Be sure to click on photos for full effect! 😉
JANE: Pack what follows during this time of year, the end of their rainy season…in addition to the obvious stuff, such as underwear, socks, or your passport. (Remember that passports must be at least 6 months shy of expiration date.)
- Camera – extra battery, battery charger, enough memory, lens cleaner (lens gets splattered with salt water on ocean boat excursions), plastic to cover camera during sudden rain storms (the storms will hit in a flash unexpectedly).
- Clothing recommended by a store such as EMS or REI for this climate: hiking shoes w/ ankle support (I was walking on uneven pavement and twisted my ankle. Probably would have sprained it, had my hiking boots not provided me with enough ankle support) (It would be ideal to have hiking boots that are easy to get out of and put back on because you’ll be taking them on and off repeatedly when going inside and outside.); short-sleeved shirts; trekking/safari pants that can be unzipped to become shorts; sun hat with UV protection. (I packed cotton/spandex t-shirts and yoga capris that were on the tight side, and a baseball cap, all of which were roasting hot. Clothing should be roomy and made of recommended materials that are cooling in such extreme heat.)
- KOJI: I wore Vibram’s Five Finger shoes in place of hiking shoes for much of the island activities. They worked great in the water and protected against cuts from the coral. Also, here is the link for the REI safari pants that Mummo and I both used. It comes in women’s as well. http://www.rei.com/product/746908/rei-sahara-convertible-pants-mens-32-inseam
- JANE: Bring no more than an airline carry-on sized suitcase; backpack; and smaller waist or shoulder pack for day trips. There’s lots of carting around, and this is more than enough to deal with.
- Pack less than you think you’ll need. You can buy cheap (and nice) clothing in the markets. (Expect to sweat so much, your clothes will be drenched; you’ll want to hand-wash along the way anyway.) Leave empty space in your bags to have enough room for purchases on the trip.
- Toiletries: wipes, tissues, nose drops (which I needed because I developed allergies (sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes) on the plane to and in Dubai…perhaps because of the nasty airline air and the sandy, desert air such that I could feel the sand in my throat?), sun block; mosquito repellant (One day Koji and I got a total of 70 mosquito bites from the knees down on both legs in about 10 minutes!) KOJI: Bringing some hand sanitizer might have helped too at certain points. I also brought some Air-Borne which helped keep our immune system up. We never got to a point beyond a small sniffle throughout the trip despite all the different conditions we encountered.
- JANE: Small umbrella to shield you from the hot sun.
- KOJI: We brought ponchos but never used them. They are useful though, esp for sheltering electronics from the rain.
- JANE: Bathing suit
- A shawl (for women). (Can help to shield the hot sun and add just enough warmth for cold, air-conditioned spaces.)
- Sun glasses:
If you wear glasses, the kind that change to sun glasses when it gets darker would be ideal. (I had to keep on changing back and forth from regular glasses to sun glasses – rather cumbersome… However, if this is my greatest problem in life, I should be so lucky.) KOJI: I brought cheap sunglasses with 100% UV protection, not my fancy sunglasses I usually use. You have to remember on trips like this, its function over fashion, and you can have many of your possessions banged around.
- JANE: Wrist watch with alarm clock: I didn’t bring mine because I always use my cell phone as a watch. You will only be using your cell phone on the way to the airport at trip beginning and home from the airport on trip end. So, wear a watch. (This will eliminate having to ask your travel partner, “What time is it?” 24/7.)
- Disposable lens cleaners for eye glasses.
- Bacitracin and rubbing alcohol swabs. KOJI: Band-aids and gauze too!
- JANE: Copies of passport and credit cards (fronts & backs) – in case they get lost or stolen. KOJI: It’s also useful to scan all important documents and just email them to yourself and a close family member. That way if you lose everything, all you need is internet access to have access to all your important documents.
- JANE: Cell phone & charger: make sure it’s fully charged at beginning and end of trip. (If you miss your final plane connection, as I did, it helped that my phone was ready to go.) KOJI: Don’t forget plug adapters for all the countries you are traveling to. Most larger hotel chains will cater to the US plug, but it’s always good to be prepared.
While on the trip:
- JANE: Carry PLENTY of bottled water…more than you think you’ll need. (See page entitled “Adventure Hike.”) KOJI: Not just for health, but in general, a well-hydrated person will be less irritable as well. You’d be surprised to see just how closely related hydration and mood are.
- JANE: Take Immodium as a precaution after eating street food. KOJI: Even food that is not questionably prepared could still cause your stomach to get upset as it uses different ingredients (even water) that your body is not familiar with. Precautionary Immodium can backfire though, and you could end up being ‘plugged up’ for the rest of the trip!