Hi love, since we’re officially in the Holiday season, some of you might be planning trips to wonderful places somewhere. I am, and in fact right now I’m in the middle of simultaneous packing for two adjacent trips, the Bali holiday trip with my mom and the work trip on early January.

I have written some post about travel photography checklist here, and today the post is all about my packing checklist! I’m by no means an ultra minimalist packer, in fact I believe most of you have mastered the art of packing light- something I won’t even reach in a hundred years. But over the years of overpacking, excess baggage regrets and “I wish I had brought that” moments, I’ve definitely improved and successfully narrowed down the content of my suitcase to the very most essentials things. Here’s the list of everything I carry on my trips in every season. Let’s get started!

Bag

The bag and suitcase I use depends so much on how long I’m going to stay at one place. For a weekend trip, I only carry a backpack; for a week or two, a cabin suitcase; and for longer travels (more than two weeks) I will bring a bigger luggage to check in.

  1. Backpack : Supreme Cordura Backpack. I just simply can’t say no to anything with camo prints, plus I love the side pockets where I can reach for my water all the time. It has a laptop divider and pockets inside the front zip. The whole sweet thing is made of strong and waterproof canvas material.
  2. Cabin Suitcase : Rimowa Classic Flight Multiwheel 33L.
    This is a serious eye catcher. It’s made of aluminium and probably the most beautiful cabin case ever. The overall look and feel brings a nostalgic feeling, from the leather handles to the TSA locking systems. Prettiness aside, I always love Rimowa for their wheel durability (my number one concern when buying luggage is: 1. Good wheels, and 2. Four of those good wheels. If you have ever travelled with a 4-wheel suitcase you already know how life changing it is. The Classic Flight glides like a dream), the built quality and the material. However if you check it in, expect dents to happen on the surface and corners, but personally for me it just makes mine look like a well-travelled suitcase.
  3. Checked-in luggage : Rimowa Salsa Mutiwheel 58L. If I really have to carry a huge luggage, I have to make sure the suitcase itself is light. Salsa’s polycarbonate material is super light and very sturdy; they don’t dent easily like the aluminum suitcases so they survive way better on the rough baggage handling nightmare. The wheels has glided on many cobblestone paths, sandy and rocky road for the past five years and they’re still rocking like new.
  4. Camera bag : ONA Bowery Bag.
  5. I always opt for a camera bag that looks nothing like a camera bag. This is to avoid looking like a tourist carrying $$$ worth of photography equipment, therefore I feel so much safer. As a photographer, I am not proud to admit that I used to just throw my camera inside my giant shoulder bag and it has resulted to lots of scratches on the body and lenses. The Bowery bag is a photographer’s dream come true: it combines functionality and style, made of beautifully handcrafted leather, and it has interior compartments padded with foam to protect your gears.
  6. A light nylon foldable bag : Muji. When I do travel testshoots, sometimes I don’t have a big team of stylist, make up artist or assistants, therefore both the model and I will carry the outfits used for the shoots by ourselves. It is so much easier to carry them in a proper bag than some shopping paper bags.  This bag will also come really handy if you get yourself a lots of keepsakes in your trip that don’t fit in your suitcase.

Camera Gear / Electronics

  1. Sony A7Rii (main camera) – This is the only camera I use for everything from commercial work to holiday shoots).
  2. Zeiss 50mm 1.4 (main lens) + 24-70mm + G Master 85mm (secondary lenses)
  3. 4 extra (camera) batteries and a battery charger – I’ve discussed about the importance of having extra batteries.
  4. 2 (128gb) SD memory cards – and also why you need to have extra space in your cards.
  5. Seagate 2TB external hard drive – Because backing up is just as important as brushing your teeth and flossing.
  6. Macbook pro 13.3-inch + charger – the most convenient size and weight for travels.
  7. iPhone 6
  8. 2 Powerbank – Finding signal drains phone battery like crazy. Make sure they’re fully charged before the trip.
  9. Universal travel plug adapter
  10. Sennheiser Momentum headphones – I’ve used these bad boys since 2012, and never drift away ever since.

Clothing

The outfits I carry naturally depend much to the country and weather, but these are the basic essentials that I always have with me:

  1. One pair of jeans
  2. One white button down shirt
  3. One varsity jacket
  4. Running shoes
  5. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gi + gym clothes : Because jitsu.
  6. Raincoat : Mine is very light and foldable into a small cube, I got it from Muji.

(I add coat, boots and heat-tech thermalwear for winter; sunglasses, flip flops and light cotton dresses for summer.)

Beauty Products

  1. One small toiletry bag containing travel sized shampoo, moisturizer, toothbrush, toothpaste, face cleanser, nail clipper, sunscreen.
  2. Hair straightener : So I won’t look too much like a slob on my meetings and holiday pics.
  3. Another small bag containing my make up kits : Also to look decent and presentable, especially during work travels.

Others

  1. Book (paperback!) to read during the flight or to send me to sleep during jetlagged nights.
  2. The super essential that goes without saying, but for a complete list I’m going to write them here anyway: passport, wallet, credit cards, ATMs, cash, copy of your passport / ID.
  3. A travel lock : This will come handy on bus or train rides when you’re traveling alone.
  4. Plastic water tumbler. You’ll thank me for this.

That’s all folks. I will post more packing tips soon! Happy Holidays!

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