What's Inside my Sandugo Backpack?

Every traveler carries a couple of staples as well as extra special somethings in their backpacks each time they hit the road.

Traveling has not only opened up my world to sights, people and food adventures, it also taught me how to appreciate the most important little things to be able travel light and move more freely. In 2008, when I decided to fly south of the Philippines and spend a good 2 months in the province, I bought this red SkyTravel trolley bag with a weight capacity of 15 kilos to carry all the things I THINK I NEED but still ended up paying a hefty Two Thousand Pesos excess baggage fee on my return flight to Manila due to stashing too much pasalubong. Obviously I was newbie on packing. From then on, I swore to myself there's no way will I ever pay again for an excess baggage and to strictly bare with the minimums. Four years of local and international travels later, I slowly learned the craft of travel packing strictly carrying just 7 kilos or less. I wouldn't consider myself an expert in packing but I always love the feeling of slowly putting things on my backpack, makes me start to feel I'm about to throw myself into another exciting adventure again. 

What I Pack?


Let me give you a peek into what's usually inside my backpack meant for 3 days to a week's worth of trip. Generally, it carries a closet, an eye clinic, a health center and a prayer room ^_^

My Eye Clinic



Okay, I'm a certified member of the four-eyed club since gradeschool and having these items have always been crucial in my backpack. Unlike those peeps who still have their perfect vision, I'm forced to give extra care for my eyes. An Aviator sunglasses, eyeglasses, Sauflon 3in1 solution and an extra pair of Flexwear contacts (aside from what I wear during the trip). Forget these and I'm practically lost for sight.


My Health Center
Aside from security of having a health insurance, I also carry a set of medicine kit which includes betadine, bonamine, diatabs, balm, food supplement and an herbal oil manually extracted from the forest by a family friend healer. (yep, naniniwala po ako sa mga paniniwala ng mga matatanda)


My Closet
Clothes neatly stacked inside a locally manufactured pack it cube I bought online. I try to stack it with light clothes - dryfits, light tops, leggings, scarf and/or sarong. If I needed to bring 5 or more pairs of outfits, I use ziplocs to save more space. The cheapest I found is those sold at SM Savemore. Hygiene kit is packed at a separate container.



Here are some of my travel essentials: 
Toby's Hand towel (12x14in.)
Quick dry · Super absorbent · Light weight 

The ultrafine microfiber towel that gives great comfort and absorption. Its enhanced capillary action allows it to absorb water up to 5 times its weight. Also dries up much faster than an ordinary towel; 90% of the water can be removed by just wringing it. (source)

A product of Towelite, I bought these towels from Toby's Sports in SM North Edsa for Php295. What makes this purchase a steal? It's on a buy 1 get 1 free promo!

1. Gadget - phone, Canon 80IS (my 5 year old travel buddy), tripod, chargers, universal power adaptor (for international travel), extra camera battery and extra memory cards (a total of 10gb for my travel videos).
2. Accessory - Headware, my handy dandy weapon against long, cold trips and works as a sleeping mask.
3. Food - the San Marino Tuna Paella is just plain brilliant.  It's my go-to-food slash what-if-ma-stranded-ako quick solution.
4. Sunscreen - I can leave the house without the basic cosmetics, but not without my sunblock.

My Prayer Room
If there's only one tip I can share, that is Travel with a Prayer. Sometimes we are caught up with too much excitement that we forget to look up there and ask for grace before hitting the road. It's the most important travel gear a traveler should carry as it gives the ultimate protection better than insurance :) Of course, we shouldn't forget to end the trip with a thank you prayer too.

Fellow travelers, let's be reminded to always carry a positive state of mind. No amount of high end gadget or travel accessory can compensate if we travel with a pessimistic attitude. Smile and the world smiles with you. ^_^

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