The Essentials to Pack while Traveling in South East Asia

South East Asia is always the hot travel spot, that tourists worldwide flock around all year long. The seducing white-sand beaches, sunshine, delicious food, culture diverse and most important, the affordability. It is hard to refuse the temptation.

Packing is hard enough if you want to survive the humidity in the tropical South-East Asia. As someone who has lived all my life in summer, trust me if I say these are the essentials you will need to bring along.


The weather in SEA is always, always hot and humid, you sweat almost all the time unless you choose to snooze and stay in the air conditioned environment for your entire trip. So, something loose will do best, bring along your shorts, maxi dresses, baggy pants, button-up shirts, blouses, T-shirt or blouse will do. A small light jacket is necessary too, just in case. No need to bring the whole lot, the sun here will dry your clothes in no time, so a few pieces for mix and match are enough.

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A pair of flip-flop and sneakers will do, unless you are into trekking or mountain climbing, then get your hiking shoes as well. If you likely to walk a lot, get the shoes that you feel most comfortable walking for like 12 hours or so. Don’t forget the pretty socks too.

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Glasses and sun hats, of course, to look cool while posing for a photo and more importantly, to protect you from the glaring sun.

A light scarf too, is a must if you are going to visit the temples and mosques in your itinerary, bring a scarf to save you the “rental cost” for cover up you will need to enter these premises. In addition, due to the quick temperature change in and outside of the AC environment, a scarf will keep you from freezing while inside the public transportation or shopping malls.

Another must have item is a bum bag, it is easier to carry while shopping or going for adventure tours. Plus, it is safer to keep your valuable things near you while wandering around the streets. Snatch theft is everywhere in the world but I must say, it more severe here.

Raincoat is a necessity due to the unpredictable rains, especially if you are bound for the monsoon seasons. Don’t worry, the rains are generally come and leave pretty quickly, but it’s still good to prepare a raincoat just in case.


A cheap unlock phone
Get a local sim everywhere you go and allow easier communication. Your latest iPhone may be in danger if you keep pulling it in and out of your pockets when strolling along the street.

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Personal care
Insect repellent is a life saver. Welcome to the land of insects, tropical weather makes it perfect for mosquitoes, bugs and all. So make sure you are ready for them otherwise, you’ll be scratching yourself the whole night through.

Shoes and Body Deodorizer, as we emphasis on the key words here: hot and humid. Get a spray bottle and make sure you sanitise your sneakers or sports shoes properly on the go. Meanwhile, it will do you some good if you don’t stink up everywhere you go, so pile on the Body Deodorizer.

Sunblock crème: the sun the sun the sun… tan is sexy while getting burned is not

Don’t let street food destroy your fun. Travelling means you got to try a bunch of new food and the food is not always compatible with your digest system so keep the charcoal pills handy.

Public toilets are not always clean and dry tissue won’t do, wet tissue with some sanitised function is the one you will be looking for. Plus, it can really refresh you in a hot afternoon.

If you forget to bring some, don’t panic. You can get almost everything from clothes to personal care at a wallet-friendly price.

So pack light, experience full!

Join June and our writers for an adventure of a lifetime as we help you to plan for your next trip!

june June explores different roles to find out what is her passion. She used to be a travel consultant, a Kindergarden English teacher, an Expedia’s Lodging Partner Support agent, and the latest is being a freelancer. Eventually, she figures that her passion is to express the hospitality spirit from her heart and inspire others from her works. Being a writer for LadyRedot, where she get inspired and inspire others, and running her own bed and breakfast in her homeland. She views life as a colorful and adventurous journey, join her as she shares her passion with you! You can reach out to her @ LinkedIn.


A Guide to Souvenir Ideas

While travelling, we often question ourselves what to buy for those loved ones back home, especially those that make them know you thought of them during your journey. However, with the limitation of luggage weight and the tight budget may cause restriction when it comes to buying souvenirs and sometimes even create a burden for you.

I don’t know about you, but to me, when it comes to gifts, any kind, I value the thoughts and the sincerity you put in it. I love that Y5 coin from a Japanese friend because of its meaning: Go-en, the pronunciation of this coin sound similar to the phrase “fortune to meet” in Japanese. Also, with a hole in the middle you can wear it as a necklace or bracelet. How thoughtful!

So, let use this humble guide for meaningful souvenir ideas, that work almost everywhere you go in Asia to avoid the boring keychains (unless your friends specify this), excessive snack bags or some random iconic decoration items.


Spices package
Each country has their unique dish and you can always buy the packed spices come with instructions for special dishes that you loved there. You can either get some and cook for your friends when you back or distribute to among them. You bring back the tastes you experienced, you share the gathering moment with friends and family while telling them about your adventures. And of course, you all learn to cook a new dish, can any gifts be better?


Silk fabric, brocade fabric products
Travelling in Asia, you find that in almost everywhere you can get affordable silk or brocade products: range from clothes, bags, shoes to decorations. The price of these materials in Asia is always much cheaper as compared to those you get in the West.

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Homemade herbal balm
You know what Asians love, the medical balm or oil. You know that friend of you that usually get muscle cramps or your grandma just loves the smell of herbs when she catches a cold? Get them this. You may also simply give them to your friends, they will surely enjoy a massage with the thoughtful gift.


Handmade jewellery
These come with the incredibly cheap price and various in style. From bracelet, rings, earrings to necklace or hair wear, you can easily grab a couple of small pieces. It might not be as fancy as real jewels yet are unique to give to those back home.


Currency notes and coins
No worry about buying anything, just keep the notes or coins from the places to you have been to but to make them more special and stylish, get a frame when you are back, arrange those pieces randomly, put your friend’s name at the corner with your well-wishes. Tada, a decoration for their bedroom or living room.

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Map with highlighted spot you went and a postcard of each place
Another classic idea yet creative one. Give a map of the country you went to, highlighted the places you visited and attached a postcard (from your own photos are fine too) to each place. Your loved ones will feel special and inspired from this gift.

Finally, always remember, souvenirs are a way to share your experiences with someone back home while you are travelling. So do not make it a burden, you know your loved ones still love you even if you come back with just stories to tell and photographs to show. After all, love does not always come with items, but rather the way you show and prove them.


june June explores different roles to find out what is her passion. She used to be a travel consultant, a Kindergarden English teacher, an Expedia’s Lodging Partner Support agent, and the latest is being a freelancer. Eventually, she figures that her passion is to express the hospitality spirit from her heart and inspire others from her works. Being a writer for LadyRedot, where she get inspired and inspire others, and running her own bed and breakfast in her homeland. She views life as a colorful and adventurous journey, join her as she shares her passion with you! You can reach out to her @ LinkedIn.

Guest Post: You Can Only Sleep in Your Own Bed? How to Trick Your Body into Sleeping while Traveling

For some people, sleeping is not only an essential requirement for the proper functioning of their bodies, but also a kind of a sacred ritual. They need a specific bedtime routine and a familiar environment to sleep. There are some people who cannot sleep unless they are in their own comfortable rooms, in their soft comfy mattress on their bed and hugging their teddy to sleep. I’m sure we all know at least one person like that. Some people can’t sleep in total darkness, while some demand it. Some people like to burrow into a pillow fort to sleep, while some find it hard to sleep with even the thinnest of pillows. This can be quite a bothersome issue while travelling, as there is no way of knowing what you might have to put up with during your adventures.

We are going to go over some quick tips that you can use if you have trouble sleeping away from your very own fortress of solitude. It might not be the same as sleeping at home, but these tips can certainly help make the ordeal bearable.


Adjust your Internal Clock!

If you are travelling to a destination that has a significant time difference with your current destination, start by adjusting your internal clock beforehand. Start by adjusting your daily lifestyle in the days leading up to the trip to your destination’s time. Try going to bed earlier or later than your local time (depending on the destinations offset) to minimize the effects of jetlag. To ease into it, you can start by pulling your bedtime back 15 minutes a day at least a week before your trip, to adjust to the new time zone.

Eat Right and Light!

Avoid taking heavy meals during or before travelling. Try to consume healthier stuff and stay away from fried foods. They will just end up making you feel full and want to use the rest room again and again during sleep time. You most certainly don’t want to have a gassy stomach if you are travelling with company.


Time to Relax!

The key to allowing sleep to take over you is to not over think or stress yourself out over things. Travelling all day or night long can wreak havoc on the way the body’s sleep cycle works, but a few relaxation techniques like breathing exercises, light stretches and meditation can help relax your muscles and mind to allow sleep to come easier. When it’s time to sleep, you should focus on nothing but the act of going to sleep, everything else can wait.

No to Caffeine!

Stay away from any substance that contains caffeine, like coffee and energy drinks. Avoid smoking and alcohol too, if possible. All of these are not going to help you in your quest for sleep. Instead, they will do the exact opposite. The best alternative is water. Drink plenty of it to stay hydrated. However, just like with fried food, don’t overindulge too close to bedtime or it will end up disturbing your sleep by having to visit the bathroom in the middle of the night.


Follow your Pre-Bedtime Routine!

If you have a sleep routine, try to follow through with it as much as you can. Here are some good rules to follow while travelling (and at home too!).

  • Avoid your laptops or anything that might stimulate the brain at least an hour and a half before hitting the bed.
  • Don’t use your cell phone in bed because most of the cell phones emit daylight spectrum light. Dimming the brightness of your phone or not using it at all is the better alternatives for a sound sleep.
  • Surround yourself with a calm and relaxing environment.
  • Keep the lights dim.
  • Take a warm shower an hour before bedtime if possible.
  • Relax your mind. That’s the key to inducing the ZZZZZ’s quickly in a different environment.

Pack accordingly!

Here’s a list of must have things to pack for your sleep time during your travels.

Eye Mask– To make sure any unwanted light does not disturb you when you are trying to get some much needed sleep.

Travel Pillow– Do the due diligence when choosing one. Make sure you get a comfortable one with proper neck and head support. Ideally it should be similar to whatever you use at home. If you have the right travel pillow, it can help you get to sleep faster.

Ear Plugs– They are important especially if you get up by even the slightest of sounds in your room while sleeping. You may not have the luxury of silence at bedtime where you are staying. You can also use headphones and put on relaxing ambient sounds to help you sleep better.

Teddy– Fine, we were just pulling your leg there. No, but seriously, if you can’t sleep without one, bring one along, or the whole bunch!


About Author

Eugene Gabriel is a passionate blogger. He has always been fascinated by sleep and how it relates to health and wellness. Read his post on Sleep and Room Temperature. You can follow him on twitter @eugenegabrielj.

Overcoming my Fear of Traveling Solo

I love travelling and like a lot of folks out there, I don’t really like to travel alone. It’s like going to a fancy restaurant and eating dinner alone or going to movies alone or *gasp* going to karaoke by yourself. However, when you relocate and you’re by yourself all the time especially the initial stage where you have not made any close local friends, what can you do?

Food is my number one comfort buddy and I can’t live without great food so eating alone is inevitable especially when I spare no expenses eating like a queen. Yes, I have eaten USD$500 dinners before. Movies come close to second destress method for me so I couldn’t render myself to do injustice to great movies online (although it is free…. In China, the locals never heard of copyrights.) so off to the cinemas I went, even it is by myself. I don’t talk during shows anyways. As for karaoke, I admit I only did it once alone due to the pitiful stares I kept getting from the wait staff. Belting out in the showers at home isn’t the same as wiggling your butt to the beat while screaming at the microphone on a makeshift stage under the tiny disco ball.

Back to travelling… To me, travelling is something I want to share with someone and if I encounter a beautiful sight, I wanted to share it with someone. Not just capture it and share on Instagram. Plus the nagging of my parents that kept pointing out to me travelling solo for a female is dangerous. Sleeping in a strange place alone must be torturous and scary.

How wrong was I.. I was assigned to do a great deal of business travel alone within China. Alone! Although I will be met by business associates at their office, my heart couldn’t stop thumping wildly at the prospect of travelling location to location within China all by myself, staying in a hotel alone, having all my meals alone for the whole 3 weeks! I have travel for business before but I always tag along my male colleagues and we huddled together everywhere we go and do in a foreign country. They always made sure I’m taken care of. *sweet smile*

I was determined to overcome this and not turn it into an adversary. I’m a strong career girl, I can do this! And I did it with effort and time poured into intricate and meticulous planning on my part. I’ll share some of the tips I have learned when I’m travelling solo.

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Get Someone to Look at Your Itinerary

It helps to have a second eye to go through your itinerary and pick out mistakes that you will not know until you are physically encountering it. As I was travelling from one location to another, planning flight and train routes, a friend actually was alert enough to point out that I forgot to calculate in my transit time between flights. That would be a disaster and it would either mean I will be running from gate to gate or totally miss my connecting flights or worse, stuck in a small airport with no duty-free shops for hours.

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Plan Everyday

For some, they like to leave it to fate and allow their adventurous spirit to take wherever their heart desires but not for me, I’m most reassured when I know my plans for next day. Of course, I am adaptable and I can always switch my plans for something impromptu if an opportunity arises but it helps if I know I always have a plan to rely on. I put a lot of effort and time on this, planning not only what to do over the weekend when I don’t have to report to work, I planned my activity each evening after my business is done as well as restaurants earmarked to visit. Earlier on I have said food is indulgent for me, the best time I have during travels is sampling local food.

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Plan for Emergencies

Always know where you can get help if you are lost, robbed or in worse situations. Have the emergency numbers handy on you. Be aware of not only your surroundings but the nearest police station, well-known hotel chains and your embassy. Why hotel chains? Because they always know how to deal with emergencies encountered by foreigners and usually they are trained to converse English well enough to assist you.

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Talk to the Locals

I find that talking to the locals will give you a greater insight to their country than any other tour agencies. Whether it is a well-hidden local hangout or a local scam to be wary of, only by speaking to a local will you get the most valuable information.

These are helpful tips that made my 3 weeks travelling alone a breeze. If you don’t have the time or the resources to prepare a plan like what I have suggested, contact us at and we will be happy to assist you. For more precious tips, stay tuned to find out what I know!!

Writer’s Profile


Kally is a former Sales and Customer Service manager turned Writer and Founder of She came from Singapore; lived in Shanghai and now calls Kuala Lumpur her home. After hanging up her corporate briefcase, she now pursue her passions – Writing, Traveling and of course, hunting for good food

Connect with me @

Guest Post: Keeping Your Routine While Travelling

Years ago, kept your routine while travelling required a lot of commitment and dedication. I think nowadays we have good options to continue working out if we have to travel. Let´s review a few:
Hotels with gym. Unfortunately, not available for any pocket. But if you can afford it, this is one option you want to consider. Let me tell you it won´t be perfect, it will be a “new gym”. You may like it or not. You´re used to your gym and maybe you´ll miss your favourite machine. Don´t worry, it´s temporary. Get your workout done.
Local gyms. Search “gym, city” on google maps. As easy as that 🙂
If you don´t like gyms and usually workout at home. Then, what´s the problem? Don´t forget your resistance bands or TRX at home. If your room is not big enough, don´t be afraid to go outdoors. There is always a spot where to anchor your equipment.
Last, and most important. Even if you don´t exercise, you should stretch at the end of the day. Whether it´s a business or leisure trip, you shouldn´t skip your stretching routine. After a long day away from home, the best we can do is take care of our body, give some relief to our soreness muscles, getting ready to sleep… or enjoy the nightlife!
One way or another, all my trips include a lot of walking. I use these simple exercises to relief tightness and I strongly recommend you to give them a try. 
1. Stand a little less than arm’s distance from a wall.
2. Step one leg forward and one leg back, keeping your feet parallel.
3. Bend your forward knee and press through your back heel.
4. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds and switch legs.
(I do this one, instead the standing stretch, because I have a lower back injury)
1. Lie on your left side on the floor with your legs extended straight away from your body. Allow your head to rest on the lower arm. Bend your right (top) knee bringing your right foot towards your right hip. Grasp your foot or ankle with your right hand. Keep your spine in neutral position.
2. Engage your abdominal muscles to stabilize the pelvis. Exhale and use your hand to gently pull yourfoot and lower leg backward and up toward your tailbone. Keep the bent knee pointing straight away from thehip joint. Hold this position for 30-45 seconds, then straighten the leg and engage the thigh muscles. Repeat the series for 2-5 repetitions; change sides and repeat with the right leg.
1. Lie on your back on the floor. Engage your abdominal muscles to stabilize your spine. Keep one leg extended as you bring the other knee to your chest. Hold it with both hands.
2. Exhale and slowly extend your leg to the ceiling by contracting the muscles on the front of the thigh. Pull your toes downwards toward your body and push your heel toward the ceiling. This will increase the stretch in your hamstrings and calf muscles. Do not allow any movement in your hips and low back during this stretch.
3. Hold this position for 15 – 30 seconds. Return to starting position and repeat with the opposite leg.
1. Lie on your back on the floor, with bent knees.
2. Cross your left leg over the right; resting your left foot on your right knee. With both hands, reach down and grab the back of the right thigh. Exhale and pull your right thigh and knee toward your chest. Try to maintain a ninety-degree bend in both knees while in this position.
3.  Change legs placing the right foot on the left knee and repeat.
4. Exercise Variation: Use a chair (or bed), which will allow your hip and knee to remain at ninety-degree angles. 
1. Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you, toes pointed toward the ceiling. Knees should be straight. Bend your left knee and place the sole of the left foot against the inside of your right thigh. Sit as tall and straight as possible keeping your head aligned with your spine. Place your hands on the top of your right thigh.
2. Exhale and bend forward from your hips, sliding your hands toward your ankle. Do not allow the back to round. Keep your head aligned with your spine. Do not lower or lift the chin. The knee should remain straight with the toes pointed toward the ceiling. This should stretch your hamstrings and calf muscles, with some stretching in your low and middle back.
3. Hold this position for 15 – 30 seconds. Relax and return to your starting position. Repeat with the opposite leg.
1. Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you. Point your toes towards the ceiling without bending your knees. Try to make your torso vertical to the floor and your head aligned with your spine. Place your hands on the top of your thighs.
2. Exhale as you slowly hinge forward at the hips, sliding your hands down your legs toward your ankles. Try to keep the back flat. Keep your head aligned with your spine, knees straight and toes pointed upwards toward the ceiling. This should stretch your calves and hamstrings, with some stretching in your low and middle back.
3. Hold this position for 15 – 30 seconds. Return to starting position. Repeat 3-4 times. 

Best Airports for layovers

If you have no choice with a direct flight and need a layover, one tip is to pick an airport of your choice for layovers. The better the airport, the less you will feel the long wait and in fact, you might even wish your layover is even longer! Trust me on this!


Changi Airport, Singapore

There is a reason why this airport kept winning the top airport in the world award year by year. 365 days, they kept overdoing themselves, topping other countries with ease. With a butterfly garden, free movie theatres, and a 40-foot, swirling slide that’s the tallest in Singapore, Changi feels more like Alice’s modern-day Wonderland than an airport. Passengers can also take a refreshing dip in the airport’s Balinese-themed rooftop swimming pool.


Heathrow Airport, London

The terminal houses an 11,000-square-foot Harrods and 105 restaurants. It is the only airport in the world that provides passengers with onboard picnics from a host of restaurants that will pack up a meal for you to take on the next leg of your journey. I love that you actually can engage a butler or a personal shopper to help you to navigate around the huge mall in the airport.


Dubai International Airport, United Arab Emirates

One of my personal favourites, the Dubai International Airport! As much as you can grab a day room at the Dubai International Hotel for a shower, a nap and a trip to the pool, gym, steam, sauna and Jacuzzi. The best part about this airport is that it never closes and the shopping never end. The longest layover I had in this airport is about 8 hours but I can’t get enough of shopping this airport. The best part of shopping here is that they accept all kinds of major currency and their exchange rates are pretty great.


Haneda Airport, Tokyo

Haneda was rated one of the world’s most punctual airports by CNN. Grab a bowl of ramen or platter of sushi, browse the free Internet in one of the many comfortable seating areas, or take a visit to the high-tech restrooms, which have heated toilet seats.

By Håkan Dahlström - originally posted to Flickr as SFO international terminal, CC BY 2.0,

By Håkan Dahlström – originally posted to Flickr as SFO international terminal, CC BY 2.0,

San Francisco International Airport

There is a museum in the airport itself and they host interesting art, science, and cultural exhibits, while a branch of the Steinhart Aquarium has aquatic wildlife from around the world. Now that for me 5 hours will be barely enough for me to cover the museum itself, let alone catching my tea break.



Incheon International Airport, South Korea

With a day spa, cinema, ice skating ring and a concert hall, it would be hard to say you have nothing to do here. And they also have a 0.0001% baggage mishandling rate. That’s WOW!

Anyone has great airports to share? Come share your find with us at the comments!

Join LadyRedot at Twitter (@LadyRedot), FaceBook (LadyRedot) and Instagram (LadyRedot)! Let us bring you around the world through our eyes!

Writer’s Profile


Kally is a former Sales and Customer Service manager turned Writer and Founder of She came from Singapore; lived in Shanghai and now calls Kuala Lumpur her home. After hanging up her corporate briefcase, she now pursue her passions – Writing, Traveling and of course, hunting for good food

Connect with me @

Where should you store your luggage during a long layover in London

In London for a long layover? Take this as an opportunity to explore the city instead of being stuck in the airport.

London has five major airports, namely the London Heathrow, London Stansted, London Gatwick, London Luton and London City. Each of the airports has world class facilities and one of it, you should take advantage of are the airport’s storage facilities to help you to keep your luggage safe and leaving you hands-free out and about enjoying what London has to offer, instead of lugging your heavy luggage around town.

Even you do not wish to get out of the Airport, some of London’s airports like Heathrow Airport are pretty huge, with plenty for travellers to explore. You can wine and dine, enjoy duty-free shopping and book yourself a good massage without having your luggage dragged along behind you.


Heathrow Airport

At each of its terminal from 2 to 5, you will find storage facilities at the Arrivals areas. You can choose to leave your baggage or luggage with Excess Baggage Company for a few hours to a few days. The costs start from £6 for up to 2 hours to £5 for more than 72 hours for each item.

Credit: Darren Foreman @

Credit: Darren Foreman @

Gatwick Airport

You can store your luggage at the South Terminal Arrivals of the airport (The North Terminal luggage storage is temporarily closed due to the upgrading of the airport). The counter is open 24 hours and £6 for per 24 hours for each item.


Stansted Airport

Located in the International Arrivals landside concourse, Luggage Point’s baggage storage facilities charges £3 per day and £18 per week for small items, whereas bigger items are charged £10 and £60 respectively.


Luton Airport

Beside the escalators to Departures, the baggage storage facilities are at the Check In Concourse. Each item is subjected to £5 for 2 hours or less and £10 up to 24 hours. Beyond 24 hours, it will be £5 thereafter.


City Airport

Storage facilities are available at a charge of £10 per item per 24-hour period, can be found at Security Zone A in the Terminal concourse.

Do take note of that all baggage is required by the authorities to scan through, so the usual suspects like sharp objects come under the same guidelines. There are no lockers in all the airports and train stations due to security reasons.

There are alternatives to store your luggage at the airports. One option available is to contact your regular hotel chain if you are a member. Some hotels do allow their members to store luggage with them if it is within a few hours. Another alternative to consider is to hire a private car to take you for a tailored tour while leaving your luggage in the trunk.

Whatever your choice is, there are definitely plenty to do in London and waste not one moment away, trying to figure how to deal with your baggage!

Join LadyRedot at Twitter (@LadyRedot), FaceBook (LadyRedot) and Instagram (LadyRedot)! Let us bring you around the world through our eyes!

Writer’s Profile


Kally is a former Sales and Customer Service manager turned Writer and Founder of She came from Singapore; lived in Shanghai and now calls Kuala Lumpur her home. After hanging up her corporate briefcase, she now pursue her passions – Writing, Traveling and of course, hunting for good food

Connect with me @