Independent travelling does not mean that you shouldn’t be careful anymore. There are still things that you need to prepare for your Palawan trip for your own safety and for your fellow travellers should they need emergency help.
Bring your own sunblock.
It’s difficult to avoid the sun when you’re in Palawan. So to avoid painful sunburns, wear sunblock and reapply regularly!
Protect your gadgets.
You can easily get excited in Palawan with all its amazing natural sites, so we suggest having your own waterproof container for your cameras and mobile phones. In other words, dry bags are essential in Palawan!
In Palawan, except for Puerto Princesa, ATMs and credit card payments are limited. Thus, it is advisable to have your cash ready wherever you go.
Bring and wear proper footwear.
Depending on the activities you will take in Palawan, be sure you are ready with proper footwear. We highly recommend bringing flipflops (thongs) and hiking shoes (if you plan on trekking).
Flipflops are for island hopping and going to the beaches!
Apply insect repellant.
Most of Palawan is still rural, so there are some areas with pesky mosquitoes and sandflies (especially near mangroves!). Always keep your insect repellant with you to avoid getting an itch.
Always turn your lights, electric fans, or air-conditioners off when you leave your room. Electricity supply in Palawan is limited and available only during certain times of the day. Ask your hotel/hostel about the electricity schedule so that you can charge your cameras, phones, and other gadgets during these hours.
Bring a universal adapter.
In the Philippines, most of the outlets used are standard North American non-grounded ones that accept two prong plugs. The adapter for this is known as type A. The standard voltage used is 220 V and the standard frequency is 60Hz.
Don’t expect hi-speed WiFi or mobile signals.
Although there’s WiFi and mobile signals in Palawan, they are not as fast as the ones in developed countries. We highly advise though to stay away from your phones and laptops while on Palawan since it is such a heavenly place and it would be a waste if you focused on your gadgets than on Palawan itself.
Tipping is not required but highly appreciated.
Palawan isn’t the US where tipping is part of the law, but giving tips to bangkeros, local tour guides, and other staff members in restaurants and hotels would be greatly appreciated. You can prepare a tip of at least 15%.
The Filipino cuisine might not be friendly for vegetarians.
Vegetables and fruits are abundant in the Philippines, but purely vegetarian or vegan options are very limited and can sometimes be difficult to find.
Be careful of your valuables.
While petty theft is not common in Palawan, it can happen to anyone. Always be alert with your surroundings and try to keep your valuables in sight or near you.
Get travel insurance.
It’s a smart travelling standard, isn’t it? You never know what will happen!
For more helpful tips for your Palawan adventure, check out this ebook we made, “The Ultimate Guide to Palawan.”