I got the job! Now, what to bring?

Janz Cindy (Philippines) sent me an email…

Hi, Ms. Evelyn!

Just want to say that you have an awesome blog. A number of times have I been here, and always reading your blog all over again. It did help a lot during my application process. And now, I am just waiting for my contract signing with Princess ๐Ÿ™‚
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1) What size of luggage should I bring (large or cabin size yung puwede sa hand carry)?
2) Clothes to bring (parang alangan pa po ako itanong sa inyo ‘to since I know magdedepende sa route ng barko, pero baka may certain things kayo na dapat hindi ko makalimutan)
3) Is it true na dapat daw po may at least 3 na dalang party dress?

I guess, ‘yan lang po. If ever lang po na may suggestion kayo. Let me know po. Thank you so much ๐Ÿ˜‰

Hi Cindy. Thank you for writing. It’s good to know that my website has been helpful to others. ๐Ÿ™‚

To answer your questions…

#1 – I travel with 2 pieces of check-in luggage (1 medium, 1 small but expandable and always expanded). Handcarry luggage is limited to just 1 piece and a maximum of 7 kgs, and mine is a bulky backpack that holds my documents, netbook with its accessories, DSLR and its lens, chargers and travel adapters, 3-1-1 plastic bag for travel toiletries, and my little cuddly traveling companion. I would recommend against using just 1 piece of large luggage in place of 2 small ones, because that will cost you in excess weight fees — even if that 1 piece is only equal or lesser in weight than 2 small ones combined. Take my word. I’ve tried it. Never doing that again.

My advice: If you can fit all in 1 medium or small luggage, do it. But do bring a second foldable bag, like a really large gym bag. Remember that you will most likely be buying some stuff in your travels and will need another bag for those. ๐Ÿ˜‰

IMPORTANT: Do NOT pack your DSLR and lenses in your check-in luggage. Always in your handcarry. As for the flash, that can go in the check-in.

Related post: If You Want To Keep It, Keep It With You

#2 – Mostly you’ll be wearing uniform. Check with Magsaysay or Princess if you need to bring anything to supplement the uniform provided — e.g. black socks, white socks, comfy flat black work shoes or white sneakers, white dress shirt to wear with your evening suit, etc. I recommend you travel light.

I travel with…

  • 5 pairs of shoes — black work shoes, white work rubber shoes, aqua shoes (for shoots at the beach), boots (ideally black and thick, for cold weather outdoor shoots), plain black girlie shoes (doubles as backup work shoes if my work shoes suddenly die on me, and as dress shoes for rare occasions when I wear my one-and-only dress on very rare evenings off).
  • 3 pairs of jeans — 1 kinda loose, 1 regular fit, 1 jeggings
  • 1 set of beach/swimwear. Yes, even if you’re not a swimmer or beach lover. Ya never know, your team building activity might be snorkeling or jetskiing in Cabo. ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • Jackets — 1 all-around hoodie, 1 all-black trench coat (for chilly weather shoots), 1 frigid weather (winter) jacket.
  • White knitted hat for cold weather
  • Miscellaneous casual clothes, accessories and undergarments, of course.

You will find that black is a handy color to have — as are white and gray. There’s a better chance of your boss letting you wear your own stuff at work if it’s black or some neutral color. Can’t say if Princess Cruises will allow it though.

Other people bring so much more — high heels, wedge shoes, sandals, dressy sneakers, fancy boots, little dresses, maxi dresses, separates, denim jackets, leather jackets, puffy jackets, furry jackets… Honestly, I don’t know how they pack. ๐Ÿ˜€

Oh yeah, I do have suits too. But as a newly-hired photographer starting at the bottom, you won’t have to worry about having your own suits. Whatever you need for work should be covered by the uniform that Princess will provide.

#3 – Wow. 3 party dresses? Well, unless you are required to wear a party dress at work, you won’t need 3 dresses. If you’re not a dress person, 1 is plenty enough. If you’re a kikay party person, well… just keep in mind that you’ll probably be doing some shopping during your contract.

Ah yes, if you haven’t yet and you’re a book lover, I recommend switching to ebooks. Basically, the less weight and mass you pack into your luggage, the better for your sanity and wallet. Having said that, I actually travel with a hand-cranked coffee bean grinder and a single-serve coffee press.

Priorities, priorities!! ๐Ÿ˜€

Hope that helps. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Something to help you travel light…

Related post: Moving Onto a Ship, How Much To Bring and How To Decide

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About the Author: Evelyn Yap

The Cruising Shutterbug. Seafarer. Photographer. Nomad. Chinese material, made in the Philippines, God's property.


  1. Contributing to this post…last year I packed for the first time going on my first contract nd had no idea what I was doing. With experience I’ve learnt this…

    Pack for 3 weeks…

    Uniform items first.
    Find out where ur going and pack accordingly.
    Remember you will work everyday for long hours so u don’t need a lot of dressy clothes.
    you are allowed 2 check in bags but don’t fill them up to the top because you will almost always shop during your contract.

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