Most people prefer to travel and go on adventures during the summer months when it’s nice and sunny. However, traveling during the monsoon months has its own charms. While travelers need to take extra care as the rain may bring landslides and floods to some regions, the rainy season shouldn’t stop you from having fun. Here are a few travel tips to make the most of the rainy season in the Philippines.
1. Choose weather-appropriate outdoor activities and destinations
There are a lot of fun outdoor activities you can do during rainy days. Visiting beaches and waterfalls are generally good in light to moderate rains since you’re going to get wet anyway. Mountain landscapes, forests and terraces in the Cordillera region are more lush, while waterfalls like those found in Lake Sebu and Iligan look more majestic.
You can also enjoying spelunking in caves with subterranean pools like those found in Samar, Sagada or Quirino.
Exploring Calbiga Caves in Samar
Rapids are a lot stronger during the rainy season, making activities like whitewater rafting in Kalinga or Cagayan, kayaking and river tubing in Saranggani and Real more fun.
Whitewater rafting in Chico River, Kalinga
Other water-based activities like surfing, kitesurfing, stand-up paddleboarding, cable wakeboarding, snorkeling or diving can be more exciting even if the weather is gloomy. Rainy days are also a good time to visit water parks or relax in hot springs, rivers, heated pools or go to spas.
Stand-up Paddleboarding in Bugang River, Antique
Mountain biking is another activity you can do during the rainy season as trails like those in Timberland or La Mesa Eco Park become more challenging with mud and puddles that will really put your biking skills to the test.
Rainy day bike ride in Timberland
2. Plan B: Enjoy the great indoors
If you’re not the type who likes to get wet and muddy during your adventures, there are lots of fun stuff you can do in indoor destinations too. You can visit art or science museums, historic sites, ancestral houses, churches and temples.
The Mind Museum, Taguig
If you’re with kids, you can visit kid-friendly indoor theme parks or water parks like Ace Water Spa. Try a new sport or exercise like indoor wall-climbing, archery, yoga or lazer tag. Sign up for culinary lessons or take an art class. Or you could try escape room games like Breakout, Mystery Manila and Escape Hunt.
Indoor wall climbing in Power Up Tandang Sora
3. Staycation Time!
The rainy season is the best time to relax indoors and enjoy a staycation in your hotel or resort. Make use of the hotel’s facilities. Some resorts have their own indoor swimming pools, spas, gyms or gaming rooms. Order room service and catch up on the latest movies or series, get a massage, or make use of the sauna or jacuzzi. There’s no shame in staying in especially if it rains. If you’re traveling in a group, be sure to bring board games or card games and head to the nearest convenience store for some beer and chips and you’re all set.
Microtel’s chiropractor-approved mattresses will make you want to stay in
4. Rainy Days = Great time for food trips!
If you’re traveling in another province, hunt down the best comfort food for rainy days like their local soup dish, longganisa, noodles or pancit. For merienda, try different types of kakanin or tablea. Seek out the homegrown coffee shops for locally brewed coffee.
Kadyos, Baboy, Langka, an Ilonggo Soup Dish in Iloilo City
Tsokolate Batirol in Green Tea, Chocnut, Polvoron & Sili flavors at Cafe Fleur in Pampanga
If you’re stuck in the metro, there are still plenty of foodie destinations like Maginhawa, Binondo, Marikina, Kapitolyo, Antipolo, Mandaluyong, or BF Homes that you and your friends can visit. It’s always nice to explore other neighborhoods but choose well, because some areas are prone to flooding during rainy days. Trying places nearby means you won’t get stranded on the road. Themed cafes like cat cafes and board game cafes are becoming more popular in the metro and are good places to hang out with friends on rainy days.
Caution Hot! Noodle House in Maginhawa is our favorite during rainy days
5. Be prepared before heading out
Be #WeatherWiser and always check the weather before heading out. Download a reliable and localized weather app on your Smartphone like Weather Philippines so you can monitor the weather and adjust your travel plans accordingly.
If you do push through with your trip during the rainy season, be prepared to get wet, or bring the appropriate gear to keep dry. For urban explorations, bring a folding umbrella, weather-resistant jacket and wear appropriate footwear. For weekend hikes and outdoor activities, bring a dry bag to protect your valuables and wear swimwear and rashguards or dri-fit clothes, which dry more easily. Wear outdoor sandals or quick-dry shoes with good traction that you don’t mind getting wet.
Rainy day fashion statement on our way to Adams, Ilocos Norte
It always helps to have a few garbage bags folded up in your bag in case it rains to protect your gadgets that aren’t waterproof. You can also use this as a makeshift raincoat in a pinch.
6. Keep an open mind and a sunny disposition no matter the weather
We can’t always have blue skies when we travel, but the rainy weather has its own benefits. Visitors can enjoy off-peak rates, hotels and flights are generally cheaper during the rainy season compared to peak travel seasons, and there are less crowds to contend with in the destinations. Flights are generally cheaper during the rainy season compared to peak travel season. For last minute trips, online booking sites like Traveloka Philippines can help you find the best deals.
Travel photography may be a challenge, but there are techniques for taking photos in the rain. I’ve found that sunsets are usually spectacular after an afternoon rainshower and there’s always the chance of catching a nice rainbow after the rain!
7. Prioritize safety and cancel travel plans if needed
When it comes to travel, safety should always be a priority. Don’t force yourself to go out and travel if there’s a typhoon as you’ll just be putting yourself in danger. If your primary goal for travel is sightseeing, than it might be best to postpone your trip for another time. Use the downtime instead to plan for your next epic trip. Read up on travel blogs and jot down notes for your itinerary. If you’re already in a destination, wait it out in a safe place and enjoy the other aspects of travel. Get to know the locals, the culture, the food or your travel companions. There’s probably a good reason that your trip didn’t push through.