Packing tips from the pros: Danna Peña

Danna Peña is a writer from the Philippines. A former social media specialist in an advertising agency and a content producer for a news publication, she is currently a full-time freelance writer who has also done photography, brand consultancy, and social media content curation projects.

Being born into a family that loves traveling, she has been exposed to international destinations at a young age. But after her first local trekking experience in Mt. Pinatubo back in March 8, 2014, she resolved to explore more of what her country has to offer, from its seas, cities, mountains, caves, rivers, and everything else in between.

Her love for writing and photography lead her to creating her own blog at www.dannapena.com, where she shares thoughts and photos of her travels. She mostly blogs about nature spots in the Philippines, along with a few international destinations and eco-tours.

She strongly believes in environmentalism, animal welfare, and sustainable fashion. Besides being outdoors and immersing in different locations, she also enjoys engrossing herself in literature, film, and music.

What's usually in your carry-on?

I always carry my favourite beauty products (lip balm, sunblock, and hand lotion), gadgets (phone, camera, and power bank), and reading materials (books or magazines). I usually leave my laptop at home while I'm travelling. I usually bring sunnies with me, too.

Tell us about the usual type of clothes you bring when traveling

My travels typically consist of beaches and mountains here in the Philippines, so I’m used to dressing up for warm weather. For beaches, I wear rompers, denim shorts, and loose tops over swimsuits. For the mountains, I wear fuss-free activewear, a cap, and rubber shoes. When the weather is rainy, I bring a scarf or a hooded field jacket to stay dry.

What's the best packing tip anyone has given you? Who gave it?

I can't seem to trace where I first heard about it, but rolling your clothes is the best packing tip I've heard. It's a total game changer, I must say.

What is the best thing about packing light?

Besides not being burdened by carrying heavy loads, I believe bringing less makes you focus more on your travel experience. We really don’t that many things to enjoy a moment (save for overnight camping trips to remote areas where a lot of camping equipment are crucial).

How does your packing for a travel routine look like?

If I'm traveling for a long period of time, I make sure to pack a day before I leave for the destination. When it comes to day trips or weekend trips, I make sure to pack at least four or five hours before the trip.

How do you deal with "excess baggage" situations? 

I've never encountered dealing with excess baggage (thank goodness), since I've always been meticulous about how much I carry with me. If ever I do encounter this situation in the future, I'd gladly pay for extra baggage if the items I'm bringing with me are that important.

What's your best-kept packing secret?

Using compartments/organisers are extremely helpful. I used to believe I didn't need them, but using them recently has been helping me find my belongings quicker. They also allow me to fit all my items in my bag in an organised way. Such a useful invention!

Quick Q's

  • Favourite region? Visayas
  • Favourite country? Philippines
  • Favourite city? Tokyo
  • Favourite beach? Nagsasa Cove, Zambales
  • Favourite food? Hummus and pita
  • Favourite mode of transpo? Air
  • Favourite book? Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
  • Window or aisle seat? Window seat
  • Carry-on or check-in? Carry-on
  • Hostel or hotel? Hotel
  • What's your favourite design from the Cabin Zero collection? Classic 44L in Cabin White

Follow Danna's dreamy adventures on Instagram, @dannapena.

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