travel & lifestyle blog by ruth dela cruz

Traveling in the New Normal (Philippines 2022 Travel Requirements)

February 10, 2022

What does the new normal travel look like this 2022? How to travel during a pandemic? Where to travel this pandemic in the Philippines?

Those are the questions I was asking myself as I look at the number of COVID-19 cases at the start of the year. I am always excited about the idea of traveling and exploring new places in the new normal. So it is exciting news to see destinations opening their borders for leisure travelers. Before the year ended, I got invited by the Tourism Promotions Board to visit one of the most beautiful islands in the world – Coron, Palawan. I promised myself to visit and discover more places in the Philippines. So I am over the moon when I got to travel again and experienced the sights, sounds, and flavors of Iloilo, Capiz, and Aklan.

Inside the Philippine Airlines airplane travel during pandemic

During these recent travels, I realized that traveling in a new normal means learning how to live with the virus and ensuring we travel safely. Aside from the rich culture and unique experiences (I will share in separate blogs), I want to share some info and tips that may help you in your next travel around the Philippines.

Before Your Travel: New Normal Travel in Philippines

When researching about the destination, include research about the LGU ‘s travel requirements and protocols. Here are the important documents that you must prepare and secure for travels in the new normal:

  1. Vax Certificate: if you are fully vaccinated, make sure you register and secure your VaxCert via
  2. RT-PCR Swab Test Negative Result: it should be taken not more than 72 hours from the day of your flight. Filipinos and foreigners residing in the Philippines can avail of the 100% subsidy for the RT-PCR Test with leisure tourism as the purpose of domestic travel and with confirmed transportation and accommodation bookings. You may send an application via the Tourism Promotions Board site. The RT-PCR Swab Test is conducted at the Philippine Children’s Medical Clinic in Quezon City. Please bring a face shield as it is required to wear one in a hospital.
  3. Approved S-Pass: visit the to know the LGU requirements of the provice that you are visiting. The site also provides information on the LGU Travel Policy Table. By experience, the documents that are usually requested when securing an S-Pass are:
    • VaxCert
    • Negative RT-PCR Swab Test Result
    • Government Issued ID

Tip: You can only upload up to 3 documents, so it would be good to merge documents in one pdf file. This would help in expediting your request. I got approved for the Iloilo S Pass in just an hour.

Sample photo of Approved S Pass in the Philippines

Some LGU’s would require Travel Itinerary and Hotel Booking. It would be convenient to have digital copies of these documents on your phone when traveling.

Download the app Staysafe.Ph as establishments may ask you to scan the code during your visit.

I personally try to stay home before my Swab Test and flight to lessen my exposure. The RT-PCR Swab Test Result feels like a travel visa. You can imagine my anxiety while I await for the swab test results.

Boarding the Plane and During Flight: New Normal Travel in Philippines

Before you take a picture of the view from the airplane window, make sure that you read these tips first:

  1. It is always recommended that you arrive at least 2 hours before your flight (for domestic travels), but allocate more time for safety checks. Airlines are now more strict when it comes to checked-in and hand-carried items.
  2. Wear either surgical mask or N95 mask. Change it every 6 hours. I personally do double-mask (surgical or N95 mask underneat a cloth mask).
  3. Bring alcohol and/or disinfecting spray / wipes. I bring Lysol wipes and disinfecting spray during travels.
  4. Keep copies of your VaxCert, S-Pass and RT-PCR Swab Test (with QR code) on your mobile phone for easy access and scanning.

Arriving in the Destination: New Normal Travel in Philippines

When we arrived in Iloilo, we were required to take another RT-PCR Swab Test and we complied with this requirement by the LGU. After our swab test, we stayed in our hotel (quarantine hotel) and waited for the result (which was released later that night). As a responsible traveler in the new normal, it is important to comply with these requirements and ensure that we do not bring the virus to the destination/infect the locals.

Woman taking selfie in front of mirror in Quarantine Hotel in Iloilo

Some destinations no longer require such Swab Testing, while others still request incoming travelers to take the Swab Test. Check out the LGU Travel Policy Table for more information.

When we went around the city and different destinations, we made sure that we follow Safety Health Protocols like social distancing, sanitizing and washing our hands, and wearing of face masks.

There were instances when I removed my mask when taking solo photos or eating meals.

I personally try to stay healthy during travels by eating more healthier options, keeping myself hydrated, getting at least 6 hours of sleep (impossible to get 8 hours of sleep during travels), and taking my vitamins.

We did 3-day isolation after we arrived in Manila (and took RT-PCR Swab Test) to ensure that we are negative before coming back home. I am happy to say that we all went home safe and negative.

It is nice to see tourist destinations opening again and giving livelihood to our local tourist guides and boatmen. I feel the excitement with them as they share their culture and heritage. I cannot wait to write about those stories. 💓

I hope you find this blog helpful.

Leave a comment if you have questions, and share this post with your family and friends.

Related Read:

Coron, Palawan: Travel Requirements, Where to Stay and Places to Visit

Marinduque Travel: The Center of the Philippines

Discovering Samar + Things to Do in Samar #SparkSamar

Staycation at Club Punta Fuego: Review + Birthday Weekend

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