What's in a Girl's Backpack?

image from Getty Images

I constantly read travel blogs and one surprising thing I found out was that even seasoned travelers find packing a daunting task. 

I, on the other hand, find it both stressful and enjoyable. After the planning phase is over, packing my stuff is one of the things I look forward to when going on a trip. Why? Because for me it connotes vacation or escape, and the realization that something I've been dreaming of and/or looking forward to for a long time is finally going to happen. 

The post is titled as such simply because whether we admit it or not, girls pack way more stuff than guys do. We don't like paying baggage fees yet we just can't seem to pack only the 'essentials' because, well, we think everything's essential. :p 

I remember having a check-in baggage when we went on a 4-day Valentine trip to Dakak (ironic, I know, but it was also my first time taking a plane so cut me some slack okay?) unaware that my boyfriend's aunt booked a Go Lite fare. I'm sure you know what happened next :p I've learned since then so I always bring only a hand carry with me. Yes, even when we went to Singapore and Hong Kong.

But those out of the country trips were only 4-5 days long. This time I traveled for more than a week and went to three countries. But wait, there's more! :p As usual, I booked a Go Lite fare leaving Manila, but this time I availed a 15 kilo baggage allowance going home. What's a trip to Bangkok without a 'little' shopping anyway right? ;)

Confession: Although I have a backpack, it's not the real, hardcore one that backpackers use. I always travel with just a duffle bag. Being the cheapskate that I am, I opted to just borrow one for this trip since I don't know if and when I'm going to be able to do a trip like this again.

So, enough of the talking and scroll down to see if I was able to fit all my stuff in a backpack.

First things first: I made a checklist before packing. It's easier that way because I was able to add or take out an item off the list prior to the actual packing. My first attempt of packing was a week before the trip. You read that right: FIRST because I packed X number of times before I was finally comfortable with the weight.

I also considered the following when choosing which items to bring:
  • Weather/Climate of the destination
  • Types of activities I'm going to do
  • Culture and/or specific dress codes for temples/places of worship
Note: It would also help if you have already visualized a particular outfit per day so that you know exactly how much clothes to pack.

tank tops (5), tunics (3), light shirts (4), light cardigan (1), shorts (sleepwear, 3), shorts (walking shorts, 2), leggings (2), denims (1), light jacket (1), undergarments (12), sun dress (1), LBD (little black dress, 1)
aqua shoes (I used these in Cu Chi Tunnels, and for climbing temples and walking around Angkor complex), pocket shoes, flip flops

*I decided to leave my rubber flats because even though it's weightless, it's still bulky and takes up space

TOP PICTURE (clockwise): lotion, sunblock (which I decided to leave because it was heavy and I thought I could still use some tan for the lack of beach trips this year...wrong! I got toasted under the Cambodian sun), mosquito repellent, cooling powder, hand sanitizer, mini deo, mini feminine wash, toothbrush & toothpaste, facial wash, facial cream, soap, shampoo, pads

*I know toiletries are usually provided by the guesthouse/hotel or can be bought from a convenience store there but sometimes they don't have the brands I prefer or the ones provided tend to dry my skin and/or hair so I just bring the travel size versions

BOTTOM PICTURE (clockwise): small medicine kit (carbocistine, loperamide, paracetamol), White Flower oil, eye drops, salonpas, plaster aka Band-Aid :p, hand & facial wipes 
P&S camera, chargers, universal adapters, 
isolator earphones, iPod, flash drive
(clockwise) folding bags, laundry bag, safety pins, hand fan, small pen and notepad (came in handy for keeping track of our expenses),  rechargeable flashlight, Aquazorb face towels (I decided to leave the body towel and sarong), some snacks & candies

Passport, IDs, printed plane e-tickets, hotel/guesthouse reservations, itinerary, printed hotel directions in local language (Thailand)

Peso, US Dollar, credit cards, ATM card

I was unable to buy packing cubes so my bag's a bit bulky and it weighs *insert drum roll here* 7.5 kilos! Not my target weight of 5 kilos :( but hey, at least I was still able to sneak it in as a hand carry ;)


Up next: Exploring Indochina Itinerary


  1. ang hirap mag-empake! galing mo ha, very organized. =)
    korek yang madaming gamot. (though scared na naman ako maging alleged drug trafficker), usually herbal ang gamot sa BKK. tagal ng effectivity..

  2. ay naku Chyng, eto lang ang trip na naka-ilang beses ako nag-repack ng gamit hehe

    yung meds, kaya nga di ko tinanggal sa lalagyan kasi na-paparanoid rin ako hehe pati yung detergent na ginamit ko sa Cambodia pinag-isipan ko pa kung dadalhin ko to Thailand o hindi dahil baka usisain pa ko anong powder yun lol

  3. Galeng, galeng mo talaga, panda! =D

  4. Is your eyedrop Genteal? If it is, then we have so much in common haha :) I enjoy packing, too, and planning the outfits for different days. Sometimes I'm too anal about it that I even list everything in Excel haha :p

  5. Yes it's Genteal! haha

    And yes I'm an Excel freak too; from the budget, to the itinerary, to planning the outfits hahaha

  6. Hala ako rin! Even forex andun sa itinerary/budget hahaha!


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