Whether you are looking for a quick escape or planning to celebrate a special event, traveling can make the occasion extra special. While you can always splurge on material things as a present to yourself, nothing beats getting new experiences with the people close to your heart. However, with so many Instagrammable destinations out there you’re probably wondering where exactly is the best place to go. Well, your next family getaway can be right at the heart of this Southeast Asian country known as the Philippines. Read on for our top 5 family-friendly destinations in the Philippines.
If your family wants to experience something unique without going over budget, the Philippines can be a great place to consider. It’s one of the world’s biggest archipelagic nations with a rich range of natural wonders, mountainous terrains, forests, and plains. The country is also the home to some of the biggest festivals and world-class cuisine, making it a “sulit” (Tagalog word which means worth it) place to visit for families.
Despite being a tropical country, this place is definitely one of those that stays cool all year round. What makes this so popular is the fact that it overlooks the famous Taal Lake and tourist spots that are always on the cheap. Want to experience camping (costs around 150 PHP), horseback riding (200 PHP), swimming (the cheapest can be about 400 PHP), and ziplining (300 PHP)? Tagaytay has it all for you!
If you are planning to celebrate your birthday with some food, you can find restaurants with a superb array of delectable Filipino dishes. As a rule of thumb, always ask the servers if they have a birthday promo because it is very popular in the Philippines for establishments to give a discount, serve a free cake slice, and the staff singing you a happy birthday in the Tagalog language.
Baguio is located high up the mountain making it one of the coldest places in the whole country. If you are up for an outdoor adventure and craving to discover more about the locals, you should add this to your list as you can do lots of activities for a very low price such as:
- Visiting the strawberry farm and picking your own berries (250 PHP)
- Camp John Hay and Burnham Park (Free)
- Drop by the Stobosa Hillside Homes Artwork (Free)
- Check the art pieces of the locals at the BenCab museum (120 PHP)
Despite being a bit far from Manila, the people here also speak Tagalog and other local languages which is why it would be wise to download a language learning app to know the translations. You cannot just wing it and say that you’ll just use English because not everyone there is comfortable and understands the language.
This island is known in the world due to its long stretch of remarkable white sand beach, pristine waters, and a huge range of family-friendly activities. Among the most popular activities include snorkelling (250 PHP), sunset cruising (650 PHP), parasailing (1,000 PHP), windsurfing (900 PHP), paddleboarding (500 PHP), and even go on a helicopter ride (4,000 PHP)! There are three stations on this island known as:
- Station 1 for luxury resorts and hotels
- Station 2 for shopping and dining
- Station 3 for less crowded pools and cheaper hotels and food.
The best part of it all? This paradise is also perfect for a gastronomic adventure and nightlife! In fact, if you dine in native Filipino restaurants you can get certain discounts (or even a free meal!) and have the staff and the rest of the island people sing you a happy birthday in full Tagalog!
Cebu has always been considered by the locals as the best tropical escape due to its range of spectacular beaches, swoon-worthy diving spots, glorious waterfalls, and mouth watering dishes. If your family would like to venture out into nature, you can add into your itinerary popular spots such as the Tumalog falls (20 PHP), Camotes Island (20 PHP), Bantayan Island (250 PHP), and the Cebu Ocean Park (600 PHP). On the flip side, you can visit the Simala church (free), Temple of Leah (100 PHP), the Magellan’s Cross (30 PHP), Museo De Sugbo (75 PHP), or Fort San Pedro (30 PHP) if you want a taste of history.
And once you feel that you are ready to have some food session, the local delicacies will surely not disappoint. As a rule of thumb, do not ever pass up the opportunity to try out the chicharon sa carcar, puso rice, lechon de Cebu, pintos sa bogo, budbud, and masi. These mouthwatering foods are very satisfying and are easy on the budget. In fact, all of these that we mentioned costs somewhere between 5 PHP to 200 PHP only. And before you forget, you got to purchase some of the yummy souvenirs at the airport since items such as the dried mangoes, rosquillos, otap, and danggit are much cheaper in Cebu.
If your family is chasing after breathtaking views, visiting the ever-popular and unspoiled beauty of Batanes will surely be the best option for many! Given its unique rolling hills and lighthouses, you might easily think that you are not in the Philippines anymore! It has become part of the bucket list of many due to its charming rugged look that you won’t ever find in any province in the Philippines. As part of your itinerary, you must visit the following:
- Morong beach perfect for swimming (Free)
- Hiking to Mt. Iraya (Free)
- Explore the Vayang rolling hills (1,000 PHP)
- Take pictures at the Basco lighthouse (Free)
- Pray at Tukon church (Free)
And when you are finally ready to rest after a full day of adventure, you can check-in at hotels and hostels with prices ranging from 3,000 PHP to 10,000 PHP. If you think about it, the price is still pretty cheap given that most of the tourist spots are all for free, right?
Do you recommend any other family-friendly destinations in the Philippines? Share in the comments below.