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.


  • Four to five pairs of casual lightweight pants for work (many schools require you to wear pants, as does the Peace Corps during training. Quick-dry travel pants are practical.)
  • Four to five button-down or polo-style shirts (short-sleeved with a collar, cotton-poly blends)
  • Several T-shirts
  • Approximately three pairs of lightweight shorts; shorts should be loose and knee-length
  • Underwear
  • Note: Lightweight slacks, flip-flops or sandals, and a nice Hawaiian-style shirt is appropriate for almost any occasion: It is considered professional for work and is also proper church attire for males.


  • One or two pairs of loose, lightweight, casual long pants (cotton or linen)
  • One or two long-sleeved shirts (protection from mosquitoes at night)
  • One or two pairs of long loose shorts (at least knee-length); one should be quick-drying to wear over a swimsuit
  • Two to three loose skirts that cover your knees. Note: Host families will most likely give you some as gifts, but skirts are required during training, so be prepared. You will accumulate many skirts throughout your Peace Corps service.
  • A couple of sleeveless tops that are not too tight
  • Several T-shirts (plain-colored scoop or v-neck are ideal)
  • One or two casual, conservative dresses (not see-through or sleeveless); you can buy local dresses and have them made, so you really only need one or two dresses to start
  • Cotton half-slip (nylon is too hot) or bike shorts for wearing under skirts
  • Several bras, both regular and sports bras
  • Underwear Outside/over clothes
  • Long-sleeved, lightweight, waterproof jacket
  • Polar fleece/sweatshirt/hoodie for boat rides and plane trips
  • Hat
  • Flip-flops
  • Reef walkers

Personal Hygiene and Toiletry Item

  • 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)
  • Deodorant
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Baby powder
  • Baby wipes
  • Quick-dry towel


  • Basketball shorts
  • Dryfit/synthetic shirts
  • Yoga capris
  • Rashguard
  • Board shorts
  • Running shoes/socks


  • 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. 
  • Small gifts for host family and friends (not required); knickknacks for the house; pictures, books, or calendars of American scenes; souvenirs from your area; hard candies that will not melt or spoil; photos to give away
  • Good pair of sunglasses
  • Waterproof backpack
  • High-quality water bottle
  • Mini dry bags for electronics
  • Full-sized dry bag
  • Goggles/snorkel/flippers
  • Good small knife or mult-itool (Swiss Army or Leatherman)
  • Resealable baggies
  • Duffel/overnights bag
  • Very basic set of school supplies (training is like class, so bring a few pens, folders, spiral bound notebooks, though the Peace Corps will provide some too)
  • Good scissors/razor for cutting hair, etc.
  • Sewing kit
  • Good lighter 
  • Yoga mat
  • Spare flat sheet
  • Start-up supply of stationery
  • Watch