Invest in organizers. I used to just dump things in my bag then come unpacking at the destination…BOOM! Everything is everywhere. Now, I have a pouch or a small bag for everything, including:
- Electronic accessories – Chargers, USB cables, power adapters. Different countries use different plug types – 3-square pegs / 2 round pins / 2 flat pins – so I recommend getting a universal adapter. This prevents you from switching plugs everytime – pano kung mali yung nadala mo?
- Manicure/pedicure/sewing kit set – Yes, don’t forget to carry a mini-sewing kit. Imagine you went hiking and you reached for that next step and craaaaaack – butas ang punjo! I don’t take any of the hotel room freebies apart from two things: the sewing kit and the shower cap. I’ve taken so many of these matchbox-like sewing kits and they’ve been very helpful in times of emergency. The mani/pedi set is not really necessary for short travels, but as I am away from home for months, and have no time go to nail parlors, I do basic cleaning and painting myself.
- Toiletries – As you are keeping mostly liquids here, the best type to get is a waterproof pouch. Ensure that all lids are closed properly/tightly. I don’t seal the caps, I put them in the bag as how I bought them (trust me, they don’t spill even on a 14-hour flight). Of course, occasionally you’ll come across poor packaging. Watch out for these and seal with a tape (masking tape is enough) as a precaution.
- Make up – You don’t really want your eye pencils mixing with your ballpens. I am guilty of not using a make-up bag before, mainly because I only carry 4 key items with me – a compact powder, a blush powder, a tube of lipstick, and an eye pencil. I could just throw these in my tote’s pocket! Well I did, and now the white lining of my bag have different shades of beige, pink, and black.
- Medicines – We all carry drugs of some sort – vitamins, antihistamine, anti-allergy, pain reliever, flu relief, eye drops. Keep the medicine pouch in your handcarry. Never expect the entire travel period to be smooth – colds are easily caught on flights so be sure not to put your meds in your checked-in luggage. Don’t forget to throw in a few pieces of band-aid in there, too.
- Jewellery and accessories – It’s best to get a pouch or purse with lots of compartments so you can segregate the small items. I even have one for watches and another for the rest of the blings. As this is of high value, keep it in your handcarry.
- Shoes – I have to admit, I was putting these in a plastic bag before. Plastics are good for wet shoes but waterproof shopping bags are an alternative. Plus, it’s more stylish and eco-friendly, too! Heels can puncture the plastic bags and ruin other items inside the luggage. Cloth or canvass bags are another option.
- Travel documents – Quick check-ins happen when you have all necessary paperwork ready when asked for. Don’t forget to keep a coloured copy of your passport in another place though, such as your wallet, or a digital copy on your phone. Having a copy would ease identification in case you’ve lost your travel documents. Also carry a few copies of your passport picture for destinations that require Visa-On-Arrival. Officers will ask for at most 2 copies of your photo when processing your VOA.
- Hand-carried liquids – Most airport securities, especially for international travel, will ask you to place all your hand-carried liquids in a ziploc bag. Instead of fumbling through your bag for your little perfume bottle and your hand sanitizer and holding up the queue, it’s best to prepare and place all liquids 100 ml or less in a ziploc bag beforehand so you can readily hand it over for inspection. Remember, you can only carry up to 1 liter of liquids in the cabin compartment, all the rest must go in the checked in luggage.
There are definitely a lot more organized people than I am. But to you, yes you, who’s slightly more spontaneous and likes to pack last minute and go – you might consider this helpful. 😉