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TRAVEL : What’s in your Suitcase?

Back in college (when I still watched TV on a regular basis on cable and not streaming stuff online, thank you Netflix!) I always watched the Superbowl for the halftime shows and the commercials.

YES, there are people who actually watch the Superbowl for the commercials/halftime show rather than the actual GAME.

*I don’t really get American Football to begin with and if I never lived in the US or dated an American guy who was obsessed with the Saints I would lived on happily without every setting a foot into a stadium to cheer on any team in the NFL. KGB for that matter is perfect for me as he has no interest in “football” the American kind and mild interest in football all together.

One of the most creative commercials I’ve seen was pretty much any beer brands and MasterCard. I especially loved it when MasterCard came out with the “there are some things money can’t buy for everything else there’s MasterCard” gimmick where it lists out prices of items. The other iconic one I remember the catch phrase of is CapitalOne “what’s in your wallet?”

Just in case you can’t remember the MasterCard commercial here is one to remind you.

After college when I finally got out to the job market, I did get a credit card…it just wasn’t CapitalOne or MasterCard, but Visa worked. It also helped that I didn’t need to sign up for one separately as it came prepackaged with my bank account.

So where was I going with this?

Like the CapitalOne commercial says, “what’s in your wallet?” I realized that I don’t really change my wallet or check what’s actually in my wallet on a daily basis. Sure when it looks like it’s going to fall apart I would renew it, but otherwise I just let it be. I also have multiple wallets for multiple currencies (mainly JPY, EUR/GBP, USD) to bring along my travels so I just rotate out the oldest looking one and use the newest one for where ever I am living at the time (currently GBP).

However,  I do religious checks on what I pack in my suitcase every time I travel. I try to travel light since I know I end up bringing back more than I went with…when ever I go back to Japan it also doesn’t help my family gives me tons of stuff to bring with me since they know it’s expensive here in the UK (like soy sauce, pickled veggies, condiments, sauces, and most importantly dashi packets). Keeping this in mind I tend to pack as little as possible. Traveling a lot helped in perfecting my packing method and what goes inside my suitcase. Like I said I am a minimalist packer for a chick.

A Suitcase I thought was pretty cool…from Ready Travel

Things on my packing list :

  • Clothes
  • Shoes
  • Toiletries
  • Souvenirs for People
  • Extra Book (in English)

Clothing – I know there are plenty of people who swear by the rolling method, but I rend to stick with the folding method. It seems I take up less space by organizing my stuff in compartmentalized portions. I do roll dressed though since it tends to be less messy when you take it out. I also roll my clothing around fragile items (like wine bottles and such) so guess overall I am about 80% folder – 20% roller.

Shoes – Another thing (as a girl) that tends to take up space is SHOES. Now there is no way to minimize the size of that since shoes are not something that folds up easily (especially heels). Although I know there are folding ballerina shoes that seem to be of interest but again with freakishly small feet there is no way to get my foot into one of those over here. I know I should always travel with high heels, but unless I absolutely have to I just pack a pair of flats and my comfy sneakers.

Toiletries – I know what you’re thinking…as a female you think I probably travel with a box full of make up, skin care items (from the previous massive postings), hair care, what have you not…but reality wise I tend to hate lugging around toiletries in general since my foundation spilled in my suitcase leaving an ugly smear of skin color all over my stuff. Since then learning my lesson from this I just carry a mini kit with samples of skin care items for 2 weeks (face wash, toner, lotion, moisturizer, sunscreen) and a few make up items that can also be carried on the plane (cushion foundation, 1 mascara, 1 lip moisturizer). That is IT! Oh and yes I do carry my electric toothbrush and a small sample size toothpaste so I can brush my teeth. Pretty good for a girl huh?

Souvenirs for People – I think it’s a Japanese thing…whenever we travel (even for business) we always bring something to the people we meet. If it’s for family, they tend to give me a list of things they want which are cheaper dutyfree or overseas (my dad asked me to buy a Gucci wallet for my mother as a birthday gift one time and cologne since Vietnam over taxes these luxury items). It’s especially easy for my brother since I can just drop by a grocery store and buy him some cheese or something that lasts a bit longer. For business I just buy the “second” cheapest snack (a box of Merlion cookies were my go to item in Singapore flying out) since it’s customary to gift them for giving you time to meet them. Yes so when I went to meetings with Japanese clientele for the first time I especially liked the snacks from Japan which are better than most I’ve tasted any where else. And of course on the way back my suitcase is usually stuffed with things I got from family, plus items I bought, and a few things for KGB. Thankfully KGB tends to be happy with small snacks like gummies and rice crackers.

Extra Book (usually in English) – I tend to carry a book whenever I travel but if I’m gone a week or more I tend to go through them rather quickly. The unfortunate part is whenever in Japan I over buy manga…so naturally precious space is taken by that…also doesn’t help I read 1 manga in like 10 min. On long haul flights over 5 hours I bring 1/2 books in my carry on just in case I can’t get some sleep, or the entertainment system doesn’t have anything I want to watch. It’s rare, but it does happen…

If I travel for leisure (with KGB) I would bring my Cannon EOS with me, but for normal everyday travels I tend to stick with my iPhone. Hey it’s light and takes mediocre pictures so why not?

Overall I tend to go with a half full suitcase…but KGB on the other hand makes me over pack. He thinks I’ll be in danger if I don’t carry things he thinks will be good for me. He makes me stuff things like an extra pair of shirt, thin layers to wear under other garments, etc. In which case I just casually pack them out when he’s not looking! Σ(///□///)

Then again I’m always under the impression if I’m missing something or got stuff stolen I can always replace it…as long as I have m passport and my wallet I’m good.

So what do you bring with you on your travels?

The new carry-on suitcase I’ve been eyeing from ReadyTravel (https://readytravel.co/)

I currently use a TUMI carry on I got on sale super cheap at Galeries Lafayette during their summer sale (2014). It was a shockingly pink color and I figured why not, it won’t get mixed up with other ones…so far it’s been good to me and have help up quite well. Also a former German colleague of mine swears by TUMI and told me he picks that over Rimowa any day of the week. If a German tells me it’s good I believe him.

I randomly came across the ReadyTravel suitcase when I was surfing the web. I’ve been watching their progression for a while sine signing up for the newsletter. They did say it will start a KickStarter early 2017 offering it to the public. Seems like a solid build, plus I liked the design. One concern I have would be with the USB port that is just hanging out there on the back. If it rains won’t rain water accumulate inside and totally be bad for the charger? Then again it does boast a lifetime guarantee so if all else fails I guess that’s how you can keep renewing the carry on…Only time will tell at this point. Fingers crossed they come out with more colors!






A little note since we were talking about commercials in the beginning…one of my all time favorite commercial was for Turkish Airline with Kobe and Messi. Not like I am a fan of football or basketball, but it was quite creative with the two biggest stars of our time. This did motivate me to try Turkish Airlines…come to think of it I think I’ll put that on my to do list for 2017 : Ride Turkish Airlines and try their Lounge at Istanbul Airport before my status runs out on Star Alliance!



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