Cuba Packing List

I wasn’t going to write packing post for this trip, but then I realized that, like every aspect of traveling to Cuba, packing for Cuba also has its own specificities that I’d like to share with you. Plus, any excuse to post more Cuba photos, right? 😀

So, for 10 days in Cuba, here is what I packed:

– Tops: 5 T-shirts, 1 long-sleeved shirt, 1 chambray shirt (it was so hot that I went through these faster than I thought, so I had to do laundry a couple of times.)

– Bottoms: 2 linen pants, 2 lightweight jeans, 1 dress (the dress was strictly for SIA, but it came in handy when I was too lazy to wash my tops.)

My standard sightseeing outfit (goofy pose not included)

– Outerwear: 1 cardigan, 1 sweater, 1 light jacket (though I never wore the sweater and the jacket in Cuba. We transferred flights in Moscow, so they were for keeping warm inside the airport/on the plane.)

– Shoes: 1 pair of sneakers, 1 pair of sandals, 1 pair of flip-flops (for the beach/walking around the casa.)

OK, this may just be an excuse to show off the cool floor tiles of Cuba…

– Accessories: 2 hats (1 baseball cap and 1 straw hat I bought in Trinidad), 3 scarves. These are life-savers; I used them to cover up from the sun and the big one was used as a sarong when we went to the beach. They can also double up as face masks in dusty/smoggy places. We got some funny looks walking around Havana with scarves wrapped around our faces, but trust me, your nose, throat, and lungs are going to thank you.

Some tips:

– Don’t bring anything too nice, anything you don’t want to sweat through or get sand or dirt on. If you’re planning to go dancing, maybe bring a cute dress, but honestly, it’s all very casual.

– I know it’s hot, but don’t bring just tank tops and shorts if you don’t want to be burned to a sizzle. The sun is relentless, even during February.

– Pack all the toiletries, make-up, and medications you’re going to need. You won’t be able to buy them here. And sunscreen. A lot of sunscreen.

– Bring hand sanitizer and tissue/toilet paper. Bathrooms in Cuba are not the cleanest, so it’s better to be prepared.

– Pack some detergent if you’re going to do laundry. Most casas provide laundry service, but it can be expensive.


Singapore Packing List II

Remember when I went to Singapore for 3 days to see Dylan Moran back in 2015? And I said I wished I had stayed longer? Well, wish granted – I’m going to back Singapore, for 3 weeks this time, on a work trip. I’m shepherding a group of students to participate in an exchange program with another university there, which is pretty exciting. Still, I’m glad that I’ve already been to Singapore; that means I can better focus on my task and help the students instead of figuring out a new country.

Of course, it helps with the packing as well. I’ve never packed for a business trip before, but luckily it’s a pretty casual affair, so my packing list came together pretty quickly. I didn’t have the time to doodle or paint it this time, so a quick photo will have to do:

singapore packing list by 14 shades of grey

Tops: 2 button-ups (white & blue print), 2 sleeveless blouses (white & blue print), 2 dressy tees (black & white), and 2 casual tees (black & gray)

Bottoms: 2 wide-leg pants (black & white), 1 casual navy linen pants, & 1 dressy gray linen pants

Shoes: 1 pair of black flats and 2 pairs of sandals (brown & nude)

Accessories: 1 scarf, 1 necklace, 1 brooch

As you can see, it’s all light, natural fabric in neutral colors, to maximize the mix and match. Now, the difficult thing is that we’re having a cold snap here in Hanoi, meaning I’m going to travel from one climate to another. So I had to plan a separate airplane outfit, something that’s warm enough and can still be worn in Singapore:

singapore airplane outfit by 14 shades of grey

My trusty striped tee, a black blazer, black khaki pants, a big (but light) scarf, and sneakers. We’re going to walk a lot, so the sneakers are a must, and they tend to crank their AC to “arctic”, so I suspect the scarf and blazer won’t be superfluous either. With each trip, my packing gets a little better, so we’ll see how well I packed this time!

Europe Packing List

I’ve been home for a week now, but while I’m settling back into my old routine, let’s look back at my epic summer trip, starting with the usual: the packing list.

I lost count of how many sample packing lists I looked at during the months leading up to the trip. My main concern was that I was going to be in Iceland, and how cold it could be, and how much the cold-weather clothes would add to the rest of my list. This is what I ended up taking with me:

packing list by 14 shades of grey

(I had so much fun doodling my packing list last time that I did it again. I got the illustrations online, mostly from goodobjects, then traced them and colored them myself.)

The list includes: 3 short-sleeved tees, 3 long-sleeved tees, 1 chambray shirt, 1 flannel shirt, 2 sweaters, 2 cardigans, 4 pairs of jeans, 2 scarves, 1 jacket, and 3 pairs of shoes. Not included here are the big waterproof jacket and blanket scarf I packed especially for Iceland.

Though that doesn’t seem a lot for a 5-week trip, I actually over-packed. I didn’t realize that 65 degrees in Europe feel very different from 65 degrees in Vietnam, and packed too many warm items. Since I could afford to do laundry quite often, I could’ve done without the striped turtleneck, the extra sweater and cardigan, the light-washed jeans, and the flats (which are my “just in case” shoes, and those I almost always end up never wearing). I guess you learn something new with each trip you make, right? Now that I’ve recorded this, I’m definitely going to pack more wisely for my next long trip!

Singapore Packing List

Like I said on Monday, last weekend I went on an exciting trip to Singapore. It was exciting because 1) it’s been ages since I traveled, 2) I’ve never been there before, and 3) I went to see Dylan Moran’s stand-up show!!!

Yeah. This is pretty much my reaction when I found out Dylan Moran was coming to Singapore:

He’s going to be on the same continent as me!

After some debating (meaning looking up flights to see if I could afford it), I decided to go. I booked the trip nearly 4 months in advance, so you can imagine how impatient I was. It also meant I had a lot of time to think about what to pack. Finally, this is what I settled on for a 3-day trip (actually it was more like 2 days, I arrived late on Friday and left early on Sunday):


I doodled this in July, when I proctored my school’s entrance exam. Like I said, I had a lot of time to think about it.

The list includes: 2 tees, 1 chambray shirt, 2 pairs of pants (jeans & linen), 1 dress + 1 necklace (for the show – I didn’t know if people would dress up or not but I wanted to), 1 cardigan + 1 scarf (for the plane), and 1 pair of slip-on sneakers. At the last minute, I also added my sandals just in case. And I’m glad I did, because after the first day of walking, my toes were screaming in the sneakers, so the sandals really came in handy.

I’m also glad that I packed the linen pants. It was super hot and humid (I didn’t account for the fact that Singapore is on the equator), and if it wasn’t for them, I would’ve died sightseeing in my jeans. So yeah, even though I don’t want to over-pack, sometimes it’s better to just be prepared.

More Singapore posts to come later this week!

Packing List

Usually when I pack for a trip, I don’t really pay much attention to what clothes I’m bringing except to make sure that they are weather-appropriate. I do make packing lists but they usually look like this “Camera, Lenses, Camera Battery, Battery Charger, Tripod, Phone, Phone Charger, Kindle, Kindle Cable”… you get the idea. So I usually end up over-packing some things, and under-packing others. This time, I thought it would be a good idea to include actual clothes in the packing list, and here’s what I’m bringing:


So that’s 2 shirts (1 chambray, 1 flannel), 3 tees (2 short sleeved, 1 long sleeve), 1 cardigan, 1 sweater, 3 pairs of pants, 1 jacket, 2 scarves (no jewelry because I just know I’m going to lose it), 1 pair of hiking boots and 1 pair of flats just in case.

It may look too much for a week-long trip in the summer, but where I’m going (Da Lat, a town up in the Highlands in the south of Vietnam), the temperature goes from lower 70’s to lower 60’s, which for me is positively arctic. Plus it’s the rainy season, hence the boots and the jacket. I could probably do with just two pair of pants and three shirts, but I still haven’t forgotten the time I went trekking in Sa Pa and ended up covered in mud, so I like to have some back-ups this time. We’ll see how well it works out. See you guys in a week!