Jul 5, 2013

Logistics and Packing

If you missed my last post, which also happened to be my first, I will be leaving for Ndola Zambia in a mere 12 days.

I started trying to figure out the logistics and what to pack for this trip almost as soon as I found out I was going. As the trip approaches, I have my essentials covered (I hope!) and am trying to continue refining my packing list.

This is not your typical trip to Africa. We will be in an educational/business setting, so they typical "travel attire" will not work. We are limited on our luggage to only 40 lbs. While our flights from Dallas to London, and from London to Johannesburg, allow a 50  lb limit, our flight from Johannesburg to Ndola only allows 40... So packing for a 3 week trip (after you add in travel time) with 40 lbs and a carry on will be interesting to say the least.

Based on my research thus far, here are a few things I have picked up for international travel...

The Essentials: 
- Make sure you have your shots (for Zambia I needed Yellow Fever, Typhoid, and updated regular shots)
- Make sure you have your passport with 3 blank Visa pages and that it has at least 6 months until expiration
- Leave all your medications in their original packages and take a doctor’s note on official letterhead

Staying Connected:
- Determine how you will "phone home" (We have AT& T, which offers phone plans, but there are other alternatives. Apps like HeyTell allow you to turn your phone into a walkie-talkie with others who have the app - bonus... It's FREE! I will also take my iPad to (hopefully) keep this blog up-to-date and Facetime with family)
- Figure out where you will have access to the Internet (I should be able to pay for Internet access at the hotel, and should have some access while at the University)
- Make sure you have all the necessities to "power up", a voltage converter and outlet converter (I got both of these off of Amazon)

The Fun Stuff:
- Make sure you have a good Camera (duh... right? - I am taking a nice Cannon SLR)
- Make sure your clothing is versatile so you can mix-and-match
- Ladies, take a Maxi Dress (or two), they are comfortable and yet dressy enough for business
- Choose your shoes wisely, take 1 - 2 pairs of functional/versatile shoes (Shoes are my absolute weakness, you can ask my husband, my suitcase is typically 1/2 full with shoes before the clothes go in...)

I am sure there are plenty of other things to consider, but those are the basics.

Thanks for reading!


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