10 Convenient Travel Essentials to Bring When Going to Cebu

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Your travel essentials are there to ensure a safe and convenient trip.

Everyone loves a quick getaway, but visiting another country can be daunting.

But with the right preparation, the whole experience can be a breeze. Having the right travel essentials at your disposal can give you the peace of mind you need.

Knowing what items to bring should be prioritized before traveling anywhere. On top of that, you may have to adapt to a different climate, culture, and lifestyle to make the most of your stay.

If you plan on visiting the Philippines, expect warm weather, a traditional way of life, and dozens of outdoor attractions.

Take note of which items to bring before visiting the Philippines.

Cebu in particular welcomes millions of tourists every year. Foreigners worldwide continue to rave about the island’s beautiful beaches, historical landmarks, waterfalls, mountain ranges, and many more.

Familiarizing yourself with their customs and climate will also make exploring tourist attractions more convenient. If you’re looking to have a fun time touring around Cebu, you must adapt and learn to live like one of the locals.


  • Lightweight Clothing

You probably haven’t experienced a tropical climate quite like how it is in the Philippines. Summertime can be particularly humid, so consider wearing lighter clothes to adapt to the warm weather conditions.

Shirts made from breathable fabrics allow air to move freely, keeping you cool despite the hot temperature. Their stretchability also makes moving around more convenient.

Additionally, they are easy to pack, wash, and dry. Some clothes are even durable enough to withstand significant wear and tear.

Make sure to pack up as many of these clothes in your luggage. If you don’t have enough, you can buy some at the different malls, shopping centers, and thrift stores around the city.

  • Comfortable Shoes and Accessories

The best activities to do in Cebu require a lot of walking and moving around, so it’s important to protect your feet from unbearable fatigue by wearing comfortable shoes during long walks.

For mountain treks, look for durable hiking shoes that won’t hurt your feet too much after a long climb. You can even buy aqua shoes for canyoneering on the island’s many waterfalls.

Flip flops are also a great alternative because of their weight and durability. Their breathable designs make them an ideal choice for house slippers in the country’s humid weather.

  • Swimwear

Cebu beaches are known for being world-class summer vacation spots, so make sure you bring your favorite swimwear to experience these mesmerizing locations.

Pack up some board shorts, swimming trunks, rash guards, and bikinis in case you visit places like Moalboal, Oslob, or Bantayan. Make sure it fits your personal style and is comfortable enough for when you swim.

If you like snorkeling on the island’s many underwater attractions, make sure to bring diving gear like wet suits, flippers, snorkels, and goggles with you. If not, you can purchase or rent these at a beach or resort.

Do note that scuba equipment is considered “blunt instruments” that should not be carried during flights, so you must put them into check-in luggage before boarding.

  • Hard Cash

Cash is king no matter where you go, so it’s best to bring some cash for better convenience and accessibility. 

This can be useful for smaller purchases, especially with streetside vendors who may not have access to cashless payments. You should definitely keep smaller bills since some vendors may not have spare change. 

When arriving in the Philippines, having a couple of bills on hand is essential. You can make a stop at a Money Changer or an ATM at the airport. 

However, you can also use local digital payment platforms like GCash and Maya, which are widely used in many local retail stores around the country.

  • Protection from the Sun

The weather in the Philippines can get unbearable at times, so make sure to add sunscreen to your list of travel essentials.

You can opt for high-SPF sunscreen to prevent painful sunburns after long hours at the beach. Consider wearing rash guards instead of bikinis to protect your arms and back from the scorching heat.

You can also wear a wide-brimmed hat, baseball cap, or sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun’s glare while walking around the streets.

  • Insect Repellant

Unfortunately, mosquitos and other insects are quite prevalent around the island. Some can carry harmful viruses, so be vigilant and use insect repellants while you’re outside.

You can buy them in different forms, from sprays to lotions, and purchase them at any shopping mall, supermarket, or pharmacy. Thoroughly apply them in exposed areas like your arms, neck, and legs to stay safe from viral diseases like dengue.

Dengue fever has been one of the most prevalent viral diseases in the country for more than five decades. Today, it is still a serious health concern, with the country recording the most cases worldwide in 2019 with over 400,000.

  • Water Bottle

It’s important to stay hydrated when traveling around Cebu. Investing in a good water bottle to bring with you will make traveling around easy and cost-effective.

Having your own water bottle can save you a lot of money since you can refill it at home and not have to buy water from stores. This also lessens the use of single-use plastics, making them environmentally friendly.

If you can afford it, try investing in an insulated water bottle to keep your drinks cold for long periods of time. You should probably buy smaller bottles or use slings and paracords to make carrying it much easier.

  • First Aid Kit

A first aid kit is useful in case of sickness or injuries. Keep items like medicines, bandages, and other medical supplies in your bag when traveling.

Pain relievers can help you in case of fatigue after long walks, while band-aids and gauze bands can aid in injuries and wounds. You should also consider bringing anti-allergy meds in case you are allergic to some of the local ingredients.

Motion sickness medicine like Bonamine is also useful for long commutes to the countryside. These trips last a few hours and can cause some dizziness while traveling.

Aside from the first aid kit, make sure to keep a record of emergency response numbers in Cebu in case of a critical situation.

  • SIM Cards

Your phone is a must-have travel essential no matter where you go, but each country has its own network providers. As soon as you set foot on the island, make sure to find a SIM from one of the local telcos like Globe and Smart. 

Local SIM cards give you access to cell service and the internet while traveling. This allows you to contact your loved ones or close friends, or research things about the country.

Local telcos have promos for mobile data, giving you access to social media, navigation apps, online delivery services, and even games on the go. You should also purchase cellular load for texts and calls in case of emergencies. 

Do note, however, that only a few areas have a  4G or 5G connection, while some regions have better reception for one provider over the other. Make sure to research or ask locals about which telco has better service in the town you are staying in.  

  • Cellphone Apps

After getting a local SIM, make sure to download the most important cellphone apps used in Cebu on your phone. These applications help you navigate the island better, and they offer services for a more convenient trip. 

Waze and Google Maps help you locate notable tourist spots and attractions. These are free on both Android and iOS, but Waze is said to be more accurate, so it may be better for navigating the roads and major highways of the city.   

Foodpanda and Grab are the top online food delivery services in Cebu. They can be extremely valuable when staying in the city, but could be difficult in the province since some riders can’t go that far.

For ride-hailing, you can use Grab, Angkas, or Joyride. Aside from its food delivery service, Grab offers ride-sharing like Uber. Angkas and Joyride offer the same service, but primarily with motorcycle taxis.  

Cebu is already a great place to visit and live in, but traveling to the island for the first time might be a hassle if you come unprepared. Keep these travel essentials in mind to make sure your trip goes smoothly. 

Keep a checklist of the most important items, and a few more based on personal preference. Go over the things inside your bag days before your flight. 

If you have all these items ready, you can at least be sure you won’t struggle so much during your trip. These nifty travel essentials will make for a comfortable, safe, and convenient stay in one of the Philippines’ most famous tourist attractions. 

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