Hello friends! It’s been a long while since my last post, but I come bearing news that you may or may not already know…
I’m going to the Philippines this weekend! For the first time ever! For almost a month!
I am almost 23 years old & my 17-year-old sister and I have never been to ~the homeland~ (I am a Filipina if you did not know!). I am thrilled to try actually authentic Filipino cuisine & street food, shop until I just barely can close my suitcase, take in the sights I’ve only seen via Instagram or teleseryes, and experience the culture and traditions I’ve grown up with but never knew their roots. I’ll be going with my parents & my sister–we haven’t had a long family vacation in years! So I’m very excited to be jetsetting off & relieving some of the wanderlust I’ve been holding in for what feels like forever. It will also be my parents’ first time returning since they left many years ago (before I was born!), so I imagine it will be a culture shock for all of us.
Because it’s my first time traveling to the Philippines, I’ve been doing a lot of preparation to make sure I have everything I need, so I wanted to share some items I’ve picked up that I think will help me look/feel fabulous while I’m enjoying my trip 🙂 I have not tried all of these items long-term yet, so expect a follow up when I come back about how they held up!
NARS Tinted Moisturizer
I use Neutrogena’s Oil-Free moisturizer every day, whether I wear makeup or not. It’s the key to my ~smooth and soft skin~ that I get many compliments for (and that SPF is a PLUS!) and provides a base for the rest of my makeup. However, when I’m traveling I would like to spend less time sitting in front of a mirror caking product on and more time exploring. I concluded tinted moisturizer is a good alternative, providing that hydration and coverage without the extra layer of makeup. I asked a Sephora employee for a recommendation & she directed me to this, which I’ve seen many raving reviews for. So why not?
I’ve tested it out minimally twice and so far I like the way it blends with my skin. I think I may need to use more to get perfect coverage but I’m trying to save the product for the month I’ll be in the Philippines. It does make my T-Zone feel more matte and “free” compared to my usual moisturizer, which I feel gets really oily throughout the day and clogs my pores when I get sweaty. I think that’s a plus when I’ll be in the humid weather. I am still going to bring both so whenever I’m in the water & not wearing makeup I’ll have that SPF protection. I hope this tinted moisturizer doesn’t melt off my face!
Light Short-Sleeved Striped Button Up
THIS IS THE TOP I’VE BEEN SEARCHING FOR. For me, this shirt embodies summer. It’s lightweight. It can be layered over a swimsuit or bralette, worn with pants or shorts, or worn underneath a cardigan or jacket during those breezy summer nights. I’ve been on a hunt for a shirt like this but haven’t come across it while shopping in-person or online. It wasn’t until I watched this video by Miss Louie on YouTube that I found it linked as an alternative to a top she was wearing in the video.
It was love at first sight.
I went to the Target inside a local mall but they didn’t have it in my size, so I decided to push my luck and try my local Target. I usually don’t have luck finding clothing I want just because it is in a populated area & items sell out fast, so I held my breath as I was looking around…
AND I FOUND IT. IN MY SIZE. IT WAS FATE.
I was falling head over heels when I tried it on. I was checking myself out in the mirror because I felt so good wearing it. I didn’t even hesitate to buy it at full price (& if you know me, I survive off sales and deals!). Prediction: this just might be the top I wear the most while I’m in the Philippines. I have a feeling this prediction is right.
Black Lightweight Joggers
Throughout the past few months, I’ve been Pinning a lot of graphics & lists of what people bring when they travel to a tropical environment, and a common item on these lists is a pair of joggers. From what my mom told me, the Philippines is humid & not an environment typically for pants, but might be useful at night or to protect my poor skin if we go to a place with a lot of mosquitos… and I’m ALWAYS the one in my family to get bit. My only pair of joggers are these thick cotton paisley-patterned pair (say that 10 times fast) I got at H&M a few years ago, which is a staple in my closet but maybe inappropriate for the weather there and doesn’t really match other clothes I plan on wearing. Thus, I started my search for a pair of joggings I can survive in while living in humid weather.
This is another item I found through the same Miss Louie YouTube video from the previous item. I found the exact pair she linked at Old Navy–it’s the perfect lightweight material I was looking for, and it wasn’t too baggy. I bought it, but ended up returning it at another store because I wanted a looser fit without the added length/perceived baggy-ness. I ordered the petite length online and it’s a perfect fit length-wise, although I might have to wear some seamless undies to prevent some panty lines in the booty area. It’s perfect for the long flight, if I’m feeling chilly in the evenings, and to keep my legs safe from those pesky bugs.
Canon Powershot SX730 HS
OKAY, I know we’re in the age of smartphones & technology that can do EVERYTHING in one little rectangle… but I’ve missed owning a digital camera just to take super HD snaps & videos. Since my boyfriend owed me a Christmas present (yes, it’s already summer and halfway to next Christmas) and it’s almost Christmas in July, he helped me get this fancy shmancy camera. WITH A FLIP-UP SCREEN! AND WI-FI CAPABILITY!! I would like to minimize my phone usage as much as possible while I’m out and about (I also don’t want it to get stolen ahhh) and my Polaroid Cube+ can be a little slow, so having a camera to take quick snaps instead is the perfect solution.
You already know I love to create & edit vlogs of my adventures, and this trip will be no different with this new camera–I’ll be recording and taking pics so in the future, I can play back these vlogs and remember what I got to experience 7000 miles away from home. I still have to figure out how to use all of the settings and I’ll still be using my Cube+ for the water & other harsh conditions, but I can’t wait to use it!
Street Level Stripe Tote
A good travel bag is a necessity: one with enough space to hold all the items you want to bring on the plane without being too heavy and bulky and is able to fit underneath the airplane seat in front of you. Lately I’ve been using my leather tote I got from the G.H. Bass & Co. outlet years ago and it has been very reliable, but it does not have the space to carry all the things I need for a long flight.
I invested in this tote from Nordstrom, and with the minimal packing I’ve already done, it seems like it will fit everything I need! There are three different sections and the middle one has a zipper, so I will store all my electronics (laptop, iPad, cameras, etc.) and other important stuff there. The other two sections have enough space to carry my notebook, books, toiletries, and extra clothes. I hope when I pack everything the bag will not be too stuffed, but I’ve read multiple reviews about a similar Sole Society tote being a great travel companion so I’m feeling very optimistic.
Those are just a few of the items I’ve bought the past few weeks in preparation for the longest & my most anticipated vacation I have ahead. I’m excited for the adventures ahead 🙂
What travel essentials have you found useful on long trips? Any last-minute items I should pick up before I’m off to the airport this weekend? Leave it in the comments below!