I am by no means an expert traveler. I'm not even a seasoned traveler. I'm a 125% city girl. My farthest travels in the city include Trinoma and SM MOA. Seriously. It's very seldom that I travel because I have motion sickness. I also find it hard to leave the comforts of the city and my room. So if I do have to travel, I make sure that I bring all the conveniences of the city with me to wherever I'm going. Much like a security blanket.
The following post is how I packed for my trip to Iligan.
Let's start with a big sturdy bag that's light enough to carry around but strong enough to store your clothes and shoes.
This bag is from Kashieca. You can carry it over your shoulder or as a sling bag. I prefer to carry it as a shoulder bag. That way it doesn't get lodged into places it shouldn't be in and I'm too paranoid that it might snag and ruin the beautiful material. I purposely used this instead of my stroller because I was worried about the transportation. You can easily check in a stroller when riding a plane. But I didn't want my stuff to get squished in the compartment bin of a bus that's why I decided to bring this. I can easily put this under my seat on the bus and put it on my lap when riding their tiny jeepneys.
A toiletry organizer or in this case, a bag organizer from beabi. I never got the whole tiny bag inside the bigger bag thing but this is really useful for getaways. This is not even full. We already used up most of the toiletries I packed. We were only left with a few things when we went home. Lighter load. Yay!
This organizer is quite roomy. I was surprised it fit everything we needed.
I packed all my sample stuff in it. You see, whenever I see something on sale that I regularly use, I hoard especially if it comes in a miniature sized container. I keep thinking that one day I'd be able to pack this and make life easy. I didn't buy a lot of mini toiletries. I just took out my stash of samples and freebies. I also bought sachets of shampoo and conditioner. I had my Human Heart Nature Strengthening Shampoo in the small bottle with the bronze cover. I also brought my electric toothbrush and just packed another head for MB. That way, we only bring one toothbrush and one sample toothpaste. I packed some cotton buds, cotton pads and makeup sponge in Zip Locks and stuffed them in the pockets.
For things that I didn't want to buy small versions of like perfume, toner, body butter and hair products, I bought these:
I have to admit. They're still quite big. I bought these at Landmark where it's cheaper. They cost an arm and a leg at beabi. But maybe next time I'll buy the ones at beabi because they're smaller there. I wanted clear bottles so I'd know exactly what's in them. The white container has hair wax in it. I bought two and put body butter in the other one. Don't forget to buy spatulas to transfer your products. You want to avoid contamination.
Next, I brought along these pouches. The red one is from HerBench. The blue one is from Divisoria, bought about 10 or more years ago. Yes, that's how I take care of my stuff.
I put jewelry in the red pouch and makeup in the blue one. Here's how the denim pouch looks like when opened:
All the large brushes, eyelash curlers, mascara, palettes, blush, etc fit in here. It's amazing how much stuff this thing can hold.
Not in the picture are my Ylla shoe bags. I brought 2 pairs of shoes plus one pair of slippers which are sosyal enough to be worn out plus I had my apple green Ylla flats on.
A tip on packing clothes and shoes. Don't pack per number of item. Plan your outfits then take it from there. For example, don't pack 3 shirts, 2 jeans, 3 shoes, etc. Get a pair of jeans and put it on the bed. Then take out a few blouses and shirts and decide what you like best. Then take a pair of shoes that goes with the whole outfit. Next, assemble another outfit based on the same pair of jeans (or shoes, if you like). That way, you only bring one pair of jeans.
For lighter packing, be creative. Learn how to mix and match. If I didn't need the shoes for the wedding, I'd be happy with just one wedge and the flats I was wearing. The shoes that I had would go well with everything I packed. This follows through to the accessories and bags that you'd be bringing. I used just one bag, my hand-carried shoulder bag for the whole trip. To avoid looking mono/boring, jazz up with accessories and be sure to pack different colored outfits. So even though you're packing only 3 shirts but in different colors and designs, you'd be sure to still look chica by jazzing up the first one with a rocking necklace, the next one with a statement bangle and the third one with drool-worthy earrings. Be imaginative. I was able to fit all my clothes and shoes in that bag above because of this method. I was also able to bring along 2 emergency shirts. I was able to use everything that I packed (except the emergency stuff) and that makes me happy. I used to blindly pack everything thinking that I will be needing it and end up carrying so much stuff that there's no more room left for pasalubong.
This is my shoulder bag from F&H
It folds up into this:
It's light and roomy so my other knick-knacks fit into it.
You should also inquire about the weather, the people, the roads (trust me, you don't want to be in full makeup only to find yourself in a dirt road), the shops (if any), scheduled brownouts, modes of transportation, etc. and come prepared. I asked MB if we needed a fan for the bus ride but he said that the buses were air conditioned so there's no need for that. Mindanao is having a power crisis right now and there are 3-hour scheduled brownouts everyday. Plus the church where the wedding was held was open air. No aircon whatsoever. MB did not anticipate this. He forgot to ask if Iligan was affected by the scheduled brownouts. So poor me was wishing for a foldable fan all three days that we were there.
Trust your instincts. I should have brought the fan with me. On the day of our flight, I glanced at the flashlight that I always bring in my bag everyday and thought if I'd be needing it. I thought about it for a whole minute and decided to leave it thinking that they surely have flashlights there in case of an emergency. Wrong! They only had one flashlight and a few candles. We were literally living in darkness when the power went out. So, always trust your instincts ladies.
Lastly, bring an eco tote for your dirty laundry or for your pasalubong or in case your bag strap breaks. MB's strap broke because of the weight of the gadgets in his bag. Luckily this happened in SM CDO so we were able to buy a replacement bag. We had to buy one because this was also his everyday office bag. If this weren't the case, we could have easily used my Human Heart Nature eco tote:
We used this for pasalubong. MB's bag was filled with all the dirty clothes. My bag was filled with all the chargers, some gadgets, shoes, etc. I was really happy that I packed smart for this trip and am longer forward to the next one.
What's your pack smart strategy this summer?