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Packing Tips from the Pros: Marge Gavan

( travel light )

Packing Tips from the Pros: Marge Gavan

Marjorie Gavan is a writer and travel blogger from Makati, Philippines. She runs the blog, Coffeehan where she chronicles her travel and food adventures as well as her personal thoughts and experiences. She is what they call a "weekend traveller"; someone who travels on weekends or when time permits. She's been behind the game as she only started travelling in 2010, but she's doing everything in her capacity to keep up. Now, she makes sure to use all her paid time offs to travelling. As a packer, she is somewhat in the middle; she carries enough that she doesn't need to check-in her luggage, but she still tends to bring more than what is necessary.

What's usually in your carry-on?

Generally, I bring the essentials; clothes, toiletries, wallet. Apart from those, I make sure to carry 2 power banks, power extension cord, and at least 2 pieces of shawl.

Tell us about the usual type of clothes you bring when travelling?

I always plan my outfits ahead of time. First, I google about the place I am going because I don't want to wear something that is culturally inappropriate as a respect to the locals. Then I pick clothes that are comfortable, weather-suitable, but stylish at the same time because I like to look presentable and camera-ready wherever I go. With shoes, I leave the heels behind and pack a pair of flip-flops and flats, sometimes boots. I know exactly what to wear for each day of my trip and I also make sure to bring shawl as I find it to be quite useful especially when I need to get some shuteye or when I get a bit cold.

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

I saw a tutorial on youtube on how to do the military fold. I've been folding my clothes this way ever since. It saves a lot of space inside my bag. Lately, I've also found the convenience of using packing cubes; very helpful in keeping things organised inside my bag.   

What is the best thing about packing light/heavy?

Packing light is best when your trip involves a lot of walking; you don't have to be burden with a heavy load. But packing heavy has its own advantages particularly for a woman like me who likes to dress up. It takes off the pressure of picking only the essentials, there's more freedom into bringing whatever you like.

How does your packing for a travel routine look like?

I love packing, it's part of that sweet anticipation for an upcoming trip. I pack at least one month before my trip because as I mentioned, I like to plan out my outfits. I don't like being hurried into it because I tend to forget or leave stuff behind if I do it last minute and nothing is more frustrating than going somewhere and realizing I have forgotten say... a power bank.

How do you deal with "excess baggage" situations?

I don't usually do check-in so when I exceed my baggage limit, it makes me want to cry. I always have extra cash for "emergencies" like this. I settle the matter (with pain in my heart) by paying.

Quick Qs

Photo Credit: @coffeehan on Instagram

  • Favourite region? Kansai
  • Favourite country? Japan
  • Favourite city? Taipei
  • Favourite beach? Boracay
  • Favourite food? Ramen, Adobo
  • Favourite mode of transpo? Water
  • Favourite book? The Prince of Tides
  • Window or aisle seat? Window
  • Carry-on or check-in? Carry
  • Hostel or hotel? Hotel
  • What's your favourite design from the Cabin Zero collection? Military

You can follow Marge's adventure on her travel blog, Coffeehan.


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