Packing was once my Waterloo. It would take me forever to assemble all my things into one suitcase. I don't have any brothers, so as little girls we were always trained to pack light because we were expected to carry our suitcases ourselves. We were deemed responsible for all our belongings from check in at the airport, to baggage claim, to the train station, the bus terminal, and finally our hotel. Kung may mawala, yari kami sa magulang namin! We started packing at a very young age,so from a little padawan packer..I have now reached the elite status of Master Mother Packer. I'm flying to Milan in a few hours and packed all my goodies just this morning! I feel like I'm still missing a few pieces..hmmm..did I leave anything???
Gadgets and Knick Knacks
Nuggets of Wisdom from the Master Mother Packer herself....
1) Do extensive research on the destination of choice. It's important to check the current weather conditions. Also consider local customs and religious traditions in the country you will be visiting. Trust me, You don't want to be the ditz in a mini skirt in a mosque. It's important to dress comfortably and respectfully as well.
2) Get your daily travel itinerary and make a corresponding clothing itinerary. (if you do not have a travel itineray, it's important that you make one) Again, very OC of me, but I promise you this will lessen your clothing load by 10 pieces instantly! When you know what to wear for each day (that is appropriate for the activity assigned for that day), you will be able to figure out which clothes you can repeat and which clothes you can actually do without.
3) Find ways to use your clothes in different ways. I always pack shawls/scarfs because they can accessorize your neck, you can wear it as a head dress, or even as a sarong! You can also use a maxi tube dress and transform it into skirt! Also, roll your clothes instead of folding! This is a sure space saver.
4) Bring clothes that are easy to mix and match.. this way you can repeat the clothes without repeating the same look. I always go for plain tops, pants, and just add a punch of color with accessories like necklaces, scarves, earrings, etc. Layering will also completely change your look.
5) Choose clothes that will make you blend more with the local scene. You can still look stylish and carry your own personality, but make the effort to go with the environment. Don't wear red leather pants in Boracay, don't wear an NBA Basketball jersey in Istanbul, and please do not wear a Disney shirt with friggin' Mickey Mouse while posing in front of the Eiffel Tower. NOOOO..Oh, que horor!!!! Be a smart, chic and sensible dresser.
6) Listen to some pumping music while packing. For this "pack", I listened to Rihanna, Chris Brown and LMFAO. It helped me pack my clothes faster because I had to keep up with the beat! I've packed my bags to Daft Punk, Kylie Minogue and some classic Janet Jackson hits too! Don't put Sarah Maclachlan on, just dont do it. You might end up lying flat on your belly and crying over your high school sweetheart. Zero productivity guaranteed.
7) Always leave your suitcase at least 1/4 empty. You should always leave room for souvenirs, food treats, trinkets, and other purchases you might find during your trip. For this trip, I had to bring my sister's bilins from Manila..which as you see in the photo, took half of my maleta. But as soon as I unload all that in Milan, I will have about 1/2 free space.
8) Bring lots of dried mangoes! I love meeting new people while traveling (of course, you also have to be discerning when talking to strangers.) and I always make it a point that I talk about the Philippines as much as I can. I'd like to believe that we're all little ambassadors and it's important that we represent our country well when we're abroad. I always pack some Filipino treats with me and give them to my new foreign friends! Polvoron, pastillas and dried mangoes are always sure hits!
9) Keep your things compact and in place. Limit your luggage to 1 piece for check in, 1 piece for handcarry like a shoulder bag/backpack. Make sure that all your items are secure in each. Avoid bringing several different little bags like paper bags, plastics, etc. Don't decorate yourself with bags, magmumumkha kang Christmas tree! It's better to keep it all in one big bag then have 30 million little bags. When you carry too many things all at once, this makes you a bigger target for pickpockets/thieves because they know you wont be able to keep track of all your belongings.
10) Pack shoes that are durable, lightweight, and can match any outfit. I always try to limit my shoes to 2-3 per trip. For a cosmopolitan trip: 1) For daily walking, I usually pack a pair of Suelas ballet flats in a neutral tone. 2) Dressy Shoes for more formal events/Nights out 3)Comfy Sandals. For outdoorsy trips: 1) Rugged, Heavy duty trekking shoes 2) Sandals/Flip Flops 3) Sneakers. For winter trips: 1) Boots with Rubber Sole (anti-slip factor!) 2)Closed waterproof shoes for walking.
I hope you found these tips helpful :) I'm still learning as I go along and I hope to share more practical info with all of you in the near future!
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