Packing tips from the Pros: Kenneth Surat

Kenneth Surat runs a personal travel blog called #iKENexplore. He left the corporate world and pursued travelling long term in November 2015. He was working as a senior designer in Dubai and left the country in January 2016, after staying as an expat for ten years.

As a solo traveller, Kenneth normally packs light (as possible), as he goes from one country to another. Nowadays, even though he doesn’t travel long term - flying back and forth to the Philippines and Dubai, he still tends to bring just a backpack unless a big suitcase is needed.

In this interview, Kenneth will share a few packing tips so let’s get started, shall we?

packing tips

What's usually in your carry-on?

About the travel checklist I always bring my laptop with me so I can blog/ work remotely during free days. Aside from my daily clothes (3 shirt, 2 shorts, 1 pants), I always have a raincoat, sunblock, pashmina, a camera and a GoPro.

Tell us about the usual type of clothes you bring when traveling? Do you pick your wardrobe meticulously, plan a day by day outfit, etc.?

I must confess, I am a last minute packer. It helps that because I move a lot, my wardrobe at home is also very limited, and I can just pull out anything from my closet, and I am set to go.

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

I saw it online in one of the travel hacks blog to roll clothes when packing because it saves a lot of luggage space. Aside from that, I also put a bar of soap to keep my clothes smell clean (even if they are not hahaha).

packing tips

What is the best thing about packing light/heavy?

Packing light is really practical when you are always on the move, mainly if you are backpacking and crossing several territories.

How does your packing for a travel routine look like?

As mentioned in the previous question, I am a last minute packer. I tend to pack a few hours before I leave. Just an example, I am actually flying tomorrow, and I still don’t know what to bring. I think because I have travelled a lot and I already have an idea of what to bring (depending on the location and climate). As long as I have my travel docs, money, camera, I am good to go, and if I forget anything aside from these, I can just go to the store and buy.

How do you deal with "excess baggage" situations? Do you pay extra? Lessen your load? 

I hate excess baggage! It is so stressful. Haha. I feel that it is a waste of money. As much as possible I don’t pay and try to use my charm (LOL), but in a situation that it ain’t working, I set aside which one I can let go and leave them (which normally are clothes and books).

What's your best-kept packing secret?

I don’t know if it is a secret already but I love using those packing cubes (cabin cubes) because it is easier to get items in my bag and I feel so organized. I have cubes for shirt, pants, undergarments and chargers. Another tip I give to people that I always do, put your heavy (small) items in your personal carry-on because normally airport ground staff don’t weigh it (unless it looks bulky).

packing tips

Quick Q's

  • Favourite region? Scandinavia
  • Favourite country? Norway
  • Favourite city? Bergen
  • Favourite beach?  El Nido (Palawan, Philippines)
  • Favourite food?  Anything Thai
  • Favourite mode of transport? Boat (water)
  • Favourite book?  Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist (close 2nd are All Harry Potter books haha)
  • Window or aisle seat?  Window
  • Carry-on or check-in? Carry-on
  • Hostel or hotel? Hostel
  • What's your favourite design from the Cabin Zero collection? Vintage 44L

Follow Kenneth’s travel blog for more travels and pro packing tips! You can also find him on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Youtube.


Kenneth answered all your questions about his best-kept packing tips, and now it’s your time to answer his!

Kenneth asks: What is one thing you cannot live without whenever you are travelling (aside for passport and camera)?

Click this link to answer the question and get a chance to win a 28L Cabin bag!

The winner was announced on Monday, 3nd of April 2017 on the linked post on our Facebook Timeline. But you can still check it out and see some valuable comments about what to take with you when travelling. 

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