I like knowing what to expect. Everyone has quirks and one of mine has to do with being prepared. Going with the flow is cool too – just not a top quality I’d describe of myself. The trouble with packing for this trip to Uganda is that the list of unknowns outweighs everything else.
Here are the basics:
- 2 carry-on bags (1 small duffel, 1 back-pack)
- 3 weeks in Uganda (with 2 days in Rwanda)
- 4 lodging situations (all different, minimal-to-no details)
I have searched to the depths of the internet to find a good packing list or detailed information on what to pack for a similar trip. I’ve never been so disappointed in the internet in my life. My face looked similar to this:
I’ve gotten a few great tips from my in-laws and a few friends who have traveled to East Africa. The advice I have received/found the absolute most is to “pack light”. I once tried to “pack light” for a weekend trip to NYC – it went horribly awry. But I’m trying – I’m really trying. Just 3.5 weeks out from the trip, we received a “recommended packing list” from one of our partner organizations. The list is basically a mile long. It was pretty light on clothing, but heavy on various gear.
While it would have been nice to have that list months ago, it has been incredibly helpful. Would I have packed a flashlight or headlamp otherwise? No. Did I know that electricity at our hotels would be intermittent? Yes. Did I put two and two together? Nope, sure didn’t. Was I planning on using my phone as an alarm clock like I do at home? Yes. Is that stupid? Yes. Why? Again with the electricity, you can’t rely on it being charged – now I have a battery operated alarm clock. I’ve got a link below to the list – and as you browse it, remember that all of those things must be packed into two small carry-on bags.
So I have had a few months to pull the items together that I thought I needed and the last week or so to refine the packing list. Next up this week, Part II of the pre-trip packing post as I provide photo evidence of what will and won’t fit into my luggage. Okay, maybe don’t hold your breath or anything – but it does have some comedic potential. Stay tuned!