Melissa C. Koh

Blog posts

My Pre-Flight Ritual

Everything Lifestyle, Lifestyle

It is always a hustle before ANY trip.

More often than not,  there are a million and one things on my personal and work agenda. Each one of them needs my attention and seems like it’s on top of the priority list suddenly.

I’ve made this a personal work habit lately, but I try to wrap up ANY on-going projects or hand them over properly to my team so that there’ll be someone keeping an eye on it while I’m away. I also make it a point to clear all my emails because I know they’re only going to continue piling up once I’m overseas.

Work is always never ending and there are many deadlines to meet but I do my best in trying to make it work by either tagging them along with me on my travels or getting my team to handle it in the interim.

I’m going to take you through my typical pre-flight ritual from waking up in the morning to fulfiling some of my work duties, personal agendas and more.

I wonder if you guys do this as well– MAKE LISTS.

I love making lists and somehow it seems like my lists fills up almost immediately once a trip gets confirmed.

The standard pre-travel must-do’s are like: prepping your toiletries bag, make up pouch, changing money at a foreign exchange (I recommend the Arcade for the best exchange rates), exercising to get that last minute beach-ready body, all the personal grooming appointments to make sure you look tip-top, effortlessly, on the trip and of course right down to selecting location appropriate outfits and packing.

For me, planning and preparing takes up majority of the time. The packing process is actually really quick. I like to lay everything out so that I have a good overview of things, and it makes it easier for me to check them off my list eventually too.
I lay everything out in the same way you see above- from toiletries, to accessories, to shoes and bags, to hats and sunglasses to outfits and even my miscellaneous stuff like my hair curler and dyson hairdryer.

I must admit that I am NOT a light packer. Some say I claim that it must be my FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) nature but I guess it could very well just be that sense of preparedness and security that I love to feel knowing that I have everything I need on hand.
Yes, it also includes my sewing kit for fashion emergencies, my nail clippers, nail file and sleeping robe and personal bedroom slippers.

So here you go. This is how my day would usually start. T-3 to my travel date.

1/ Reading     Doing research about the places I’m going to prior to my trip helps me to plan my outfits accordingly. I also make it a point to look up the weather forecast and climate conditions so that I am sure to pack appropriate attire.

2/ Planning     I make two separate packing lists because I usually travel with 2 luggages- 1 for check-in and 1 for carry-on. Being well-equipped on my flight is fairly important to me, so I always make sure I have everything I need. Flight times are like me-times, so I love taking the time to disconnect, mask, read my books, catch up on sleep and listen to music.

3/ Online Shopping @ ISHOPCHANGI     Due to time constraints, I make my last minute purchases typically for my skincare essentials from iShopChangi, Changi Airport’s e-commerce portal that stocks a good range of popular products from its retail stores. I also consider it as a great opportunity to stock up, given that I can purchase them duty-free and conveniently pick them all up at the collection centres located around the airport terminals right before flight.  Before my recent trip to Maldives, I got my drone (DJI Mavic Pro) & GoPro Black Hero 5 from iShopChangi. I rarely get to the airport 2 hours or more before departure time so I don’t really have the luxury to shop at duty-free. Now, I’ve realised that going online to browse and shop has become a much more time-effective and fun routine for me before any trip.

4/ Pack it up!     Once you have everything prepped and all lists are checked off, you’re ready to pack all your things into your suit case. Remember! Organisation is KEY.  

Packing always seems like an endless hassle and a chore for some. But I’ve figured that the best way to help with the packing process is to spend enough time planning beforehand.

Remember the “lists” I mentioned about earlier? This should help in ensuring that nothing gets left out and it makes you put in your stuff into your luggage in a very systematic and organized way.

A great tip that I’ve learnt from my numerous trips is that grouping your things and placing them into individual pouches, dust bags or folders help. This is also known as compartmentalisation.

I love sectioning my things because it not only helps me to find it easily, but it ensures that I do not miss anything out. I have pouches for everything- (1) my make up, (2) my toiletries like body wash, body lotion shampoo, conditioner/mask, (3) my skincare products like my toner, serum(s), face mask(s), moisturizer and sunblock, (4) my intimates, (5) my accesories like my watches, earrings, rings, necklaces and other knick-knacks, (6) my hair stuff including hair ties, rubber bands, bobby pins, hair spray, dyson hairdryer and hair serum, (6) my hand carry on pouch which includes a face mist, an eye mask, a travel-sized body lotion, lip balm and under-eye concealer, (6) my exercise pouch which includes exercise wear, shoes and socks

The list goes on. But I must say it is a pretty gratifying experience when all your sh*t comes together.


I love planning my outfits from head-to-toe because dressing well and appropriately makes me happy and feel good about myself.
I mean, to each his/her own. Some people are happy just bringing a pair of jeans and 3 different tops and rotating it by the day because it does not matter to them. But I guess, this adds another layer of worry to my pre-flight regime.

Sharing with you something more personal (in case you do not already know):

I plan my outifts according to specific places/locations I’m traveling to.

This is where my prior research comes in handy.

Most of the time though, it is easy to plan my outfits according to the vibe of the place and I do not do outfit-location specific pairings.

A general rule that I follow is the colour wheel. For example, if I am going to places with a lot of blues (e.g Maldives), I tend to pack dresses that are on the opposite spectrum of the colour wheel (like red, yellow or complementing colours like white)
If I am planning an adventure that will have a lot of greens (e.g. forests/grasslands), I will avoid packing outfits that are green/brown in colour with fear of blending in.

If you look at my instagram pictures and wonder why I seem to have the perfect outfits for each place I visit. 
I’m telling you now, it does not happen by chance.

5/ The Yoga     I love starting my mornings, no matter how busy, with breathing exercises and stretches. It helps me to go that extra mile in the day.

6/ Hair Treatment     It has become a pre-flight routine to go for a hair treatment before my trips. I made a trip to Lee Ka Ja for their Tokio Inkarami treatment and my hair felt instantly prepped for the trip! My long-time stylist, Jerry, previously from Shunji Matsuo 313, has recently moved over to Lee Ka Ja, and I’ve tagged along with him!

7/ Facial   Made some time to pop by Vida Skin for a quick facial to brighten my skin so that it looks radiant and plump even when I go bare-faced.

8/ Spending time with loved ones     Finally, making time for my family and friends has always been important to me no matter where I’m headed. It might add to my already hectic schedule but it is important to me and something that I personally value.

And now I’m all set and ready to go!





About the author

Shop the Post

Leave a comment!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

1 comment

  1. Tay Hui Hui Cheryl
    31 Oct 2017 @ 12:58 pm

    Hi Mel!
    I was wondering if you have any tips and tricks on how to style for winter! How do you make sure to keep warm while looking stylish?

    Love your posts!


powered by chloédigital