Frequently Asked Questions
If you have questions about bookings, flights, discounts, getting in, health, where you’ll stay, how you’ll get around, with whom, dressed in what, eating what, we’ve got you covered!
Who are we?
We made a whole page to answer just this question. Click here to read about us.
Why should you travel with us?
You’re choosing pretty much the best value in Philippines backpacker travel…
- We take you to see the absolute best of Philippines. All-encompassing, packed itineraries give you access to the top must-see sites you’ve read about, as well as all the hidden, off-the-beaten-track destinations you haven’t.
- Experience travelling with an amazing group of like-minded people – not just those travelling with you, but our expert, fun-loving guides too! They’ll show you their part of the Philippines their way.
- Give something back by volunteering in the local community.
- We have an excellent commitment to safety – we do the hard work keeping you safe, so you can enjoy yourself to the full.
- Environmentally friendly and sustainable travel – we want these stunning places to exist for future generations.
- We like to think of ourselves as open-minded people, and our tours are for open-minded people too. We welcome travellers of any nationality, ethnicity, religion, political affiliation, gender and sexual orientation.
- We are a LGBT-friendly travel operator, so you’ll feel safe travelling with us, whatever your way of life – that means no judging and no harassing!
- Our India trips are most suitable for travellers aged 18 to 60, however, we do occasionally make exceptions outside of this on an individual basis.
Who travels with us?
On first glance, our ‘Dragons’ look like a disparate group of people. We’re young, old, long-time travellers, career-breakers, gap year-takers, families, students, teachers, explorers, history buffs, foodies, nomads, fitness freaks, anime-lovers, Brits, Europeans, Kiwis, Aussies, Americans and a whole lot more. However, whilst appearing very different at first glance, our travellers are more united than first appearances might suggest…
Just like our fantastic team, our customers share a thirst for knowledge, a taste for adventure and a genuine interest in discovering new cultures.
- English-speaking Adventure Leaders
- Accommodation in hostels which meet The Dragon Trip’s high standards. All hostels have their own unique Indian charm, and at the same time are safe, clean, and hygienic.
- All train and bus tickets
- Entry, transport and Adventures Leaders to some of India’s unmissable attractions, such as the Taj Mahal, a Camel Safari in the Thar Desert and a boat tour of Varanasi
- All taxes and charges.
What’s not included?
- Flights to and from India
- Aside from the many free unmissable activities The Dragon Trip offers you, we also offer some extra activities which are great value for money, safe and fun.
- Food and Drink – Eating and drinking is incredibly cheap in India, but even so, the Dragon Trip still gives you access to a great range of discounts on food and drinks in the liveliest bars in town.
- Any train/bus tickets for journeys made after the trip – we recommend using Cleartrip for trains and Redbus for buses.
- Any hostels for after your trip has ended – if you require accommodation before or after your trip, we can help you book that! Just contact us at email@example.com. Payments for these will need to be made along with your final trip payment.
When do the trips depart?
Please find the departure dates for each trip on their respective webpage.
Can I begin my trip on a non-listed date?
We would strongly recommend beginning your trip on the listed start dates, that way you won’t miss any of the exciting activities! However, if for some reason this isn’t possible, our Sales team will do the best they can to accommodate you.
Why is The Dragon Trip better than other travel companies?
We offer a balance between cultural activities, extreme activities and great nightlife. We offer a package aimed at budget travellers, who want to travel with other like-minded people. We offer access to the real India, where you get to experience the wonderful culture of India as an insider, rather than a tourist. As a result, we are consistently rated very highly on Facebook and Feefo.
We constantly strive to provide you with the best value for money while travelling in India, yet your safety is always our absolute priority – you’re in safe hands.
Why are we cheaper than other backpacking tours?
Firstly, we normally use public transport to get to the train stations and visit local attractions, and we find this not only keeps costs lower but also provides a chance to experience real India, rather than observe it at a distance from a tourist minibus. Secondly, we often use young Adventure Leaders who work for us for one or two seasons after university. They are highly educated and thoroughly trained, but as they are doing it more for personal experience rather than to make money, they are cheaper, and some may argue, more enthusiastic than the ‘career tour guides’ used by most tour companies in India.
What are the ages & nationalities of people booked on Dragon trips?
Each trip is different, but our travellers come from all over the world and from every background – why not connect with fellow Dragon Trippers or meet people on The Dragon Trip Facebook page. Usually, Dragon Trippers are aged anywhere between 18 to 30 something, but we do get older customers joining. We fully embrace the backpacker attitude that everyone is very welcome. A typical trip would include friends who have just finished high school, couples on career breaks, students on university holidays, and solo travellers from all walks of life. The group normally speaks English but come from all over the world including the UK, North America, Australia and New Zealand, Mainland Europe, Israel and Brazil.
How can I book my trip?
All you have to do is email us with your full name at firstname.lastname@example.org and send in your deposit (10% of trip cost) to guarantee a place in the tour of your choosing. The full amount will be due 70 days before your trip departure date. Once we have confirmed your deposit or full payment, then we will need your correct passport name, birthdate and passport number so that we can issue you your visa invitation letters and booking pack.
What is the payment policy?
For all trips, a deposit of 10% of trip cost is required in order to confirm your booking, and the remaining amount is due 70 days prior to your departure. If you book on to our India tours less than 70 days prior to departure, the full balance will be due within 3 days of booking.
How do I pay?
After making a booking on our website, depending on whether you are paying in British pounds or US dollars, you will need to send your payment to our British account, or US account. If you are paying to our US dollar account, please make sure to let your bank know that you do not want them to use an intermediary bank and instead send it directly to the US dollar account at HSBC UK – otherwise you may be charged with a $25 intermediary bank usage fee! You can also choose to pay via PayPal, but they charge a %3.4 additional cost for their service. As soon as we see your payment come through we will issue you a receipt confirming it.
British (GBP) bank account details:
HSBC Account Name: The Dragon Trip Pte. Ltd.
Account Number: 8153 1115
Sort Code: 40 02 08
Branch Address: HSBC Bank Plc, 455 Strand, London, WC2R 0RH
Swift Code: MIDLGB22 IBAN: GB82MIDL40020881531115
US$ (USD) bank account details (for customers based in the USA):
Eastern Bank Account Name: The Dragon Trip LLC
Account Number: 60141 9715
Routing Number: 0113 01798
Swift Code: EASRUS3B
Send checks to: The Dragon Trip, 51 Melcher Street – First Floor, Boston, MA 02210, USA
US$ (USD) bank account details (for customers based outside of the USA, including Canada):
Account Name: The Dragon Trip PTE LTD
Swift Code: CMFGUS33
Account Number: 8310305569
Address: TransferWise, 19 W 24th Street, New York NY 10010, United States
Canadian Dollar (CAD) bank account details:
Account Name: THE DRAGON TRIP PTE. LTD.
Bank Name: Digital Commerce Bank
Financial Institution Number: 352
Transit Number: 10009
Bank Account Number: 940591852
Bank Address: 736 Meridian Road NE, Calgary, Alberta, T2A 2N7 Canada
Euro € (EUR) bank account details:
Account Holder: THE DRAGON TRIP PTE. LTD.
Bank Name: AS LHV PANK
Bank address: Tartu mnt 2, Tallinn 10145, Estonia
Australian Dollar (AUD) bank account details:
Account Holder: THE DRAGON TRIP PTE. LTD.
BSB Number: 013943
Account Number: 612518329
Account Type: Current
Bank Name: Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (AN)
Bank Address: 833 Collins Street, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
What is the refund policy?
You are entitled to a full refund for any reason up to 10 days after you make a booking, after this period, all payments are non-refundable. If you have paid or booked within 30 days of your trip departure date no refunds will be granted from The Dragon Trip and refunds must be pursued with your travel insurance provider.
What happens if there is an unforeseen emergency?
Examples of this would include:
– Terrorist attack
– Civil unrest
– Bad Weather
The Dragon Trip will only pay up to the original costs outlined in the itinerary, but will not pay any additional costs* in excess of 40 RMB per person. Our official policy is to charge customers for any extra costs and advise them to request reimbursement from their travel insurance provider. Payment to The Dragon Trip should be made before the company makes additional purchases whenever possible.
*Additional costs may include (but are not limited to) arranging new transportation or booking new accommodation for the group.
Because this policy involves emergency situations, it is always on a case by case basis. Adventure tour managers reserve the right to make an exception to this rule if the group’s safety is in danger or a decision needs to be made immediately (i.e. the next train is about to depart and we need to quickly buy new tickets without consulting the group). In these cases, it is acceptable for the company to make purchases without receiving payment from customers in advance.
After their tour, customers can request reimbursement from travel insurance. Many travel insurance providers offer some form of “Bad Weather or Natural Disaster Coverage” which covers unexpected inclement weather or unexpected natural disasters. These are examples of relevant coverages included in most policies:
• Trip Delay – generally from bad weather or carrier-caused delays. Trip Delay is reimbursement for meals and accommodations that you might incur if your trip is delayed for a covered reason. Trip Delay can happen at any time throughout the trip. For example, you’ll be reimbursed up to the daily limit for meals and accommodations (to the policy maximum) if your departure is delayed for more than the number of hours required for a covered reason during your trip.
• Trip Interruption – you unexpectedly return home early from your trip. This reimburses you for your unused prepaid trip costs and one
If The Dragon Trip goes out of business, would I still be able to get a refund?
Yes, as stated below:
Total Payment Protection (topp) Policy cover.
In compliance with the UK Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992 an insurance policy has been arranged with Travel & General Insurance Services Limited (t&g), to protect customers’ prepayments in the unlikely event of our financial failure and paid in respect of:
- non-flight inclusive packages commencing and returning to the UK
- the ground handling aspects of packages where the customer is responsible for arranging travel to the destination offered in this brochure/literature/document/ on the website (subject to the terms of the insurance policy), for:
- a refund of such prepayments if customers have not yet travelled, or
- making arrangements to enable the holiday to continue if customers have already travelled
Customers’ prepayments are protected by a topp policy.
In the unlikely event of financial failure please contact the claims helpline on 0870 0137 965. A copy of the policy is available on request.
This policy is provided by Travel & General Insurance Services Limited (t&g), registered number 02527363 and underwritten by Hiscox Insurance Company Limited (Hiscox), registered number 00070234. t&g and Hiscox are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (number 113849)
What if I miss the booking deadline for a trip?
Unfortunately, registration for our backpacker tours is closed 18 days before the departure date. You do have the option of arranging another trip as an independent traveller. This means that you will let us know where you would like to go, when you would like to go, and how many people you would like to go with and we will arrange all the Adventure Leaders, accommodations and transportation (all still at the most competitive price point). This is a much more flexible (and shorter) trip option, which many of our travellers do choose to do.
Is there anything I need to do after (if) I book through another agent?
Please kindly provide us with a scan or photo of your passport’s information page so that we may begin to issue you your visa invitation documents.
How do our promotions work?
All promotions used must be stated at the time of booking and cannot be backdated. Promotions cannot be used in conjunction with any other offers. Any discount applied is at the sole discretion of the Dragon Trip.
Can I use my student card?
Unless you have an Filipino student card, they are not widely accepted. Feel free to bring it with you anyway just in case.
How do I get my visa for The Philippines?
For the majority of countries (UK, EU, USA, Australia) you can enter for 30 days without a visa but we would advise checking the entry requirements before you travel.
How do I get a VISA if I’m away (abroad) from home?
So long as you have access to the internet, and the required documentation, you can apply for an e-Visa online as usual.
What travel insurance do I need for the Philippines?
We require all our customers to have backpackers travel insurance when coming on the trip. We recommend purchasing a travel insurance that offers ‘Bad Weather or Natural Disaster Coverage’.
Please bring details of your travel insurance along with you. In the event of an accident, we may need to contact your insurance company on your behalf, so we will need the insurance company’s name and phone number and your policy number. When it comes to who to choose, we’re big fans of World Nomads as a travel insurance provider.
Do I need any special vaccinations for the Philippines?
The Dragon Trip aims to enter no areas with tropical diseases. However, as with any backpacking trip, we urge you to seek advice from a travel nurse before departing your home country.
- All travellers should be up to date with a full course of vaccination and boosters recommended by their governments. For UK regulations, click here.
- Yellow Fever: The only vaccine required by international health regulations is Yellow Fever. Proof of vaccination against yellow fever is only required if you have visited a country in the yellow-fever zone within the six days prior to entering Philippines.
- Diphtheria: All travellers are strongly advised to be vaccinated
- Hep A: All travellers should be vaccinated.
- Tetanus: All travellers are strongly advised to be vaccinated
- Hep B: Sexually transmitted. All travellers to should be vaccinated.
- Japanese Encephalitis: Vaccination is recommended if you’re in rural areas for more than a month during summer months. As a company, we must urge you to take all precautions deemed necessary including the highest level of immunizations for safety reasons.
- Malaria: Generally, malaria is low risk and it’s not recommended to take anti-malarial tablets.
- Rabies: Don’t need pre-vaccination per se.
- Cholera: Only individuals who are considered ‘high risk’ are advised vaccines. Cholera is spread through consumption of contaminated water and food. It would be unusual for ‘non-high risk’ travellers to contract cholera if they take basic precautions with food and water and maintain a good standard of hygiene.
I’m not very physically fit! Is the trip suitable for me?
At its heart, the Dragon Trip is an adventure tour of Philippines, but you can make your Dragon Trip as physically active (or inactive) as you want. Instead of the more physical activities, you could ask your Adventure Leader for a more relaxing activity!
I have a medical condition – is this OK?
Generally yes, but please do inform us of your specific requirements at the point of booking.
Do I need a first aid kit?
All of our Adventure Leaders have a fully equipped first aid kit with them at all times, but of course, there is no harm in bringing your own small one along. We also advise that you bring your own antihistamine, anti-diarrhoea, and painkillers if you think you’ll need them. These are available in all of the cities.
If something happens, will I be able to get necessary medical attention?
All cities have hospitals and clinics in case of emergencies. With that being said, medical treatment is certainly more developed in the bigger cities, but regardless of where you are in The Philippines medical treatment is available, and your Adventure Leader will always be on hand to help take you to a hospital if worse comes to worst.
Which hostels do we use?
All our hostels and guesthouse are clean, comfortable and centrally located and we’ll send over the list for your trip in your booking pack.
What is the standard of accommodation?
All of the hostels are clean, air-conditioned or have fans, are safe, have good showers, internet, washing machines and most importantly, have real character. People who stay at hostels are usually young people aged 18 to 35 who are travelling on a smaller budget than people staying at hotels. So, it is easy to make friends and fun to hang out in the lounge areas. If you would like to stay in a private room though, that is absolutely possible as well as we have room upgrades available at the time of purchase.
Do the hostels have WiFi? Will I be able to keep in touch with friends and family while in Asia?
There is Wi-Fi and computers available for use in all hostels you stay in during The Dragon Trip.
Do I need a sleeping bag or is linen supplied in the hostels?
All bedding is provided.
Who looks after our bags when we’re on transport and/or day excursions?
The bags will be stored at the hostels where they are tagged and recorded. We have never had a case of anyone losing their luggage or having their luggage stolen so you can focus on having fun.
Can I upgrade to a private room?
Yes! If you’d like to upgrade to a private room the prices are listed below. Just email us before your final payment is due to let us know you’d like to upgrade. The upgrade fee is for the room, not per person- i.e. if you are a couple upgrading, then you split this price between the two of you. Room upgrades include single, double and twin rooms. The single room is £185 per person and the double room is £55 per person. The difference is due to the standard being a twin/double.
What are the transport links?
There’s a combination on our Philippines tour of flights, buses and jeepneys!
Do you provide an airport transfer service?
The Dragon Trip provides, upon request, airport pick-ups. The price is 40 GBP/ 56 USD. This service is available from Manila. We can also arrange airport transfers in El Nido.
For your safety, we highly recommend spending some extra money on an airport transfer service in Manila.
Who are the adventure leaders?
Each group will be accompanied by English speaking Adventure Leaders. All our adventure leaders have the passion and knowledge to ensure that they can help you have a great time in each destination.
How experienced are they? And will they be travelling with us?
Each of our Adventure Leaders is an expert in their area – so actually you will have a different Adventure Leader in each location. At the end of the trip for each location they will either travel with you just on the train or see you off onto your train and another Adventure Leader will pick you right back up as soon as you get off your train.
For more information on who you’ll be travelling with, meet our team!
Do I need to bring power converters?
Yes! Philippines electrical outlets are 220 Volts and the plug sockets are Type A,B and C,.
What should I pack for my trip?
We strongly recommend packing very light for The Dragon Trip. Philippines has plenty to buy so don’t fret too much if you left something behind. You really need very little as you can wash clothes regularly in the hostels.
Suitcase or backpack?
A suitcase is OK, but a backpack/hold-all is much, much more convenient.
We advise a rucksack of 50 – 70L but a suitcase is also fine. If necessary absolutely, arrangements can also be made to send things domestically, for an extra fee.
- Sensible walking shoes
- Swimming costume
- Lightweight waterproof
- Local currency or credit/debit card
- Student card if you have one, although it is not guaranteed to be accepted
- Travel insurance policy
- Photocopies of insurance policy, bank cards, passport photo page, visa
- Books and other entertainments for the night trains
- Mosquito repellent, sun-screen and after-sun
- Camera and charger – The Philippines is a photographer’s dream!
- Small first aid kit with medicine for diarrhoea, paracetamol, disinfectant etc.
- A big bag and a small rucksack. We sometimes get separated from our big bags, so you’ll need to keep your valuables with you in a small bag.
Bring electronic products at your own risk. Some customers choose to travel with iPhone, tablets and laptops, but although theft is extremely rare on the Dragon Trip there is petty crime in some areas we visit.
How do I get money in The Philippines?
We would advise bringing a small amount of local currency and then withdrawing the rest from ATMs- we will take you to suitable places that accept international cards.
How much should I budget for food and drink on the Dragon Trip?
Food in the Philippines is very cheap. We advise you to budget £5-10 per day for food in great local restaurants your Adventure Leader will take you to which we know are safe and tasty.
Do I need to tip in the Philippines?
Generally there has not been a tipping culture in The Philippines but this has been growing in recent years and you may choose to tip at some restaurants if you have had good service.
If you’re happy with the service provided by your Adventure Leader, at the end of your trip, you may consider tipping your leader as well.
What kind of restaurants will we go to?
Your Adventure Leader will always offer to take you for a group meal, where we go to a local restaurant, which we know is hygienic and has cheap and delicious food. If you are craving Western food, then there are lots of great options!
What kind of food will we be eating on the trip?
Philippines may not be famed for food but there are lots of different options! With its diverse mix of different cuisines, food throughout the country can be vastly different but fear not- with literally lots of options, the Philippines has something for everyone, even the pickiest or most adventurous of eaters.
I’m vegetarian/have allergies – will I be able to get the right food?
Yes! Just tell your Adventure Leader and they can help you find something suitable. You will probably discover a new dish that you love!
I have an emergency on my trip, who should I contact?
If you encounter an emergency on your Dragon Trip in the Philippines, you can call our 24-hour emergency line which you will be given in your pre-trip briefing. Please note, this number should only be used in real emergencies related to someone being in danger or encountering an incident during their trip.
For all other calls, please contact our team in London on +44 (0)207 157 9964.
- If you can’t find what you’re after, email us: email@example.com
- Any promotional code used must be presented and used at the time of paying your deposit and thereby confirming your booking. No special offers can be used on bookings which have already been submitted and confirmed.
- Our prices are set in GBP £, prices listed in American Dollars and Euros are for reference only, and although we update these regularly, they are occasionally inaccurate. If paying for your tour in a currency other than GBP £, we do need to have received an amount which converts to the cost of your specific trip at the point of purchase. For currency conversion rates please check www.xe.com
- Typical Group size is 20 people. Minimum group size is 3 people.
- Accommodation is not provided the night before Day 1 of your trip or for the night of the last day of your trip.
- As this is a backpacker tour, we often use public transport on our activities and to transfer between the hostel and the train station.
- Please note, we work hard to keep our published itineraries as up to date as possible. However, as we are constantly striving to improve our trips, sometime the itineraries may change slightly between the time you make a booking and the time you go on The Dragon Trip.
- In order to keep our prices as low as possible, occasionally on longer trains, one Adventure Leader will put you on a train, and another will collect you off the train in your destination.
- The use of Drones and other unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is prohibited during activities organized by The Dragon Trip. If you are in possession of a drone when entering the country it is your responsibility to be informed of and follow all local laws. This may include registering your drone with authorities. If you violate this policy or operate a drone illegally you are subject to removal from the tour as per our terms & conditions.