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Packing tips from the pros: Mary Charie Ylagan

( travel light )

Packing tips from the pros: Mary Charie Ylagan

Originally from the Philippines, Mary has been travelling for 17 months now. At the moment, she is visiting family in the Philippines after being away for three years.

Mary is definitely a lightweight packer. Can you believe she’s always traveling with 14 kgs in total - one bigger bag (9kgs), a cabin-sized bag, and one smaller bag (5kgs)!

 She blogs mostly about herself and travelling. She shares not only her travel and visa experiences but also what she’s become while growing up on the road as she travels longer and further. She openly shares her dreams, her successes, and failures to her readers.

Photo Credit: @amaryroad

What's usually in your carry-on?

I always have been using a cabin sized bag since I started travelling 17 months ago. Basically, I have everything in my carry-on bag. From clothes, toiletries, gadgets to my high heel pair of shoes. It sounds crazy, but that’s true, I can fit everything in a cabin-sized bag!

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 mostly pack light-weight clothes, outfits that are generally comfortable enough for summer and warm enough for spring or autumn. I don’t get cold easily, thus, bringing a jumper or two plus a pair of jeans is good enough for me to survive spring and autumn season. I don’t pack for a day by day outfit; I’m one of those people who can wear the same pair of shorts for two consecutive days.

Photo Credit: @amaryroad

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

Roll my clothes! I think it was very smart and saves a lot of space. My older sister suggested that when I embarked on my first ever moving abroad moment. The technique applies for either suitcase or backpack.

What is the best thing about packing light/heavy?

The best thing about packing light is knowing that you don’t have to pay excess baggage, you sit just on the limit of the baggage allowance. I once packed heavy, but it was because I’m moving continents and not the typical backpacking. What I learned from that experience was I don’t need 50% of what I packed.

Photo Credit: @amaryroad

How does your packing for a travel routine look like?

I normally pack the night before my flight; I hate rushing although found it very interesting, Hahaha! Generally, I will pick out the set of outfit I will wear the next day so I can place in the bag those that won’t be any use for me. Lastly, I pack my toiletries, that’s why when you open my bag, the first things you will see are my toiletries and laundry bag. I don’t think someone will be interested in stealing those!

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

I’ve never had to deal with excess baggage. Although I have been in the situation where I exceeded the weight limit. I was lucky enough not to be charged; I think mostly because I use carry-on bags all the time. There were times that my stuff doesn't fit in, so I have to let go some of my clothes or items I won’t be using anymore.

What's your best-kept packing secret?

Pack a lightweight high-quality scarf! I use my scarf as bath towel when the hostel doesn’t offer one; I use it as a blanket on bus rides or when I need to sleep at the airport. I also use it as a curtain in my dorm bed to have a little privacy. Finally, it’s a great piece to have as a cover under the heat of the sun or as a cover up when visiting temples or places where you need to cover your legs and shoulders.


Quick Q's

Favourite region? - Asia

Favourite country? - Myanmar

Favourite city? Aarhus, Denmark

Favourite beach? Masasa Beach, Philippines

Favourite food? – Bun Bo Nam Bo  from Vietnam

Favourite mode of transport? (Land, water, air, etc) – Ferries and airplanes

Favourite book? – Philippa Gregory’s Medieval novels

Window or aisle seat? – Window seat

Carry-on or check-in? – Carry-on for sure!

Hostel or hotel? – I like both.

What's your favourite design from the Cabin Zero collection? – Military, although I own the vintage one only!

You can follow Mary’s adventures on her blog, A Mary Road.



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

Mary asks: What was the most ‘unwise’ item you ever packed? 

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

The winner will be announced on Monday 3rd. of July on the linked post on our Facebook Timeline.


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