Philippines Solo Travel: 10 Tips Solo Female Travel in the Philippines
This might feel like a bias article, but please know that this is written as objectively as possible. But it is also because I’m a Filipino, that I can help you relate deeper into the mechanics of Philippines solo travel. In response of many friends I met in Europe and around the world and they ask me is it safe solo female travel in the Philippines? Click here if you want to get your discount booking activities in the Philippines with Klook!
Short answer is: Philippines could be one of the safest places for solo female travel to, in the whole world.
Being able to travel in the last few years in Southeast Asia, South Asia and Europe, I can 100% say that if you spontaneously decide to travel to the Philippines, it would be very easy. There is of course a degree of difference in how easy or comfortable the travel would be. Depending if you choose a more touristic destination than when you choose to visit remote places, however, generally you can expect a very manageable travel here.
Philippines Solo Travel: 10 Tips Solo Female Travel in the Philippines
Here are some of the solid pro’s of traveling solo as a female in the Philippines:
1. Travel is considerably cheap in the Philippines
This is Southeast Asia. So if you’re coming from Western countries. The Philippines is of course very affordable. If you are traveling on a budget, sticking to the local ways of transport and local places for food. These will easily allow you to expand your budget to the longest possible. If you have more budget to spend, then you’ll easily have more comfort in travel.
Local flights roughly cost around $15-$40 (more or less, depending on time of booking and if there are any promos running). Local food can cost $1 minimum (even less in some cases) for a whole meal. More or less depending on where you are of course, but you get the idea.
Accommodation can also run from $9-10 for single beds in dorms, or sometimes even having your own room with shared bathroom. So if you can spend more than that or if you’re traveling with companions, that amount can easily be increased for comfort and quality.
2. English proficiency in the Philippines is very good
Yes, this is very true. Almost everyone in the Philippines can speak English, even the young and old people. This makes it easy to ask around for instructions or help whenever you need to, wherever you are. Of course proficiency can vary in some places, especially if you’re traveling in very remote areas, or areas that are very far from civilization, however, if you compare it to all countries in Asia, this is the best country for English.
This is why Koreans and other expats and foreigners study English in the Philippines for an affordable way to learn and master the language. The local language even has many English terms (Philippines was a US colony at some point). And it’s very usual to hear someone speak a mix of Filipino and English words in one sentence – that’s just how the language is mixed!
3. Filipinos are very warm people
In all the countries I’ve traveled to, Filipinos and Thai people have been the warmest people I’ve met, and Filipinos make conversation easier because of the language. Without judging the whole country, I have to say that Philippines is a country where you won’t be afraid to smile to strangers or a guy when asking questions or just when you’re passing by, because this is just how the general culture is.
And I have to say I’ve traveled to countries where smiling to a guy you don’t know will encourage the other party to think that you’re hinting at some type of “interest” but it’s just not how things work in the Philippines.
The common term for talking to men you don’t know in the street when you’re asking for a question is “Kuya”, which directly translates to brother. We use “ate” for women which translates to sister. So yes, you are basically calling strangers your brother or sister when you need to ask them a question. That’s how the respect and warmth is deeply rooted in the country’s culture.
Smiling is very common, in fact highly encouraged. It will be seen as more of a disrespect if you’re not showing a smile when you’re asking someone for help or even just asking for questions like directions. If you get the chance to travel in one of the most unique and popular ways of public transport in the Philippines called the “jeepneys”, you’ll see the locals actually pass their fare to people in front of them so that the fare will be transferred to the jeepney driver.
Touching hands (in a non intimate way), or sitting close with shoulders touching for example are very normal and not seen as weird at all. If you see someone extending their hand to you to give their fare and you don’t get it, then that’s considered weird and disrespectful.
4. Filipinos travel a lot locally
This is something you won’t see in a lot of Southeast Asian locals. In the Philippines, you’ll see that in a lot of the touristic places, even in the off the beaten path travel destinations, there will be so many locals traveling.
So travel is very common with the locals that they’ll easily understand what a traveler’s needs are when they meet one.
Read here 21 breathtaking places to visit in the Philippines!
5. The Philippines has one of the most beautiful bodies of water in Asia
Not only water, but also land destinations, the Philippines is very popular for one of the Asia’s best places to see some of the best beaches in the world. The blue waters and the diversity is just incredible here, and even if you’re just in a motorbike just going around, you’ll almost always see something incredible especially if you’re in the islands. Check out these pictures:
6. Women are generally treated to be wooed, special by culture
This is one amazing pro when it comes to being a woman in the Philippines. You are still seen as being “courted” and respected. Yes, it might seem like sexists for some, but believe me, once you’ve seen countries where women are not seen the same. And you get judged by your gender to be a leader, and you have to worry about being groped and pushed in public places, you’ll want to be in a culture where men see you as someone to be respected.
So yes, if people see you bring heavy luggage or traveling with a kid, someone will help you carry your things especially if you’re boarding off a ferry or a bus. Same when you’re getting on a boat in some islands. And you won’t expect to get pushed in MRTs or buses. Unless you’ll really coming across someone who is rude and disrespectful, which we know can happen anywhere.
Travel Tip: As a solo female traveler, it is even more imperative to take care of your sexual health and get regular STD panel tests done online before all major trips.
I have hopefully highlighted all the best reasons a woman can easily travel in the Philippines solo. And yes, this is both for locals and foreigners alike. Now this wouldn’t be a good article of course, if I don’t let you know about what to look out for and things to note when you’re traveling here, so here’s the next list of things:
Challenges Solo Female Travel in the Philippines
If you have strict dietary and allergen requirements with food, or if you are very choosy with what you eat, you can find it difficult to travel to some places. The Philippines is mix a lot of meat in their food – chicken, beef, pork and seafood. This is not to say that they don’t have vegetable options and vegetarian and vegan options – these are definitely possible. But in some places can be difficult so bringing snacks that will always serve your need can be helpful.
If you are trying to always get your water in flasks or your own bottles. You may find that in some remote places you may need to still use mineral water in bottles to keep yourself safe, especially if you’re traveling around the beach areas or islands like Palawan.
Read here 57 Filipino dishes!
8. Feminine Products
Depending on what you’re used to, it is not easy to find tampons or menstrual cups in the Philippines. The country is starting to open up to these ideas what with the increase of expats in the country, plus the internet, but the country is still very Christian/Catholic, and these are things people are just not very used to.
9. Contraceptions, Medicines, and Condoms
This is still a taboo in the Philippines. In fact, the use of the word taboo is highly debatable because a lot of things are not accepted here like abortion. If you have a need to use morning pills and other contraceptive medicines, better to bring them yourselves. Also, better to have your own condoms too because expecting men (especially local men) to have them on their own, can be quite tricky as a lot of people will not have them.
It’s still a little bit of a taboo with the general culture, again as the religion (Christianity/Catholicism) is very much ingrained in the culture of the country. You can find that the more metropolitan a city is (Manila, Cebu) you might be able to find these things, however you can’t really rely to chance.
10. Beauty products and other face and body care products
Like so many places in Asia, people want to get whiter. Yes opposite of how Westerns want to get our tan. ha! Sometimes I find it difficult to go to a drugstore or a common department store or grocery without finding a product that doesn’t have whitening in it.
I don’t like using products that have whitening in them because I spend too much time in the sun, and my natural color isn’t white anyway. So if I have special products I use for my face and body, or if you want a lot of natural, vegan products, better to bring them yourself.
Final Thoughts on Philippines Solo Travel
Always use your common sense and practical measures when solo female travel in the Philippines and everywhere in the world.
Always a smart way of travel, not only as a woman, but as a person traveling in anywhere, even in their own country. There will always be some sort of insecurity or danger anywhere you are, so always practice due diligence, and always be on the ball, wherever and whenever you are.
Go out with people you trust, and know how to handle your liquor when traveling. Always travel safe when driving yourself, or if traveling in public transport, always make sure you know the schedule ahead so you will not be in a situation where you’ll get stuck anywhere you don’t want. Have apps like Google maps and Grab (like Uber in the Philippines and main countries in Southeast Asia) is pretty useful in the Philippines in cases you will need these for emergencies. Always take care while you’re having fun.
Hope this has been a very helpful article for your next solo female travel in the Philippines and other countries in the world. If you have any questions about Philippines solo travel let us know in the comments below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Feel free to use our links for discounts. Using our links you will help us to continue with the maintenance of the website and it will not cost you anything. Thanks for the love guys