Packing List – Singapore

My planned trip to Singers has come around very quickly, and as I’ve mentioned in another post I’ve booked a seat only ticket. I’ve done carry-on only before, but this time I’m doing my best to exercise ninja-like light packing skills.

I’m borrowing the unhusband’s Yee Ross Crumpler backpack for this one, which has a capacity of just 13L.

So what am I taking?

Clothes (to fit into a small Kathmandu packing cube) – two white ‘Airmax’ tank tops from Uniqlo, three changes of underwear, two changes of socks, sleep shorts and a singlet top, and one black convertible ‘resort’ dress than can also be worn as a maxiskirt. I bought mine from Intimo. On travel day I’ll be wearing a pair of black stretch Capri pants, a white t-shirt, some canvas sneakers, a cropped denim jacket and a large cotton scarf.

Liquids – Castile soap (also to use for handwashing of clothes), jojoba oil, contact lens solution, small tube of liquid blush, sunscreen in a GoToob, and a small amount of apple cider vinegar (which I use to condition my hair).

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Toiletries – stick deodorant, razor, toothbrush, Lush toothpaste tablets, solid shampoo bar in shampoo tin, mini hairbrush, blister tape, nail clippers, ‘sleep kit’ containing eye mask, earplugs and an aromatic relaxation balm. Not pictured – hair ties, aspirin, contact lens case, Hydralyte effervescing tablets.

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Make-up – powder foundation and brush, solid perfume, eyeshadow pencil, mascara, lipliner, sheer lipstick and a tube of Pawpaw and honey balm that can be used as a lipbalm and for minor scrapes, cuts and insect bites.

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Bunch of crap in an extra-small Kathmandu packing cell – ereader, passport, small softcover Moleskine notebook, pen, glasses in case, cables and earphones, iPhone, convertor plug. Not pictured – travel documents.

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The rest – a crossbody handbag with a zippered top, fold-up water bottle, and a small travel towel.

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Travelling day outfit, with my teeny little backpack, ready for an adventure!

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Packing list – 4 days in Melbourne

On travel day, I’ll be wearing…

– dark grey skinny jeans, a t-shirt, navy blue Uniqlo cashmere jersey, a scarf/wrap, denim jacket, and dark brown Frye boots.

The bag I’m taking is my Lipault 18-inch weekender satchel. In honesty, it’s a little roomy for this trip, but there’s a likelihood I’ll do some shopping in H&M and Uniqlo. I also like the look of Lipault’s 15-inch weekender, which would most likely suit my needs better for short getaways where I don’t need to do a lot of walking with my bag.

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In a medium-sized Kathmandu packing cube, I’ll be carrying all of my clothes.

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– light grey skinny jeans, a dark grey merino top, a black waterfall-front merino cardigan, a pair of sleep shorts, a pair of black leggings to layer under jeans if it gets REALLY chilly, a Uniqlo Heattech tank-top, and three changes each of knickers, socks and t-shirts.

In an extra-small sized Kathmandu packing cube, I’ve grouped my miscellaneous items.

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– diary (black Moleskine notebook), Kobo ereader, USB converter plug, glasses in case, and a small zip-up purse to hold cables and a pair of earbuds.

I have three bags for my toiletries and make-up. The first is a clear plastic bag for liquids.

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In here I have a small bottle of contact lens solution, deodorant, a bottle of jojoba oil (that I use as a face cleanser, moisturiser, and hair de-frizz serum), some travel-sized bottles of shampoo and conditioner, a travel tube of toothpaste, and some individual plastic vials of eye drops.

The second is a small bag of non-liquid toiletries.

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This contains a razor, contact lens case, a strip of aspirin, birth control pills, nail clippers, a small toothbrush, blister tape, a couple of hair ties, ear-plugs, and a small tub of aromatic ‘de-stress’ balm.

Then there’s my make-up bag.

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In here I have some Clinique City Block sunscreen, mineral foundation and applicator brush, a small tube of roll-on cheek tint, mascara, eyeliner pencil, red lipstick with matching lipliner and a retractable lip brush, and a Bobbi Brown eyeshadow pencil. I have a small make-up purse in my handbag that contains a solid wax perfume (a gift from the Unhusband, which you can purchase here), a tube of lipbalm, and a Burt’s Bees liptint.

I’ll also be carrying a small cross-body handbag, which will contain my wallet, the aforementioned small make-up purse, phone, pen and passport.

This packing list isn’t perfect, by a long-shot. I’d like to get rid of that heavy bottle of liquid roll-on deodorant, and replace it with a stick deodorant instead. Also, my make-up bag is way too big for what is not a huge amount of product, and the mineral foundation is bulky and tends to spill when it gets shaken around during travel. When I use it up I’ll try to replace it with a stick foundation like this one from Benefit. I also usually like to travel with a small bottle of Dr Bronner’s liquid castile soap too, but left it out this time… It comes in handy for a LOT, that stuff (face wash, body wash, bath aroma, shampoo in a pinch, and to wash out clothes in a hotel sink). If need be I can used soap provided by the hotel for all the same purposes, just without the lavendery goodness I get from my Dr Bronner’s. All the same, for an urban trip where I’ll be staying in a decent hotel, and the weather will be cool and I won’t be doing huge amounts of walking or sight-seeing, this seems about right.

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All packed! Yes, I am only taking the pair of shoes I’ll be wearing to travel in.

No, I haven’t taken anything especially ‘dressy’ for a dinner or special event, but I feel that the clothes I’m taking with me will be appropriate in a ‘smart casual’ way for any eventuality. There’s nowhere in Melbourne that is so fancy that I’ll be refused entry for being in jeans, and I’m not planning on doing any clubbing.

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Everything fits easily, and is nicely organised if I should need to reach something while in transit. The bag fits easily under a seat on the plane.

Impulse shopping

Next year’s trip to Europe (tentatively scheduled for next May) just seems so very far away. So very, very far…

At the weekend I was tooling around with travel widgets on sites like Skyscanner and Kayak that show where you can fly for what price. And I thought – “hey, Singapore looks cheap! Also, I’ve never been to Singapore!”

Forty-eight hours later, I had a 5-day leave request approved and a purchased return airfare, booked for October, in my hot little hand.

I never did the whole backpacking in my 20’s thing that many of my friends and other seasoned travellers did, so I’ve never stayed in hostels or really experienced budget travel. However, with some savings goals that I have to hit for our Europe trip, doing Singapore on a budget will be a necessity for me. Technically I can ‘afford’ to fly with a full-service airline, and stay at a four-star hotel for my entire trip, but I want to keep costs down.

I’ll be flying with Scoot, the low-cost offshoot of Singapore Airlines. A ‘seat only’ return airfare from Sydney came in at just under $500 – there’s a good chance I’ll tack on a couple of extras such as a meal and seat selection in the quiet zone of their plane. I’m going to travel carry-on only, so no need to pay for extra bags. As for in-flight entertainment… My return flight is a red-eye, so I will attempt to just sleep on that leg, and as for the flight over? I once survived a 14-hour long haul from Sydney to LA with a busted in-flight-entertainment system, so I figure I can make it through the 7 or 8 hour flight to Singapore without too much drama. I make a habit of loading up my ereader with terrible trashy romance novels for travel reading anyway.

"When I was boy, television was called books."

“When I was boy, television was called books.”

As for accommodation… I’ve booked two separate hotels for this trip. I’ll spend two nights at The Pod Singapore, which is basically an upmarket hostel with sleeping pods and privacy blinds and posh bathrooms. I looked at a few budget options, but eventually went with The Pod after reading a positive review from Nicole at Bitten By The Travel Bug.

For my third and final night in Singapore, I’ve booked into BIG Hotel. I like the compact and minimalist design – their basic rooms remind me of a cabin on a luxury yacht. And at $160 for the night with breakfast included, it was a good deal for notoriously pricey Singapore.

So there you have it. Return flights and three nights in Singapore for $760. It will be a new experience for me, and one I’m very much looking forward to.

Melbourne dreaming…

The next trip that the unhusband and I will embark on is a short jaunt to Melbourne. We lived there for a while, for two and a half years, and it remains one of our favourite places to spend time.

The unhusband is being sent down there to attend a trade show for work, and this makes it an inexpensive exercise for me to tag along. He gets an accommodation allowance, but we get to choose our own hotel.

I booked my flights through Virgin Australia, because I’m a member of their frequent flyer program. I joined up with them after a glorious flight between LA and Sydney last year. Not that I’m sure cattle class can ever be referred to as ‘glorious’ but really our flight over to the USA with Delta was such a hideous exercise in comparison that I’ve vowed to fly Virgin forevermore when I have a choice. For $119 each way (unfortunately I missed a fare sale due to waiting for leave approval to come through) it’s no hardship to fly with my preferred airline. My fare doesn’t include checked bags but I travel light anyway so carry-on is easy enough for me.

We’ve booked into the Pegasus Apart’hotel for four nights. I book through agoda.com because it is an affiliate of Virgin and I earn points for booking through their links. At about $15o per night, for a queen studio with kitchenette, it’s a good get. It’s also right next to Queen Victoria Markets, which means… Market Lane Coffee for breakfast YAY!

I’ll be posting updates of our long weekend, with places visited, photos and reviews and recommendations later.