- Hard Drive
This is one of my favorite items. Ever. It keeps me sane and entertained. I consider myself a pacifist but if someone were to threaten this item I would not be responsible for my actions.
Whether you are a journal-er or not, I still highly suggest bringing one. Volunteering is an amazing experience full of challenges, adventures, and everyday life – documenting as you go is a great way to process, reflect, and eventually remember.
Another crucial item. As a reader, this has probably saved my life. I borrow e-books from other hard drives and find deals on BookBub and Amazon. I use it daily and cannot recommend it enough.
This one sounds obvious but I want to advise bringing a lot of underwear. Hand washing, and even machine washing here, has slowly destroyed the underwear and bras I brought with me. Bring more than you think you will need.
I brought a pair of Columbia quick-dry pants, capris, and shorts with me and I love them. They are light-weight, moisture wicking, and, of course, quick drying. A little pricey, but I have found them worth it, especially if I can find them on sale.
Finding the right shoes can be tricky. I recommend finding shoes that are light-weight, sturdy, and supportive. I also suggest finding shoes that you actually want to wear and match pretty much everything you pack.
Many people bring a quick-dry towel with them, myself included; however, a sarong is a much better option. I use it as a towel every day, but have also used it as a blanket for sleeping and to sit on outside. It is multi-purpose and important for any travel.
- Deodorant and razors
These items can be somewhat crappy outside of the U.S. Most of the razors I find are two-blade actions and I now shave intermittently because it was too much work. Bring a lot of deodorant and just take my word on it. I can buy American brands here in the large malls but they are usually travel size and expensive for our budgets.
My favorite bags and aids come from Eagle Creek. I have a backpack/carry-on that I used to travel to my destination and also for in-country trainings and vacations. I have several packing cubes and envelopes which I highly praise and use for any travel. Eagle Creek should actually pay me to promote them because I rave to everyone how great they are.
Rain or shine you will find this handy. A travel size umbrella is fundamental to packing because rainy season is real life and it can start pouring at any moment. Also, an umbrella can be wonderful when hiding from the beating sun. I always have mine when I leave the house, it is a central item for my bag at all times.
I hope these packing tips have helped you as you prepare for you adventure! I would love to hear you own packing tips in the comments!