Going on a long trip can be so overwhelming. Before I left the States for my one month and a half Asian vacation which includes the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Japan, I kept on going through the things I really needed and the things I wanted to do, the places I wanted to see that’s in my list, I guess that’s normal, right? You wanted everything to be at least almost perfect. But before anything else, I believe that you need to know first what kind of traveler you want to be.
Are you the kind of traveler who wants to be carrying big backpacks while transferring from one airport to another? Or are you the kind who will be bringing suitcases regardless of the kind of trip you will take, it maybe a city trip or an adventure? Or will you be taking a plane rather than a train or a bus for countries that are bordering each other like Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam? Which accommodation would you rather choose? Do all these things fit your budget? These are some of the things you need to put into consideration and you need to come up with answers before you can actually start planning.
So what kind of traveller am I? I am a Poshpacker. Yes, I bring my suitcases with me, I fly and I stay in hotels. I don’t have anything against backpacking, I think it’s fun and maybe one day, I would eventually try it but on this trip, I brought my suitcases with me, I flew from one country to another and stayed in at least 3 star hotels like I always did on my previous trips.
Since my trip started from the US, I didn’t have a problem on the baggage allowance during the flight since I am allowed to bring 2 checked in bags, 23kg each bag and 1 carry on and 1 personal item.
The challenge will start when you get to any of the Asian countries and be flying with a budget airline, like AirAsia, TigerAir, or Cebu Pacific. The baggage allowance for these airlines is for purchase. You can purchase from 15kg-40kg baggage allowance. And an extra fee per kilo at the airport for any excess in baggage. And take note, the rate per kilo varies in every country like for example for Cebu Pacific flying from the Philippines to another Asian country, you can purchase up to 40kg only of baggage allowance and whatever is excess baggage at the airport will be paid P800.00 per kilo or $17.25/kilo.
The idea of saving and stretching your budget is all fine and dandy but who doesn’t want a nice hotel room when you get to a certain country for the first time and will be staying there for a few days? Who doesn’t want to relax after a tiresome day of going around strolling the city or a day full of adventure? There are plenty of nice budget hotels nowadays. I use Agoda.com for all my hotel bookings in Asia. Around $40-$60 per room per night, some even have free breakfast, you can already be a poshpacker.
I used AirAsia for all the flights except for the one going to Japan which I flew by Cebu Pacific and the one from Bangkok back to the Philippines was flown by Philippine Airlines. AirAsia’s fares are really fantastic most of the time, I can’t complain. It’s a budget airline so take note of the promo fares that are non-refundable and non-rebookable. TigerAir, CebuPacific can also be a flight of choice. Some countries are not catered by these airlines. But for my flight from the Philippines to Kuala Lumpur to Langkawi to Singapore to Krabi to Bangkok was flown by AirAsia.
Ok, before I end this post, let’s define a PoshPacker, shall we? For me, a PoshPacker is a combination of mid-luxury and budget traveler. The kind of traveler who shells out a little bit more money to stay in a comfortable hotel rather than a dorm type accommodation or a shared room with other travelers, the one who would rather fly to get to the destination, and the one who stuffs her suitcases with clothes, shoes, accessories, complete toiletries, make up, etc.
So, who wants to be a PoshPacker?
Seeing Langkawi from the moment we arrived at the airport, we had to ask ourselves…
Traveling to Langkawi, Malaysia was not actually in my itinerary list during this Asian Trip…