23 kilos for Egypt and the Philippines - what did I squeeze into my luggage?

When I travel for holiday, I have my well functioning list of clothes and accessories: bikini, sun lotion, sun-glasses, shorts and some T-shirts. But traveling to two countries to work, which both have different culture and different weather made me think.

After I was selected for a business travel in Egypt and the Philippines one week before the actual travel, I had to face with the following problem: "What to pack for a business trip in a conservative country with dry weather and in a less conservative country with rainy weather having 23 kg in total?" Purpose of travel? Work and leisure. I had 5 days to sort this out.

Before starting the packing I checked out the clothing culture and the weather of the country. I was traveling in August & September, which meant 30-40 celsius degrees in both countries. Here is what I squeezed in my luggage for Egypt and the Philippines.


1. Light, long sleeved shirts
As a country with conservative clothing, people wear long sleeved shirts - at least to cover the shoulders.

2. Light, long trousers or skirts
The same rule goes for the trousers and skirts, and they should cover the knees.

Me in front of the office

3. Scarf
Very useful piece of clothing to cover your shoulders.
The weather is warm in August (40 celsius degrees) and you can burn easily. Scarf can cover your skin. Also if you enter an office building or shopping mall the air conditioners are switched on and is extremely cold inside. So I made close friendship with my scarfs and cardigans.

Egyptian women wear 'chador' all the time, which sometimes covers their whole face. When you enter a holy place you also have to cover your head. Either use your scarf or you will receive a 'chador'.

With my friend in Giza
Later, when asking my Egyptian friend how she felt to be covered with a chador all the time, she answered me simply. They were all diamonds and they showed their shine only to their family and husband. When she told this, I truly saw her shine through the long dress.

Women bathing in the Mediterranean Sea

4. Light shoes
You do not need closed shoes until your body is covered. In the hot weather I was wearing flip-flops. However, again, in the office buildings my feet were freezing. I took both sandals and ballerina shoes, only of natural materials because of the hot weather.

The clothes should not be transparent. I had a bad memory when going to the central market in a light summer dress, a little bit transparent. I saw the look of people on me all the time. Never again in such dress in Cairo.


I traveled to the Philippines in the rainy season, which is between May and October. So I was preparing with closed and easy-to-dry clothes, too.

1. Light trousers, shirts & scarfs
The clothes from Egypt served me well as every closed area in the city: office buildings, taxis and shopping malls were also refrigerated.

Once I even asked the taxi driver why do they wanna drive in an igloo? He did not understand me, I guess he was used to those business women who were dressed up in warm suits.

In the office
2. Jeans
While in Egypt it was too hot to put on jeans, in the Philippines the weather was more moderated, around 25-30 celsius degrees. The jeans served me well also during rainy weather.

3. Shoes
I was wearing sandals and ballerina shoes, but I also had closed shoes just in case of the rain.

As much as I was afraid of the big showers of the rainy season, I had to learn that there is difference between wet and dry rainy season. The wet rainy season is in south-China and India with the week-long showers, the monsoon. In the Philippines we also had showers every day. But it only lasted for 15 minutes, so it was not really significant.

After the rain left
4. Shorts & T-shirts
Manila is very 'americanized' because of the presence of loads of multinational companies. Therefore clothing is somewhat close to the western world. I could freely walk in my shorts and T-shirts in the Philippines. (This is not true for the office.)

In Rizal Park (Manila)


Some more things which I would not have left at home were the sun glasses, antibacterial gel and sun lotion. In the Philippines umbrella also seemed to be very useful for the locals: it protected them both from the sun and the rain.

Protecting from the sun
Finally, packing for these two countries resulted much easier than what I have imagined before. More difficult was when I packed my luggage on the way back home: 8 new bags and a few new pairs of shoes more to squeeze in. No doubt, make sure to have extra space in your luggage in case you are a shopaholic, like me.

About Tiny Girl With Big Bag

Hobby writer and autodidact photographer whose passion is to travel and get to know new people and cultures. She has been on 4 continents and 30 countries, and the outcome is this travel blog where she shares travel stories, thoughts, tips and photography always through a subjective eye.

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  1. I really liked the attitude of the "diamond"!

    1. I think it shows the respect towards women.