It’s packing time! Who among you loves to travel, but deep down wishes they could just skip the packing part? Well, you’re not alone my friend. 🙂 I used to think of packing as such a chore, especially for long trips that last for weeks. Just imagine how many #OOTDs you have to fit in just one 30kg luggage?

But over the years, I learned how to be more effective with my packing skills. I use the word “effective” instead of “light”, because we need to ensure we cover all our travel essentials for our trip, “while” staying within our baggage allowance.

So how exactly do we pack effectively? Again, a gentle reminder that I am in no way a packing expert, but this is how I’ve managed to take all my must haves with me in every trip, without having to pay for excess baggage fees.

Three simple steps to consider: (Apologies ahead if the terms I use sound too corporate, can’t help it. But they are super applicable in real life!)

1. Plan – Just like pretty much anything else, planning is already half of the battle. Part of my planning involves the following factors. And it helps if you have like a mini- checklist of these items. I use post its or the Notes app in Iphone to write them down.

  • Season / Weather – Is it winter, spring, summer or fall? ? And is it sunny, windy, rainy or snowy? Cos the clothes you’ll be bringing depend largely on not only the season, but the weather as well.
  • Exact Travel Duration (# of days) – This will give you an idea on how many sets of clothing you should bring and the more appropriate luggage to use. For example, a duffel hand carry bag perhaps for a weekend trip. Or a medium sized rolling luggage for a week’s worth of trip, and the largest size for anything longer than one week.
  • Modes of Transportation (Plane, Train, Bus, Boat) – This determines, aside from the appropriate travel wear, what type of luggage to bring (do I need waterproof bags if via boat?) and if you need extra stuff like meds for sea sickness etc.
  • Type of Travel (Backpack Style, Hotel Living, Camping) – This too sets the tone for what type of luggage to bring and what clothes to pack. For example, backpacks and comfy clothes are more perfect for campings or backpacking, while the rolling luggage is more suitable for hotel living.
  • Activities (Gym, Swimming, Other sports, Special events like wedding and formal dinners, etc) – You’ll know if you need to pack a pair of bikini or bring your cocktail dress based on your planned activities for your trip. Also take this time to consider if you need other medications/ vaccines/ first aid kits for safety purposes.

2. Execute – And the actual packing begins! As mentioned, if you did a good job on the planning stage, which basically dictates the type and size of luggage you will use, and the clothes you will bring – then the actual packing should now be more organized.

3. Follow through – This is actually done during the actual trip already. Of course in every trip you take, there’s gotta be some level of shopping involved, right? ? But before we start swiping those credit cards, revisit your initial planning results.

  • If your mode of travel is via backpack, then you might want to tone down on the shopping. ? When I backpacked Europe at 22, I only bought refrigerator magnets as pasalubongs because I was carrying a 15Kg backpack the whole trip, slept in trains and showered in train stations. ? Absolutely inconvenient to carry around extra shopping bags, and they slow you down from country hopping.
  • If you are staying in only a couple of countries and in hotels, and can afford an extra hand carry, got extra space in your luggage (another perk of packing smart!), or don’t mind paying excess fees – then by all means, shop till you drop!

So there you have it folks, a few of my packing tips to help you get through your next holiday! Plan, Execute and Follow Through. ☺️ Again, these are just based on my own travel experiences. Know that there could be more extensive articles dedicated solely for the types of luggages you should use, or an entire article enumerating what travel activities to do per destination, or the different modes of transportation you should take. But what I’ve shared is a bit of a basic summary which you can quickly apply on your next trip. Hope this helps! And most importantly, have a blast on your vacation!

XX, Cath



  1. I’m the worst packer ever. I tend to bring too much stuff that I really don’t need (too many clothes — just in case ?). I can improve on the “too many clothes” part, I think… But being the ‘colourful’ person that I am, I unfortunately need to bring several bags and several pairs of shoes. I guess if you like neutral colours, it’s a bit easier to bring less stuff (?).

    1. Haha I agree! I love black, white, brown and plain / basic designs, so I guess it’s easier to mix and match for me. ☺️ (when I get more time, will write about some basic mix and match ideas for neutral colors). But I guess you can still opt to wear the bright different colors and balance them off with a pair of black / white or brown shoes, which you can mix with a similar shade for your purse. That way you can lessen the number of shoes / bags that you’ll bring, and just go more creative with the actual clothing. Besides, clothing fabric tend to be lighter versus too many bags or pairs of shoes that eat up space and are heavy. Or if you don’t really experience any excess luggage issues, then I think you’re doing well already, as long as you find it convenient for you each time you travel. ☺️


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