Aside from the obvious clothes, cash, camera (and passport), here are 10 of the things I put inside my backpack while traveling.
All of these stuff has been part of my “must-brings” since I started traveling. Most are used to save money and to save space on my backpack.
As you might have observed in the past posts, I like to do some camping in places I visit (Mambukal, Guimaras, El Nido samples). My hammock weights 1lb and is very practical to carry anywhere I go. This becomes my home/bed/accommodation especially in areas where I can’t find a chaap guest house.
2. Goggles / Snorkle.
Philippines is an archipelago of 7,107 islands. As I always say, “all waters must be tested” so I have to experience every falls, sea, river and springs I saw. That is why I always bring my goggles especially on a beach trip or when in the island. Even on the mountains, I’m ready to check out what’s below the waterfalls or the river. This is also the best way to experience the beauty of the sea-world as I cannot afford scuba-diving as of the moment.
It also saves me P100-150 of snorkeling mask rentals.
3. Vibram Five Fingers / Slippers.
I’m a runner and there are times that I need to have me dose of endorphins. Before I always bring my running shoes but then when I got a Vibram Five Fingers Sprint (VFF), I leave the running shoes at home and just bring my VFF. It can be used practically in every outdoor activity I choose to- running, beach walking, snorkling, trekking, river-crossing, surfing, (even malling) and anything in between. I can also use this whenever there is a social event or party as it is not like slippers that looks cheap while on.
Color- screaming red! This also attracts attention of locals and is usually a springboard for conversation. For those who don’t have VFF, slippers would do the trick.
Made of very light fabric it has lotsa use. I used it as towel in the morning (I stopped bringing towel anymore), protection from the sun during the day, a cloth where I can sleep while basking on the sun’s heat at Boracay, and a blanket during the chilly night. In my recent trip to Mindanao, I brought two sarongs.
5. Water bottle.
I would always bring a 500ml or 750ml bottle. It is common knowledge that our bodies need 2 liters of water daily right? If I will be buying water everytime I get thirsty that would translate to P15 / 500ml bottle which is very expensive in the long run and probably would make me broke before going 30. By bringing my own water bottle, I can always refill it in the eateries, canrinderias, fastfood, hotel, airports, local houses (even in river streams). Saves a lot of money and makes me happy!
Need further probing? See my previous post: “Bring your own Water Bottle”
Roads in rural areas are usually poorly lit. Bringing flashlight would help you find your way. I can also use this in times of emergency or black outs. I used a motorized flashlight so I would not be needing battery or charger.
Very helpful from the cold months of December-February and the rainy months of June-August. Also useful in the mountains and places with high elevation like Baguio City, Tagaytay, Davao Area and in Catanduanes.
8. Ziploc / plastic bag.
Water-proofing is a must especially when river-crossing, mountain-hiking and crossing from one island to another. important stuffs like camera, mobile phone and wallet will be safe here.
9. Travel Mug.
I love caffeine, it is a must when waking up on misty mornings. I bring with me my travel mug so I can always have my java. To save money, I bring along with it instant coffees, chocolates and tea inside. I would just ask or buy hot water, mix and viola- a steamy hot drink to power up my day.
More reason why you should “bring an instant coffee, chocolate or tea”
10. Nature Valley trail mix / bread.
In long trips or during long hours of waiting in bus terminals/airports a small amount of food is your best friend. Unless you want to splurge your money buying over-priced necessities, you may want to bring with you a bar or Nature Valley trail mix (this is my favorite). If I can’t bring that, I would ask my sister to bake for me some butter scotch bars so I can eat while on the road. Saves me a lot of peso! If these are unavailable, I buy bread in the bakery.
Bonus items: Small notebook & pen to record your experiences on the road.