Thursday, 12 July 2012

Travel Essentials

I never thought I'd be here again so soon, but I AM IN SHANGHAI!!!!! A reader was telling me the weather's not so good now here, and I agree, but I'm just happy to be away, somehow! I guess that little adventurer huay kah (flower leg? It's a hokkien saying for someone who just likes to be out.) in me took over. I feel great to be here, despite the denser-than-Singapore-humidity weather, and the 33ÂșC nights (I know right!!!).

Nothing feels like a no-agenda-take-things-as-thery-come holiday. In case you're wondering why my picture is lopsided, I was lying down. =D

I've never packed for a month before in my entire life, and this is my suitcase:

I'd always also have a cabin carry-on with me, in case my suitcase doesn't arrive. Happened to me before on a few occasions when I was flying. Trust me. NOT fun when you have NOTHING to change into other than the hotel bathrobe. So, yeah, a spare set of clothing, my travel-sized toiletries (including make-up remover, and makeup) and my laptop. Never ever check in your laptop (and maybe make-up, unless you want to open up and find nothing but powder instead of the compact eyeshadows/blushers/pressed powder). You have not seen how they throw the checked-in luggages around. Gee.  

And being female, traveling for one month in a Cosmopolitan city without any confirmed agenda would mean I would have to pack clothes for casual/formal/party/trekking/and-what-nots. Clothes aside, yes, ladies, what would we do without our shoes to go with every occasion?


And since I'm on the topic of packing for long holidays, I'd share what my essentials are, and maybe you can share yours too!

Toiletries (Checked-In)

  • Shampoo, Conditioner & Hair Mask/Treatment
  • Hair Serum
  • Facial Cleanser
  • Facial Toner, Moisturizer & Eye Cream
  • Contact Lens Solution
  • Toothbrush & toothpaste
  • Body Wash 
  • Body Lotion
My current lotions - VS Love Spell & VS Pink (bought long ago and decided that I should use them up before they turn bad!)
  • Wax Sheets / Shaver - you don't know when you'll need to get rid of excess hair. Unless you remember to wax before leaving your country. Unsightly hair ≠ Sexy
  • Room Spray - I hate ciggie smell in my room, and should I be given a Smoking Room somehow, this thing comes in handy. Or if the room smells of wet sock, like someone just worked out there. This is a life saver.
No more smelly rooms!
  • Pantyliners - this keeps your underwear fresh for longer so you can bring less underwear. Just change this and you're good. ;)
  • Tampons / Pads - no explanation needed
  • Scissors - you may need to cut something
  • Nail-clippers - ever experienced a chipped nail when you're overseas? 
  • Laundry Detergent - maybe it's just me, but I don't like accidentally bringing insufficient clothes and then having no fresh ones to wear. Just bring some in a small card-sized ziplock bag.

Toiletries (Hand-Carry)

  • Contact Lens Case - with solution inside in case you wanna take off your lenses onboard, or if above-mentioned mishap occurs
  • Contact Lens Rewetting Drops
  • Hand Cream
  • Facial Mask Sheets - for the driest of cabin air, when your face feels like it's going to tear
  • Facial Mist - same reason as above, less drastic measure
  • Travel-Sized Perfume - or get Travalo and fill it up with your own perfume. You carry less!

My current faces - Love Toast Gin Blossom, & DKNY Be Delicious Fresh Blossoms (in my handy Travalo Perfume Case!)

  • Whatever pills that you may already be taking. Including Vitamins and contraceptives. There's nothing less convenient than having your period during your beach holiday. Or end up having a holiday romance without protection. Don't ever ever do that!
  • Travel-sized make-up remover
  • Cotton Pads - for removing make-up, and for use with some toners


In a separate Make-Up Pouch 
(I've listed them in the order of application so it's easier to remember)
  • Primer
  • Foundation / BB Cream
  • Concealer
  • Loose Powder
  • Eyeshadow
  • Eyeliner
  • Eyebrow Pencil / Powder
  • Blusher
  • Shading/Highlight Powder
  • Eyelash Curler
  • Mascara
  • Lipstick / Lip Gloss 
  • Relevant Brushes - for me I only bring along my Stipple Brush and Blush Brush. Everything else is applied & blended with fingers

Guys, if you are reading and shaking your head, this is what we girls do to keep ourselves smelling nice and looking drool-worthy. Appreciate us for our efforts, please? ^.^

Essential Clothes

  • Bra - 1 strapless, 1 nude, 1 sexy/really flattering
  • Underwear - the number depends on how many days you'll be there. My guide is one every 2 days. If you're there more than a week, wash.
  • Sleepwear - unless you like sleeping naked. ;)
  • Comfy Flats - when it comes to traveling, expect lots of walking. No stilettos please, unless you know you have a formal event/dinner to attend (i.e. red carpet)
  • Shoes that can go with whatever clothes you brought - You don't want to bring a lot of pretty clothes only to realize that you can't wear them cos they look so wrong with the shoes you brought.
  • Socks - if you brought sneakers/running/closed-toe shoes
  • 1 pair of flattering, but comfy Jeans - they're essential for mix-matching!
  • 1 jacket / cardigan / scarf (in case, just in case, it gets chilly. Even in Shanghai, it might get cold in a movie theatre? Or KTV rooms...)
  • Whatever other clothing that suit your fancy.

The Electronics

  • Laptop / iPad - depending on how long I'll be gone. I just wish the Apple App Store has a more user-friendly Blogger interface so that I can just blog on my iPad. Without using HTML. 
  • Laptop Charger - I can't begin to tell you how many times I brought my laptop without its charger. It's stupidity at its max. And it's such a commonly forgotten item!!!
  • Phone Charger (Apple Charger)
  • Portable iPhone Charger 
  • The charger that charges the portable charger - duh!
  • Camera
  • with the SD Card inside, please - same as above. You will feel so silly when you realize you didn't bring it.
  • Camera Charger
  • International Adapter - Because different countries come with different sockets.
  • 2-pin-friendly Multi-Plug - Hotel rooms usually only give you one working socket. Even there's more than one, you only have one adapter. This ensures you can charge everything at one go. 

My Own Other Personal Essentials

  • My hair tong - for curling/straightening/styling
  • Shades - for sunny weather!
  • Foldable Umbrella - great for rain/shine....
  • Reusable Shopping Bag - many countries these days support going green - No Plastic Bags, so having one of these folded neatly in your handbag is useful. =)
  • Relevant Country's Currencies, if you have them - love collecting coins? If not, bring them, and USE them!
  • Relevant Sim cards, if you have - most countries sell 3G sim cards so you can still be connected via email and Whatsapp, and save on overseas SMSes. You WILL end up saving a lot more, trust me. Calls via Line, Viber, WeChat, and Skype, they cost virtually nothing when you have a 3G sim card. Compare that to a S$4.50/minute phone call. Worse when it's an annoying sales representative asking you to "spare them a minute to tell you about the latest insurance/bank loan deals". 
Never forget a paper clip or a hairpin (U-pin without the round tip) if you are using an iPhone. U need it to change your Sim Card.
  • Credit Cards - this is the most useful thing ever if I run out of local currency. 
  • Extra Singapore Dollars - In case I run out of local currency and they don't accept credit cards (roadside stalls). I can just go to a money changer.
  • A Book - I need to bring one of these, no matter where I go. I know they're heavy, and I know I can download books onto the iPad/Kindle/Nook, but I still love physically holding an actual book (and the smell of a new one!!!!) Maybe one day, just maybe, I'll switch to downloads. But for now, I want my paperback. ^.^
  • PASSPORT!!!!!! - Reached the airport. With 45 minutes left before departure time, you stroll to the check-in counter, reach into your bag...and find that it is not there.... Good luck.

What other essentials can you think of, or that I've missed out? 
Do share! & next time when you travel, just come back and check off the list. ;)

 Hope this will come in handy! 

P.S. Of course, when you forget anything, you can get most of these items at the local supermarket. But if you have them and can save on unnecessary purchases so you have more money to spend for the things you want, why not?


  1. Bringing scissors will be confiscated at the custom:(

    1. Check in your scissors! They'll be confiscated if you try to bring them in your hand carry! Same with all sharp objects!

  2. when you are going for a tour u must need a travel bag,some assesorrries,shoes,your mobile etc.
    Kokoda Treks

  3. There was once I remembered to bring my laptop charger and DVDs, only to realize I forgot my laptop. And it was a dxb-ist flt. Can you imagine.......

  4. Thanks for putting this together! I travel a lot for my job at Dish, and I still end up forgetting one thing or another. I’m going to have to print this out next time! There’s nothing worse than realizing I forgot my iPad charger. I don’t know how people survive flight delays without a laptop or iPad. I always use mine to tap into my home TV on the free Dish Remote Access app through my sling adapter. Flight delays go so much quicker when I have 30 Rock on my side! Your list will save me from seeing that dreaded red battery symbol. Thanks again!

  5. Your travalo perfume case looks like a lipstick vibrator(eeks!) LOL!
    Now that I mention it, yeah it'd definitely make a great travel essential. Don't you think? =P


  6. Thanks for sharing!

  7. You’re lucky to have been to several countries! It actually shows with how you pack your things. :D I think it is important to memorize these things or have a list of it. You can suffer big time by forgetting one thing, the laptop charger, for one. The worst case scenario is if your laptop’s brand doesn’t distribute globally. Right?

    -->Lakendra Wiltse