How to Travel Light: 10 Essential Travel Must Haves!


I’d like to dedicate this post to all our loyal When in Manila readers who have been asking me about the things I always bring during my travels.

During my 1st few travels, I would have to say that like every travel newbie, I also had those times wherein I brought too much stuff with me, making my bag too heavy to bear. I even remember bringing 2 huge bags before and it was such a hassle to carry it around especially when commuting. I believe bringing a huge luggage only applies to those who have their own wheels or for longer stays. As for commuters like me who frequently travel on weekends, I realized it’s still ideal to make your own effective system to travel light to avoid inconveniences.

The following tips and things which I’m gonna write down are from my own experiences so far which I’ve learned throughout my years in being a travel junkie!  Aside from your precious camera which is soooo vital, here are my personal recommendations…..

  1. Choose your bag well – This perhaps is the most crucial of all! I believe I have spent quite a lot of money in travel bags. I even bought the usual one with a trolley and sling during my trip to HK however after my trip, I realized the bag itself was too heavy for me. I recommend you bring 2 bags each trip….Crimson Mactan Sky Experience Adventure Cebu Pacific Mae Ilagan Frank Ruaya   (5 of 267)
    • A reliable backpack: It was actually Frank who made me realize that a backpack was way convenient. I started using a backpack last April and so far I’m very satisfied with it. No more check-in baggage at the airport. Saved me a lot of waiting time to get my bag after arrival. Choose a Backpack with lots of compartments to separate your things.

      very satisfied with my backpack

    •  Casual sling bag: A smaller bag which you can conveniently carry around when you go sightseeing for your valuables and camera.Crimson Mactan Sky Experience Adventure Cebu Pacific Mae Ilagan Frank Ruaya   (226 of 267)
  2. Universal Adapter –other countries have 3 holes in their electric sockets so be sure to buy yourself an adapter here for your gadgets to avoid any additional charges when  you travel abroad. I failed to bring an adapter during my HK trip so I was charged with 30HK$ for it. Best advice is to bring around 2 (for your phone and camera)!

    photo from dyitrade.com

  3. Dental Kit (toothbrush and toothpaste) – I really learned a huge lesson on this. Funny as it may seem, but I really recommend that one should always carry a dental kit especially when you’re checking-in a budget hotel. Last time we stayed at Tune Hotels in KL, we were surprised when only a towel, shampoo and soap were provided. When we asked the front desk, they directed us to the nearest 7-eleven. The bad news was, we haven’t converted our money to Ringgits yet so we had to march back to the airport at midnight to have our money changed in order for us to brush our pearly whites!

    Frustrated Frank after realizing we had no toothpaste


  4. Hair conditioner – believe me, only some hotels provide this and most of the ones who do, aren’t really good. I noticed that only a handful of hotels have really good quality hair conditioners. This is very vital especially when you have to expose yourself to the sun.

    from frustrated to fulfilled….
    we finally got what we needed!
    toothpaste and conditioner! oh yeah!


    the happy bunch with their happy feet
    showing off their

  5. No need to bring a towel – To save you space and weight, do yourself a favor by not bringing one since even the cheapest of inns provide it.
  6. Most comfortable Footware – only bring extra footwear when it’s REALLY needed (when attending a formal affair). But for the usual 3d/2n adventure, I recommend you only wear your most comfortable rubber flops so you won’t need to pack it in your bag.
    Crimson Mactan Sky Experience Adventure Cebu Pacific Mae Ilagan Frank Ruaya   (245 of 267)

    used comfy Crocs for a long time

  7. Basic Meds
    • Antihistamine – With the exotic dishes which you are to taste, better to bring with you an ample supply of anti-allergy meds.
    •  Multivitamins – to be honest, even if you go to a beach resort or stay in a hotel, moving from one place to another causes stress.  I’m sure you’d agree how stressful it is to ride a bus for more than 4 hours! Be sure to take your multivitamins so your immune system won’t weaken.
  8. Power bank – though we don’t have this yet, we recently got convinced that having a portable gadget charger is a must! One thing I hate the most is having low batt without any electricity sockets available. For people like me who breath social media, it’s always a MUST to have fully charged gadgets!
  9. Lightweight clothes – if you bring  clothes made of heavy fabric (eg. Denim,coat), expect a lot of load on your back as well. Lately, what I’ve been doing is that I pack cotton shirts and shorts plus stretchable leggings  or comfy summer dresses  to lessen the load. During my last 3d/2n trip, my backpack  only weighed around 1.7kgs! Confused on how may shirts to bring? Personally, what I do is, I’d prepare 1 shirt per day(depending on the length of stay) plus 2 extras! So if it’s  3d/2nights, 3+2 = 5!! It also pays to make a list of the clothes you’ll be needing per day! 
    Air Asia Zest Air Kuala Lumpur Petronas Towers Frank Ruaya Mae Ilagan When In Manila (63 of 158)

    wear comfy casual clothes

  10. Swim wear – I’ve had my share of times wherein I regret not having my swim wear with me. If you’re a person who loves swimming, always be prepared!


I hope these things will help you in your next adventures! How about you? Do you have any more tips to share? Please feel free to leave a comment below! I’d love to hear from you!



How to Travel Light: 10 Essential Travel Must Haves!