A Philippines packing list is vital to devise before you visit the country. As these islands are spread out, each with varying climates, sometimes, you will need different clothes in different parts of the country.
The different seasons mean you will need certain items at one time of the year, while they would not be necessary at all at another time.
Backpacking the Philippines was one of the best trips I have done so far. The 7,017 islands that make up the country are beautiful with stunning sights everywhere.
There are a few things to consider when packing for the Philippines, but it’s not as difficult as it might appear.
My list will provide you with all the information you need to pack your items for the Philippines.
Without further ado, let’s get into it!
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Table of Contents
Philippines Packing List
What Should I Wear in The Philippines?
With so many different places to visit in the Philippines, it’s important to pack for all occasions. As the climate is tropical, you’ll need a variety of clothes to be prepared for every eventuality.
The Philippines is a hot and humid country. You want to pack clothes that will keep you cool while you are out and about and are comfortable too.
You will be doing a lot of walking in the Philippines, so comfortable footwear is essential. Flip-flops to visit the numerous amazing beaches in the country are a necessity too!
It’s important to consider how to dress in the Philippines before you go. It’s a deeply religious country with the biggest Christian population in Southeast Asia. You don’t want to dress too provocatively while you’re there.
Avoid short skirts, mid-riff shirts and tube tops. It’s better to pack sundresses, t-shirts, shorts and pants.
Here is a quick summary of what to pack for 2 weeks in the Philippines or more, regarding clothes.
- 2-3 shirts
- 4-5 tops
- 1-2 singlets
- 3-4 pairs of underwear
- 1-2 dresses (women)
- 1-2 pairs of shorts
- 2-3 pairs of socks
- 1 pair of long trousers
- 1-2 swimsuits/bikinis (women)
- 1-2 pairs of swimming shorts (men)
- Rain jacket
- Pair of shoes
Flip-flops are an absolute necessity in the Philippines. There are numerous beaches in the Philippines, where you will need to have flip-flops or go barefoot instead.
The warm climate means it can be difficult to wear shoes. Your feet can get sweaty and uncomfortable in the heat. Flip-flops are a fantastic alternative.
They will air your feet, plus, they are comfortable and practical.
I recommend Havaianas. They are the best flip-flops on the market. Unlike others, they last much longer and don’t sink either after repeated use.
Flip-flops are travel essentials for the Philippines you need to have!
You will need a good pair of hiking shoes when considering what to pack for the Philippines.
There are lots of gorgeous mountain trails and gorgeous scenery to explore in the country.
If you don’t bring a good pair of shoes, your feet will feel it!
Treat it as an investment. Buying a good pair will ensure they last your trip to the Philippines and beyond!
Socks may not register on most people’s what to pack for the Philippines list. However, you will need a few pairs!
If you visit Manila, Cebu, or any of the other big cities, you won’t want to be walking around in flip-flops.
The streets can be dirty and it hurts your feet walking in flip-flops for long periods.
My favourite brand of socks is Happy Socks. They are colourful, vibrant and made out of cotton, which helps your feet to breathe!
As a tropical country, you will need to include a pair of sunglasses on your Philippines packing list!
The sun can be strong at times in the Philippines. Add the high levels of pollution in the big cities into the equation, and the need for sunglasses becomes more pressing.
I recommend buying polarized sunglasses for travel. They are the best sunglasses to have while on the road. Polarized sunglasses reduce the number of UV rays that reach your eyes.
My personal preference is the Oakley Frogskins. They have detachable arms which are great if you’re clumsy like me. No matter how many times you drop them, the arms will always reattach!
Bobby Anti-Theft Backpack
This is one of my must-have items when travelling! The Bobby Anti-Theft Backpack is an essential item if you’re serious about keeping your items safe on your travels.
Pickpocketing is not a big problem like it is in Europe, but it can happen.
My headphones were pickpocketed by a bunch of children while walking to a bus stop in Manila. Thankfully, I was aware of what was happening and that was all they took.
The beauty of the Bobby bag is that the compartments are hidden.
You can store your valuables safely in the knowledge, thieves won’t be able to open your bag while you’re walking. It’s a lifesaver in crowded cities!
If you’re serious about protecting your valuables, you need this bag!
Hanging Toiletry Bag
When I first went travelling around Australia, I saw these hanging toiletry bags everywhere.
People would hang them from their beds, with all their items neatly organised in different compartments.
I quickly realised they were much more practical than my all-in-one toiletry bag.
I would have to root through the bag to find my items whereas you just open the correct compartment to get what you want with the hanging toiletry bag.
The bag is easy to use and practical, keeping your items organised and secure. Essential when you’re constantly on the road in the Philippines!
Eco Water Bottle
When considering what to bring to the Philippines, a refillable water bottle is an essential item!
The water in the Philippines is not the best. If you drink the tap water, you will get an upset stomach. It’s as simple as that!
You need a refillable water bottle to carry around with you to ensure you have water at all times. It is a tropical country after all!
Not only will you keep yourself hydrated, but you will reduce the amount of plastic you consume!
I would highly recommend including a portable charger on your Philippines packing list.
It’s handy to have with you when you are travelling long distances, ensuring your phone and electrics are fully charged.
The last thing you want is to be stuck without your phone if you’re in a spot of bother.
Buying a portable charger will prevent this from ever happening!
Osprey backpack 40L
When considering what to pack for the Philippines, a good travel backpack is essential!
You’ll need a backpack that is lightweight but durable at the same time! The 40L Osprey backpack is the ideal choice!
A 40L backpack is more than enough for travelling around the Philippines. You can fit a lot of items in, and you won’t be carrying around too much dead weight!
A benefit of this backpack is that it is front-loading. Unlike most backpacks, which are top-loading, with this Osprey bag, you can open it up and take what you want with the minimum of fuss!
Scrubba Portable Laundry System
The Scrubba Portable Laundry System may seem like an odd item to include on your Philippines packing list, but it has a lot of benefits.
Most hostels and hotels in the Philippines don’t have a laundry service.
If you want to wash your clothes you’ll have to go to a laundry service, which can often overcharge you. This need is eliminated with the Scrubba system.
You simply fill the bag with water, add detergent, place your clothes in and rub for a few minutes to clean your clothes!
It takes up minimal space in your bag and saves you a lot of hassle in the long run.
I wouldn’t travel to the Philippines without the Scrubba Laundry System!
If you want to keep your items charged while travelling in the Philippines, you’ll need a travel adapter.
The Philippines uses type A. B and C plug sockets with a standard voltage of 220 V and a standard frequency of 60 Hz.
This is one item that’s easy to forget when packing for the Philippines.
However, it’s an absolute necessity! You won’t be able to keep your good charged without it!
Trtl Travel Pillow
I’m sure you’ve seen those cumbersome U-shaped headrests on your travels. Well, they may solve a problem, they are not an elegant or practical solution.
However, the Trtl Travel Pillow certainly is an elegant solution. It’s small, easy to use and doesn’t take up a lot of space!
You just wrap it around your neck and you have support to rest your head against on long journeys.
It’s a useful item to include on your Philippines packing list. There are times when you’ll be travelling for hours if you want to visit El Nido for example.
Taking the Trtl Travel Pillow with you will allow you to relax in comfort and style!
This is one item I never leave off of any of my packing lists!
After suncream is handy to have with you on your travels. The risk of sunburn is always present while travelling, and it can be painful if you get burnt.
While after suncream won’t repair the damage done by the sun’s UV rays, it will relieve the pain and inflammation.
If you want to keep your skin in tip-top shape on your travels, I highly recommend you take after suncream with you to the Philippines!
I’m a big fan of finding new ways to reduce my impact on the planet while travelling.
This Deodorant cream is a handy way to remove more plastic from my life. It’s ridiculously easy to use!
You simply open the recyclable tin, dab your fingers in the cream, rub it under your armpits, and you’re done!
It’s practical and beneficial for the environment, what’s not to love?
Hair products are a pain to carry around with you when you’re travelling.
Thankfully, if you’re wondering what to pack for the Philippines, you don’t need to worry about taking shampoo with you.
The solution is to buy solid shampoo instead! It works just as well as a normal shampoo and takes up much less space. Plus, you’re reducing the amount of plastic you consume!
Give it a try, you won’t regret it!
Suncream is a vital item to take to the Philippines.
As a tropical country, the sun is very strong. If you don’t take suncream, you will get burnt, it’s as simple as that!
I would recommend taking suncream with a factor of 30+ if you want to ensure your skin is safely protected from harmful UV rays!
As well as the above, these are a few more items, that you can’t leave off your packing for the Philippines checklist!
GoPro Hero 5
If there is one thing you need to pack for the Philippines, it’s a good camera.
The scenery in the Philippines is out of this world. There are so many amazing places to visit, you’ll want to get a snap of them all while you’re there!
I’m a big fan of the GoPro Hero 5 for several reasons. Firstly, it’s a great camera, secondly, it works underwater and is highly durable.
All this makes it the ideal camera for travelling around the Philippines!
I love books! However, they can be a hassle to carry around when you’re travelling.
At one point in Australia, I had seven books with me. I had to carry them in a separate bag, as they would fit into either of my bags! It was annoying!
Investing in a Kindle is a good idea if you’re packing for the Philippines with long-term travelling in mind.
All your books are contained in one small and convenient tablet. I prefer physical books myself, but it’s simply more convenient to have a Kindle while travelling. It fits into my bag easily and takes up minimal space!
A Kindle is essential if you like books and love to travel!
You may think you don’t need a laptop if you’re travelling to the Philippines. With all the beautiful scenery, who has time to surf the internet!?
However, if you run a business or you want to keep in contact with friends and family, a laptop is essential!
It is lightweight, portable and powerful which makes it ideal for business owners and travellers alike.
It won’t take up much space in your backpack either, which is always a bonus!
A wise man once said, “If you can’t afford insurance, you can’t afford to travel!”
These words have rung true for me a few times. I got hit by a car while in Australia. Thankfully, I walked away with a few cuts and bruises, but I was lucky. Very lucky!
I thought I had insurance at the time. However, upon returning home, I found out the policy I thought lasted for a year only lasted for 30 days!
Insurance is essential when you’re travelling. You never know when you may run into trouble. I use SafetyWing when I travel. They cater specifically for backpackers and have great rates!
Travel Insurance is an absolute must to include on your Philippine travel checklist! Don’t leave home without it!
Lonely Planet Travel Guide
If you’re planning your Philippines itinerary, a copy of the Lonely Planet guide is a useful item to take.
I went to the Philippines without any idea of what to see. It was only through reading the Lonely Planet guide at the hostel I stayed at, that I developed a sense of where I wanted to see!
The guide is a handy companion to take to the Philippines. It details places to visit, stay and will include destinations you might be unaware of!
If you want to get the most out of your trip to the Philippines, I would most definitely buy it!
What Not to Bring to The Philippines
One of the worst things you can do when travelling is to pack too much.
Whatever you pack, you have to carry around with you. If you pack too much, you will be carrying unnecessary dead weight around with you.
It’s better to pack less and buy anything you may need later than to take too much stuff and never use most of it!
Below are a few items I would leave off your packing list for the Philippines.
- Valuables – You will have to take some valuables with you, but you should leave as much as you can back home. The Philippines is a poor country. Anything fancy such as a watch or jewellery will stand out. It’s best to leave these items at home than risk them being robbed during your Philippines trip.
- Suitcase – Getting around the Philippines will involve a lot of buses, boats and flights. You want your luggage to be mobile and easy to handle. a suitcase is neither of these things and will be the bane of your life as you travel around the country. Take a backpack such as the Osprey Farpoint 40 L with you, and your life will be much easier on the road!
- Books – I love reading books while I’m travelling, but they take up a lot of space. Unless you leave your books behind, you are going to be carrying them around with you throughout your trip. It makes more sense to invest in a Kindle than carry numerous books around with you while you’re in the Philippines.
- Shower gel and Shampoo – These two items will take up a lot of space in your bag and add unnecessary weight to it. They are also likely in plastic bottles, which only increases the plastic problem the world faces. Pack soap and solid shampoo instead. Both are environmentally friendly and will take up less space in your bag.
- One-way flight – You will need proof of further travel before you can enter the Philippines. I experienced this when I tried to board my flight in Australia. Without an onward flight from the Philippines, I had to buy an onward flight to Thailand before I was given my tickets! Don’t make the same mistake as me and make sure you have a flight out of the Philippines as well as your inbound flight!
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Tom is a travel addict who first left England to spend a year Down Under. Not satisfied with this, he then went to New Zealand, about as far away from home as he could get. He is now planning his next adventures in Europe and Canada while maintaining this blog. Check out the about me page to learn more!