Yes, even more things I stuff in my already overstuffed backpack! Here are the travel gear that I try not to leave at home when I go off to wander.
While I don’t mind getting a tan, I do not like the discomfort sunburnt skin comes with, so I religiously slap on some sunblock whenever I know I’m going to be exposed to the sun for long periods of time. Luckily, the good people of Beach Hut Philippines sent over a couple of their new products for me to try out: Beach Hut Max SPF100++ and Beach Hut Face SPF65. Both bottles have an icon that says “prevents skin darkening” at the back, which I’m sure would appease most Filipinos who are afraid of getting dark. However, I must have used the sunblock wrong because the first thing out of my friend’s mouth when she saw me after the trip to Bicols was “wow, you’re so dark.” But yes, sunblock. It’s good for your skin.
If I know I’ll be anywhere near the water or going to ride a boat, I make sure to bring my Rubber Ducky dry bag. Or at least plenty of zip top bags for my gadgets. Rubber Ducky is available in Stoked stores. You can also try Sea to Summit, who offers lightweight dry sacks that takes up very little space. Sea to Summit products are available in R.O.X. and Travel Club branches.
Of course, if I’m island hopping or snorkeling, having an underwater camera is a must. While there are a number of cameras that are water proof, I’m stuck with my current point and shoot and an underwater pouch. The Dicapac has served me well, though now I must admit that I’m considering getting one of those underwater cameras because it’s hard to change settings when the camera’s inside the pouch. Still, it does what it’s supposed to do and I’m pretty happy with it. Dicapac is available at JT Photoworld.
It’s almost a travel cliché, but you have to admit, sarongs are the most versatile item you can have in your backpack. It can serve as a towel, a skirt, a dress, a blanket, a bag or anything you can do with a piece of cloth.
While everybody else take their travel photography like it’s very SRS BZNZ, I prefer to take it easy and take crappy shots. Still, it’s great to have a tripod with you for those long exposure shots. Lazy bums like me who can’t be arsed to tote a tripod around revel in the Gorillapod. It’s a tripod minus the bulk and is an instant conversation started. Joby Gorillapod is available in most photography stores in Manila. Watch out for the fake Gorillapod though!
Growing up in the Philippines means wearing your tsinelas when you’re at home and when you go out to play with the neighbor kids. It’s just so darn comfortable to wear and it keeps the sole of your feet from touching the grimy bathroom tiles of the hotel’s communal shower.
I used to scoff when I saw these pillows years ago. Why would I bring something so bulky to a trip? The inflatable pillow is enough for me, thank you very much. Of course, that’s before I decided to buy one and realized why traveling with one makes the world a much better place (well, not really). Inflatable pillows cannot hold a candle to an actual pillow. Neither can the lumpy, hard and flat (take your pick) hostel pillow. It also prevents your head from lolling about too much when you’re sleeping in the cramped minivan. My travel pillow is Muji. It’s now available at the local Muji stores for Php 1,425.
How about you? What’s in your backpack?