Lifestyle

How to Stay Healthy When Traveling in the Philippines

Written by Patrick

Stay healthy when traveling so you can truly enjoy your trip and make the most of your time in the Philippines.

Traveling to the Philippines is definitely a fun and exciting experience. With all those stunning beaches, interesting wildlife, scenic views, and the warm Filipino hospitality, you’ll surely want to keep coming back to this archipelago in Southeast Asia.

But traveling to the Philippines, or any country in the world, isn’t all fun and games. You have to be responsible enough by obeying the law as well as staying healthy in order to truly enjoy your time in the country. 

Here are some tips on how to stay healthy when traveling in the Philippines.

Know the common diseases

Disease-carrying Mosquito

Caption: Disease-carrying Mosquito

Mosquito-borne diseases, particularly dengue, are major concerns in the country especially when traveling during the rainy season which is from June to early November. Other mosquito-borne diseases to look out for in some parts of the country include malaria, filariasis, Zika virus, and Japanese encephalitis.

Water-borne diseases such as cholera and typhoid fever are commonly experienced as well. These diseases are caused by drinking contaminated water or eating foods washed in said water. Additionally, the risk of rabies is present throughout the country.

Knowing these common diseases and illnesses gives you the opportunity to prepare yourself so you’ll be protected against them.

READ MORE: Common Illnesses & Diseases in the Philippines

Get vaccinated

Upon knowing the health threats you may possibly encounter in the country, seeking medical advice before your travel date is a good idea. Consider getting vaccinations against such diseases and get tips on what to do in case something happens.

If you are doubtful about getting a vaccine, talk to your doctor about it for your peace of mind. Know that the government may require some vaccinations before allowing entry so you have no choice but to comply. And when getting a vaccine, note that it may take a couple of weeks to produce immunity so plan your schedule accordingly.

READ MORE: Traveling During COVID: Travel Requirements to Enter the Philippines

Stay hydrated

Sun exposure can cause dehydration which leads to dizziness, headache, loss of energy, and nausea. Hence, you have to remember to drink plenty of fluids and drink even if you’re not thirsty.  To ensure the safety of the water you are drinking, buy distilled or at least purified water.  You can buy distilled water at the grocery, drugstores, or convenience stores.  Purified water, on the other hand, is easier to acquire.  Almost every town in the country has several purified water refilling stations where you can buy a container of water or have your bottle refilled.

Patrick

Tip From Patrick

I always keep a water bottle in my Every-Day-Carry (EDC). It is a 1 liter container that is flexible, collapsible, durable, light-weight, compact and requires little space to store in my pack. It holds an entire liter (33 oz) of liquid more than any of my other water bottles and requires less space to store than any of my other water bottles.

You can also opt for hydration salts and tablets in case there’s insufficient supply of safe drinking water.

Avoid the midday heat

The sun’s rays are strongest during midday especially during the dry season.  In 2022, the Philippines reached its highest heat index so far at 51 degrees Celsius.  To avoid any negative effects of too much heat, make sure to limit your sun exposure from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.

Watch your diet

It’s hard not to get carried away by all the mouth-watering food available.  If for health reasons you follow a strict diet, don’t hesitate to ask questions to know what goes into the food you are about to take.  You can also find restaurants that are open to request in order to suit your nutritional needs.

Always arm yourself with medicines for indigestion, allergies, and other food-related concerns.

Protect yourself from insect and animal bites

Watch your step while in nature.  Snakes can be very difficult to see, and their bites can be fatal.  It is important that if bitten, you get to an emergency room as quickly as possible.  Insect bites can have serious consequences for some, especially mosquitos as they can be carriers of a variety of blood borne diseases.

Dressing appropriately is one way to protect yourself not only from insect and animal bites but also from scratches, bruises, and may prevent slipping or falling.  The use of insect repellent products such as lotions and patches, and sleeping in a screened room or under a mosquito net are highly recommended as well.

Limit your alcohol intake

Drinking too much alcohol can cause not only vomiting and dehydration but also mental confusion and difficulty remaining conscious which can put you at risk of being robbed or being taken advantage of.  When traveling to a new place, especially alone, always drink moderately so you know what’s going around you and avoid getting yourself into trouble.

Use sunscreen

Experts recommend applying sunscreen regardless of the weather as UV rays can penetrate through clouds and hazy skies, more so when on the beach as they can reflect off the water. Choose a broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher and apply at least 15 minutes before going out in the sun. Apply generously to exposed skin including the back of knees and ears. Reapply every hour or after swimming or sweating.

Patrick

Tip From Patrick

When buying sunscreen for beach trips and swimming, make sure to choose eco-friendly ones to prevent coral bleaching and damaging other marine creatures.

Practice safe sex

Even if you are diligently taking your birth control, always use condoms to prevent sexually transmitted diseases.  Bring your favorite brand or type especially if you are doubtful if you can find it in your destination.

You also have to remember to avoid doing the deed in public as having sex in public is frowned upon in the Philippines.

READ MORE: 7 Wellness Destinations in the Philippines

How do YOU stay healthy when traveling in the Philippines?

About the Author

Patrick

Patrick is an entrepreneur, digital nomad, explorer, and photographer. Patrick is always in search of fun and adventure. He is well travelled throughout the world, and although location independent, his home base is Phoenix, Arizona in the USA. Patrick loves island lifestyle which is no wonder why he is so interested in spending time in the Philippines with it’s over 7,000 islands. Patrick created this site to share his knowledge of and experiences in the Philippines with Filipinos as well as other foreigners.

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