A trip to Palawan is an adventure that everyone should experience at least once. Before you head out to this tropical paradise, there are some essentials that you need to bring with you to make sure your vacation will go smoothly. We listed the most critical must-brings when going to Palawan. Check the list below and make sure that you have everything before you go on your Palawan adventure. And of course, don’t hesitate to share your own list in the comments section below!
Cash vs Credit Cards
Bring more than enough cash to last you during your trip. You can use your credit card on hotels and most restaurants, but the smaller ones only accept cash.
Although Palawan is a tourist hub, until very recently there were no ATMs in places like El Nido or Coron. The fact is that today, the few ATMs available there are often either offline or empty. The only place where you can withdraw from an ATM for sure in Palawan is in Puerto Princesa, which may be a few hours away depending on where you are staying.
ATM withdrawals also have fees plus the fees your bank will impose for your withdrawal. ATMs also limit the amount you can withdraw per transaction, it’s usually ₱20,000 per withdrawal. There are also ATMs that only accept domestic cards so seeing a machine doesn’t mean that you can withdraw from it. Look for ATMs that have the Visa, Mastercard or Cirrus logos, these machines allow withdrawals using international cards.
The best thing to do is to withdraw money from Manila and convert it to Philippine Peso. Money changers at NAIA also offer better exchange rates.
Complete First Aid Kit
Exploring Palawan is safe. But it doesn’t hurt to be prepared. Bring a first aid kit so you’re prepared for emergencies. Bandages and disinfectant if you are planning on snorkeling or rock climbing. You should also bring the necessary medicine like paracetamol or anti-diarrhea medicine.
If you have particular medication that you need to take, better bring enough for the duration of your trip since the number of pharmacies in the remote parts of Palawan is limited. Even more so, they can be out of stock of the item you’re looking, so don’t take the chance and pack up a complete first aid kit ahead.
A Power Bank For The Brown-Outs
Don’t forget to bring a power bank to keep your gadgets charged. Although you can charge from your hotel or resort, some only rely on power generators, and some of them don’t even have power during the night. The power bank is not just for your mobile phones, there are power banks that can even charge your laptop. Remember me saying that there are resorts without power during the night? You can use your power bank on those USB powered fans. These fans may be small but at least they can help you keep cool even just a little bit.
Reusable Water Bottle
Having a reusable water bottle is essential. In Palawan, you’ll be spending most of your time under the sun and you need to stay hydrated. This is also a matter of practicality. Refreshments can get expensive especially at tourist spots. El Nido is also implementing a ban on single-use plastic bottles so bringing bottled water or soft drinks is prohibited.
You can save money by filling up your water bottle at your hotel or resort before heading out for the day. This is also a way to avoid accidentally drinking contaminated water. Best to avoid ruining your vacation with an upset stomach.
Bringing sunscreen is a must since most of the tours and activities in Palawan will expose you to the sun. The Philippines is a tropical country and the summers can be unforgiving especially if you are accustomed to a temperate climate.
It will be best to bring sunscreen that is free from harmful chemicals that may have adverse effects to marine life. Just keep in mind the restriction regarding bringing liquid items during flights. Keep your sunscreen in your check-in baggage and not in your hand-carry.
Mosquito Repellant Spray
Even though you can find mosquito repellant in Philippine pharmacies, the oily and stenchy cream available might not be of your taste. If you prefer a spray, be sure to bring it with you. It can literally be a life-saver as malaria and dengue still exists in most part of the island. Just be sure to choose a spray that is made for tropical areas.
To be on the safe side, bring a waterproof bag where you can place your wallet, mobile phone, and other valuables. You can use it to protect your valuables from getting water-damaged during island-hopping tours. There are a variety of waterproof pouches that you can sling around your neck to lessen the likelihood of accidentally forgetting it.
Flip-flops are the ideal footwear while in Palawan. Unlike shoes, you don’t have to worry about getting your slippers wet. They are also less likely to cause you blisters. These can also protect your feet from sharp stones or broken corals when you go for a swim or on a snorkeling trip.
If you want to get extra protection while going for you sea activities, you should add a pair of water shoes to your list. They will protect you from sharp shells or rocks, and against walking inadvertently on wild life that could potentially hurt you (such as sea orchins).
A Good Camera
Palawan is a picturesque island and it will be a shame to not document your visit. If you have an underwater camera then don’t forget to bring it. Cellphone cameras will do but then you need an underwater camera if you want to document the diverse marine life and breath-taking underwater scenery. Although there are cellphones that work underwater, they only work in freshwater and will get damaged by the salty seawater. A little Go Pro is versatile and can bring you amazing pictures of your trip, both underwater and on land!
Prepare Your Adventure Today
There are truly plenty of things to do in Palawan. Tikigo is there for you to discover the best tours and activities, and let you book and organize your trip directly with local organizers. Start planning your adventures in “the best island in the world” today!