Packing List

I’ve spent most of this summer carefully creating a packing list, based on the official list Peace Corps provided, and from blogs of other volunteers. As someone who can over plan pretty much anything, I took curation of my packing list pretty seriously. I actually found planning/purchasing things to bring made me feel way less nervous about leaving… being (over) prepared calms me.

We are only allowed to bring two 50 pound suitcases and a carry on, so I wanted to make sure every item I brought with me was worth it/necessary. I probably overthought a lot of it, and I’m sure there are some things that won’t end up being useful, but after actually putting everything into my bags last weekend and finding that I pretty much exactly hit the mark for weight limit, I’m feeling like I did pretty okay!

Anyway, in excruciating detail, here’s my packing list. All notes in red are updates after being here for a few months!


  • Tops
    • 5 nice t-shirts (Would downgrade this to 2-3) 
    • 5 casual t-shirts (Would downgrade this to 2-3) 
    • 5 tank tops – Some normal, some loose and long to be worn with leggings
    • 3 blouses
    • 2 long sleeved t-shirts
    • 1 sweatshirt
    • 1 lightweight wrap sweater
  • Bottoms
    • 4 knee length dresses
    • 2 knee length skirts
    • 2 pairs capris
    • 1 pair jeans
    • 5 pairs leggings – cropped and full length
    • 2 pairs running shorts
  • Other
    • 15 pairs underwear – You can never have enough… and I DO NOT reccommend the ExOficio or w/e quick dry brand everyone raves about, not cute, $15 a pair, and not much more quick drying than the VS PINK sports underwear
    • 10 bras – regular and sports
    • 1 bathing suit
    • 10 pairs athletic socks – black because white just gets dirty too quickly
    • 4 pairs wool socks
    • 1 scarf
    • Basic jewelry – extra earrings in case I lose any, 2 necklaces, 2 watches


  • Chacos
  • Birkenstocks – Learned that these are not quite Africa proof first time it rained/flooded and the cork started discentagrating and they got all mouldy 
  • Cheap nude flats – Left at training village b/c I didn’t wear them once
  • Black Crocks flats – not as ugly as you would imagine and surprisingly comfortable!
  • Running shoes


  • About 3 months worth of, just enough to get me through training
    • Shampoo and Conditioner
    • Bars of soap
  • About 2 years worth of
    • Face wash
    • Face lotion
    • Exfoliant
    • Face sunscreen (Biore Aqua Rich Watery Essence)
    • Toothbrushes/Toothpaste
    • Hair products/accessories – hair ties, clips, headbands, etc
    • Facial wipes
    • Deodorant
    • Dry Shampoo
  • Makeup – probably not necessary for many people but I’m a bit of a makeup addict so trying to decide the best way to take as much makeup as is necessary to make me happy and last 2 years vs. not taking up my entire suitcase was pretty difficult. It seems like a lot (and it probably is) but none of these items take up much room/weight and will undoubtedly make me very happy
    • 2x NYX primer
    • 2x NYX Wonderstick
    • Stilla Foundation
    • MUFE Translucent Powder
    • 4 random mascaras – I stockpiled all my full sized free samples for the last ~6 months
    • 2x NYX Slide On Stay On Eyeliner
    • 2x Stilla liquid eyeliner
    • ABH Brow Gel – already anticipating the demise of my brows but I’ll hope for the best
    • Lorac ProToGo Pallette – deciding which pallette I was going to take was difficult… I picked this one because it has matte and shimmer eye shadows AND bronzer AND 2 blushes!!
    • 12x Lipstick – Probably a bit excessive… but considering I narrowed it down from 35+ lipsticks I think this is maybe reasonable-ish amount?


  • Laptop
  • GoPro Hero 4 Silver
  • Kindle Paperwhite
  • Blue Life One X Smart Phone
  • Bestek Travel Converter – could not live without this
  • USB rechargeable headlamp
  • 2x external hard drives – don’t really need two, will probably sell one to anoter vol
  • 3x flash drives
  • 1 cheap bluetooth speaker
  • Headphones

Random/Household Items:

  • Sleeping bag
  • Small travel blanket
  • Set of fitted sheets
  • Gerber multitool
  • 2 Nalgene water bottles – Wish I had a Hydroflask to keep my water cold
  • Non-stick pan
  • A bunch of spices
  • True lemon packets – I love lemon water, this product is legit magic
  • Starbucks instant coffee packets
  • 2 decks of cards
  • Physical pictures of home
  • Sharkie, my 3 foot long stuffed shark/best friend!!! – I had a ton of extra room left in my suitcase and since Sharkie weighs less than a pound, he was able to make the cut!

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