Let me start by saying, no, this is not your usual packing list. I won’t be telling you to bring how many shirts, what kinds of footwear, or what SPF of sunscreen to get. This is not that list. But I swear to you this list is not any less important; perhaps even more important than the common “what to bring” articles you usually see online.
Related reading: Around the World Trip: 8 Preparation Tips for Filipino Backpackers
Because, you see, what I am listing in this article are those things most vacationers and newbie travelers forget to bring or prepare for. We get so easily caught up in what wardrobe to prepare, how many pairs of pants to bring, etc, that we often times forget the little yet essential things—the items that could possibly save us during those unexpected times of trouble.
So yes, rid yourself of worry and see below what 5 items you can bring or plan ahead on for a blissful travel or vacation.
5. Pack: Copies of your IDs, cards, and important documents
Photocopy it, scan, take pictures, store a copy in your phone or email—take your pick as how you want to save a copy of your important cards and documents, but the important thing is that you do.
This includes IDs, credit cards, ATM cards, debit cards, passport, visas, flight itineraries, etc. This is especially important if you’re traveling overseas, so that in the case you might lose your wallet, bag, or any of these documents, you have proof of not only ownership but identity as well.
For the cards, don’t forget to copy both front and back.
4. Book ahead: Travel insurance
This is perhaps one of the most important, but also the most disregarded. I get it, travel insurance is not exactly super cheap and seems like an unnecessary expense, but in the event that you do find yourself in the middle of a pickle while on your trip, your travel insurance will be like your own Superman scooping you up and away from all the mess.
Most travel insurances cover medical assistance and expense when you fall sick, need meds, or get into an accident. Theft and loss of your luggage and stuff is often covered as well, plus flight cancellations. You can also have your gadgets, gears and other valuables insured depending on the insurance plan you avail. Most insurance companies offer travel insurance and there are a lot to choose from online as well. Just do your research and see what fits you best.
Honestly. Insurance is a life saver. Get one.
3. Pack: Your own medical kit
I am one of those titas who always carry a medicine box + a little first aid kit in my personal bag. You just never know when you’ll need it! You don’t want to be in the middle of a long bus ride internally dying because of motion sickness. Or fighting a terrible migraine when you could be having fun.
Headaches, stomach aches, colds, cough, dysmenorrhea…I got the drugs for those. I also always carry adhesive bandage for cuts and wounds, plus antibiotic ointment like fucidin. I tell you, I’m a certified tita! But I’m also the tita who saves her friends’ butts when they feel ill or injure themselves on a trip, so yes, always pack a small medical kit. You’ll thank yourself for it.
2. Book ahead: A pocket wifi to stay connected
I’ve been stuck on the outskirts of Pattaya, Thailand with no means to research how to get back to the city or to contact some people I knew because I had no internet connection. And I’ve also come back to Manila, after a short vacation in Singapore, to a shocking phone bill incurred from ridiculous international data charges when I did use my internet.
You will need to be connected when traveling, and the best way to do that is to rent a pocket wifi you can use throughout your trip.
Here in the Philippines, for travelers coming to the country, there’s GoLocal, a portable wifi rental service. You can use it for as low as $1.67 a day, with speeds up to 42mbps. The best part is you can connect up to 5 devices, which means you can even split the cost with your friends. And no worries about the connectivity as well—GoLocal is powered by Smart, the largest mobile network in the Philippines.
You can get more info or book Go Local online at www.golocal-app.com. The device can be picked up at their stations at NAIA Terminal 1, Terminal 3, and at Cebu-Mactan Airport. Or you can also have it delivered to your hotel. I swear. So convenient.
Don’t learn the hard way like I did. If you have friends visiting the Philippines soon, or you are, save them and yourself from the pain of data charges and get GoLocal.
1. Pack: A sense of adventure.
These items listed won’t guarantee you the best time in the world, honestly. Because at the end of the day, that is still up to you. But I promise these will make your trip so much more worry-free. And isn’t that the point or traveling at all? To recharge the soul?
So go forth, my friend! Pack wisely and lightly, and just have fun!