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How to Prepare for a Trip to the Philippines

Are you ready to travel to the Philippines? Here is some essential information on airlines, best times to visit, legal entry requirements, vaccination recommendations, and currency.

Illustration Depicting Arrival at Philippines Manila Airport

Airlines in the Philippines

Most major international air carrier networks fly into Manila, and many also fly directly into Cebu. In many cases, the easiest option if you need to travel to another city in the Philippines is to book a direct ticket via any online or in-person travel agent that includes both an international and domestic flight right to your destination. However, if you cannot locate a reasonably priced itinerary that includes a local flight, the following list provides direct links to the domestic flight providers in the Philippines, so that you can book your domestic flight directly.

Philippines Domestic Airlines

Philippines Domestic Airlines

Philippines based Airlines (Domestic and International):



Best Times to Go to the Philippines

Best time to go to the Philippines

Best time to go to the Philippines

Anytime is a good time to travel to the Philippines.  But the best time?


Consider November to February, for the Christmas season, and March to mid-May, for summer fun. It is during Christmas time that Filipino families gather to celebrate moments of merriment. Filipinos celebrate Christmas as early as September and as late as February.

Weather in the Philippines

March to mid-May is the best time to enjoy the tropical heat of summer in the Philippines. This is the best time to explore beaches, springs, falls, and resorts with your loved one.

The Philippines have only two seasons: rainy (“tag-ulan” in Tagalog) and sunny (“tag-araw” in Tagalog).  You’ll be expecting typhoons and a very wet visit in the Philippines during the months of June through October; and a very hot and sunny trip during March through mid-May.

Passport and Visa Requirements

Most of our members can easily visit the Philippines with just a valid passport from their home country. But unless you have a visa or are already married to Filipina, make sure to have proof of a round-trip exit ticket. Here are the detailed requirements for foreign nationals from the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, and most other countries.

Entry Requirements
  • Passport valid for six months after departure
  • No visa is required if you’ll stay in the Philippines for 21 days or less
  • Onward or return ticket


How to Get a Visa in the Philippines
  • Visas can be obtained on arrival if you would want to stay in the Philippines up to 59 days
  • If you would like to stay in the Philippines longer than 59 days, you have several choices:
    1. Apply for a visa from the Philippines embassy/consulatein your country before you travel.
      Applying for a visa at the Philippine Embassy

      Applying for a visa at the Philippine Embassy


      1. Duly accomplished Visa Application F.A. Form 2
      2. Valid Passport
      3. 2 inch by 2 inch ID picture
      4. Airline ticket (2 photocopies)
      5. Proof of Financial Capacity
        1. Latest bank statement
        2. Latest income tax return
          or latest payslip
          or employment certificate indicating position & salary
      6. Visa Application Fee for nationals from countries mentioned above (except New Zealand):
        • Single entry valid for three (3) months US$ 30.00
        • Multiple entry valid for six (6) months US$ 60.00
        • Multiple-entry valid for twelve (12) months US$ 90.00
      7. Visa Application Fee for nationals from New Zealand
        • Multiple entry visa with validity of six (6) months NZ$ 84.00
        • Multiple entry with validity of twelve (12) months NZ$ 126.00
    2. Enter the Philippines for a shorter stay, but go to the local Philippines immigration office every 2 months for an extension, up to 1 year.
    3. Get married to a Filipina. When you enter the country with your Filipina wife, you automatically get 1 year balikbayan visa stamp for free at the airport each time you enter the country together. “Balikbayan” just means a Filipino citizen who is returning to the country with or without a family member.

Vaccine Recommendations

When you travel to the Philippines, you may be at risk for several vaccine-preventable diseases. These are the vaccine recommendations for the Philippines from the United States Centers for Disease Control:

  1. Malaria Vaccine
  2. Yellow Fever Vaccine
  3. Measles, Mumps & Rubella (MMR) Vaccine
  4. Diphtheria, Pertussis, & Tetanus (PPT)
  5. Immune Globulin (IG) or Hepatitis A Vaccine
  6. Hepatitis B Vaccine
  7. Rabies Vaccine
  8. Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine
  9. Typhoid Fever Vaccine
  10. Cholera Vaccine
  11. Small Pox Vaccine
  12. Polio immunization

You should discuss these vaccines with your doctor before going to the Philippines.


The currency used in the Philippines is the Philippine Peso, PHP (₱) It is sometimes called the “Piso”. This currency is the Philippines’ legal tender; most establishments only transact using this currency. The Philippine bills are:

  • PHP 1,000 – Blue
  • PHP 500   – Yellow
  • PHP 200   – Green
  • PHP 100  – Purple
  • PHP 50    - Red
  • PHP 20    - Orange

And the Philippine coins have the denominations of: PHP 10, PHP 5, PHP 1, PHP 0.25, PHP 0.10, PHP 0.05, and PHP 0.01. Philippine laws only allow the payment of coins with the denominations of PHP 10, PHP 5, and PHP 1 to not exceed PHP 1,000; and PHP 100 for coins with denominations of PHP 0.25, PHP 0.10, PHP 0.05, and PHP 0.01.

The easiest and smartest way to keep your money safe is in your home country bank account. Just bring a ATM card, and you can retrieve the money directly in Philippine Pesos.

Summary: Filipino People

What to Expect in the Philippines

What to Expect in the Philippines

Filipinos are considered to be one of the world’s most hospitable people. When you go to the Philippines, you may anticipate people befriending you and trying to make your visit a comfortable and enjoyable one.

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    Comment by MEHBOOB (INDIAN) — November 6, 2012 @ 7:43 am

  2. I have been there went to Degose and loved it. I am planning too go back. Everyone should go once…

    Comment by Billy L — November 18, 2012 @ 6:21 am

  3. If I may add, aside from knowing the things above, knowing the Do’s & Dont’s (Customs Restrictions, Faux Pas), knowing some Filipino language that will help you in your travel here& leaving copies of your itineraries and passport data page to your family and friends… One should as well that even though Filipinos are known for their hospitality, being friendly and their smile, not all Filipinos are like that nowadays. And for this we ask for your Understanding.

    Comment by Anonymous — November 22, 2012 @ 10:21 am

  4. I am planning on going there sometime next year and it was good to see that I do not need to get a visa for a short stay of less than 21 days. I was planning on staying only two weeks so this is good to know.I already know a family there so they will be able to show me around.

    Comment by Jim Holman — November 23, 2012 @ 10:25 pm

  5. do i need an exit ticket if I am married to a Filipina?

    Comment by rick fernandez — January 3, 2013 @ 4:48 pm

  6. Being married to a Filipina does not exempt you from getting an exit stamp. According to the laws of the Philippines, you may be required to get an exit stamp from a Philippine immigration office the day before leaving the country if you have been 15 days or more in the Philippines. Normally they do not actually ask for it unless it has been 6 months or more. If in doubt, get the stamp before you head to the airport. Like most paperwork in the Philippines, it will take (at best) hours or (at worst) days to get your stamp approved.

    Comment by Christian Filipina — January 3, 2013 @ 4:53 pm

  7. I have friends in the philippines , I am planning to go soon , but I am also looking for my wife to be . I will be joining soon , But hope to meet more people and a possible wife .

    Comment by Randall — February 20, 2013 @ 2:52 pm

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