Reviews Provided by Andrew Toletino from Dish Our Town;
Most flight deals to the beautiful islands in the Philippines limit each passenger to 10 kilos (22 lbs). It is imperative to pack light as there are exorbitant fees for excess weight. Consider travel backpacks, as in most cases, they weigh less than most trolleys and traditional luggage. We use backpacks made by the German manufacturer, Deuter, which have served us well. The large travel backpacks come with smaller detachable backpacks that can be removed and be brought on board as carry-ons. We pack some of the heavier items in the smaller backpacks along with our computers and books. This has drastically lessened the weight of our checked-in bags. My backpack is the Deuter Transit 65 Travel Backpack, Brenda’s backpack is the Deuter Quantum 70 + 10 Travel Pack and Bailey’s backpack is the Deuter 60 + 10 SL Travel Pack. Brenda and Bailey’s packs are slimmer and made specifically for women while mine is for men and wider.
For travel and everyday footwear, I found a good-looking, comfortable, lightweight brand named, Oxy. They are currently testing the market in the Philippines and exclusive here, but available online soon. I am obsessed with this brand. My feet have never felt so comfortable and my bags never so light. Because they are made of microfiber, they are easy to take care of and easy to put on and take off, which comes in handy when feet bloat from flying. They have literally taken the place of my loafers and driving mocs because they are also quite fashionable.
The Philippines is an eating culture, so with all this eating we do our best to fit in a workout. Nike has a lightweight line called, Juvenate. It crunches really well into the backpack and takes up little space.
Ladies, I have been in the fashion industry for two decades and nobody likes a girl in heels more than I do. But to say that they are worth packing, would be a lie. You will find little use for them in the Philippines. Instead, opt for really nice open toe or strappy flat sandals. Believe me, you’ll be happy to have saved space in your bag.
It’s hot out here, but you’re going to need at least one outerwear piece. Especially during typhoon season, which we are in currently. Brenda and Bailey prefer the lightweight waterproof hooded jackets from The North Face Venture Rain Jacket line. I prefer a lightweight product made by Kuhl.
We are Apple Device users and because they can cost a pretty penny, we like to protect them. Upon visiting Stockholm last summer, I grew an even deeper affinity for the Swedish aesthetic, so our protective sleeves of choice for our laptops are from a Swedish company named, Thule. They are sleek in design and aligns very well with Apple products. They weigh little to nothing. We carry our computers with us almost everywhere, and often they are in the overhead compartment during travel, so it’s fair to say that they take a bit of a beating. A splurge on a product by which you can be confident is worth every penny for protection.
If you are planning to document your trip through video, consider GoPro if you haven’t already. We were late to the game but glad we didn’t miss it. There were moments captured that we could not have otherwise without this tiny, wonderful device.
As for cameras, Brenda loves her Nikon 1, J4. It’s mirrorless and takes great photos and videos. It’s also a hybrid of a point and shoot and a professional camera for those who, like my wife, are apt enough to play with settings, lenses, lighting, etc… They look really cool too.
Our computers and phones are all Apple products, which have all been great for travel. Brenda has a 13″ MackBook Pro and I have an 11″ inch MacBook Air. We both love our Apple iPhone 6 (we both have 64GBs I have a white one and Brenda the Black) and Bailey loves doing homeschool assignments on her iPad. When we are out all day, we love our Mophie Juice Packs for our iphones.
Under the emergency category, everyone should look to pack a hand-crank radio and flashlight. No need to worry about batteries. This comes in handy in some of the islands. It’s not uncommon for the electric to be shut down for a few hours to conserve. We often used the flashlight on our phones, but Lord forbid if you are low on batteries and need to find your way around to get to the bathroom in the middle of the night. We were gifted a small, very light one, from a company named, Eton.
Hands down, our favorite gadget purchase, and the one that makes us feel a little safer on a daily basis is the SteriPEN. With this device, which one can easily bring around in a bag while being out for the day, drinking water is always made safe. It’s like having a magic wand with you. Literally swirl this lightsaber in your drinking water and it’s sterilized!
Now, this last entry of must haves is not so much a gadget as it is a facilitator. I’ve been told by my wife and endless female friends of mine, how lucky men are when it comes to having to relieve themselves on the road. Men can pull over on the road, find the back of a building and just go… No squatting in unsanitary places, no need to worry about windy conditions or being near poison ivy, etc., etc… I know, I appreciate that; I am after all a husband and father of a girl, so I feel the pains through them. Traveling to Southeast Asia was a daunting proposition when it came to restrooms, as we knew we would be in areas in which we would experience less than agreeable comfort rooms. Ladies, we found the perfect accessory for such events, the Freshette. Let’s just say, it evens out the biological divide.