night view of Makati

Top Tips for Vacationing in Manila

If you’re thinking about going on a vacation in the sunny capital of the Philippines, then you’re in for a treat. Manila is more than just a stunning city — it’s also an excellent jump-off point for numerous tourist destinations — all within the island of Luzon. Here are some top tips to follow.

Rent a car and go on a road trip

If you have plans to stay close to Manila, then renting a car is not a good idea. However, you can opt for an affordable van for rent in Manila if you want to drive to far-off destinations such as Baguio and Tagaytay.

They’re excellent places to be in, known for the cold weather, the abundance of culture, and their strawberry farms. Driving there yourself adds to the uniqueness of the experience.

Know the exchange rate

Find out the exchange rate beforehand and have your money turned to Philippine Peso. It’s also a good idea to find out the price of basic commodities, so you don’t have to overpay for them. Keep your calculator app open and ready, so you’ll have no problem calculating the conversion rate for most products.

Grab a local SIM card

Manila is packed with wireless internet, but you’ll need a local SIM in order to access all of those. Local SIM cards are cheap, and the airport actually provides it for free.

Prepaid credit can be loaded onto the phone, and you can buy that practically anywhere. Even if you have no plans for calling anyone in Manila, the local SIM will make sure you’re connected via the internet.

Get travel insurance

Manila may be a teeming box of colors and culture, but it’s not 100% safe. If you’re new to the area, it will be too easy for locals to stop you with some possibly taking advantage of that vulnerability.

Keep your valuables close, preferably depositing crucial items in your hotel — like passports and IDs. Knowing the office of your country’s consul in the city can also help add to your level of security in the area.

Avoid the rush hour

manila road

Manila is notorious for its heavy traffic, so if you’re staying within the capital region, you’d want to steer clear of the streets. Rush hour is usually early in the morning, noon, and at night when people would be coming back from work. You can also ease up on the stress of commute by using app-based car services like Grab and Uber.

Stay comfortable

The city is hot — so you’d want to dress for the occasion. The good news is that if you’re just moving from one mall to the next, the heat wave won’t be as bad.

If you intend on really exploring the city, however, you’d want to keep your body bare to the breeze – but make sure you’ve got lots of sunblock too.

Remember though that just like any other city, Manila has its ups and downs. You’d want to make sure to steer clear of the seedy side of the town and keep your valuables close. Planned properly, your Manila trip should go off smoothly.

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