Photos: Teo Sijia
Video: Charlene Chong
Are you a light or heavy packer? Organised or messy? A last minute packer or a well-prepared traveller?
These were a few burning questions we posed to the cast of Channel 8’s long-form drama series Jalan Jalan at the show’s press conference, where we invited them to bring and share with us some of their must-have travel essentials when they are on an overseas trip.
It was an intimate session, to say the least, with the actors airing some of their insecurities and deepest, darkest secrets, and we had it all captured on camera.
We picked up a couple of interesting celebrity trivia about the cast of Jalan Jalan: there is a self-professed fitness nut who needs to work out every day when he’s travelling because of his sweet tooth; a gadget girl who can’t live without her arsenal of techy stuff (even though it weighs a ton); and an idiosyncratic traveller who packs two of everything, just to name a few…
This week, we have Kayly Loh who plays Jeremy Chan’s onscreen wife aka Jia Bao Zuan, the eldest daughter-in-law in the Zhang family. She’s a bit of a comic character in the show – and this very much mirrors Kayly’s loud and upbeat personality in real life, and her easygoing nature belies her travelling—and packing—style when on a trip, we learned.
Not one who’s fussed about getting the perfect #OOTD (outfit of the day) shot or Instagram-worthy looks when she’s on the road (her tried-and-tested pro-tip is to just dress in basic, monochrome or solid colours), Kayly probably spends more time obsessing over the gadgets she needs to bring rather than the clothes she should pack.
She’ll never leave Singapore without her drone, Bluetooth earpiece, camera, tripod, Nintendo switch, kindle, laptop and iPad, but—and you probably will find this hard to believe—she once forgot to pack her brassiere in the luggage and only realised it when she had to change into a different outfit after arriving at her destination. True story.
Despite lugging an amazing amount of gadgets around when she travels, Kayly has never once exceeded her baggage limit, which is a feat by itself. How does she do it? With minimal clothes and a wear-and-trash mentality. Read on for more, and watch the video below!
Jalan Jalan is now showing weekdays, 7.30pm on Channel 8. Watch past episodes of Jalan Jalan on Toggle.
(Continued on next page: What are Kayly's essential gadgets?)
#1 Cute pouch
“This thing is very cute and assuming, right? It’s where I put all my currencies. I don’t bring my wallet when I travel, so I just bring this pouch and stash it inside [my bag]. And why I put money in such an unassuming pouch? ‘Cos people will think it’s for sanitary pads so they usually won’t steal this. It’s so puffy and it looks like something that guys wouldn’t want to touch. So this is my travel wallet.”
#2 Tech gadgets (Kindle, iPad, laptop)
“My necessities include my Kindle – I don’t read fiction books. [I’m currently] reading Tony Robbin’s book – ‘7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom’. My entire list [of books] are all self-help books (laughs). I’m very boring like that [but] I don’t usually read anything about finance and this is the first book because somebody introduced it to me. The rest are business-based or personal growth-related…
My iPad is a very, very old iPad. Why do I need it? Because I’m a person who cannot sit still. I love travelling but I hate being in the airplane – just sitting there and doing nothing really kills me, so I must be loaded with things to do. Games, books, movies – I just have to be occupied. I usually cannot sleep on flights that’s why I need this. Then I have my laptop—of course, right?—I need it ‘cos I want to do my work on the plane. I just cannot have a spare minute on the plane. I have to do something. So if this battery runs out, this battery runs out, I still have this. If there’s really nothing to do, I’ll watch in-flight entertainment movies.”
#3 Bluetooth headpiece
“I love this thing. It’s my shades, but it’s not just any other shades. It actually is a speaker (laughs). Backstory: my ear tunnel is quite small and I cannot use normal earphones. Whenever I use them it gets very painful ‘cos I have to jab it in, so I can only use headphones but they are extremely bulky. Until I saw this thing on Kickstarter, and backed it! So how it works is I just have to pair it via Bluetooth to any device I have, put it on and the sound comes out from the back and only I can hear it. Mostly I’d use it when I want to sleep or for long train rides… I usually charge it once in a few days when I travel.”
#4 Tripod and camera
“Another gadget—I’m so terrible!—I’d bring is my tripod. But this is a very good tripod ‘cos it’s the bendable type. So if I go hiking or wherever and there’s nobody to take photos for me, I’d just clamp this to a tree branch and take photos of myself (laughs). I’ve clamped this to my jeep before and took a video of me driving. I love it! It’s one of my best buys, and I actually bought it at the airport.
My camera, a Sony a7 II was a very big Christmas present to myself two years ago. It’s totally worth it, and so light compared to other DSLRs, so it’s more compact. I bring this for all my trips to take photos of myself.”
“The big bulky ones that I cannot fit in my [carry on] bag… ta dah! First item is a drone, but I got the smallest drone, the spark. Nowadays it’s so easy to fly a drone, and it’s so compact and small anyway, so I always bring it for my travels. There’s this one time I went hiking and the wind was too strong so I couldn’t fly it… Drones are for taking photos of the scenery lah, not myself.”
#6 Nintendo Switch
“This is a life saver. I really, really like it because I recently went on a road trip to Malaysia on my birthday, just me and my bunch of friends. And we went to an Airbnb in the middle of a jungle [and there’s] nothing. It’s my kind of holiday but not their type. They got forced to go on this trip with me and I told them I’d bring them entertainment. I only provided the consoles, my friend brought a projector and another friend brought a fan, so this has really saved us on a lot of trips. So now, when I travel with my bunch of friends, one will bring a projector and I will bring this.”
Joel Choo’s packing problems (and fails)
Why does Michelle Wong always travel with a face roller?
James Seah and his love for ‘basic’ underwear
Dawn Yeoh, the ‘reformed’ traveller
The ’Jalan Jalan’ cast members’ travel woes: Broken train tracks, love hotels and more