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Travel Better: Smart Things to Pack in Your Carry-On

For most airlines, the average maximum size of a carry-on, whether you use a purse, briefcase or small backpack, is about 22 x 14 x 9 inches. Some also impose a maximum weight, which is why you need to be smart about choosing which items to pack in it for your convenience.

Here are the essentials you need in your carry-on for a safe and comfortable travel.

Travel documents. All important documents such as your passport, travel visa, itineraries, tickets, vouchers, and others should be kept in a separate compartment of your carry-on. Arrange the documents in a plastic envelope to make sure they don’t get wet or crumpled. Don’t forget to bring a pen as well.

Credit cards and cash. All your valuable including your wallet should be placed in your carry-on. Do not forget to bring some cash in case you need to purchase something quick.

Medication. Your prescription meds, vitamins, and other medications including those for emergencies should be placed in your carry-on in their original containers. This will save you the hassle of looking for the medicine kit when you need it. Besides your maintenance meds, your first aid kit bag should contain eye cream, oral antihistamine, Adhesive bandages, antidiarrheal, antacid, and others.

Toiletries. A small pouch of toiletries should contain toothbrush, toothpastes, deodorant, sanitary pads, moisturizer, lip balm, comb/brush, basic makeup, hand sanitizer, mouthwash, shaving cream, and others. Take note of the allowed container capacity for liquids.

Extra clothes. In case you need a change clothes, you should pack at least an extra underwear, pair of socks, and shirt.

Eye mask and eyeglasses. Always keep your eyeglasses and sunglasses in your carry-on along with an eye mask which you can use if you need to take a nap.

E-reader or book. If it’s a long trip, take something with you to keep busy such as a paperback or an e-reader.

Music player and noise-cancelling headphones. If you want to sleep but you need to block out the distractions, you should take a music player and noise-cancelling headphones to keep you relaxed.

Handheld gaming device. If you need to stay awake during the trip, make sure to take with you a full charged gaming device.

Powerbank. You should always take a powerbank with you in case your gadgets run out of power during the trip.

Sweater or cardigan. In case it gets a bit chilly, you can take a sweater, cardigan or a small bag in your carry-on.

Compression socks. Long flights can be bad for your legs because you won’t have a lot of opportunity to move around.

Collapsible water bottle. Bottled water can be expensive in some places, so if you see a water refilling station, just take out your foldable water bottle and you’ll be ready to go.

Chargers and adapters. Do not leave your chargers in your checked baggage in case it gets lost. All your gadgets and their chargers/adapters should be in your carry-on.

Other valuables. Never leave your valuable items in your checked baggage. If you have a laptop, cell phone, tablet, camera, jewelry, and other expensive items, place them in your carry-on bag.

Instagram: Travel Photography Techniques for Beginners

To travel is to disconnect from our regular routine and to connect with the rest of the things life has to offer. Apart from discovering a whole lot of different customs, we collect memories that we can bring back home.

To manage amazing photos of your journey, you need not to be a professional photographer or own a fancy gadget, but you just need to know basic techniques that will take your shots up a notch. In turn, you can showcase your skills and better photo-sharing especially in a digital community like Instagram.

Try these beginners’ guide to photography and use them to your advantage:

1. Be still
Before launching photos, make sure that the camera is level. Most importantly, stay still in shooting images to prevent blurry ones. A tripod would solve this issue but if you don’t have one, hold your gadget with both hands or press your arm or leg against an object to gain balance. It’s also helpful to check your camera settings if it has action photography feature to avoid out of focus shots.

2. Rule of Thirds
Laurence Norah, a professional photographer teaches that rule of thirds tells you to break a picture into 3 equal parts horizontal, vertical or a combination of both. Find a setting on your device that allows you to use a grid and usually, two vertical and two horizontal lines will appear. When shooting outdoor scenery, it is suggested to use “one-third land and two thirds sky” technique and placing the subject close to line intersection to create a good composition.

3. Frame the subject
This is not about hanging your photo in a frame but it is about what is around to frame the subject of the image. It is like leading the viewer where the scene is.

When you figured the subject you want to focus on, check whatever surrounds it and see if there is creative way you can highlight it using framing compositional technique. A few examples of framing can be bridges, windows and doors.

This might sound a pretty easy technique but you have to be a little patient and observant as you will scout around or adjust to an angle where you can frame it.

4. Capture leading lines
Leading line is a compositional technique formed by objects, path or a line. This tool is used to draw the viewer’s eyes to a particular subject of the photo. Moreover, our attention is captured along lines as they tend to illustrate reality, as if we are standing right into the focal point. A road for example is an excellent leading line that portrays dimension to an image.

5. Experiment angles
It’s no secret that good angle can produce great photos! In shooting an interesting landscape or subject, be experimental in finding the best angle. You can step backwards, shoot subject from below or raise your camera to get overhead shot. It depends really on what you want to highlight.

Tips on Driving Abroad

Singaporeans are fond of traveling especially during holidays. According to the recent study conducted by Mastercard, Singaporeans venture abroad at least once in three months. This makes us the most travelled in Asia Pacific. The most popular destination amongst us is South East Asia. It will not end there because come 2015, space travelling will be a reality.


Going back to Mastercard’s study, the biggest group of travellers (43%) are single or married (but without children) adults. The second biggest group travellers  (26%) are married adults (with children below 11 years old). The third biggest group travellers (13%) are young adults aged 18 to 24 years old. Mastercard also noted a significant increase of travelling seniors ages 55 to 65 (6%).

When you travel, you either submit to tours or explore the place alone. There is nothing wrong if you submit to structured tours (with itineraries and tour guides) but you would enjoy greatly if you choose to drive. According to CTC Travel, they received 35% inquiries on self-driving tours. If you prefer driving personally, the first thing that you should do is study the local law. Laws vary depending on the place. If you will travel to Europe, it will be helpful if you know these things:


  • France: France is strict when it comes to driving. Drivers should secure at least one (unused) breathalyser. Speed camera detectors are prohibited. The motorway speed limit is 130 kilometre per hour. The drink-drive limit is 50 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milligrams of blood.
  • Spain: Spain is a laid-back country but it does not mean that you ignore their local rules. The motorway speed limit is 120 kilometres per hour. The drink-drive limit is the same with France (50 milligrams per 100 milligrams of blood).
  • Germany: Most people think that Germany has no speed limits. That is true but there are specific areas that you need to slow down. If you see any speed limit signs, you should follow. The limit is usually 130 kilometres per hour. The drink-drive is the same with France and Spain.
  • Italy: In Italy, you only need to remember one thing – that is not to wander into a Zona Traffico Limitato (ZTL). The motorway speed limit is 130 kilometres per hour. The drink-drive limit is the same with other countries.

There is no doubt that we have a penchant for fine things. The next time you travel, you have to explore it according to your liking. Do not submit to structured tour if you do not like it. Good luck and take a lot of precaution!


What to See in Yosemite National Park

You are a wanderlust. There is nothing wrong with that. It is a nice feeling to get out of Singapore once in a while to discover what lies outside. If you are planning to visit America, you are in for a lot of treats. There are a lot of things that are worth seeing in America. You can for instance visit their seat of power (White House) or you can go for a nature trip. Whatever you prefer, you will surely have fun.


If in this case you are near California, might as well visit the ever famous Yosemite National Park. Yosemite National Park covers 747,956 acres of land. It is so famous that there are more than 3.7 million who visit this park every year. The park is now listed as one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Site. Here are the attractions that you can look forward:

  • Yosemite Valley: You should never miss the valley because of its impressive sights. You will see the waterfalls, cliffs, rock formations and the meadows that lie ahead. The valley is accessible via car all year-round so there will be no problems getting there.
  • Mariposa Grove: If you want to see the giant sequoias, you should go to Mariposa Grove. The Grove is one hour away from the valley. It is about 36 miles from the valley so it is not that far. Just remember that the place is close during winter because of the snow but it is open to hikers and skiers.
  • Glacier Point: If you want to see the whole of Yosemite Valley, you can always consider the Glacier Point. Glacier Point offers a commanding view of the valley.


  • Crane Flat: If you want to witness the beautiful view of the meadow and forest, you should head to Crane Flat. Crane Flat is 30 minutes away from the valley and it is near the Merced Groves where giant sequoias can be seen. If you want to go to Merced Groves, you can access it by foot.
  • Hetch Hetchy: If you want to discover lesser known sight, you can go to Hetch Hetchy. Like the valley, it offers spectacular sceneries. Hetch Hetchy is a water reservoir and it is the source of water for some San Francisco areas.

The list goes on. You cannot possibly cover the whole of 747,956 acres in one day. If you can stay long, stay and marvel over the wonders of nature. If you cannot afford overseas travel, you can still go to many places here in Singapore. Singapore has many exciting places to offer.