What to Pack

There are two kinds of travelers, the ones that squeeze everything in a backpack or carry on luggage, and the ones that put as much as they can in their checked in luggage so that they can travel light in the airport.

I belong to the second group.  I avail of checked in luggage all the time.  I don’t want to worry too much when I go shopping later on. Plus, I don’t have the muscles to carry a heavy bag on the overhead compartment, and I don’t have the muscles to fight it out with my seatmate if our stuff doesn’t fit in one compartment. Haha.

So here’s my personal checklist when travelling.

On your carry on:

1.  Travel documents (passport, ticket, ID) in an easily accessible pocket, plus the name/address/phone number of where you’ll be heading to later on.

2.  Cash for airport fees (is this a unique Manila feature??) and for buying food.  Plus, money for your taxi/bus/train fare at your destination — so make sure you have small bills too.

3.  In case you’re travelling quite a distance and have a stopover, an extra set of clothes.  Trust me on this one.  You’ll never know when a flight will be cancelled or delayed.

4.  Medicine.  Yes, the airline will have the standard aspirin on board, but I bring allergy meds, band aids, etc.  And you might need one while waiting for your flight.  Rarely do airports have pharmacies.

5.  Bring a pen.  You always have to fill out forms.

6.  If you’re on a business trip, bring some business cards with you, and have your company ID with you.  This is something they usually ask for at the immigration counter.  Don’t forget the invitation letter, or guarantee letter, whichever is applicable.

7.  Camera.  People always take pictures at the airport. Haha.

8.  Toiletries.  Don’t bother bringing your liquid hand sanitizer, but wet wipes or kleenex would do.

9.  Bring a jacket for the freezing airplane ride.

10.  Laptop, when necessary.


What to Check In

1.  Clothes.  Don’t just think about your daytime clothes, bring something comfy to sleep in, your socks, belt, ponytail.  If you’re staying in a hotel, think about whether you’d want to use the gym or the pool.  Oh, and you wouldn’t want to forget bringing undies would you? Haha!  If you have plans of eating someplace fancy, bring something a little more formal too.

2.  Comfy shoes.  Slippers if you’re planning to use the pool in the hotel.

3.  Chargers for your electronic gadgets.  I always have a USB one, so if you’re bringing a laptop, bring the USB powered one instead.

4.  Toiletries.  If you’re not staying in a hotel, bring your own little bottle of soap and shampoo. Don’t forget your comb, facial wash, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, sunblock/moisturizer, etc.

5.  For business trip, print documents ahead of time.  This minimizes the need to use the hotel business center.  If you’re on vacation and plan to tour the city, print the map or subway route.

6.  Laundry bags

7.  I find that I like to bring a sturdy plastic container.  The benefits:  I can use it to store liquids in my luggage, so I don’t have to be afraid of bottles getting squished.  Also, if I’m staying at a hotel, I can use it as a little wash basin in the hotel room. 🙂  It may look a bit bulky to bring, but it really isn’t since it’s filled with stuff when it’s inside your suitcase anyway.


Before you leave, make sure to take a picture of your luggage.  In case it gets lost, it’ll be easier for the airline to find it if they know what it looks like.

If you haven’t bought luggage yet, try not to get a black one.  Easier to spot that way.  If you already have luggage and it’s black, dress it up and make it unique and easy to spot.

Bon voyage!


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