Many times we get asked by friends who want to have a vacation in the Philippines, to help them plan their trip. We noticed that there is a question that comes around quite rapidly, and that million dollar question is something like “I have only 2 weeks off work, is it enough time?”
Most people are going to advise you not to, and that it’s going to be better for you to go to Thailand (because it’s very, very prepared for tourists) for you tropical vacation. They will tell you to avoid the chaos of this developing country, and just go somewhere else.
Now We’re going to tell you otherwise! We are not claiming everybody are wrong, as the Philippines is chaotic, and it is complicated to travel. Instead, We’ll be giving you 8 very valuable tips that once you’ll wrap your head around them, your next vacation in the Philippines, as short as it will be, is going to be successful.
Focus on a small number of destinations and regions
The biggest mistake people make when they plan a short vacation in the Philippines, is that they intend to go to all of the famous destinations. Unless you’re going to rent private taxis and fly as much as possible (which is going to be expensive), we can assure you that this plans are going to fail.
Deciding on a selected number of places will shorten the total amount of time dedicated to commute. Just pick one or two destinations instead. Do your research first, and make sure those places are truly your dream destinations. They must be relatively easy to reach, and close enough to other attractive destinations in the region.
Fly directly to Cebu and start your vacation straight away
Cebu is the second major city, and lately there has been an increase in international flights directly to it. When landing in Cebu you can start your vacation right away, and enjoy all the island has to offer you.
An even better option, if you are lucky enough, is to take a flight from Seoul, South Korea to a selected number of destinations, like Bohol, or Boracay. In this way you can land straight into to action!
Book everything in advance
We know many people like to leave some room for spontaneity when going on vacation. We certainly support that notion, but when you are limited on time, it is far better to book your hotels, flights and main attractions in advance.
That will guarantee you’ll not waste precious time on petty logistics, and will help you follow the guidelines you set for your vacation before you left. This structure is very helpful on short trips, to help you get to all the places you wanted.
Let the experts do the planning for you
There are people who know better than you. Though you might spare them on a long vacation, with only a limited time to spend it may be smart to spend a little extra money, just to make sure you’re going to be taken care of.
Experts to traveling the Philippines can give you good recommendations, and actually make a valid schedule out of your wish list. The extra money you’ll spend is going to help you save a lot of time and frustration, not to mention preventing you from getting swindled.
Make sure your chosen destination has a variety of attractions
Some destinations are simply put, breath taking, but they don’t have so much stuff to do. Malapascua Island is an amazing island for diving, but other than that the island doesn’t have much to offer. If you go to Bohol on the other hand, you’ll get some night life, restaurants, scenery, and other treats.
So you probably get the idea. Choosing destinations that will give you more options makes sure you’ll have more fun, and maximizes your vacation.
Choose the fastest and most convenient transportation available
When on a long trip, time is less important. But when you don’t have time, every hour becomes very important. After you have your trip made up in your mind, make sure all the flights are fast and convenient.
Avoid long ferry rides, long bus rides, etc. make your commuting time shorter, and your active vacation time will increase immensely. Now what happens when your chosen destination is a 6 hour ferry 4 hour bus ride away, and no flight available? Picking a new destination might be a better way to go.
Pick a theme
Picking a theme for your trip will help you focus your effort and plan your time efficiently. The Philippines is great if you want to try diving, surfing, beach bumming, island hopping, trekking and more.
Just pick one thing from this list and believe me, it’s going to be way easier to plan your vacation. It will now make sense to add a certain destination or region to your wish list and remove another.
For instance, Cebu Island has many islands around it that are really worth a visit just for diving. Going there on a short trip when diving is not your priority is a waste of time, you precious vacation time. We recommend you visit our tours and activities page, to get a taste of all the different attractions the Philippines has to offer.
Stay near the action!
Don’t stray and be tempted to book a hotel somewhere in the jungle, far away from to center of everything. Even if this an utterly amazing hotel just to your liking, consider again whether It’s worthwhile or not.
It will take away from your time to get to the other attraction your chosen destination offers you. Even when choosing a hotel, choose wisely in order to make the most out of the short time you have. Again, this is why using expert advice is key – it will help you choose the right hotels and resorts for your needs.
As you can see, the main principle that guides these 8 tips above, is time saving. Focusing the little time you have on the most important thing, your leisure. By following these tips, your next dream trip to the Philippines is getting closer!