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Domestic and International Travel

Traveling in domestic and international have a lots of differences in terms of requirements and assurance to be able to reach the destination.


For domestic flights, check in counter closes 45 minutes before the scheduled time of departure. While for international flights, check in counter closes 1 hour before the scheduled time of departure.

You can also check in online. For domestic flights, you can check in from 7 days up to 1 hour before your departure. While for international flights, you can check in from 7 days up to 4 hours before your departure.

Another option is to check in via kiosk which is available in the airport. Though Philippine Airports these days already used kiosk to check in and you need to go to the bag drop counter if you have baggage.


For domestic flights, passport is not required to travel. However, you can still use it for identification purposes, other than your valid IDs.

For international flights, passport is the only identification acceptable.  A passport must be at least six (6) months valid before your flight. For those who have plans on going abroad yet still do not have the passport, better to apply for it now.  And you need to make sure that you stay in the foreign country within the validity of your passport.

Applying for passport needs time and valid requirements (check here for the list). To apply, you need to set an Online Appointment via the DFA website. Schedule is limited and usually got full immediately.

The Passport Fee for either New or Renewal is as follows:

  • Regular – Php 950
  • Expedite – Php 1,200
  • Penalty for Loss and Mutilated ePassport – Php 350

You can either pick up or have your passport delivered with a cost. Passport is valid for 10 years.

Make sure that your passport is not torn or damage as it might not be accepted. Should there be any damages on your passport, request to renew or replace it immediately.

During your trip,  you should bring your passport when you go out of your hotel to stroll, shop and sightseeing. That will prove to the authorities that you are a tourist.


When traveling within the country, if you have the plane tickets, you are off to go.

But things are different when traveling outside the country. You may have the plane ticket or even the boarding pass and the passport, but it is still not 💯% assurance that you can fly. You still have to pass the last step and that is the immigration checking. Immigration officer is strict and will make sure that those who are planning to work without undergoing the process cannot fly and be declined. There are a lot of scary stories about getting offloaded.

But how to pass the immigration checking? I think there are two things you have to prove to the immigration whenever you are traveling outside the country.

  1. That you have sufficient funds to support your whole trip. Usually, showing your financial source like business or employment. That’s why, most if not all employed travelers are bringing a copy of their Certificate of Employment, Company ID, and approved Vacation Leave. I even heard from someone I know that the Immigration Officer is asking for a copy of payslip just to prove the financial capability.
  2. That you will go back home to Philippines and do not have an intention to stay longer than you’re expected and allowed to. You should stay in a country based on the allowed number of days to stay. For either visa-free or with visa countries. Immigration Officer usually asks  for how long you’ll stay in the foreign country, where are you staying and what you will be doing. Secure a copy of your hotel booking so that when asked, you can show it to the IO.

I would always tell anyone who will ask me on what to do during Immigration Checking to be confident. But it is not inevitable that we get really worried and scared. It is our gateway to our dream trip and we are not even sure if we can pass. If our plans will be pushed through or it will end us up with a broken heart. But even with that, let us still try our best with confidence to face the Immigration Officer. As long as we are true to our reason to travel and our means of financial support, we should be fine.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance is not usually a requirement when traveling. But it is something good to have especially when traveling outside the country and our home health insurance cannot cover. We do not know what’s gonna happen while away, it is better to have some insurance to use.


While you do not have to worry about exchange your money when traveling within the country, this is one of the main things you need to think about when traveling outside the country. The exchange rate, the best money changers, and what currency to bring. Exchange rates change from time to time. It could go up or down any minute or any day. So have the closest possible higher rate when estimating your budget. Best money changers can either be in Philippines or in the country you are heading to. Lastly, what currency you should bring when traveling. Should it be your local currency, the currency of the country you’re going to or US dollars. I usually bring these three. I will have my money exchanged here in the Philippines to the foreign currency enough to survive for a day or two. Then have the Philippines Peso and US Dollars I brought exchanged in the country I am traveling. Sometimes, using your credit cards or withdrawing from a Global ATM outside the country may have a better exchange rates than exchanging through the money changers.


When traveling within the Philippines, the most used and safest language to use is Tagalog. The national language that is widely used within the country. Having many dialects, we sometimes cannot communicate using the dialects of the places we are visiting, thus Tagalog is used. Fortunately, all of the Filipinos can speak and understand Tagalog. Even how hard it gets sometimes. 😀 So that should not be an issue.

However, when traveling outside the country, the language to use is English which we considered as the International Language. The thing is that not all can speak and understand English. In some countries, locals will only speak their own language. Good thing, language translators are available these days. Make sure to download this whenever traveling to a country that do not speak English. You can type, take a photo or speak into the app whatever you want to say and vice versa. Plus, some locals will really try their best to communicate even if they have a hard time understanding English. Also, learning the basic words from that country should be better. Simple hello and thank you will do. Locals will definitely appreciate that.


When traveling within the country, we all live with the same culture. Culture shock should not be a thing we will think about. However, traveling outside the country, culture is a thing we need to consider or think about. Learning about their culture should be an essential. Though you do not have to study deep about their culture but at least learn on the basic like the dress code, manners, and the likes.

There should be other things that differ from traveling within the country or outside the country. You just have to know about these before going to these places. And make sure, to RESPECT the locals wherever you are going – domestic or international.