What to pack for the Philippines

I've been to the Philippines many, many times. It's all I ever seem to want to do.

I went around the country a crap-tonne as a child on family vacations, I've lived in Bulacan for two years as a teenager, I worked out of Quezon City for three months as a young adult... I just try to go as much as possible - work and funds permitting because it's a beautiful country with exceptionally beautiful people.

This is going to sound a little cheesy, but screw it: the Philippines has a lot to offer the discerning traveller.

What are you interested in? Adventure? Markets/Bargain shopping? Food? Nightlife? Romantic? Luxury? Relaxation? Ecotourism? Backpacking? Because either way, you will find what you're looking for in some part of the Philippines.

The only thing that I will mention is that It may be a little off putting for families because of how busy it is but honestly, thats part of the fun. I went as a child in a family and loved it and feel like I got a hellavalot out of it. SO DO IT.

Just a little bit of fair warning - It's not all beaches in the Philippines which is what a lot of people associate the country with, in fact you have to travel a fair distance out of the Nation's capital, Manila (if that's where your plane gets in) to get to any of the decent beaches. So beach gypsies, you best be planning. 


Know your weather, yo.

The Philippines is located in South East Asia and it enjoys average temperatures of 28°C during the summer with an average of 25°C in the cooler months. It's also very humid which can make the atmosphere feel hotter.

Thrown into the mix are typhoons or bagyó. You will get a lot of rain during the wet season which typically (KEY WORD) starts in May and lasts up to October, you may have noticed a few severe typhoons in the news over the last few years.

Check the weather averages for the time of year that you are intending to visit.

I'm going in May which is the start of this season but it's also Summer so my style will consist of maxi dresses, light leggings and basics. My list below may look a tad bit bare and thats because it is, but don't worry: a) I'm only spending two weeks in the Philippines and b) I will be spending a LOT of time giggling maniacally whilst hopping from aisle to aisle in clothing boutiques, ripping clothes off manikins like some kind of rabid creeper. And I'm counting on this love affair of shopping to keep my clothes supply at slightly higher than optimum levels. 


5. 6. 7. H&M Accessories



The easiest way to begin is to plan your packing is to categorise your activities and arrange a list of things you would normally associate with each of those activities.

Everyone knows my upcoming honeymoon as Joanna x Food, but I will be doing other things too! I'm going to be doing a bit of everything ranging from shopping and fine dining in Makati, wandering around Intramurous and soaking in the sights of my heritage, taking a 7+ hour trip to Marinduque to spend a couple of days by the beach in Torrijos.

Mixed bags. I like them. These are my packing lists arranged by activities:

Swimming: Pools & Beach

  • Swimwear

  • Coverups

  • Sunglasses

  • Hat

  • Sandals

  • Beach towel

  • Sunscreen

  • Book

  • Earphones

Romantic Dinners

  • Dress

  • Jewelry

  • Cardigan

  • Heels

  • Blow dryer & Straightener

  • Makeup

  • Perfume


  • Camera

  • Tripod

  • Memory cards

  • Camera Charger

  • Camera Bag

DAily routine

  • Deodorant

  • Multivitamins

  • Feminine Care

  • Lip balm

  • Medication

  • Makeup

  • Face Wash, Toner

  • Moisturiser

  • Dental care

  • Perfume


  • Comfortable shoes

  • Socks

  • Small satchel

  • Camera

  • Leggings

  • Basic tops

  • Hand Sanitizer

  • Notebook


  • Deodarant

  • Leggings

  • Trainers

  • Tank top

  • Basic Tee

  • Headphones

  • Towel

From here, look at your lists collectively and then add to it as you go. You're obviously going to need to consider the basics such as socks and underwear, but that's the easy part. Understand the framework of your holiday and get that out of the way first and the rest will fall into place. 

Basic Clothing List

  • Underwear x 5

  • Bra x 3

  • Socks x3

  • Basic Tops x3

  • Leggings x2

  • Jeans

  • Maxi Dresses x2

  • Walking shoes

  • Heels - buy in Makati

  • Sandals - buy in Makati

  • Pajamas x2

  • Watch

  • Belt


  • Laptop

  • Laptop Charger

  • iPhone

  • iPhone Charger

  • Note 4

  • Note 4 Charger

  • Headphones


  • Emergency First Aid Kit

  • Pain Medication

  • Hand Sanitizer


  • Printed Itinerary

  • Pen

  • Copy of Marriage Certificate

  • Visa

  • Passport

  • Immigration Papers

Hopefully this has been helpful. Packing isn't hard but it can be stressful and I know plenty of people who hate it. I find it strangely therapeutic and look forward to it every time.

With tourism campaigns like It's More Fun in the Philippines and Make it Makati, the Philippines has seen a huge surge in Tourism in the last decade with many visitors loving it so much that they decide to make it their home and become expats. 

The recent growth in tourism has also prompted the renovation of Ninoy Aquino International Airport - terminal 1 in particular had been dubbed the World's Worst Airport in 2013 and this renovation is something that I am strangely excited about. I get jittery over the strangest stuff.

These two websites by the way are great resources for trip planning and further information so take a look if you're curious.

This post is not sponsored. I'm just resourceful and fricking love the Philippines.

Related Posts