Travelling comes in trends.
You see places come into fashion and similar age groups flocking to specific locations. You start at age 18 in Magaluf/Santa Ponsa/Aya Napa followed by a summer hopping across European countries on an interrailing trip. Next, you're probably heading to Thailand for a piss-up or on a J1 and before you know it, you and your moh are heading to either Canada or Australia for a year...
Sound about right?
Well, let me tell you about the HOTTEST destination that I guarantee will be the place to be within the next year - The Philippines.
I'm just back from this stunning country and I've honestly never loved a place more. It's like walking into a Pinterest feed - white beaches, crystal blue waters, palm trees and coconut vendors aplenty.
Best of all, it's not bombarded with tourists - get over there before they flock!
Still not convinced?
Here are 10 reasons why you'd be thick not to put this on the TOP of your travel bucket list this year:
1. Filipinos Are The Friendliest People Ever
I have never met a friendlier bunch of people.
The Filipino people are so lovely, always smiling, laughing and having the craic. We had multiple tour guides and we loved each one even more than the last.
They're also really helpful, whenever we got lost they'd always cop it and ask if we needed assistance.
2. You Can Swim With Whale Sharks
During my trip, we travelled to Oslob in Cebu to swim with whale sharks; it was honestly one of the coolest things I've ever done.
The whale sharks were absolutely HUGE and they just swim about, not a bother to them, while we watched in awe from beside our boat.
There are strict rules in place – you can't touch them, wear sun cream in the water or use flash photography and there were marine biologists on-site to make sure the animals were cared for, which I liked.
We had to get up at 3am to do the tour as it gets booked up very quickly and they stop permitting tourists early in the day, so be prepared.
One of the best experiences I had during my trip, hands down.
3. The Beaches Are 10 Times Better Than Any Other In The World
Everyone that travels to The Philippines says that the beaches are the most beautiful they've ever seen and I couldn't agree more.
The whitest sand you can imagine and clear blue waters - it's proper dreamy.
My favourite beach we visited was Nacpan Beach, north of El Nido in Palawan - truly stunning.
4. There Are Over 7,000 Islands To Explore
You could travel this place 100 times and there would still be somewhere new to see. Best of all, they are all so different from one another.
We travelled between four different islands and every single one was completely unique; they all had their own cultures, language, traditions and delicacies.
5. It's Really Affordable
Sure, it's cheap as chips!
Meals will usually cost €3-4, no more than €6, and that'd be for a really fancy place. Hostels will cost you between 700-1000 pesos a night which is just under €20.
You also don't have to purchase a visa to visit which will save you some quid compared to other similar destinations.
The main expense is getting there and back!
6. It's Super Safe
I have to admit, I was a little nervous travelling so far across the world to this country with a completely different culture, but from the moment I stepped off the plane, I felt so safe.
Walking down the street at night was a breeze, we never felt threatened or at risk and the locals are so friendly that they were always there to help us if we had a problem.
I never heard of anyone we met along the way getting robbed or scammed or anything like that.
7. They Are Very Environmentally Conscious - Single-Use Plastic Is Banned
One thing I noticed while travelling was how environmentally conscious they were. All single-use plastic is banned in Palawan and many sites and beaches are protected.
On most tours and activities you are asked to pay an area conservation fee so that they can preserve and develop the land.
We went on one tour and they asked us to pick any rubbish we saw out of the ocean, thankfully we didn't see much but when there was, they jumped out of the boat to get it and dispose of it correctly.
8. A Bottle Of Rum Costs €1.50
We headed to the supermarket to pick up some rum and coke for a night out. Never in my life have I seen my rum being cheaper than my mixer.
The local rum will blow your head off as well - it's the best thing to drink while you party!
9. It's The Only Place In The World You'll See A Tasier Monkey
These tiny creatures can only be found in the islands of Bohol, Samar, Leyte, and Mindanao.
They are the cutest, tiniest monkeys I've ever seen!
I mean LOOK at them:
10. Karaoke... Everywhere
The Filippions ADORE karoke.
You cannot walk down the street without hearing them singing, it's actually GAS. On our tours, they sang and made us sing too, and whenever we dined, the staff would be singing behind the bar.
There's even a singing restaurant in Manila where you can eat while watching a live performance.
Try one of the karoke bars in Manila, lots of fun!
Literally the best country in the world!