What's In My Bag: Travel Thursday Edition

Travel Thursday!

Yep, I’m starting another series, but it’s not actually all that new, since Throwback Trip Thursdays and Travel Thursdays are basically the same–they are about travel and tours. The only difference is that Throwback Trip Thursday posts come out regularly every other Thursday until I run out of previous trips to post about, while Travel Thursdays come out any time I want to. You could say I could have just made Travel Tuesdays, but then I want to post all travel-related posts on thursdays, and also because Tuesday is too close to Monday, when I post my weekly roundup blogs, so yeah. And I’m kind of a control freak that way hehe. And yep, I’m posting TWO travel posts this Thursday! Why? Because it’s my birthday tomorrow! Okay, no relation whatsoever, but I just really want to do this now while I’m pumped hihi. The previous one was about my trip to Sagada last Summer, the second of three caving expeditions that I’m planning to post. You can read about the first caving trip here.

So anyway, as you can tell by the title of this entry, I’m doing a little What’s In My Bag thing. A lot of bloggers have done this, and I wasn’t really sure why anyone would want to let their readers see their messy everyday handbags, but as I scrolled through a lot of those WIMBs, I found myself looking up their beauty products! So I guess it’s kind of an advertisement for those brands, whatever they are, or maybe a little advice-giving for readers, depending on how the blogger wrote it. Or maybe there are really just some very stalker-ish readers. Ohmy. HAHA.

But what I wanted to do with my WIMB, since this is a travel blog, is to offer readers (if I have any lol) advice on how to pack your daily daypacks for foreign travels. Now, this was done completely out of impulse. I received my Passport and US Visa last Friday, and I’ve been super excited for my US trip in September 2014. I’ve been looking for the cheapest flights ever since, and even took out some of my travel essentials, making sure they were complete, and if there were some missing items, I would look for/purchase them before the trip. Some items are quite expensive, so I had to check this early so that I can already include them in my wishlist, or my to-buy-with-Christmas-money list. So there you have it, while laying them out, I suddenly had the idea to do this What’s In My Bag Travel Edition. Hihi.

I ordered them according to importance, and so here are my everyday carry-on travel essentials:

1. Passport. When in a foreign country, never ever, ever, go out without your passport, because you’ll never know when authorities might ask for identification. My tip is to put your passport in a little baggie, or at least a passport jacket, to protect it from the elements. I learned the lesson the hard way, when on a car trip in the US, I put an improperly screwed Gatorade bottle inside my bag, where my passport was, and that’s why I had to reapply for a US Visa even though it still had 9 years validity on it.

2. Wallet. Of course, you’ll need money! Depending on where I’m going for the day, I bring just enough cash that I might need. On shopping days, I’ll bring my cash limit equivalent to Php 5,000.

3. iPhone. My iPhone is an essential part of my life. In fact, it’s the one thing I never leave without, even when I’m just going to the living room from my bedroom. I also have a lot of travel apps downloaded into it, to help me on my day out.

4. US phone. Let’s face it; my iPhone is useless as a regular communication tool when in a foreign country. I don’t subscribe to roaming services when traveling because of the bill shock that I’ve experienced before. Instead, my uncle Dan gave me his old Samsung phone that I can now use everytime I go to the US, and I can enjoy unlimited calls and texts to their US phones as well.

5.-5a. JuiceBoxx portable charger and iPhone adapter. I’ll need to make sure I never run out of juice. A good thing about this is I can use it to charge any device, including my iPhone.

6. Samsung NX1000 mirrorless camera and detachable flash. In my previous travels, I lugged around my old DSLR, but it’s not very kind on my shoulders and it’s too bulky that I had to sacrifice leaving some of my travel essentials, which kind of gave me mini-crises on some of the days out. Now, I’ve replaced it with a small mirrorless camera. It’s more compact, but it packs performance comparable to that of a DSLR.

7. Aviators. Another thing I almost never leave home without. I always have this in my bag, even when I’m not traveling, because you’ll never know when the sun might be too bright. Sometimes I just really feel like a rockstar.

8. I Was Here: a travel journal for the curious-minded. My mom brought this home for me from her US trip way back in 2011, and I’ve been recording my travel experiences in this quirky travel journal ever since! It was authored by my uncle-by-law’s sister. It’s not exactly essential, but when you want to treasure your experiences forever, it helps to have a journal wherein you can write in right away, because sometimes our brains can’t hold that many amazing memories at a time.

9. Regular Day Planner. The travel journal serves as just that–a journal, but I need a separate planner to jot other important reminders such as flights, train rides, etc., and some to-do lists as well.

10. Pocket Fashion Sketchpad. Another not-really-essential essential, but being a fashion student, I always notice other peoples’ outfits, and I’m too shy to ask to photograph them. What I do is sketch their outfits instead.

11. Pens! Here I have my Starbucks pen special for my Starbucks planner, a trusty tech pen for finalizing sketches, and of course a neon pink pen.

12. Kleenex. Very, very important. Usually I would have wet ones, too.

13. Emergency pouch. It usually contains a small bottle of alcohol, at least one tablet of anti-histamine, and yes, hand cream. My hands tend to crack and bleed due to humidity, so I always have to have hand cream with me. I would also include a travel toothbrush and mini tube of toothpaste, and some bandages as well. I would also usually put my Kleenex and Wet Ones in the same pouch.

14. Gatsby Powdered Oil-blotting Paper. Perfect quick substitute to retouching make-up, especially for taking those touristy photos.

15. Make-up bag.  Contains the following: Garnier Under-eye BB cream and concealer, Clinique mini eye palette in a mirrored case, Smashbox O-Glow natural gel blush, Maybelline eyebrow pencil, Covergirl organic mascara, Smashbox purple eyeliner, e.l.f. matte lipstick in tea rose.

16. Tweezers. You’ll never know how useful tweezers can be.

17.-17a. iPod Shuffle and Sennheiser headphones. Perfect for long train rides or long walks.

18. Cardholder. This one I usually put in my pocket so that in the unfortunate occasion that my bag or wallet gets stolen, I will still have an alternate ID, secondary credit cards and ATM with me.

Here’s how it looks packed into my trusty pink Coach handbag:

As you can see, it’s pretty packed, it won’t even accommodate my camera, which I guess is okay, because I like to have my camera ready and on-hand all the time. But I really wish I had a bigger bag, preferably a large dark brown or black leather bag. I found backpacks to be extremely convenient in terms of ease of handling, but things tend to move around a lot inside a backpack, so I still stick to handbags.

After doing this, I realized that I needed a few more things to help me pack my essentials better. The number one item is a travel wallet wherein I can keep my passport, money and some documents such as boarding passes and train tickets.

So there you have it! I hope you were inspired by this post :D

P.S. I’m probably already on my bus trip to my home province by the time this post goes live. If you read this, please to greet me a happy birthday tomorrow (Dec. 13)! Haha.


etsyfindoftheday | 8.8.15

leather works by jjleathersmith

from backpacks to wallets and other accessories, jjleathersmith’s pieces are just. gorgeous. i love the colors of the hide used, and the combination of leathers in some of the final works. here we’ve got three radical options:

  • the sawyer small roll-top backpack
  • leather passport/journal wallet
  • daypack or weekend bag with removable cargo straps

when i was at SFO, i took a nifty photo of my daypack. its contents are:

- macbook air + charger
- iphone 4 + charger
- ipod nano
- canon t2i + 17-40mm wide angle lens
- x mini speaker
- tep wireless device
- red moleskine

i look like a pregnant turtle when i wear it with my big backpack. i better not lose it.