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The Philippines is one of those destinations that takes your breath away, hence why you may be looking for a stylish Philippines packing list to match.
Deciding what to wear in the Philippines isn’t hard to do if you’ve done a bit of Googling and see what others are wearing. Due to the heat the island nation receives its best to wear lightweight clothing while you’re here. And being a country made up of thousands of islands, you’ll definitely want to pack a few swimsuits.
This female packing list for the Philippines is great for any time of the year, and is generally aimed at 2-8 week trips. If you’re visiting only for one week you can pack a bit less than what’s suggested below clothing-wise.
When to Visit the Philippines: Weather and Seasons
There are actually only two official seasons in the Philippines, and those are the wet season and the dry season. The dry season runs from November to May, and the wet reason from June to October. September and August however are the months where you’ll want to be careful as they’re most likely to have a typhoon.
What to wear in the Philippines in November, December, January, February (Dry Season): This is probably the most popular time to visit the Philippines with school holidays and pleasant weather. This time of year is a good time to go on holidays as its not too hot and there’s much less rain, if any.
You’ll be fine during this time in summer wear but pack a cardigan or two for colder nights. You’ll also find the water a bit colder for swimming during this time.
What to wear in the Philippines in March, April, May (Dry Season): Ah, the end of the dry season. It can get quite hot during this time so be careful to always remember your hat and environmentally-safe sunscreen. Pick light colors and thin material during this time to keep yourself cool.
You’ll want to be in the water a lot during this time and luckily warmer ocean temperatures will welcome you. It will get quite humid during this time so remember to drink plenty of fluids.
What to wear in the Philippines in June, July, August (Wet season): Afternoon storms will welcome you during the start of the rainy seasons so make sure you pack a lightweight rain coat with a hood. Keep in mind its still quite hot during this time but the afternoon rains will help lower the temperatures.
Prices will be cheaper during these months and if you can handle the afternoon storms, its not necessarily a bad time to visit. However watch out for typhoon warnings in August.
What to wear in the Philippines in September and October (Wet season): Rain will start to occur less frequently during these months but you should still keep an eye out for typhoon warnings in September. October is actually a good month to visit as the weather really starts to calm down but the prices haven’t started to rise yet.
Bring a light rain jacket during these months just incase you’re caught in an afternoon shower, but you’ll still want to dress light to stay cool.
What to Wear in the Philippines?
How to dress for the Philippines:
- Sneakers x 1: Kind in mind these will most likely get wet at some point. I personally just bought some cheap black tie ups for my time on the islands. I was able to wear these in the ocean and for hiking. You can tie them to the outside of your bag to let them air dry.
- Sandals x 2: I went for open toed, but if visiting during the rainy season have atleast one closed toe shoe if you want to avoid dirty feet.
- Flip flops x 1: I wear these in the showers at my hotel just so there’s an extra layer between me and the bathroom floor. Optional.
- 4-6 pairs of underwear & 3-5 bras: You can hand wash these. Alternatively, ditch the bras all together and wear your bikini top. You are on an island after all.
- Hats x 1-2: If you’re visiting during the hotter months you’ll definitely need a had to protect you from sunburn. Try one with a wide brim.
- Cardigan x 1: Perfect if visiting during the colder months. During the hotter months you probably wont need this unless you plan to hire a motorbike.
- 3-6 dresses: I recommend dresses for the Philippines as they’re easy to get on and off over your swim wear. They’ll also be the best option in the hot months where you want as little touching you as possible. Light coloured and flowy will be your best friend if visiting in warmer months.
- 2-4 tops: Pick tops in light weight material and colours. Flowy tops are better than tight ones if visiting in the warmer months. While modest crop tops are fine, don’t go too skimpy outside of beach areas.
- 2-3 bottoms: Think shorts and skirts.
- Leggings or bike shorts x 1: If you’re only bringing dresses and have a few active activities you can pack a pair of leggings to put on underneath when needed. Alternatively swap one of the dresses or bottoms out for a jumpsuit.
- Swimwear x 1-3: Bikinis or one-pieces, your choice.
What to Pack for the Philippines: Other Items
Pack your camera, 1-2 batteries, your charger and 1-2 lens. You’ll also want to pack your phone and its charger, an international plug adapter and perhaps a portable charging device if you think you’ll need it.
I traveled the Philippines for 8 weeks with a suitcase and while it wasn’t completely annoying, I would recommend traveling with a backpack instead. The problem with a suitcase is that there can be puddles, sand, uneven roads and its a little more difficult getting on and off boats with them when visiting smaller islands.
You can buy medicine quite cheaply in the Philippines but if you prefer a certain brand from back home you should bring it with you. I’d recommend a small medical kit with re-hydration sachets, ibuprofen and medicine for upset stomachs.
Toiletries & Makeup
Bring travel sized containers of shampoo, conditioner and toothpaste. Also remember to bring your toothbrush and deodorant. If visiting during the rainy or hotter months, or if you’re planning to do a lot of swimming remember your makeup will slide off. If visiting during the cooler months (December to March) you should be fine bringing your makeup.
Just remember whatever sunscreen or makeup you’re using while swimming will come off in the ocean, so think of the marine life and only use environmentally friendly items.
Other Important Items
Bring one MasterCard and one Visa to increase your luck with the ATM machines at the bank. Also make sure you have a photocopy of your passport kept separate to your actual passport, so you still have your passport information if it and your phone get stolen.
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance | Philippines Packing List
I personally recommend World Nomads for travel insurance as its the company I’ve used for the past 10 years. I’ve needed to claim twice during that time, stolen item and a damaged item, and both times my claim was approved.
The real importance of travel insurance beyond theft and damage though is the medical coverage. I couldn’t imagine getting injured overseas and having to pay a massive medical bill on my own.
Travel insurance itself is quite cheap and it gives you peace of mind while you’re traveling. Visit the World Nomads website for an instant, no obligation quote here.