What to Pack:Traveling to a 3rd World Country

Since I’m moving to Panama soon, I thought I’d make a series of posts about “What to Pack.” These are just some helpful hints for those of you whom may be traveling to a third world country  yourself- these are things I’ve learned from my previous experience of studying abroad in Madagascar.

1. INVEST IN A WATER PURIFIER.  You can easily find a nice one at REI and they are worth the money. I found out the hard way that Giardia is everywhere. I now use a UV purifier- just make sure you bring extra batteries as batteries can be hard to come by in 3rd World Countries

This is what I use. I love it!

2. BRING MULTIVITAMINS. I don’t take them in the US, but in 3rd World Countries your diet may not include all the vitamins that your body needs. In Madagascar, for example, I had a diet of cow fat and rice (not by choice). This is considered a delicacy.

I like these because they have both significant iron and calcium

3. BRING CLOTHES YOU DONT LOVE. This way you can donate them to the local people when you return home to all of your wealth. I donated my rain boots after Madagascar- a place you can simply not buy something like rain boots.

Yes, mine were fancy like these!

4. INSIST ON BRINGING ANTIBIOTICS JUST IN CASE- I like to bring Ciprofloxacin. It saved my life in Madagascar when I suddenly came down with strep throat my second day in the country.

5. LEAVE SPACE– You know you’re going to bring back a ton of cool souvenirs.  Just be smart- know what is legal to export and make sure to follow eco-friendly guidelines. I.E. don’t take Rosewood, butterflies or chameleons from Madagascar- don’t worry I didn’t do this, but I saw other people trying.

Photo via Pieter Bauermeister for The New York Times

Anything I forgot? Hope that helps and bon voyage! ~B

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