the Five things you may want to consider bringing to your trip

while mentally packing for my upcoming 6 weeks trip i realised there are some items i have always been bringing and never was them a “waste” or “extra” weight or space hogger.

so here are the 5 items you may want to consider bringing.

1. Citronella Essential Oil

what i use it for: ward off mossies and bugs and cure myself of discomfort (block nose/vomit/headache…)

hey and it’s really useful according to Organicfacts

besides practical uses, one dorm mate walked into the room one day and said “wow! i love this smell!” and we started talking.

2. Nail Clipper

because i dont do check-ins, swiss army knife is definitely out for me. and the nail clipper is a simpler alternative.

what i use it for: cutting plastic wraps/packagings/cable ties and of course my nails.

some nail clippers also come with bottle opener. definitely another conversation starter!

3. Instant mixes (eg Milo/coffee/yuzu tea/ginger tea)

this is mothers’ favourite. and they bring enough supply for one month on a 4d3n trip.

what i use it for: when i am really cold or when i was caught in the rain and then a fever. also a good source to curb the hunger

for my recent trip to Myanmar, i brought along a pack of Yuzu mix and a pack of Milo.

the yuzu tea saved my night when i caught a cold. and the milo? saved me from the hunger pangs when i boarded the plane. (didnt want to pay for that expensive airplane meal)

if you brought extras, offer it to someone too!

4. Buff (this really deserves the nobel award)


what i used it for: bundle my hair up, as an eye mask, as a mask, extra heat for the throat

female divers will know the hassle of tying up our hair and wearing the mask. the buff hides my hair well.
when i ride overseas, i do not have the luxury of putting on a new helmet. the buff helps again.
same for helmets worn for adventures like white water rafting, ropes and rock climbing.

the buff really keeps the hair out of the way and helps to main personal hygiene.

besides that, i often travel in night buses and sleep in dorms. sometimes just as i sink into deep sleep, an oncoming vehicle with flashing glaring light wakes me up. grouchy.
or when i sleep in dorms, people may enter the room and carelessly switch on all the lights. my buff keeps the light out!

next! when i was in Cambodia, the road was pretty dusty. and so my buff acted as a mask. covering from nose down. awesome.

and when i was in kunming, the wind got chilly and my throat started feeling weird. so i put the buff around my neck and gave the neck some extra heat.

here’s some ways to wear a buff!

5. a GOOD playlist
and by that, i mean, REMOVE ALL THE EMO SONGS or songs that makes you think about the past!
when you are on a trip, especially if you are traveling alone for a longer period, you really dont want to spend time dwelling on the past and get emotional at night.
happy upbeat songs will perk you up and give you the extra energy to carry on.

in the past i always had some emo songs. then ouch. tearing alone at night is insane. so i decided to revamp my playlist.
never been better.

three more items you may want to consider brining

– your little “soft toy”.

i bring my blue elephant along nowadays. it’s a girl’s thing. acts as a neck pillow as well as a conversation starter.. just make sure it’s CLEAN and really cute.

– your favourite snacks.
i brought the Pola biscuit for my previous trip. and gave away some to new friends along the way. good for night buses and making friends!

– some small little toys/souvenirs
i brought the ikea toy puppets and gave them out to little children i met along the way. their smiles are priceless.

okie. 3 more days to my trip. i better start PHYSICAL packing. 6 weeks!!!!

what to pack/how to pack lighter.

all too familiar

all too familiar


a request by min. =]


honestly i am not the lightest packer. i never had to worry about packing light in the past when check-ins were free.

(oh dang. singlish, singlish!)

last time the check in was free one. so i just pack lor. i rmb i checked in a 17kg for my 7 weeks trip. and hand carried another 8kg.

where got light??

until budget airlines decided that they want more money from us already poor travelers. 

that’s when i decided i am NOT going to pay that $25 bucks (one way). $25 bucks is about 480 baht then.

480 baht can get me: 3-4 nights stay. or 2 nights in bkk!! 

so i decided to invest in a steady backpack. (still using!!)

presenting to you OSPREY AURA 50!  <— can click one

pic taken from

pic taken from

super love the backing. 

you know usually you carry backpack for too long you will start to sweat. and stink up your bag. this one NO PROBLEM!
plus it comes with two sides/waist pockets. very good.

as a water bag compartment also. which i use to stash my money. anddddd the space between the bag and the metal backing is also very good to put small and fragile items. like mosquito coils.


okie digress liao. so yes to pack light, first of all you need a durable + light backpack. this isnt the lightest of course. 

over the years i’ve came across lighter bags.  i was lucky to have used Golite‘s ULTRALITE backpack. wah. 

SHIOK ONLY I TELL YOU. material is good. waterproof with the double lining for zip. so water doesnt seep in. but of course, everything shiok comes with a shiok price also.


okie digress again.

next. do remember, as you travel, you will sure buy things one. even the most disciplined person will give in to that ONE thing. whatever it is. so dont think you pack 7kg go you will come back with 6kg. ya la 6kg. you dont use shampp or toothpaste one meh? high chance of 7kg go, 7+x kg come back. 


so 2nd thing i want to talk about is toiletries. 

the guys are lucky. they dont need to carry sanitary pad, make up removal (do you know you actually need to use this even if you neh put on make up? sunblock and moisturizer also must remove leh), CONDITIONER (this is a must for girls!!) blah blah blah. and some thoughtful babes will also bring tissue wet+/dry. BECAUSE WE NEED TO BE HYGIENIC EVEN WHEN WE TRAVEL. this one the men dont get it one. (very tempted to link uob lady’s card)

okie you get it. toiletries are a bother. so always make sure you keep the mini bodyshop bottles. 

hand carry limit: 100ml. max carrying 1000ml.

hand carry limit: 100ml. max carrying 1000ml.

if you are particular about the stuff you use la. and if you are traveling for 2 weeks or lesser.  if you are traveling to Thailand, and are not so yimjim about the stuff going onto your body, then dont even need to bring. 7 sells mini sizes. very cheap! my 100ml pantene cost me 80cents nia. and Big C/ Tesco and the likes has a whole range also. 

if you are traveling to europe, my advise is, BYOStuff. my friend who just came back told me how expensive it was to buy at supermarts. 


digress again. 

tip 2: pack your liquid toiletries into small containers. use liao throw. if you have a lot of samples, BRING THEM. 

pros: can shunbian product test. cons: allergy. hoseh liao. 

so dont bring everything same brand. if A makes you itch, you have B to fall back on.

(side note: if you are going to thailand and cant live without your mask treatments, BYOM. masks are very expensive there)


okie. we know the bulk of our backpack are things we put on for modesty sake. i want to digress again. i hate it when people goes to thailand and strut along the streets in bikini, barely covered by huge arm hole singlets. HELLO i know you got nehnehpok. you cover up i also know. SHOW SOME RESPECT CAN OR NOT. bikinis are for the beach and pool. NOT FOR THE STREETS. unless that’s part of your uniform + you need to work on the streets. <—now, we know what that means. i only see them at patpong and soi cowboy.


okie. clothes. some people pack 7 tops and 5 bottoms (no. i mean clothes. not people. paiseh. gay joke) okie.  7 tops and 5 bottoms for a FIVE DAYS TRIP. HELLO you fashion show ah? who cares what you wear on day 1 and 3 and 5? not as if that hamsen passerby A will walk past you on day 3 and 5 again.

ya ya take photo show same clothes. come on la, you think people will really notice meh. unless it’s your secret admirer la. even so, your secret admirer will love you for being you.  or bring a jacket. people wouldnt know what you’re wearing inside!  if you REALLY DIE DIE want to fashion show, then bring those that are soft and light and can be squashed into a small space easily.

soft clothings are also good for ‘wrapping’ things.

as for bra hor. i know of a friend who traveled europe in june for 15+ days with only two bras. with her already wearing that one out of two. but yeah, really, make it a habit to wash your undergarment. so you dont have to bring too many and risk damaging the cups. so bring a small bottle of washing detergent! 

AND if you are like me, really bochup about image, BRING YOUR UNWANTED OLD CLOTHES. those you think looks damn ugly and want to throw. BRING THEM. wear to the hike, wear to the kayak, wear to sleep, wear when traveling on train/bus. 

then throw them =D mom will have less clothes to wash!


so tip 3 goes: spend some time convincing yourself to bring less clothes. pick the lightest and softest ones. and OLD ones.  wear the heaviest/mafan/need to iron ones to take the plane. wear the jeans. pack in the shorts.

same goes for footwear. again. you really dont need so many pairs of shoes for a short trip. importantly : comfort, can walk very long hours, inexpensive. board with the shoes. and pack in the slipper.



next! guidbooks/maps. okie i am a sucker for physical books and i dont trust storing my maps on gadgets.

so how? easy la. if you own that guidebook, TEAR it out. we did it with our text books back in school. 

if you dont, photo copy. bring just that few segments. or some guesthouse actually have this ‘library’ corner. 

well i do save some maps on my phone. you know the google offline map trick?

so yup. tip 4: dont bring the entire guide book. or if you need to, download it on ebooks


another thing that irritates the shit out of me is bringing gadgets.


lets do a little quiz

Q1:do you reallllllllly need all these? Yes: Q2 No:Q3

Q2:will you be working on the comp during this so called vacation/trip? Y: Q4 N: Q5

Q3: your problem is solved. you have been enlightened.

Q4: quit your job

Q5: can you use a share computer instead? Y: Q6 N:Q7

Q6: search for internet cafes. some hotels/hostels/guesthouse provide comp. your problem is solved.

Q7: the only reason i can think of is.. you are watching porn. GET A LIFE.


you get my point. the only thing you should be taking with you is a phone (to make important phonecalls) and a camera.

if you have been to that place a few times, then you can realllly leave your DSLR aside. 

i recently went bkk+chiangmai for one month surviving only on my phone. dont forget. chargers take up weight too. and are so bulky! 

so tip 5: bring only your phone and a camera. you are out on a trip. you should be looking at the surrounding. not the ipad. 


remember packing tight also helps in packing light. as mentioned above, if you have soft clothings, you can squeeze squeeze squeeze and make your backpack very compressed.  helps a lot! ziploc your stuff. can prevent from getting wet as well as leave no empty space. 

tip 6 is easy: pack tight!


a lot of packing light points actually come from choice of clothings. read online somewhere if you are going to cold countries, layer yourself with thermals instead of yi da dui thick jackets. worth a try! 

before i end of this long post, remember to pack heavy things at the bottom. dont ‘jump jump jump when you put on your backpack. it’s bad for the back. especially if the load is heavy. instead, place the bag on a chair, sit to strap the bag to yourself, stand up bend forward slowly, back straight and buckle up and adjust strap. then slowly back to standing position. or get someone to help you. DONT do the jump jump jump thing. you old liao you will regret one 


that’s all for now. will sleep on this and add on when i have more inspirations!

share with me if you have better tips or beg to differ! 



teehee, T.