When I landed in the Philippines, the first thing I wanted to do was buy a sim card.
As a female solo traveller, having a phone with data is one of the things that increase my sense of safety as I know, should I need to, I have a way of contacting someone on my travels. As a solo traveller, no matter where I am in the world, my main priority is my safety.
When in Asia travelling solo as a female, there are a few things I’d highly recommend doing to increase your confidence. See all my tips for travelling solo as a female here. For example… carrying camera equipment draws unwanted attention and you want to avoid getting any of that!
By purchasing a local SIM card, I then have access to the internet, or at least to calls. I have access to GPS and I have a wealth of knowledge and tips whenever I need to call upon it.
Just use WiFi I hear you ask? WIFI, or WiFi at a good price/speed at least, is harder to come by in the Philippines than it is in destinations such as Australia, Thailand, Bali and New Zealand. So in the Philippines, having a SIM card was more of a priority for me.
I am not recommending the purchase of a SIM card to encourage one to be on one’s phone more. This blog post comes from an angle of security and personal desire.
There are counters at the airport selling SIM cards, but I couldn’t get one when I landed because I didn’t have any cash. I think they are a little more expensive here, but not too pricey in the grand scheme of things. Buying one when you land will save you heading to a city to buy it afterwards, and will mean you are sorted from the beginning of your trip.
They are everywhere; you will see what I mean as SOON as you get here. SIM cards are a given in any mini-market or roadside shop. It won’t be long before you see the TNT, Globe and Smart advertisement banners.
Just like in Europe, there are shopping centres and shopping malls, and phone shops within both. People in the Philippines are taught English at school from a young age, so if you can’t find your way just ask someone and they will be able to direct you to the nearest phone shop.
You can get most of the SIMs above for 20-40PHP. There are lots of deals floating around for unlimited calls or texts too; simply ask the adviser.
If you want a data/3G based plan (like I did), there are deals for these too.
You will need to buy a SIM card and then purchase a ‘load’ which gives you your data plan.
I went to the nearest city to do this.
I got the lady in the shop to do the admin and activation, which took about 10 minutes, and then I was ready to go!
This SIM card was valid for 30 days (the length of most tourist visas anyway).
Hopefully this post has helped you, or will help you find the right SIM card for you.
If you’re still stuck and don’t know which one to buy, I would recommend heading to a phone shop in your nearest city to seek help.
The Philippines is a beautiful place to travel through, so if you’re heading there or are already there… I wish you a wonderful adventure!
What are your top travel tips for the Philippines? I’d love to know!
Love as always and happy adventuring,
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