Hate the crowd and the noise? Do overrated holiday destinations in the Philippines appear like tourist traps to you? I bet you’re not alone.
It’s true, not all tourists are out there enduring the long trips just to party overnight, drink like there’s no tomorrow, and be intimate with any willing stranger. Some people actually want to enjoy peace and quiet, and at the same time marvel at the amazing nature before them.
But how can you have peace and be one with nature, when thousands of other tourists are there, too, and being noisy, boisterous and inconsiderate at that?
- Plan Ahead
Nothing beats a good travel plan. Even if unexpected mishaps happen along the way, planning and preparing for contingencies way ahead mitigates unwanted outcomes. With that said, plan your trip as to when you want to experience mingling with the crowd and when you want to have that time alone. Check out events and celebrations held in the location you’re visiting and plan accordingly. You might want to avoid certain dates if you don’t want to be part of the wild parties and festivities. Similarly, have an exit plan in case you get “trapped” during crowded moments.
- Avoid Attracting Attention
This might not be easy for foreign tourists, nevertheless, most Filipinos are accustomed to having foreign visitors that they are no longer the usual nosy, chismoso (gossip) locals. This is especially true when you’re visiting frequently visited tourist spots. Still, the best way to avoid the sneering, scrutinizing crowd is to avoid attracting attention. You can do this by trying to blend into the crowd itself. For instance, wear what’s appropriate and considered “normal”, and don’t go wild drinking and partying in public because then you become a magnet of trouble and the prying crowd, which you want to avoid in the first place.
- Visit on Off Peak Season
There’s no better way to say it. The best time to visit tourist spots is during non- peak season because things are way cheaper and way quieter. At times, you can have the place all to yourself like you’re paying the entire place for exclusive use only that you’re actually paying lower than what you should on peak season. However, understand that off peak season also means less of the usual touristy perks and perhaps the weather may not be as cooperative.
- Travel Alone or with a Small Group
Sometimes the rowdy crowd is the company you’re with. Honestly, it can get annoying for a group of friends to travel together and go overboard with drinking, partying, and even having conversations. If you aren’t someone who likes travelling with a big group because the company only takes away you’re quiet time, travel alone or with a smaller group. Going on solo trips is no longer a taboo as a lot of people are doing it. Ask around for helpful information on how to go about with solo travels for a safer, more enjoyable time.
- Avoid Public or Crowded Transport
Try to walk to your destination if that’s not a problem. You can always ignore the curious people you pass by on the way, but not when they’re beside you and around you in a crowded train or jeepney. If it’s feasible, try hiring or renting a vehicle or taxi to go around, or ask a local relative or friend to drive you around.
- Stay at an Exclusive Resort
The more exclusive the resort the more expensive it is. But you can always have your privacy and quiet repose when you want to. If you go for cheaper accommodations, you may not be able to avoid the crowd, the noisy gatherings in the area, and the loud music and laughter from endless parties. On the other hand, homestays and B&B inns may actually offer you some degree of privacy, especially if they are smaller accommodations that can take in only a few guests at a time.
- Visit Off-the-Beaten-Path Sites
Even the most visited tourist spots have hidden gems nearby that offer repose and seclusion. For example, when you’re in Boracay, go on an island hopping trip and visit less crowded islets and beaches. Go on snorkelling in off shore areas away from the crowd beachneering in Boracay. When you’re in large cities, visit unpopular sites such as the smaller markets for souvenir shopping. In Manila, you can visit less visited tourist spots such as the Postal Museum and Library and the Mehan Garden. There is always two sides to a coin. The same is true with tourist locations – there are frequented and very popular places and then there are less frequented and unpopular places. Still, you’re in one and the same location!
- Take the Unpopular Route
Another way to avoid to the crowd is taking the unpopular route and going against the flow. If most of the tourists are partying along the beach, have a smaller, more intimate party at the rooftop or patio of your accommodation. If most of the people are at the disco at night, go on stargazing at some place overlooking the city. If everyone is out doing that zumba exercise in the nearby park, go and do yoga within the comforts of your room.
- Enjoy Your Resort’s Amenities
At times, the reason you don’t get to enjoy some relaxing time is because you’re constantly hitting the road. You’re paying for your resort, better enjoy the amenities promised to you such as the swimming pool, the Jacuzzi, the gym, the sports hall, and even that mini library. On most occasions, not getting a fast-paced and tiresome tour can be good for you because then you can relax at your resort, drinking pinacolada while cooling down at the resort’s swimming pool, which is deserted and exclusive mainly because most of the guests are on the road having that obligatory tour.
- Visit a Secluded Alternative
If you’re still overwhelmed by the crowd, despite all your efforts to shut them out, the best way is to go for a secluded alternative. Boracay isn’t the only white sand beach in the country – there are more laid-back beaches in the Philippines such as Bohol, Cebu, Leyte and Siquijor. If you find that hiking up Mount Pulag is no more enjoyable because of the countless wannabe mountaineers squeezing at the peak to get that coveted sea of clouds selfie, try other peaks such as the Mts. Binacayan, Pamitinan, and Hapunang Banoi in Rodriguez, Rizal.
When you visit a new place, mingling with the crowd and getting to know a handful of locals may be necessary, but not always. A trip filled with hurried tours, lots of noise, wild parties and rowdy crowd can be exasperating, you end up not having that dream break from the hustle and bustle of your daily existence. As you visit the beautiful tourist locations in the Philippines, remember to squeeze in moments of solitude and repose.
Have you got other suggestions on how to have some solitude when travelling? Leave a comment below and share them with us. Also, don’t forget to share this list with your friends. Click one of the social media buttons for quicker sharing.