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Packing Tips from the Pros: Lilliane Cobiao

( travel light )

Packing Tips from the Pros: Lilliane Cobiao

Originally from the Philippines, Lilliane has been to 58 countries (in 6 continents) and have been blogging for 10 years now. Her longest trip was for 435 days in 2011-12. She is generally a light packer with 15kgs on her check-in luggage, except when she goes on dive trips which would be about 20kgs.

Her blog contains narratives of her travel experiences and also some travel tips like “RTW Packing List for Female Travelers" In this interview, Lilliane will share a few packing tips and the benefits of traveling light.

What's usually in your carry-on?

My carry-on bag always has a macbook pro, olympus om-d camera with 1-2 lenses, chargers, scarf, neck pillow, and small makeup kit.

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

I normally bring comfortable clothes rather than stylish ones. So sometimes, I’ll end up in a fashionable city like Stockholm and would feel very underdressed. In which case, I will be forced to do a little shopping. This is why I packed very light so I will have room for occasion like such.

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

Way before packing cubes became normal, a mate taught me compartmental packing using colour plastic bags. This makes it easy to look for stuff in top load backpacks.

What is the best thing about packing light/heavy?

The best thing about packing light is that it’s easier to move around. There’s nothing more difficult than rolling heavy luggage on uneven cobblestone ground. Besides, when travelling on low-cost airlines, you’ll end up paying too much for extra luggage space. Anyway, heavy packers usually lug around things they end up not using.

How does your packing for a travel routine look like?

I am so bad that I always pack few hours before my departure time. However, I always mentally pack few days ahead. The worst thing that has happened to me this year is that I finished packing at 3 am when I have a 7 am flight. I thought I’d take one hour nap but did not hear my alarm go off, so I missed my flight.

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

I’ve never paid for excess baggage. I always just transfer stuff to my carry-on backpack. Anyway, my excess baggage is usually just 1-2 kilos and most often, check in counter officers just let me pass.

What's your best-kept packing secret?

Packing cubes are my best packing solution. My bag always look very neat and organized when open. It is easy to find things. I’ve on several occasions opened my bag in public places (airport, hotel lobby, etc.) and received compliment from other travellers.

Quick Q's

  • Favourite region? Europe
  • Favourite country? France
  • Favourite city? Paris
  • Favourite beach? Boracay
  • Favourite food? Seafood / crabs
  • Favourite mode of transport? Train
  • Favourite book? Night Train to Lisbon
  • Window or aisle seat? Aisle
  • Carry-on or check-in? Carry-on
  • Hostel or hotel? Hotel
  • What's your favourite design from the Cabin Zero collection? Military 44L


You can follow Lillianes’s travel blog for more ‘wanderlass’ all over the world and also join her on Twitter, Facebook. Instagram, Pinterest and Youtube.


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