18 Packing Tips That Can Change Your Life

What I am taking for my trip to Greece. I will be backpacking/island hopping in Greece for a month and as much as I want to bring my entire closet, I also don’t want to carry a lot of suicases.
Luckily, I have mastered the art of packing from my trips to 62 countries.

Here are a few packing tips:

1) Count the number of days you’ll be away, then count your outfits. They need to match up.

2) Stay in an airbnb or hotel that has laundry facilities

3) Pick your thinnest, lightest clothes. Do not bring thick jackets or coats. (UniQlo has amazing supplies).

4) Your trip is not a fashion show- you’re not Kylie Jenner. So wear clothes that you can wear over and over – like jeans.

5) No one cares what you wear … you’re not an influencer.

6) Only bring clothes or items that has a purpose.

7) Bring travel size shampoo, toothpaste, soap, etc. Small containers are available at Amazon or CVS.

8.) DO NOT bring a huge suitcase- it is NOT good for your back, not good for uber, not good for the airline, airport crew, hotel doorman, and the environment. Stop being selfish- again, the world does not revolve around you.

9) Buy a soft suitcase. Hard suitcases are tough to carry around and not good for airlines/uber cause it consumes so much space. (If you visit NYC- your suitcase is probably gonna be bigger than your room.)

10) Bring clothes that you can match up. That way you can pair them off and create a new wardrobe.

11) When it comes to picking clothes- it is about quality, not quantity.

12) Only bring 1 extra pair of shoes and make your wardrobe work around that 1 pair.

13) Bring some clothes you dont want to wear anymore. That way, you can throw them after you use them abroad, and you dont have to bring them back home. You can even donate them there! (Thanks Lance Waagner for this tip when we were in Egypt).

14) You’re paranoid you’d run out of clothes to wear? Well- more reasons to go shopping there, right? There is a Zara or H&M in every corner.

15) Compartmentalize! I bought these light packing cases on Amazon ($24). Theyre amazing. Shirts in one container. Shorts and pants in one. Undies and socks in the small container. Plus I have an extra container for dirty laundry and shoes.

16) Make the tough decisions! Deciding which outfit to bring is hard. But make them!!!

17) Don’t bring expensive purses, watch or jewelry. That may only cost you your life. So leave the Louis Vuittons and expensive watch at home.

18) Only bring pants/shorts that you can wear over and over.

If your purpose in over packing is so you can impress your friends- well, you probably shouldnt be traveling with them in the first place! ❤️❤️

Andorra’s Box

There’s huge civil unrest in Barcelona involving over thousands and thousands of protestors so I drove from the airport to Andorra at 7:00 pm and arrived there up in the mountains three and a half hours later. It was pretty brave of me – the roads to Andorra are very dark and there’s many deers and animals crossing the road at night. But gladly, I made it safe. 

I did not have any hotel reservations, but I packed enough water and snacks and gas, just in case I become sleepy and decide to sleep by the side of the road. I have done this before. (I know, you think I can only sleep at the Ritz. Quite the contrary). 

I got to Andorra with the help of 2 cups of cappuccinos and found a decent hotel room at La Roc Spa- at $80/night. It was pitch dark when I arrived and thought the city looked ordinary. But when I woke up- I was shocked to see such a serene ski town in the amazing valley.

A New Day in Doha

A long time ago, when I planned a trip to Egypt, my friends said I was gonna die there (Yes, they actually said that).  Then I went to Cambodia and they said I’ll die there too. Then I went to Iceland, a friend said “Are you crazy? you’ll freeze to death there.” 

The same people who warned me about the dangers of these countries asked me afterwards “So how do I get there?” Haha

It’s NOT enough that you travel- you have to be one of the first amongst many to go there. What’s the excitement of going to places where everyone’s been? There’s something exciting about being one of the first amongst your friends to see a place. Don’t be scared! Remember- we only remember the first 3 men who went to the moon. The rest, didn’t make the news anymore. 

I want to share these images of Doha, Qatar so the world can see its beauty. It’s so clean, people are friendly, and they have amazing architecture. Check out these photos and tell me what you think.

HOTEL I STAYED AT: St Regis Hotel (I highly recommend them). Amazing service, food and most of all – THE STAFF are amazing!


Steigenberger Frankfurter Hof, your (Fabulous) home in Frankfurt

I have stayed at several hotels in Germany and so far, Steigenberger Frankfurter Hof is the best hotel I’ve ever stayed at in the country. My room was very spacious, nicely fitted and luxurious. The bed was so big and comfortable, I was tempted to stay there all day. The bathroom had very beautiful fixtures, Egyptian towels, marble flooring, robes and a great choice of toiletries.

It is located in the heart of the city within walking distance to the shopping district, financial district and the old town. Everything is within walking distance including the train station and the scenic river two blocks away. If you choose to hire a limo or a cab, the airport is only within 12-15 minute drive. If you’re a foodie, you don’t need to go far. They have a Michelin-starred restaurant right in the hotel.

When I made the reservation, I requested for a room on the lower floor. Upon arrival, I was assigned a room on the 2nd floor. I was very impressed. This sounds like a simple request, but you have no idea how many times a hotel doesn’t read their notes.

The following afternoon, the front desk offered to take my shopping bags up to my room when they found out that I was running late to my next appointment.

The turndown service came on time every single night and replaced all our used towels and straightened our bed. The staff at the spa were also so accommodating and friendly. If you have time, make sure you try their tea service at the lobby – IT IS DECADENT (and surprisingly inexpensive).

All 261 rooms and 42 suites, enjoy an ambiance of luxury and first-class service. If you’re looking for an amazing (and luxurious) place to stay at – Steigenberger Frankfurter Hof is THE place.




Photo by: Edwin Santiago

Photo by: Edwin Santiago

Rocky Mountain “Hi!”

As I was driving from Calgary to Lake Louise over the weekend, I had my Volvo blasting with Michael Buble’s Christmas Album. What could be better? The best Christmas album, sung by my favorite Canadian singer (Sorry Celine), as you drive across the most beautiful part of the Canadian Rockies. It was such a phenomenal experience.


It’s supposed to be springtime in Alberta, but they’re still getting tons of snow, which is something my local friends are not pleased with,

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Zion National Park: A Tale That’s All About the Trails

I have always wanted to explore Southwest Utah and Arizona’s National Parks but never had the chance. Living in LA, it’s oddly difficult to convince friends to drive anywhere north of Las Vegas. Finally I was able to drag my friend John – a National Parks junkie to come along for the ride.

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Our first stopover was at Zion National Park. We started our trip from Los Angeles and left midday. From LA, it’s an eight-hour drive passing through the endless miles of desert scenery (which is always easier to bear with a good playlist). Halfway through, we stopped in Vegas for an early dinner and to refuel, then headed directly to Zion, which was another three hours away. Note to self: Every guide book will tell you that summer is the best time to visit the parks. I think it’s far too hot. Temps can reach up to a humidity-free heat of 110 degrees. It is arduous to hike in such conditions. Visiting in spring is ideal for me; the weather was bearable and the wildflowers abundant.

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It’s okay to abandon your family for the holidays.

I was in Europe for the Holidays – took a road trip that started in Munich to St Gallen to Zurich to Vienna and ending in Budapest. I love love love love my family (in the Philippines), but Christmas in Europe is quite amazing. It’s cold, shops are all decorated for the holidays, the Christmas Markets are amazing, all tourist spots are empty and best of all- it is cheap. Flights to Europe (and hotels) cost half of a trip to the Philippines. A ticket to Europe from LA is only $800, and it’s $1700 to fly to Manila. Think about it!

Instead, I visit my family during low season. My family understands. (Or do they? LOL)


Flying above Oakville, Ontario

You won’t read much about Oakville, Ontario in travel magazines. And locals prefer it that way.

It is located 30 minutes from downtown Toronto (if there’s no traffic) and an hour’s drive from Niagara Falls, Oakville offers a little bit of something for everyone. Immerse yourself in beautiful Oakville. The most ideal time to visit is the summer …

There are many beautiful trails along the coast and it’s perfect for bird watching. Swans glide gracefully along its coast alongside different species of birds.

Come fly with me and see the beauty Oakville has to offer.



California’s Most Romantic (and Picturesque) Hotel

The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay: The Standard of Luxury

It’s not often that I use the adjective incredible to describe a hotel, but that’s the word I used when I wrote about The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay 12 years ago during my first visit. It is a truly incredible hotel.

When it was built over a decade ago, it set a new standard for casual sophistication and service in a state renowned for its world-class resorts. The hotel is dramatically set upon a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean and the only golf course by the sea in the Bay Area. The architecture can best be described as an oversized beach house in the Hamptons. It’s very understated and casual but elegant.

If you get a chance … stay for a few nights. It would be a vacation of a lifetime!



For more details: http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/california/half-moon-bay



Bird’s Eye View of Pigeon Point Lighthouse

Escaped from the comforts of my hotel in Halfmoon Bay, California to drive north 18 miles to this lighthouse- Pigeon Point Lighthouse. The drive was spectacular. What I estimated as a 20 minute drive took two hours. I just had to stop at every cove to enjoy the view fly my drone (and answer questions from amused tourists about how the drone works).

When I got to the lighthouse, I was determined to get one of those shots that swoop in to the light house. Then I got nervous. But I did it anyway and both the lighthouse and the drone survived. (What a relief!)

Editing this video reminded me of how beautiful the world is. DO SOMETHING AMAZING THIS WEEKEND! I hope you take time to appreciate the beauty around us. HAPPY FRIDAY!