If you’re looking for a beach getaway on a paradise island, but don’t want to spend a fortune, then I highly recommend checking out a few of the islands in the Philippines. There are quite literally thousands of islands where you can lay on the beach, go scuba diving, or head off on a boating adventure.
You can easily explore the islands on your own, but if you want to do some island hopping or you prefer to go with a guide, you can also book a Philippines travel package which will make your trip planning a whole lot easier.
Packing for a beach trip to the Philippines is easy. You don’t have to pack a ton of stuff since it’s basically hot and humid all year round. That doesn’t mean you can’t still be stylish, though!
If you’re packing for a trip to the Philippines with the whole family, check out this packing guide from Dish Our Town for kid-friendly tips and tricks.
What to Pack for the Philippines
If you’re headed to the beach, you’ll definitely want to pack a few bathing suits. The humidity around the Philippines means that things don’t dry very quickly. Depending on how many days you’ll be in the Philippines, I recommend packing at least two bathing suits so that you can always have at least one dry suit. If you want to shake things up, pack three.
Something I always try to keep in mind when packing for a trip is to bring bathing suits that will all give me roughly the same tan line. For instance, I’ll pack two strapless bathing suits or two halter top bathing suits, so I don’t get too many strange tan lines.
Flowy Dresses and Skirts
With all the humidity and heat, you’ll want to wear dresses and skirts more often than heavy shorts that cling to your sweaty legs. I love maxi dresses made of thin cotton or cute thin skirts. They are easy to throw over a bathing suit after a day at the beach or to head into town for lunch or dinner. You can dress them down with flip flops or make them feel a little bit more special with some lipstick, a little bit of jewelry, and a pair of strappy sandals.
T-Shirts and Tank Tops
As with the skirts and dresses, bring lightweight shirts with you so that you don’t get too hot. I usually pack a lot of linen shirts to pair with jean shorts or skirts in light colors like cream, white, or light blue. Leave the grey at home unless you want to show off some seriously stylish sweat stains!
Even though I prefer skirts and dresses in this sort of weather, I always pack a pair of loose-fitting jean shorts. They’re easy for throwing over a bathing suit or to put on after a nice hot shower after a day at the beach with cute sandals and a nice flowy t-shirt. They’re also nice to have if you’re going to do any activities where a skirt or dress isn’t really appropriate – like hiking or walking, horseback riding, or ziplining!
I recommend packing a pair of flip flops like Rainbows (my personal favorite) for the beach or for walking around the islands. They’re comfortable for walking, they form to your feet, and you can easily take them off when you need to hop on and off a boat.
I would also bring a pair of cute sandals that you can dress up your outfits with. Do some shopping around the markets in Manila or in other parts of the country to find some really fun pieces. You’ll look stylish and you’ll have a nice souvenir to take home with you.
Sunglasses are a must. Of course, everyone sells them around the country, so if you forget or you lose yours, you’ll be able to pick up a cheap pair (in price and quality) without much hassle.
Sunscreen on the islands is pretty expensive compared to what you can buy at home or in big cities like Manila. I recommend stocking up before you head away. The sun is very strong here and you’ll definitely want to make sure you have enough for your trip. While you’re at it, pack some aloe for those days that you forget to reapply your sunscreen.
Just like sunscreen, you’ll definitely want a hat for those hot beach days or when you’re out exploring during the heat of the day, especially if you have dark hair like I do. I love a big beach hat myself, but a regular baseball cap or cute fedora will do. You can pick them up in most of the beach towns around the country if you forget one, but I really recommend packing one that you really like since you’ll be wearing it in most of your photos!
No beach holiday is complete without a colorful sarong. I use my as a beach blanket, a beach towel, a blanket on cold planes or buses, a skirt or dress after a day by the pool, or a hair wrap when my hat blows away (true story). Again, you’ll find colorful ones all over the country. I picked mine up in Bali about five years ago and it goes everywhere with me!
Quick Dry Towels
Another great purchase for a trip to a hot country is a quick dry microfiber towel. When it’s so humid, regular towels just don’t dry quick enough and unless you’re staying in a resort where you’ll get a new towel each day, you’ll definitely want to have these quick dry towels at hand.
Whether you’re heading to the big city of Manila, you want to dive in Puerto Galera, swim with whale sharks in Cebu, or lay on the beaches of Boracay, this Philippines packing list will keep you cool and sunburn free!