The title says it all. If you’re planning to travel to a developing country, there are some items that you absolutely must have in your suitcase. The very art of packing for any trip concerns bringing the necessities with you for the duration of your travels, with the expectation that you will be able to find and acquire anything else that you may have forgotten. Most of us have also booked a room in a hotel with at least somewhat modern accommodations and luxuries. It doesn’t have to be L’Hotel Paris but even any basic Motel 6 has clean, running water and a comfortable bed. Traveling to the developing world means preparing for an often unavoidable lack of amenities and if you didn’t pack something beforehand you’re likely going to be completely out of luck. Every country is different, some are less hospitable than others for a variety of reasons, so you have to be ready for any eventuality that you might very well come across (and probably will). So think of this as your survival kit. These are the items that you must be sure you’ve packed before you even leave for the airport.
- Toilet Paper
You may be forced to go to the bathroom in places and environments that you are not used to doing your business in. Odds are there will not be toilet paper waiting for you next to a hole in the ground. Bring your own TP with you, you’ll be thanking me later.
- Baby Wipes
This is for a different reason, but if you bring enough you can handle the same job with this as well. You won’t always encounter clean water suitable for washing your hands and face, so these are the next best thing. Trust me, you’ll wish you had brought more of them with you. So whatever you think is sufficient, double it. Then pack it in your bag.
This isn’t even a question. You want this with you 24/7. Think about all of the things you are going to touch while you are there. The markets, the bus, computer cafes, the people you will meet and greet, the animals you’ll most definitely encounter. You are going to be using this constantly, especially before every meal. Why? You may be eating with your hands. There aren’t always utensils around and in some regions they’re not even available. The customs require eating with your hands.
Some places just don’t have consistent working electricity. Bring along some kind of flashlight, something you can always depend on at night. LED models often work best and offer longer bulb and battery life.
- Chargers/Adapters/Surge Protector
No matter where you decide to travel, you’ll always remember to bring you battery chargers for all of your electronic devices. But electrical currents vary from country to country, as do the types of outlets you can find. Bring along the right adapters and have a surge protector along as well so you don’t overpower your electronics.
No trip is complete without having your entertainment along with you. You’ve remembered to bring your chargers and adapters, but there’s nothing like some good tunes to keep you moving from destination to destination. Having a good pair of headphones to listen to music or watch movies on your devices will let you enjoy your content anywhere. Sites like The Instrument Reviewer have a wide range of headphones to fit any size budget. Good headphones are a smart investment for travelers, especially when there are multiple airplane trips necessary.
- Clothes Detergent
This depends on how long you plan to travel really, but if it’s for any longer than a week or so, you may want to wash some clothes. You may not be able to find a box of Tide all that easily.
- Spare Cash
Always have some extra cash packed away in your bag. You never know what might happen; you could get robbed, you might need to grease a few palms, you could find yourself in a situation where bribery could solve all of your problems. The fact of the matter is this; credit cards aren’t as widely accepted as they might be in the U.S. and running to an ATM for a little more cash isn’t always a widespread option out there either.