What’s in Your (Travel) Bag?
One particular thing I am asked about, as a frequent traveler, is regarding my packing strategy and what stuff I do pack. Packing your bag, perhaps, is one essential matter during travel. So here is a quick guideline on how I pack and what things I usually bring.
First things first: I decide on my main luggage. Factors that dictate my choice of luggage include duration of travel, mode/s of travel (whether plane, bus, or even boat), and general itinerary (is it a local or international travel? Does my travel require hopping from one province or country to another?)
Generally though, I go for something that is lightweight (but big enough to contain all my basics) and physically more comfortable to carry around. So with these in mind, I would often use my travel backpack-slash-hiking-bag that has been with me for 12 years now. I like it since it is able to fit all my things and more importantly, it is easy to carry.
How about a “rolling luggage”? I am not a fan of rolling luggage. Having wheels could be very comfortable to most people I know but I don’t find it practical enough especially if my travel requires some “roughing out”.
If I have a short travel (a weekend trip maybe), I like using a duffel bag. Again, it is lightweight, and easy to carry. Also, most of the time, I have a hand carry/ carry-on bag that is usually a mail bag where I stash my most essential stuff (including my rosary). This is essential especially when you have multiple destinations.
After having thought of which luggage to choose, the next thing I usually do is make a checklist of the things I intend to bring with me. I have a notebook/ pad where I write everything I need. Some people resort to using their cellphone’s organizer but I’m pretty old-school, I like the idea of jotting down a list using my pencil, and crossing out some whenever the need to leave some.
So what should one pack? Here is my basic list:
|Lightweight clothing that can be layered||Camera/ batteries/ charger/ SD card||Travel pillow (neck pillow)|
|Long-sleeved shirts||Pajamas/sleepwear||Cell phone and charger|
|Sweater or cardigan or a windbreaker||Mini flashlight||Eye mask and ear plugs|
|T-shirts and tank tops||Eyeglasses/ Sunglasses and glasses case||Walking shoes|
|Pants and shorts (that does not require using a belt)||Cap/ Hat||Electric converters and adaptors|
|Socks/ Undergarment/ swim trunks (in case I’m swimming)||Easy dry, lightweight towel||Travel apps to help with language, directions (l like maps.me), & money conversion|
PS: I also pack some energy bars and candies, and some little souvenirs I can give to new friends I’ll meet along the way.
And for a male (my) TOILETRIES bag, it contains the following:
|Toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash||Sunscreen/ lotion||Medicine kit (I have a separate post called Travel Pills and Elixirs)|
|Hair gel||Mosquito repellant (lotion)||Shaver|
|Shampoo||Wet wipes/ tissue||Nail clippers|
Once I have enlisted them, I try my best to organize my stuff inside my bag in such a way that I am able to maximize every space. This can be challenging (and frustrating at times). I used to pack my clothes in a zip lock bag labeled per day. I still do if it is a short trip. But if it is a long trip, I do it differently. I pack most of my clothes still in zip lock bags of varying sizes and organized based on the kind of outfit. I usually roll them as I find this technique less space consuming.
Packing my toiletries in its bag is another thing. My choice of toiletry bag is something that is transparent, easy to wipe, and water-resistant of course. Always keep in mind to bring only a small amount of your liquid items. I also try to label each one of them to avoid confusion and for easy access.
Next thing I prepare are the essential travel documents, cash, and cards. All of which I place in a simple travel organizer that can hold my passport, identification card/s, ATM and credit cards (to which I remind my bank/ credit card company that I am going abroad if it is an international trip), boarding pass/es, money/ coins, and a pen. I also keep a folder for my travel insurance documents, print out of my travel itineraries (although I also keep an electronic form in my phone), a list of hotel contact information, emergency contacts and important addresses like that of a couchsurfing host, guide books/ maps, and my travel notebook.
After packing everything, I check the weight of my luggage to make sure I won’t pay extra money during check-in. I also try to walk around with my luggage for my body to have a feel of its weight. That’s it. And by the way, don’t forget to prepare the most important things during travel — enough strength (physical, mental and emotional), and a happy, optimistic disposition.
So, whether this your maiden solo travel or you are a seasoned wanderlust, I hope these simple guideline based on what I do, would be of help to you in a certain way. Have fun and always travel safe and with a smile.
Don’t be a wasted soul, be “juan”derlust. Take it easy everyJuan.