Safe family vacation holiday destinations in the Philippines

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Your guide to a safe and entertaining family holiday vacation in the Philippines

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I’ve been in the Philippines for more than 8 years and can say I find this country a very safe place, especially for families. Words which might consider as having good merit considering I have traveled to more than 50 countries, being a digital nomad and all.

Filipinos absolutely love children, and themselves have many of them. Not only will your children have plenty of mates to play with, but you can expect your entourage to be treated with added reverence and respect, on top of what is usually awarded to foreigners visiting this country.

For example, running some errands, I stayed in Manila for two months on two separate occasions. Being one who likes to walk in search of a park with beer in hand, walking from one 711 to another, I must have walked over 130km in that city. My recommendation: what looks like a green patch on a google map is not a park and not worth visiting at all, but what I did find was friendly people everywhere, more friendly the poorer neighbourhood it was. “Hey Joe, come join us for a beer!” they would always holler to me as I made my way about this megapolis of 20 million people.

You’ll probably not want to venture with your family as I did, but at least this could give you some assurance when taking them to the bountiful, family-friendly locations here.

You can write to us for tips, as we ourselves are a budding little family that loves to travel, or you can check out our suggested travel routes, since there is so much to see in this country that it cannot all be experienced in a single sweep.

Although some destinations may be considered more family-oriented than others, such as the Campuestohan Highland Resort Theme/Water Park, that might not be such a convenient location based on your travel path and I generally found that any of the tourist destinations I went to are all family friendly.

Family vacation in Campuestohan Highland Resort Theme/Water Park
Campuestohan Highland Resort Theme/Water Park

Such as for example the tours we ourselves organise:

We offer private, custom boat tours in and between the popular tourist destinations of Coron and El Nido in Palawan. We can also offer you advice on good places to see in the Philippines, because we ourselves are a budding family who love to travel and know a lot about this country.

For the tours we ourselves organize, Palawan was voted best island in the world two years in a row and the area between El Nido and Coron was dubbed as having the clearest waters in the world.

By choosing to hire your own, private boat, not only do you not have to share your journey with strangers, often younger backpackers who join the group tours, but you can proceed from island to island at your own pace, and choose the type of accommodation and experience you prefer.

For example, something that could be enjoyable for the kids is cliff jumping into the ocean at a certain spot along the way.

Besides kayaks, even a crystal (see-through) kayak, you can also rent our wakeboards or wakesurf boards.

Use of snorkeling gear is free and there are truly beautiful snorkeling sites along the way, in such clear water that can host such beautiful creatures but also the many pearl farms sprinkled along your route and which require very clear waters.

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At night you can choose to sleep in an air-conditioned hotel, fan huts on small island beaches, camping on beach, even camping on your own deserted island. When staying overnight on a beach, you also have the option of the crew preparing a bonfire for you, with accompanying music if you so wish. This can be a truly magical experience, because the sky is often clear and, with no city lights nearby as obstruction, the milkyway is radiant and robust over the South East Asian sea. And sometimes there are active plankton in the ocean, so you get so see sparkling stars around your feet as you wade into the water as well as sparkling stars above!

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For the more adventurous, there are also jungle trails on some of the islands, giving you the opportunity to pass through and visit remote villages that regular tourists simply never see and where the locals are very hospitable.

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Entrance to one small village at the end of island, home of a friend. Click on pic for more details.

But the most important perhaps is that the area between El Nido and Coron is off the beaten path. Occasionally some group tours pass through, but it is easy for our boatmen to navigate a path that avoids other tourists so that you can enjoy paradise to yourselves and at your own, relaxed pace.

For tours around only Coron and El Nido, our private tours are arranged to avoid as much as possible the crowds of the group tours, while our multi-day tours between the two can include the most popular Coron sites.

You can check out the possible places from the 52 paradise white sand beach islands scattered throughout the area in our sample itinerary, and write to us a quick note so that we can discuss and find the perfect plan for you.

island hopping in the philippines

Other destinations for a family to safely holiday vacation travel in the Philippines

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Latest addition to our family, plan to have more, but even so we continue to travel and explore the country.

You can check here for other parts of the Philippines and here for suggested travel routes, because with over 7,000 islands, the country is simply too large to see in your average two week vacation, even an entire month! The information has been collected across the web, but we ourselves have already seen a lot of it and eventually plan to visit every corner.

Some examples of family friendly places in the Philippines where travelers can enjoy their vacation

The Philippines, with its vast archipelago of over 7,000 islands, offers a myriad of family-friendly destinations catering to both locals and international tourists. Here’s a list of places and activities that families can enjoy:

  1. Boracay Island: This famous white-sand beach destination is not only for party-goers but also for families. The shallow, clear waters at White Beach are perfect for kids, and there are many family-friendly resorts.

    Family holiday destination in Boracay
    The beautiful, white sand beaches Boracay.

  2. Palawan:
    • El Nido: Known for its towering limestone cliffs and clear turquoise waters, El Nido is a paradise for island hopping and snorkeling.
    • Puerto Princesa: The Underground River is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a popular spot for families to visit.
  3. Bohol:
    • Chocolate Hills: These unique geological formations are a wonder to behold.
    • Tarsier Sanctuary: Get a glimpse of the world’s smallest primate.
    • Panglao Island: Beautiful beaches and diving spots.
  4. Cebu:
    • Oslob: Swim with the gentle whale sharks.
    • Kawasan Falls: Enjoy the natural beauty and take a refreshing dip.
    • Mactan Island: Great beaches and resorts.
  5. Tagaytay:
    • Sky Ranch: An amusement park that offers a fantastic view of Taal Volcano.
    • Taal Volcano: You can trek to the volcano’s crater for a close-up view.
  6. Davao:
    • Philippine Eagle Center: See the majestic Philippine Eagle up close.
    • Eden Nature Park: A mountain resort with guided tours and activities for kids.

      Safe family holiday destination to Bohol
      The delicious Chocolate Hills of Bohol.

  7. Baguio City: Known as the “Summer Capital of the Philippines” due to its cooler climate. Families can visit Burnham Park, Mines View Park, and The Mansion.
  8. Ilocos Region:
    • Vigan: A UNESCO World Heritage site, Vigan’s cobblestone streets and colonial houses offer a trip back in time.
    • Paoay: Visit the massive Paoay Church and try sand duning adventures in the La Paz Sand Dunes.
  9. Laguna:
    • Enchanted Kingdom: The most famous amusement park in the Philippines.
    • Hot Springs: Resorts in Pansol offer natural hot spring pools.
  10. Manila:
  • Rizal Park (Luneta): Offers large open spaces, a playground for kids, and historical monuments.
  • Manila Ocean Park: An oceanarium with various marine life exhibits.
  • Star City: An amusement park located in the heart of Manila.

    Safe family vacation around Coron.
    The beautiful rock formations and crystal clear waters around Coron.

  1. Coron, Palawan: Another paradise for snorkeling, diving, and island hopping.
  2. Siargao: Known for its surfing, but also offers lagoons, caves, and white sandy beaches.

When traveling with family, especially with young children, it’s always a good idea to check the amenities and activities offered by accommodations. Many resorts in the Philippines cater specifically to families with kid-friendly pools, play areas, and organized activities. Always consider the age and interests of the children when planning activities.

Tips for safe holiday vacation travel in the Philippines

In addition to my general advice at the top of this page, from a seasoned traveler who has traveled around the world for decades, I’d say my best advice anywhere is to simply exercise respect to the locals and you can expect the same in return. Respect their country by not leaving garbage anywhere, even if you see it around, avoid any display of arrogance, and you should have no problems whatsoever.

However, if you’d like to practice extra precaution, you can check on my tips for traveling through the Philippines. Or just send us a note and we’d be happy to help! Below are some tips of safe travel in general.

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Experience the thrill of island hopping in the Philippines

General tips for safe family holiday travels

Traveling with family can be a joyous occasion, but safety should always be a top priority. Here are some general tips for ensuring a safe family holiday travel:

  1. Plan Ahead:

    • Make sure your vehicle is in good condition if you’re driving. Check tires, brakes, lights, and fluid levels.
    • Plan your route in advance and have backup routes in case of road closures or traffic.
    • Check the weather forecast for your travel days and plan accordingly.
  2. Pack Smartly:

    • Bring necessary documentation, including identification for all family members, medical records, and travel insurance.
    • Prepare a first aid kit with essential medicines, bandages, and other necessary items.
    • Make sure you have enough water and snacks, especially if traveling with children.
  3. Stay Connected:

    • Ensure your phone is charged and has emergency numbers saved.
    • Inform a trustworthy neighbor or friend about your travel plans so someone knows you’re away.
      Stay connected while traveling safely to a holiday in the Philippines.
  4. Secure Your Home:

    • Lock all windows and doors.
    • Don’t advertise your absence on social media.
    • Ask a neighbor to collect your mail or use a mail hold service.
  5. Drive Safely:

    • Follow traffic rules and don’t speed.
    • Avoid distractions while driving, such as using a phone.
    • Take regular breaks if driving long distances to rest and refuel.
    • Always use seat belts and ensure children are in the correct car seats for their age and size.
  6. Travel Insurance:

    • Consider purchasing travel insurance that covers medical emergencies, trip cancellations, and lost luggage.

      Bohol-Balicasag-Virgin-Island-Tour Family vacation in Philippines
      Bohol Virgin Island Tour

  7. Stay Aware:

    • Be wary of strangers. Teach children not to talk or go anywhere with unknown people.
    • Keep an eye on your belongings in crowded places.
  8. Accommodation Safety:

    • Research hotels or rentals to ensure they are in safe areas.
    • Once in your accommodation, familiarize yourself with emergency exits and safety protocols.
    • Use the hotel safe for valuables.
  9. Health Precautions:

    • If traveling internationally, check vaccination requirements or recommendations.
    • Bring any necessary medications and keep them in their original packaging.
    • Stay hydrated and be mindful of food hygiene, especially in unfamiliar destinations.
  10. Respect Local Customs and Laws:

  • Research cultural norms and local regulations to ensure respectful and lawful behavior.
  1. Stay Calm in Emergencies:

  • In the event of an emergency, stay calm, and make safety your first priority. Follow the instructions of local authorities.
  1. Entertainment for Children:

  • Keep kids occupied during long journeys with books, games, or movies. This can prevent them from becoming restless and reduce distractions for the driver.

Remember, while it’s essential to be cautious, it’s equally important to enjoy the journey and create wonderful memories with your family. Safe travels!

Save traveling in the Philippines, with children.
Surfing in Siargao.

FAQ

Is it safe to travel to and enjoy a vacation and holiday in the Philippines, for the whole family?

Yes, very safe. Filipinos love children, have a lot of them and you will only receive more respect and reverence when you travel with them.

Are there a lot of family-oriented things to do in the Philippines?

Very much so. Because Filipinos love children so much, they often think up many fun things for their children to do, and basically any tourist site, excluding those which are potentially dangerous (bunji jumping, sky diving etc), will be ideally suited for the entire family.

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We are a family operation managing private custom boat tours in the beautiful Palawan area, and are happy to help travelers with their plans through the country, having traveled a lot of it ourselves and planning to visit it all.

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