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On Philippines Trip Planning • Tour Travel Hotels

I can’t blame you for wanting to visit the Philippines in 2021. It’s tempting to think that, as it was before the pandemic, it is indeed more fun in the Philippines, even as Covid-19 continues to do. rage.

The reality is more complicated. Besides the fact that the Philippines has some of the strictest border controls in the world, restrictions on the ground across the country mean that traveling there will be an absolute nightmare, at least for the foreseeable future.

I say this not to scare or disturb you, but to set realistic expectations for you. And, hopefully, to inspire you to set your sights on a somewhat more distant time in the future, where trips to the Philippines will be much less marked by disruption and drama.

Can we travel to the Philippines now?

If you want to visit the Philippines in 2021, you will definitely have to wait. As of March 2021, only Filipino citizens (and their spouses) and other legal residents are allowed to enter the country. Even then, you might need additional documents before you travel, not to mention the dystopian situation that awaits you upon arrival. And I’m not just talking about the fact that the Philippines is one of the worst countries in Southeast Asia affected by Covid.

On the contrary, the Philippines has demanded not only that you wear face masks outside your home, but also face shields, which in addition to being ineffective and serving as germ incubators, look absolutely ridiculous and contribute to a ton of plastic waste. Additionally, many domestic travel restrictions remain in place in the Philippines, where getting around (if we’re being honest) was a nightmare, even before Covid-19.

Where to go when the Philippines reopens

Manila and surroundings

Manila I didn’t have much love before Covid-19 – I don’t really expect that to change much once the virus is gone. At the same time, I’ve always found the city to be underrated, whether it’s exploring neighborhoods like Makati and Intramural, or take day trips to Ta’al volcano and Corregidor Island.

Boracay or Palawan

You’ll definitely want to hit the beach if you’re able to visit the Philippines in 2021. While some travelers will want to hit more obscure shores, I think this year (or next) will be some of the best times to visit the more popular ones. like Boracay and El Nido in Palawan, which will probably be the least crowded of all time.

North Luzon

One of my favorite places I have ever visited in the Philippines is Ifugao province, which occupies the mountains of North Luzon Isle. Most travelers, unsurprisingly, head to UNESCO World Heritage Banaue Rice Terraces, although many other destinations (namely, Mount. Pinatubo) await curious travelers.

Less visited islands

Don’t feel like visiting Boracay or Palawan? There are many more beaches awaiting travelers to the Philippines in 2021, and I’m about to name a few. Siargao the island has gained fame among digital nomads for its crystal-clear waters and low cost of living, while Bohol in Visayas also releases major paradisiacal waves.

The Philippines off the beaten track

Who said that the beaten track in the Philippines only extends to the shipping lanes? In addition to the fact that the Chocolate hills pepper the aforementioned island of Bohol, other underrated places in the Philippines are found inland. Pampanga The province north of Manila, for example, hosts a colorful lantern festival every December.

When will the Philippine border reopen?

If the Philippines reopens in 2021, it will be in the fourth quarter – and it will be a partial reopening. The country seems obsessed with the failure of the “travel bubble” concept and months-old risk assessments. They would prioritize countries like Australia and China (which have “controlled” the pandemic) over the US or UK, where vaccine-induced immunity will put Filipinos at great risk. lower than immunologically naive Australians and Chinese.

Of course, even if you have an Australian or Chinese passport, I still wouldn’t be sure you could visit the Philippines in 2021, despite government officials seeming to want to open the border to some extent. The number of entry restrictions will likely remain heavy, to begin with. In addition, it is likely that disruptive domestic policies will make travel to the Philippines something close to a nightmare.

Other FAQs on Post-Covid Travel to the Philippines

Can US citizens travel to the Philippines now?

It is important to note that when it comes to Covid-19. travel restrictions are not based on citizenship, but on travel history. “Americans” are not banned in the Philippines or any other country. At the same time, only holders of long-term visas and residence permits are allowed to enter the Philippines at the moment, regardless of the passport they hold.

Can I travel to the Philippines now?

Assuming you can enter the Philippines legally and adhere to public health guidelines while in the country, the Philippines is as safe as any other country in the world. Although the prevalence of the disease is high compared to the rest of Asia, it is well below the baseline for most countries in Europe and the Americas.

How many days of quarantine in the Philippines?

As of March 2021, travelers to the Philippines must be quarantined for 14 days after arriving in the country. Once you have completed this mandatory quarantine period, you are entitled to the same freedoms (or lack thereof) as other people residing in the Philippines.

The bottom line

The bad news? You are unlikely to be able to visit the Philippines in 2021, at least as it is now. While government officials have expressed vague intentions to reopen the border to foreigners this year, they appear to intend to do so on an extremely limited and restricted basis, which would make a trip to the Philippines unattractive to the vast majority. travellers. Overall, I would recommend waiting until 2022 to visit the Philippines if you can, although even the first few months of next year can be inhospitable for leisure travel, depending on the situation. pandemic. Someday in the future it might be “more fun in the Philippines” again, but right now it’s a bit of a nightmare.

Robert schrader

Robert Schrader is a travel writer and photographer who has traveled the world independently since 2005, writing for publications such as “CNNGo” and “Shanghaiist” along the way. His blog, Leave Your Daily Hell, offers a mix of travel tips, destination guides and personal essays covering the more esoteric aspects of life as a traveler.

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