Travel: Planning A Family Road Trip In The Philippines

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travel, tips and tricks, travel tips, traveling with children
Ehmir Bautista

Children really benefit from experiencing diversity, which is what makes The Philippines and the hundreds of local dialects spoken across the archipelago such an attractive destination for families looking to go on a road trip. And don’t forget, that a family road trip across The Philippines can be just as fun and educational for a family of two. Single-parent vacation opportunities are growing all the time, so it’s time for single parents to get a little more adventurous.

Getting the basics sorted

Before we begin, keep in mind that a family road trip across The Philippines is quite different to spending two weeks in an all-inclusive Spanish hotel by the sea. The promise of adventure and the opportunities to go exploring are greater, so it’s a good idea to make sure that the vehicle you’ll be traveling in is appropriately insured. Get all your paperwork done and make sure that the car or van that you’ll be renting is in top condition.

Where to go and what to do

It’s also important that you plan your road trip route to include destinations that your children will enjoy. Even though gazing out of the car window on a road trip can be lots and lots of fun, it’s also tiring. If your children are going to spend a number of hours on the road, you need to make sure that every stop is jam-packed with cool things for them to enjoy. Kids who travel long distances to get to places that bore them, don’t make very good travel companions. You’ve been warned.

So, with that in mind, some of the top child-friendly places to visit in The Philippines include Subic in Pampanga, Puerto Princesa in Palawan, and Laguna. In Subic, you can sign the kids up for a visit at Zoobic Safari and let them discover the wonders of nature while marveling at the different animals found there. You can also bring them to Zoocobia Fun Zoo for an even closer encounter with the animals and have a once-in-a-lifetime experience of feeding monkeys and bear cats.  At Puerto Princesa, you can relax on white sandy beaches, go island-hopping, or take a city tour to discover places such as Palawan Butterfly Garden, Mitra’s Ranch, Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center, and Baywalk. When visiting Laguna, you’ll have the chance to wear the kids out at the magical Enchanted Kingdom ~ a fabulous Disneyland-like amusement park ~ and to get them back in touch with nature at the Fun Farm at Santa Elena.

A few tips on traveling in the Philippines

The wet season in The Philippines makes travel particularly difficult from July to September, so you really wouldn’t be doing yourself or your family any favors by planning your road trip at that time. Rains are heavy and typhoons are common. It really isn’t worth the risk.

As with most developing countries, you should also be prepared to be fairly flexible. While you may have planned out the most amazing family road trip while sat at home with your map and pocket-sized notebook, it’s a good idea to be willing to roll with the punches and make changes to that plan when you’re actually driving around the archipelago. In fact, part of the fun for your kids on this trip could be seizing those unforeseen opportunities as and when they arise.

And remember, use this opportunity to teach your children something about a foreign place first-hand. Get them to try local dishes, like chicken adobo or halo halo, and fill their brains with cool facts as you drive along. They just might be interested to know that the Philippines is made up of 7,641 islands and that they span across approximately 300,000 square kilometers of land. Cool, right?

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