This is Part 2/2 of my Packing for Spring Break guide. If you haven’t seen it already, here’s Part 1/2. In this second post, I’ll be looking at some of the things that you may not think of when you think of packing. However, these items can prove to be very essential (antidiarrheal medicine) or can just simply improve your overall travel experience (camera stuff).
Since I’m a pharmacy student, I thought I would also include a section for medications that could prove to be useful.
- We plan on getting a decent amount of our food from hawker stalls on the streets of KL, so cleanliness and sanitation may not always be optimal. To be ready for probable upset stomachs, we have both a laxative and Pepto.
- Next are some medications that will help us with our sleep cycle. The time difference between Malaysia and Central US time is 14 hours! We brought melatonin, which has been clinically proven to reduce jet lag, and also generic Benadryl (diphenhydramine) for those times when we just need to knock out. Fun fact: the active ingredient that you find in medications like Zzz-quil and other over-the-counter sleep aids is usually just diphenhydramine at different doses. Do not rely on diphenhydramine or other sleep aids as they can make it more difficult to naturally fall asleep in the future!
- Lastly, we have acetaminophen for pain or fever just in case.
This section will talk about some of the other miscellaneous items that I find to be essential for this trip.
- Wherever you go internationally, make sure to check what kind of power outlets you use so you can be prepared. The fiancee and I have one adapter each to suit our needs. These will usually run you about $10 if you look on Amazon. If you think you’ll need to plug a lot of things in, get a small power strip for cheap at Walmart.
- Sunscreen with an SPF of 50+ is also recommended for sunny/tropical places and is good to have anywhere to prevent skin damage/disease.
- We decided on mosquito wipes instead of sprays because wipes are not regulated by the 3-1-1 TSA requirements. Although mosquitoes aren’t a huge problem in KL, it’s always nice to have these just in case. I bought these wipes from Walmart for about $4.
- Next I have a small container of Dr. Bronners ($2) that can be used for literally anything. I’ll mainly be using it to wash clothes if necessary but it could also be used for shampooing, body wash, and face wash. Note that this solution is concentrated and should always be diluted prior to use.
- The last thing in my picture below is a pair of wireless headphones that I nabbed for $25 on Black Friday. I prefer wireless headphones but you should also have a pair of wired headphones/earbuds because I’m not sure if planes support bluetooth headphone technology. There are a few things that aren’t pictured that I will add to my carry-on:
- Ear plugs aren’t always provided by airlines so it’s not a bad idea to have some handy.
- A portable battery charger is also becoming vital for travel just in case your cell phone dies during your trip. I bought an Anker 5000 mAh portable charger for $15 on Amazon which should be enough to recharge my phone 1.5 times at full charge. Note that iPhone/Galaxy batteries have a capacity of 2800-3000 mAh.
Last but not least is the equipment that I’ll be using to capture moments. I’m completely new to the world of photography so my gear consists of a bunch of cheap things. Since I’m not an aspiring professional photography, I decided it wasn’t worth the investment to get top of the line stuff.
- My camera is a Sony Nex 5T mirrorless camera. I think mirrorless cameras are the ideal type of camera for traveling because they provide better image quality than point-and-shoots but are much lighter than DSLR’s. I bought mine used off of Reddit after selling my old point-and-shoot and ended up paying only net $30. This camera has been discontinued by Sony but is replaced by the awesome Sony A5000 and A6000 series. To be honest, I was in the market for a Canon G7X or a Sony RX-100 because these compact point-and-shoots produce incredible images, but alas they were way out of my price range.
- I decided to include my phone in the “Camera Gear” section because I’ll be using it to snap a lot of photos and record videos as well. Like my camera, I also recently bought my Galaxy S5 used. One of the things that intrigued me most about this two-year old phone was the camera. It has a 16 MP camera but more importantly, it performs better in low light situations than a lot of other smartphone cameras currently on the market. Sure, I could have forked out $700 for an Iphone 7 (actually I take that back, there’s no way I could pay that much for a phone), but relative to price and value the S5 beats out most of the competition. In addition, the phone offers 1080P video recording at 60 fps for smooth and fluid movement in your videos.
- I have two tripods, a small flexible one and a bigger portable fold-up one. The standard for flexible tripods have been JOBY’s Gorillapod which costs $50… So I decided to get a cheaper Bontend version for $20. This will be perfect for quickly setting up shots. I also got an Amazon Basics 50 inch tripod that folds down to 17 inches. It’s not the most state of the art item, but it gets the work done. I’ll be using this to set up landscape shots and panoramas.
I hope this series has been at least somewhat entertaining and insightful. These “tricks and tips” are always floating around the internet and if you need anymore guidance on how to pack, you’ll have no problem finding resources. Thanks for reading!