The Philippines is a lovely country, for sure. The people are friendly, the sights are breathtaking, and the food is top-notch. Perhaps the only drawback for tourists, local and foreign alike, is the challenging traffic situation in Metro Manila. This can put a serious dent on your travel plans, especially when you get stuck during the rush hours. To keep your vacation right on schedule, here are some tips to help you survive and even overcome Metro Manila’s infamous traffic condition.
Allocate Extra Hours for Your Commute
This is what many Filipinos do to make sure they aren’t late for work and other appointments: leave at least 2 hours early to account for traffic. This extra time might be more if you’re traveling somewhere farther away. More often than not, you’ll arrive way earlier. This isn’t all that bad, however, because then you’ll have some personal time to spare.
Book a Hotel Room Near the Airport
If you have a flight to catch to other destinations in the country, it’s ideal to check into a hotel near NAIA Terminal 4. This will save you a lot of time and help you avoid the stress of commuting to the airport. You’ll also have more energy left once you arrive at your destination, instead of feeling haggard.
Use Carpooling or Ride-Sharing Services
For those staying in the Metro Manila area, try to avoid driving as much as possible. Instead, opt for carpooling services. This way, you won’t add to the millions of cars already taking up the limited space on the roads. You’ll also save money on fuel and fares. Who knows, your fellow carpoolers might end up sharing with you the best kept secrets in town.
Bike or Walk, Where Possible
When it comes to the central business districts like Makati, Bonifacio Global City in Taguig, and Ortigas in Pasig, almost everything is within walking distance. From malls and grocery stores to restaurants and clubs, you can go from one establishment to another simply by walking for a few minutes. You can also ride bike if you brought your own bicycle or rented on. Do take note that there aren’t too many bike rental services in Metro Manila, so search for one in advance just so you’re better prepared.Walking and biking aren’t just great for exercise, these activities can also help you discover even more neighborhood secrets.
Don’t Head Out During Rush Hours
Rush hours in Metro Manila are around 6 to 9 in the morning and about 6 to 9in the evening. These times can vary, especially during the weekends, but these hours are more or less when you can expect heavy traffic. If you can avoid traveling during these hours, you can save yourself from the stress. If not, then make sure to plan carefully and remember tip number 1: allocate extra hours for travel.
Bring Some Entertainment
If worse comes to worst, and you end up getting stuck in hours of traffic, it’s a good idea to keep yourself entertained. Whether it’s a book or an e-book, your trusty music app, or your favorite mobile game, distract yourself from your predicament and pass the time. Just don’t get too distracted or you may end up a bit too far from your intended destination. Another tip: make sure to hit the bathroom before you leave. You don’t want to get stuck in traffic with a full bladder!
Download Navigation Apps
Google Maps and Waze aren’t just for drivers who want to take the fastest route. They’re also for travelers who want to navigate the city easily. Not only can these apps give you a heads up regarding traffic conditions, they can also show you nearby establishments. You can orient yourself with the neighborhood using these applications and plan your travels more efficiently.
Wait It Out
Sometimes, the best choice is simply waiting for the proverbial storm to pass. Watch a movie, have a long and satisfying dinner, or may do some window shopping. Before you know it, the rush hour has passed, and you’ll be met with more favorable traffic conditions.
The traffic situation in Metro Manila can be quite frustrating, indeed. However, don’t let this discourage you from visiting and discovering everything it can offer. Remember these tips and put them to good use to help you survive the “carmageddon.”