, Crisologo museum and Padre Burgos Museum.

• You have to try Ilocano food! Be sure to order Vigan Longganisa, Empanada, Bagnet and Chichacorn
How to get there: 

✈️ Air: Hop on a 45-minute flight to Laoag, Ilocos Norte from Manila.

🗺️ Land: You can go by bus, jeep or mini-van from Manila or nearby provinces. It’ll take you at least 10 hours to get there and it costs approximately 600 PHP (£9).

Find cheap flights to Manila to start your trip here!

2. Batad Rice Terraces, Banaue

Photo by travelgeni via Instagram
Photo by travelgeni via Instagram

It’s the best place to view the Ifugao rice terraces, a UNESCO world heritage site but getting there isn’t easy!

What you can’t miss:

• Hike towards Patpat Sitio to be amazed by the beautiful sights. You’ll cross a hanging bridge, hike up the rice terraces, visit a small forest with little waterfalls and springs and you’ll get to see the best view of the rice terraces.

• Go for a swim in Tappiya waterfalls, a beautiful 70m fall that’s just 30 minutes away from Batad.

How to get there: 

🗺️ Land: Take a 9-hr overnight bus to Banaue from 500 PHP (£8). Be sure to book at least a week in advance! Once in Banaue, take a tricycle ride to the end of the paved road and you’ll have to hike to Batad.

3. Sagada, Mountain Province

Photo by Rowlrowlrowl via Instagram
Photo by Rowlrowlrowl via Instagram

Unleash your adventurous side in Sagada! Go hiking, trekking, visit bat caves, and explore hot springs.

What you can’t miss:

• Visit the hanging coffins in Echo Valley. The locals believe that the dead should be placed in steep crevices so they can begin their journey into the afterlife and be closer to the gods.

• Go caving/spelunking in Sumaguing Cave and be stunned by its rock formations and chest-high waters.

• Swim at Bomod-ok falls or as locals call it “Big Falls”.

How to get there:

It’s really hard to get here because there are very little buses that go directly to Sagada; you’ll either need to go through Banaue or Baguio.

🗺️ Land: Book a 13-hour bus trip from Manila from 720 PHP (£11). If you’re already in Banaue, you can take a 2-hour van ride to Bontoc and a 45-minute jeep ride to Sagada from 200 PHP (£3).

4. Batanes Islands, Cagayan Valley

Photo by thewanderlustic via Instagram
Photo by thewanderlustic via Instagram

This is the northernmost province in the Philippines; it’s closer to Taiwan than Luzon! Although it’s the smallest and least populated province, it’s surrounded by spectacular sights. It’ll make you feel like you’re in New Zealand!

Be sure you check the weather before visiting because they have the biggest storms here.

What you can’t miss:

• Check out the stone houses in Savidug and Chavayan.

• Hike up the dormant Mt.Iraya

• Bike around Batan Island and the Marlboro Country. Not recommended for those afraid of heights though!

How to get there: 

✈️ Air: Hop on a 2-hour flight to Basco, Batanes from Manila.

5. Alaminos, Pangasinan

Photo by Wandering.siopau via Instagram
Photo by Wandering.siopau via Instagram

If you can’t decide on what island to visit first, you can just go ahead and visit 100 islands here!

What you can’t miss:

• Go island hopping to Shell Beach (it has a secret lagoon) and Governor’s Island.

• Jump off a 70-foot cliff and swim to the underwater cave in Governor’s Island.

• Kayak and discover Quirino cave, Nalso cave, Cathedral cave and St. Paul’s Subterranean cave.

How to get there: 

✈️ Air: Hop on a 5-hour flight to Alaminos Airport from Clark or Manila.

6. Corregidor Island, Manila bay

Photo by rainydaysaregreatdays via Instagram
Photo by rainydaysaregreatdays via Instagram

It’s only 6.5×2 km but it was the largest island used to defend Manila bay during the World War II. Japanese, American and Filipino troops fought in this island. It’s now a historical monument but it also has a forest and a beach!

What you can’t miss:

• Take a tour to learn all about the history of the island. If you’re brave enough, you can even go on a night tour in Malinta’s tunnels.

• Visit the Corregidor Lighthouse that was first built and 1853 and is still used to this day.

How to get there: 

🌊 Sea: Take a 1-hour ferry ride from Manila to Corregidor.

south

7. Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte

Photo by Movegk via Instagram
Photo by Movegk via Instagram

It’s known as the surfing capital of the Philippines but you don’t have to be a surfer to visit.

What you can’t miss:

• Get on a Bangka (local bamboo boat) and go island hopping to Naked island, Daku island and Guyam island.

• Visit the Sohoton caves; you can go by kayak and explore the marine reserve and the natural cave tunnel.

• You’ll find a natural pool surrounded by rock formations in Magpupungko pool. It’s separated from the ocean by a large reef.

• The best spots to go surfing are Cloud 9, Quicksilver, Stimpy’s, Rock Island, Daku Reef, Cemetery and G1.

How to get there: 

✈️ Air:  Book a flight to Sayak Airport from Cebu or Manila.

8. Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur

Photo by Vaneologyi via Instagram
Photo by Vaneologyi via Instagram

Lagoon rivers, swimming, diving and surfing… these are just some of the things you’ll be able to do in Surigao del Sur!

What you can’t miss:

• You have to visit the Enchanted river, a deep blue pristine river. Be sure to go early morning to avoid all the other tourists.

• Go island hopping to to Britania islands… 24 paradise islands just for you!

How to get there: 

✈️ Air: Book a flight to Butuan, Surigao or Davao and take a bus to Mangagoy (Bislig).

9. Camiguin Island

Photo by Laquestatravel via Instagram
Photo by Laquestatravel via Instagram

It’s the second smallest inhabited island in the Philippines with just 23 x 14km in size. There are beautiful beaches, waterfalls and seven volcanoes. Seven!

What you can’t miss:

• Go swimming, snorkelling or diving in Mantigue Island or go swimming in Katibawasan falls or Tuawasan falls.

• Trekk one of their volcanoes and if you’re up for a challenge, go up Mt. Timpoong which is about 1,600 meters high!

• Visit the historic town with churches from the Spanish era, ruins of old towns and homes from the Spanish and American periods.

How to get there: 

✈️🌊 Air or Sea: Fly or take a ferry to Cagayan de Oro from Manila, Ilo-ilo or Cebu. On arrival, take a bus to Balingoan and a ferry to Camiguin island.

10. Siquijor

Photo by hecelove via Instagram
Photo by hecelove via Instagram

Due to the high number of fireflies, the Spanish colonizers called this island “Isla del fuego” which translates to “Island of fire”.  There are turquoise water beaches, caves and nature parks to visit.

What you can’t miss:

• The best beaches here are Kagusan and Salagdoong.

• If you believe in supernatural forces, meet a healer or buy amulets and potions.

How to get there: 

🌊 Sea: Catch a 5-hour boat ride from Cebu or a 45-minute boat ride from Dumaguete.

east

11. Chocolate hills, Bohol

Photo by wolfy.prg via Instagram
Photo by wolfy.prg via Instagram

1,260 hills that look like chocolates! But there’s a lot more to do in Bohol besides the Chocolate Hills. Prepare to be amazed…

What you can’t miss:

• You obviously have to go see the Chocolate hills. You can catch a motorcycle taxi and go on a thrilling tour along winding roads.

• If you want to see Tarsiers, one of the cutest and smallest monkeys in the world, head to the Tarsier Sanctuary in Corella.

• Camping, bike zipping, going on tree top rope challenges, burma looping, vine walking and getting in a giant beach ball.. these are just some of the things you can do in Bohol!

• Go on a river cruise in Loboc river to enjoy the views and eat on a floating all-you-can-eat restaurant.

How to get there: 

✈️ Air: Hop on a hour and 15-minute flight to Tagbilaran, Bohol from Manila. You can also fly to Cebu city and then take a 90-minute ferry to Tagbilaran.

12. Camotes Island, Cebu 

Photo by Only1tensai via Instagram
Photo by Only1tensai via Instagram

Made up of Pacjian, Ponson, Poro and Tulang islands, they’re perfect to sunbathe and swim in turquoise waters undisturbed.

What you can’t miss:

• If you’re travelling with your partner or someone you’d love to “get to know”, go on a romantic picnic and boat ride to “Lover’s Lake“.

• Visit the unspoiled beautiful beaches of Santiago bay and Mangodlong.

• For the more adventurous, check out Bukilat cave and Timubo cave.

How to get there: 

✈️ Air: Fly to Cebu from Manila and take a ferry to Camotes islands.

13. Apo Island, Negros Oriental 

Photo by the_philippines via Instagram
Photo by the_philippines via Instagram

One more diving and snorkelling spot to add to your list! Apo Island has approximately 650 documented species of fish and over 400 species of corals. You’ll also be able to swim with turtles!

What you can’t miss:

• You have to go snorkelling or diving! The waters are so clear that you don’t really have to go to deep to see the corals and turtles.

• Hike to the lighthouse; there’s nothing special about the lighthouse per se but it’s the island’s highest point and it’s perfect to see the sunset and Mt. Talinis. It’s a 15 to 20-minute hike.

• Visit Boluarte, a beautiful rock formation and if you walk a bit more, you’ll find a mangrove area.

How to get there: 

✈️ Air: Fly to Dumaguete from Manila, take a jeep to Malatapay market and a boat to the island.

west

14. Underground River in Puerto Princesa, Palawan

Photo by gadireg via Instagram
Photo by gadireg via Instagram

There’s a lot of reasons why the Underground river in Puerto Princesa is one of the Seven wonders of the world… you’ll have to visit to find them out!

What you can’t miss:

• Go on a 1-hour paddleboat tour through the 1.5km of the cave to discover the Underground river.

• Island hopping from Honda bay is also a must! Visit Starfish island, Luli island, Cowrie island and Nagtabon, Napsan, Panaguran and Marufinas beaches.

• Visit a Crocodile farm and get up close and personal with some of the crocs.

How to get there: 

✈️ Air: Hop on a 1-hour flight to Puerto Princesa from Manila.

🌊 Sea: Take a 18 to 22-hour ferry ride to Puerto princesa from Manila.

15. Tubbataha Reef, Cagayancillo

Photo by gutsytuason via Instagram
Photo by gutsytuason via Instagram

The Tubbataha reefs aren’t located on Cagayancillo island or even closeby but they fall under the island jurisdiction. It’s a UNESCO Heritage Site and protected by the Tubbataha reefs natural park. It’s really one of the best places to dive in the world!

What you can’t miss:

• The best time to go diving here is from mid-March to mid-June because it’s when the skies are clearest, seas are calm and there’s visibility between 30-45m.

How to get there: 

✈️ Air: Fly to Puerto Princesa from Manila and book a boat tour from there to Tubbataha. The boat takes 10-hours to get there!

https://www.opodo.co.uk/blog/places-in-philippines/

Travel Packing Tips

Packing is pivotal. Forget an essential item and you’re left disappointed and scrambling to find the nearest store in your destination. Pack too much and you end up disorganized, burdened with heavy bags, and hemorrhaging money to pay for pricey airline baggage fees. So we thought it best to revisit the most basic—and most useful—packing rules. Here are 10 fundamental packing strategies that every traveler should learn.

1. Roll, don’t fold.

Many travel experts—including backpackers, who must stuff months’ worth of clothing into a pack the size of a box of wine—agree that rolling is superior to folding. Tightly rolled clothes take up less space than folded ones. Plus, they’re less prone to getting deep wrinkles from fold creases.

2. Make a packing list

When it comes to packing, procrastinators fall short. Start your packing process days or even weeks ahead of your departure date; this gives you time to craft a complete list, plus purchase any additional items you might need for your vacation. Creating a packing list is a fail-safe way to ensure that you never, ever forget to bring something important.

3. Know your airline’s baggage-fee policy

Figuring out the airlines’ tricky and befuddling baggage-fee policies is key to any budget-minded packing strategy. While most airlines permit travelers to check at least one bag on international flights, the majority of U.S. carriers charge big bucks for bags checked on domestic flights. Spirit Airlines—that notoriously customer-unfriendly discounter—even charges as much as $100 for carry-on bags.

Before you begin packing, take a peek at your airline’s website and read its baggage policy. This is something you might even want to do prior to buying your plane ticket, especially if you’re set on bringing a checked bag or two. Consider flying on Southwest or JetBlue, both of which permit at least one free checked bag on domestic flights.

4. Follow the 3-1-1 rule

What happens if you don’t follow the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) 3-1-1 rule for carry-on luggage? Attempt to bring a large bottle of shampoo or a full-size gel deodorant through the security line and the TSA will likely confiscate your stuff, holding you up in line in the process. So get familiar with the agency’s rules: All liquids brought onto planes must be in 3.4-ounce bottles or smaller and inside a single, clear, quart-size zip-top bag.

It also helps to know which items are, according to the TSA, considered liquids or gels and thereby subject to the 3-1-1 rule. This isn’t as simple as it sounds. Foods such as peanut butter, pudding, mashed potatoes, and icing are classified as gels. Mascara, lip gloss, and aerosol items are also classified as liquids or gels. But keep in mind that liquid prescription medication is exempt.

5. Use your personal item wisely

It’s standard for airlines to permit each traveler to bring one carry-on bag and one personal item onboard planes. This personal item is subject to specific size requirements (these vary by airline), but something like a purse, laptop bag, or backpack is generally acceptable.

In Five Tips for Fitting it All in a Carry-on Bag, Caroline Morse advises travelers to leverage their personal-item allowance, suggesting, “Forget wasting my personal-item allowance with a tiny purse. I’ll bring a larger tote bag that I can stash under the seat but will still give me extra storage space. This will come in handy for keeping all of the things I’ll need to be on hand during the flight within arms’ reach as well.”

6. Wash your clothes on the road

Laundry facilities are one of my favorite parts about staying in vacation rentals. If you know your accommodations will have free laundry facilities, you’re golden. You can wash and wear just a handful of outfits for the duration of even very long trips.

AIRBNB: : No place like someone else’s home
PARIS: Living like a local
MADRID: Partying and living like a local

If you’re staying in a hotel, call in advance to see if laundry services are available and how much they cost. Travelers staying in properties without laundry facilities or taking cruises—cruise lines are notorious for charging an arm and a pant leg for laundry services—can wash clothes in sinks and hang them to dry. I always make sure to pack a travel-size packet of laundry detergent and a sink stopper to clean my clothes on the road—it’s my secret for fitting everything in a carry-on bag. Portable laundry-drying lines that attach to showers via suction cups are also a good choice; you can find them at many travel-supply stores.

7. Pack dual-purpose garments

If it’s two-in-one, it’s one less thing to pack. Dual-purpose items, such as pants that turn into shorts or a jacket that turns into a travel pillow (see these items here) are worth their weight in airline baggage fees.

PACKING LIGHT: How to create 25 different looks with 5 light-weight pieces

8. Layer

This advice is twofold: Wear layers and pack in layers. First, your on-the-road wardrobe should feature plenty of layers, which will help you jetset through multiple climates in style and comfort. Second, the items in your bag should be packed in neat layers for easy screening. According to the TSA, “Pack items in layers (shoes one layer, clothes one layer, electronics one layer, etc.)” so that the security agent screening your bag can get a clear picture of what’s inside. The faster the TSA agent can screen your stuff, the faster you’ll get through the security line.

9. Never check essential items

It’s terribly important to keep your valuable and essential belongings in your carry-on bag, not in your checked luggage. Your passport, identification, money, credit cards, jewelry, electronics, and other valuables should always be brought onto the plane with you. We probably don’t need to tell you why you need to keep your passport and wallet on your person. But if the airline loses your luggage (or if a TSA agent gets sticky fingers), you’ll regret stowing your expensive watch in a checked bag.

10. Use packing aids

My all-time favorite packing aid: Eagle Creek Compression Sacs. Use them to shrivel your clothes into a vacuum-packed, tiny, tight bundle that takes up minimal suitcase space. Other packing aids that can help you organize better and fit more into your bag include packing envelopes and packing cubes.