Indonesia

Packing List

This list has been compiled by Volunteers serving in-country and is based on their experience. Use it as an informal guide in making your own list, bearing in mind that each experience is individual. There is no perfect list! You obviously cannot bring everything on the list, so consider those items that make the most sense to you personally and professionally. You can always have things sent to you later. As you decide what to bring, keep in mind there is a 100-pound weight limit on baggage. And remember, you can get almost everything you need in-country.

Baggage & weight limit: The Peace Corps limits the size and weight of baggage and will not pay to transport baggage that exceeds these limits. The allowance is two checked pieces of luggage with combined dimensions of both pieces not to exceed 107 inches (length + width + height) and a carry-on bag with dimensions of no more than 45 inches. Checked baggage should not exceed 100 pounds total with a maximum weight of 50 pounds per bag.

Peace Corps Volunteers are not allowed to take pets, weapons, explosives, radio transmitters (shortwave radios are permitted), automobiles, or motorcycles to their assignments. Do not pack flammable materials or liquids such as lighter fluid, cleaning solvents, hair spray, or aerosol containers.

General Clothing

  • Many of you, male and female, will be given a uniform by your school. Knowing this may reduce the amount of “teaching” clothes you feel you need to bring.
  • Tailoring is very cheap here, so don’t be afraid to pack lightly for service and plan on having some things made once you arrive.
  • Indonesian teachers dress very well; don’t expect to wear T-shirts, jeans, and flip-flops to school.
  • Higher-quality clothes that can withstand two years of handwashing are preferred. You’ll also appreciate clothes made of lightweight and/or fast-drying cloth.
  • You can find most clothing you need here, although average (or above)-sized Americans may have difficulty and will need to get things made.
  • Leather bags or jackets may mold quickly here.
  • All clothing should be clean upon arrival. 

Recommended Items for Women

  • Pants: Dressy pants for school and events; jeans and casual pants for outside of school. Shorts/capris for around-the-house wear or vacation
  • Skirts: Skirts that fall below the knee. Black is a safe, conservative color choice. Some Volunteers will be at conservative schools that require long (to the ankle) skirts; if you have them, bring them. If not, and you end up needing them, they can be made here.
  • Shoes: Comfortable, black, closed-toe, ideally slip-on dress shoes. Assume you will be on your feet all day and walking in them, and taking them off when you enter homes. Athletic shoes, flip-flops, nicer sandals. If you wear a large size, consider bringing extra pairs.
  • Shirts: Dress shirts with three-quarter to full-length sleeves, that button to the collar; other nice shirts; T-shirts for outside of school
  • Other: Cotton underwear; undershirts (to soak up sweat); extra bras; bathing suit; tank tops and shorts as pajamas (assume you may not wear these outside your house, or perhaps even your bedroom)
  • The Diva Cup or a large supply of tampons. (Tampons are rare in Indonesia and pads are a hassle due to difficulty of disposal.) Naproxen or your favorite menstruation-related pain reliever
  • Rain jacket, a light jacket and/or sweatshirt (it can get cold at night or in higher elevations)
  • Sunglasses

Recommended Items for Men

  • Pants: Black pants and other khaki-type pants for school; jeans and casual pants for outside of schools
  • Shoes: Comfortable, black, closed-toe, ideally slip-on dress shoes. Assume you will be on your feet all day and walking in them, and taking them off when you enter homes. Athletic shoes, flip-flops, nicer sandals. If you wear a large size, consider bringing extra pairs.
  • Shirts: Long and short-sleeved button-down shirts (but can buy them here too); T-shirts for outside of school
  • Other: Cotton underwear; undershirts (to soak up sweat); shorts and T-shirts; bathing suit
  • A quality razor or a supply of disposable razors
  • Rain jacket, a light jacket and/or sweatshirt (it can get cold at night or in higher elevations)
  • Sunglasses

Personal Hygiene and Toiletry Items

  • Three-month supply of any medications, to last through pre-service training; copy of prescriptions
  • If you wear glasses, bring two pairs (contact are not recommended due to elevated rates of eye infections and contact solution is hard to find)

Miscellaneous

  • If you plan to travel to other countries for vacation, you may want to bring extra money to suit your travel plans; credit cards or traveler's checks are preferable to cash. There are ATMs in larger cities, and most towns so you may want to bring an ATM card to access a bank account in the U.S.
  • Bandanna
  • Books (tried-and-true TEFL resources, and your favorite literature)
  • Camera
  • Coloring supplies /markers
  • Daypack/small backpack for overnight or shorter trips
  • Deck of cards/card games
  • Deodorant (good quality can be hard to find) Dictionary: English-Bahasa Indonesia
  • Duct tape
  • Frisbee
  • Gifts for your two host families (during training and at site): e.g., U.S.-themed pens, pencils, stickers, key chains, calendars (no need to go overboard with large quantities)
  • Headphones
  • iPod/MP3 player and speakers
  • Laptop/netbook (with extra battery, external hard drive for media if desired)
  • Notebook to be used for learning Bahasa Indonesia during training
  • Rechargeable batteries (with charger) for any device you bring
  • Sewing kit
  • Sheets, flat (one or two)
  • Small mirror
  • Soap box
  • Teaching materials: Assume beginner or low-intermediate level learners (magazines, pop music, puzzle books, “Mad Libs,” “Eye-Spy,” stickers)
  • Towels, fast-drying (one or two)
  • Umbrella (small)
  • U.S. and world maps (in English)
  • Utility knife
  • Wristwatch
  • Zip-close bags in assorted sizes