Here is a list of NOT to do's in the hopes that travelers will take heed and research before they end up with another story to add to the pages of TA:

Resorts -   Don’t get trapped inside...

This is a BIG tip, given to many travelers:  Mactan Island has some of the best, most wonderful Resorts in all of The Philippines. They are very nice, and offer a lot of great things to do and see within them...  BUT>>>>  The common practice of these resorts are to keep the traveler trapped ( so say ) inside as much as possible.  They will act like they don’t know about nothing outside the resorts, they will not tell you of any other activities outside the resorts... The employees are often trained and told: "Do not tell or recommend anything outside the resorts or you will be terminated from your job..." They often act dumb, tell the guest it's not safe outside the resort, or even that the resort will not allow metered taxis on property, so it makes it more difficult for you to be able to leave. The tactics is to make it so aggravating and so hard that you will just say  " its not worth it and stay inside ".

Most of the resorts will not allow other Restaurants, Spa's, or any activity in which has free hotel pick up and drop off ,,,  to bring their car inside the resort property.  The will instead make the guests walk from the main entrance to the road to be picked up...  They are a wonderful and diverse array of dinning, entertainment and activities outside the resorts on Mactan Island. Please do your research on the Internet and Find these places.  Most all of them offer Free Hotel Pick up and drop off.  Then tell the resort,   " I am your guests and I have a pick up from XXXX at  (time) and I expect they will have no trouble picking me up or dropping me off."   If you allow the resorts to do it,  they will continue to treat you in this way... 

Resorts have some of the most wonderful activities and facilities inside.  But don’t get trapped into the way over priced tours, island hopping, and outside activities they will try to sell you...  They not only want to control all of what goes on inside the resorts, but also want to sell you all the outside activities also..  You can find much, much cheaper and great quality tours outside the resorts....  You will have to do some internet research, and plan,  but you can find many great quality, affordable things to do outside the resorts...  

Now, if you have the money, and don’t mind spending a lot more than normal, and its not a issue with you.. Then the resorts can supply you with great tours and decent quality..  But they are also great quality and decent tours outside the resorts also at much lower cost...

LOCAL VENDORS AND STREET HUSTLERS

Never, never,  get talked into taking a tour from a vendor, local tricycle driver, or street guide. Sometimes you will even see these inside the resorts and around the beaches...  DO NOT DEAL with them.  You will always, always get ripped off and you will get in a mess with these people...  No matter how good they seem, or how nice they seem to be willing to help you. Based on the experiences of many travelers before you, don’t deal with them.. You are only in for a heart ache and the possible ruining your vacation...

Sometimes these guys will look like employees and even act legit..  Always ask if they are licensed, and who do they represent. Once they get you hooked, its their natural way to get you into situations that intimidate you and scare you so you will just pay... That is the big trick here.  They do it daily..  You can't reason with them, you can't argue with them, they don't care...

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TAXI DRIVERS 

Always before you set down inside the taxi, make the deal with your taxi driver about the amount for your joiurney.  Don’t never assume he will just run the meter..  Suggestion would be always say run the meter plus  will give you P 20.  or P 50 ,  according how far it is..  Nothing wrong with giving a tip,  but you have to get it straight and up front in the beginning...  Have your fare ready, when you arrive step out of the taxi, hand him the money on your way out.. Don’t sit and wait.. Just hand it and keep walking, saying thank you..  Most will surely ask or try to tell you it was more.  Some wont...  Don’t stop to try to reason with them.  It’s just a waist of your time, and they use this tactic to scare you or embarrass you into some extra money.  Knowing you will just give it to get through with the situation...  If you keep walking, he won’t follow you far, he won’t leave his taxi sitting there for too long....

Never Pay Up Front for Services

Never, never pay up front to a street vendor promising you a service or they will run and get change.  Most likely you will never see them again..  Plus the fact and way of life here for tourist,  they are really concerned about how you feel and what kind of experience you will have until they get the money... Then they are already paid, and the concern level goes way down.....  In your resorts and some more reputable places this is ok to do.. But never , never on the streets, or to vendors or you so called  LOCAL tour guides...  

Extra Charges, Add Ons, Ect.

Be very careful of this..  This even happens in some of the reputable establishments.  You will find cooking charges, VAT charges, travel charges..   Be careful on tours, they will tell you a cheap price and then find out they are island fees, gasoline charges, boat charges, they will make up charges for everything..   Best to talk up front and ask about these charges..  Or ask is they any extra charges or add ons that  will have to pay..   Don’t just leave it up to chance...  Make sure you get it out in the open first..  

These are just a few of the things not to do.. Things to watch out for..   in the hope it might save you from having a bad vacation and not a good time.  Ultimately travelers are responsible for doing the proper research and finding out what is around where you are going, what is they to do, and what not to do...  Its shame that so many fall into the same trap day after day, when the information and everything they need to know is just a click away...