What’s in my bag?

Are you a first time traveler, and at a loss about what to bring on your trip? Here are some of the things I always make sure to bring whenever I go out of town.

Scarf, sarong, or jacket

Scarves are a good way to dress up your casual outfit, and it can also help keep you warm when the weather turns chilly. A light, dark-colored jacket can also do the trick.

A sarong has multiple uses — it can be used as a blanket, a beach wrap, or as a mat.


Airports and airplanes can get pretty cold, especially during long waits and long flights. If you’re like me whose feet are quick to get cold, socks can help keep you warm. It’s also handy when you have to take off your shoes when entering a temple (though you must bring some detergent to wash your socks afterwards).



Since I love my gadgets and bring at least two when I travel, I make sure to bring a powerbank in my bag. Asus gifted me with their credit-card sized Zenpower, which quickly became indispensable, not just for traveling, but even when just running errands around town. Its capacity of 10050 MAH means that I can charge my Asus Zenfone at least three times before the unit is drained.

Water bottle

Bringing your own water bottle is not only economical, but it’s also eco-friendly. If you find empty bottles too bulky, there are pouches for sale that packs flat when empty.


Weather can turn bad, and an umbrella can help you cope. Just make sure to pack it in your check-in luggage.


The advent of smartphones got us dependent on electronic devices to keep our information. While I am one of those who prefer to store data digitally, I also know the importance of keeping a hard copy. I write down my flight details, hotel bookings, and other arrangements and contact in my notebook, so I have something to refer to should my phone die or get stolen.

Aside from a notebook, I also make sure to bring a pen (for filling out immigration and customs forms), permanent marker, and a washi tape (because you never know when you’ll need it).

Cutlery set

Speaking of things you’ll never know you’ll need, I’ve started bringing a cutlery set when I travel. My friend Cla introduced me to the Sistema brand, and she has their cutlery set that has a knife, spoon, fork, and chopsticks. She also have their cup, which can be sealed tight and is microwavable.


Since the Sistema cutlery set seem to be a hot ticket item in the department stores here (Cla said she dropped by SM department store several times, and never saw them on stock), I’ve asked my sister in Australia to look for them for me (there’s better chance, since Sistema is from New Zealand), and also to buy me the soup cup, which I can use for beverages and food.

It was perfect. I use them all the time when we go to the province, and it’s great for picnics at the beach or lunch by the river.

What about you, what are your must-haves when you travel?

Project Japan 2014

This is a follow up of sorts to my first Project Japan post. Like the previous file, this Excel file has the itinerary, the budget, the actual expenses, and the list of all the trains I’ve ridden while in Japan. This file also includes the Japan travel tips that is listed in this post.

A scene in Tsumago

Continue reading Project Japan 2014

How to plan your trip

My life in between trips is simple: it’s spent planning and saving for the next one. After 8 years, of traveling, I think I got the planning part down.

I want to go to a place where there are lots of cute kitties!

I often receive questions from readers of the blog, asking help in preparing for their trips. As much as I like helping people, it’s quite off putting when they want to have you practically planning their entire trip for them. Unless you’re so busy that you don’t have time to plan, with the Internet, it’s not hard to research about your destination. Google is your best friend.

Here’s a simple guide to get you started:
Continue reading How to plan your trip

Traveling with a smartphone

This is an advertorial

I’m not a big fan of social media (or anything social), but I do use it often to connect with people I do know (and actually like). Gadgets have always played a big part in my travels, even more so now with smartphones and tablets.

What I really like about traveling with them is that it lets me connect with family and friends, sharing photos as often as the free wifi availability would let me. I have access to my email, and sort out problems on the go. As much as I would love to disconnect while on a holiday, I have come to accept that these gadgets are here to stay.

Just a standard neighborhood scene in Mykonos

Continue reading Traveling with a smartphone

Are you ready for your trip?

This is an advertorial

Plane tickets purchased, hotel rooms booked. Guides are contacted, meet ups with friends and locals are scheduled. You feel you’re ready for your great adventure, but are you sure?

Be sure to pack the essentials!

If you have been traveling often, you probably already have a check list of things that you need to do before heading for the airport. However, if it’s the first time you’ll be traveling overseas (or first time after a very long time), it may be too overwhelming and you might end up forgetting to do something vital before you leave.

I have shared my personal check list over at roamtheglobe.ph. It includes tips on passports and visas, travel insurance, travel advisories, and international roaming. Do check it out, and if you have your own list, share it in the comments!