The bedside digital clock beeped twice, signalling the proverbial clock striking midnight. An audible growl could be heard, and I groaned in frustration. I was alone in a cold wintry dorm room in Canada, craving for a nice hot bowl of Maggi instant noodles. Heck, even Nissin cup noodles would hit the spot right about now.
But alas, being miles away from home and plonked into a foreign culture so vastly different from my own meant having little to no access to the type of comfort food and flavour profiles I’m used to growing up.
And no, by vacation, I don’t mean short weekend trips to Malaysia and Thailand, or even Vietnam. I’m sure you can do without your salted egg prawn or chicken rice for one weekend. No, think magical faraway places requiring 10 odd hours of flight or more to get there. In these far-flung places, a sense of familiarity of home can be all you need to ground and steady yourself.
If you’ve been to such places or your next trip happens to be at the far reaches of the world, here are 10 things you’ll need for your next vacay.
1. Po Chai Pills
Photo by grayperks via Instagram.
We’ve all been there. Maybe we ate something that didn’t agree with our stomach, and now here comes the familiar unwelcome churning feeling. The magical miracle worker that is Po Chai Pills has been saving countless Singaporean’s tummies since first being developed in 1896.
A remedy for indigestion, vomiting, and diarrhoea amongst other stomach illnesses, Po Chai Pills are a god send. It’s not a Singapore brand, but it has become a staple and indispensable part in all households. The bottles are small and light, so it can be easily stashed in your bag.
2. Medicated Oil
Photo by littlejs_big_heart via Instagram.
As far as Singaporean parents are concerned, Chinese medicated oil deserves to be on the same pedestal as Po Chai Pills. Used for curing stomach-aches, rheumatic pains, or even blocked noses, these medicated oils have seemingly been stashed for millennia, passed down from generations. It never hurts to have a bottle of it with you on your trips.
Photo by sgoldcoffee.medan via Instagram.
Panadol is the quintessential stopgap, all-purpose medicine for anything, and I mean anything. Flu? Pop Panadol. Fever? Panadol. Headache? Panadol.
Often used in conjunction with sleep, Singaporeans can eschew going to the doctor in favour of just taking this medication and a few hours of rest will have you feeling better in no time. You can never be too cautious overseas, and a few pills of Panadol can often save your day.
Photo by n_e_a_l_e via Instagram.
Often times, mosquito bites are unavoidable, and they can be very annoying, disrupting what may be a perfect day out.
Enter Mopiko, the wonderous calming ointment that soothes any itch and bite from mosquitoes, bedbugs, and sand-flies, amongst many other insects.
5. Tiger Balm
Photo by p.olrin via Instagram.
One of the world’s most famous pain-relief ointment, Tiger Balm has a storied history that stretches back to Founder Aw Chu Kin in China to the 1870s but many attribute the modern day version to his sons, Aw Boon Haw and Aw Boon Par, who perfected the Tiger Balm recipe in Singapore.
Today, it’s being stocked all over the world and a great ointment to bring with you on your long travels.
Travel Gadgets & Gears
6. Selfie Stick
Photo by accesssfamily via Instagram.
Are we still in the age of the selfie? Will the phase ever pass? Perhaps no invention has aided the phenomenon of the selfie and wefie more than the selfie stick. Acting as an extension of your arm, be it photographing a group or the larger scenery in the background, selfie sticks have allowed us to capture all of it.
Before we knew it, selfie sticks have become an instrumental part of our selfie game.
7. Travel Adapter
Photo by basictravelshop via Instagram.
Each country has their own socket types that may not fit with the charging heads that we use in Singapore, so having a travel adapter or two will ensure that you can keep all your gears and gadgets fully charged before a big day out.
Head over to our city guides for a quick peek at the socket types used in your next holiday destination!
Photo by mobstore_skad via Instagram.
Having a portable charger or powerbank truly goes a long way during your travels.
Whether is it taking photos for the ‘gram or videos, we are in the age where digital technology has become synonymous with our travels.
A handy dandy powerbank can aid in keeping your phones and WiFi routers running as they should be throughout the day.
9. Instant Noodles
Photo by 1sgproducts via Instagram.
The comfort food of the masses, instant noodles have accompanied many Singaporeans through the wee hours of the night and is a staple food for many families.
When you are far away from home, having a packet of Maggi chicken instant noodles or Nissin’s tom yum cup noodles, can hit you in the feels and fill up your tummy at the same time.
10. Chilli Condiments
If you have travelled to the western hemisphere, you’d know that chilli isn’t exactly a big thing there, or even a thing. Tack on Singaporeans’ affinity with chilli (take for example, our love with mala), it’s safe to say that chilli happens to be an indispensable part of our diet.
Pack a small bottle of sambal belecan and make any meal taste a little more like home.
Do you agree with our list? Comment below if there’s anything else you can’t leave home without!