A visit to the Philippines is on the bucket list of many people – including me! – and for very good reason. The Philippines has a deep cultural history, with beautiful beaches, amazing wildlife, vibrant cities and more. It offers something that absolutely everyone would enjoy. My favourite holidays are beaches with oceans that I can have adventures in, and also wildlife and nature. If you’re like me, the Philippines is an absolute must visit destination.
You might be worried about traveling to the Philippines if you have children, and I want to offer some guidance on where you might go if you’re traveling to the Philippines as a family. Getting to the Philippines is the hardest part, as your flight may be long in duration or require a change. Rather than stressing about booking flights and finding accommodation, I’d recommend booking a Boracay family package with airfare and letting an experienced company take the stress out of the travel for you. Keep reading to find out why Boracay would be my top pick for a family-friendly holiday to the Philippines.
The Philippines is an amazing family destination, but a holiday with the family is always a bit different to a solo or adult adventure and it helps to be prepared. Don’t let that put you off though, think of the memories you’ll be creating and the experiences your kids will have which will help them grow into the very best version of themselves. I’m now going to share four different places you could visit with the family in the Philippines.
Most large international flights will take you into Manila, the capital city of the Philippines. Manila is a large city that is bustling and chaotic, but has some amazing opportunities for the family visitor. For adults, the city is steeped in history and culture, with diverse places to try new culinary delights. For kids and for aquatic fans you definitely have to visit Manila Ocean Park. This Oceanarium is something different to anything you can find in Europe. The Oceanarium houses 14,000 marine animals and educates you on the indigenous marine life of South Asia, but the Ocean Park also a theme park with animal attractions, entertainment, shows and experiences. It even has it’s own hotel, so consider a night there! It also has KidZania, a roleplaying kids theme park and Mind Museum, a world-class science museum. So it’s definitely a city you’d want to spend at least a weekend in before heading out to one of the other resorts, to hit the beach, waterfalls or find wildlife.
Manila is an opportunity to try cuisine that you won’t find elsewhere. If you’re used to British food, this is certainly going to be a treat. Try a little bit of everything different you see and immerse yourself in the culinary culture – and encourage your kids to try different things too! My favourite things to try would be Chicharon (deep fried pork belly) and Longganisa, a spiced pork sausage. For something very different, try the infamous Balut – fertilized duck eggs. It’s a very challenging food to eat for people used to Western culture I think, but pushing your boundaries is how we grow so I’d challenge you to embrace something new and try it!
Boracay would be my top choice for the bulk of a family-friendly holiday to the Philippines, coupled with a few days in Manila at the start or end of the journey, and perhaps a few days heading out to other destinations I’ll list below.
Boracay is possibly the most popular tourist destination in the Philippines, and for good reason – it’s absolutely breathtaking. Some would list it as one of the top beach destinations in the world because of it’s beautiful white sandy beaches, lined with swaying palm trees. One of the big advantages of a popular destination is that it has all the facilities you want – especially with a family. There are shallow sandbanks meaning all the family can safely swim. There are loads of options for accommodation, and once you’re there, you’ll find fresh seafood to eat, exciting water sports that the whole family can join in on, a nightlife with a unique beach vibe energy and friendly locals who are genuinely happy that you’ve come to visit. It’s also easy to travel from Boracay to many other destinations and islands across the Philippines, making it an excellent base for your whole visit.
You might be worried about sustainable tourism. We are all trying to make changes in our lives which help the planet, but what about going on holiday? You’ll be pleased to know that Boracay and many places in the Philippines are taking eco-tourism and sustainability very seriously, with bans on air pollution, smoking and single use plastic, as well as limiting tourist numbers so that there’s no damage done to the environment.
Just look at that photo above and tell me it’s not a dream come true. Palawan is away from the hustle and bustle of Manila and quieter than many popular tourist areas of the Philippines. Palawan is all about water. You’ll find islands, lagoons, lakes and rivers that are almost untouched by people, and this really gives you the opportunity to get off the beaten track. Exploring by boat – manned by an experienced local tour guide – is very accessible for families of all ages, because those who want to can just sit back and enjoy the views, whilst the more experienced and energetic can explore underwater, or along beaches and coves that you stop at. You’ll get some of the best scuba diving, snorkeling and kayaking opportunities in the world.
Pangloa is the main tourist area in Bohol, and from there you can take trips yourself or take guided tours around the island. There is plenty of accommodation available to suit every family, from five star luxury to budget needs. There are beach resorts and beautiful sandy beaches, but what I love about Bohol are the forests and the wildlife. This amazing endangered primate – one of the smallest in the world – is a Tarsier, photographed in Tarsier Conservation Area on Bohol Island, which tourists can visit and walk quietly around. On Bohol Island you’ll find the Chocolate Hills, which are unusual mountain formations, there are river cruises, and you can even take an expedition to see and snorkel with Whale Sharks! What a once in a lifetime experience.
If your family, like mine, is a fan of wildlife, the Philippines has a lot to offer at every destination. There are thousands upon thousands of species of bird, mammal, reptile and ocean life and a lot of this wildlife is endemic to the Philippines, and can’t be seen in the wild anywhere else in the world.
I’m sure that one of these options – or possibly a trip encompassing them all – has given you a thirst for travel. Wherever you decide to travel with your family in the Philippines, you’re going to have a breathtaking time. If you’ve already traveled to the Philippines, I’d love to know what you thought of it, and if you have any comments to share.