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.

Unisex Items

  • Three-month supply of any medicine you will need including over the counter mediations.
  • Two pairs of eyeglasses
  • Lightweight coat or jacket (it gets colder than you think)
  • Waterproof rain jacket or poncho
  • Swimsuit
  • More than two pairs of jeans or casual pants (the comfy ones that you wear at home)
  • Comfortable T-shirts and tank tops (remember, they will get dirty and/or ruined)
  • Sweatpants
  • One or two heavy sweatshirts or sweaters
  • One or two long-sleeved shirts
  • Six to eight pairs of good-quality socks
  • Nice soap and face wash (two-year supply of each)
  • Pair of flip-flops (you can get them here but U.S. quality is better)
  • Baseball hat, sun hat, or visor
  • Headlamp (and batteries)
  • Converter and adaptor
  • Two-year supply of razors and shavers
  • Ankle socks (hard to find here)
  • Zip-close bags (variety of sizes)
  • Sturdy compact umbrella (you can get cheap ones here)
  • Toothbrushes (cheaper quality ones are widely available)
  • A few high-quality, sharp cooking knives
  • Laptop, high-capacity flash drives and/or external hard drive
  • Digital camera
  • iPod/Audio player with portable speakers
  • TSA approved locks
  • Sunglasses (preferably polarized)
  • At least one sturdy water bottle
  • Extra funds for travel and vacations
  • Nice pens, markers
  • Sunscreen
  • Deodorant
  • Backpack/shoulder bag
  • Gold Bond Medicated Powder

For Men

  • Two or three pairs of professional pants
  • Three or four button-down shirts, polo shirts (both short- and long-sleeved)
  • Two or three pairs of walking-length shorts
  • 10-15 pairs of underwear
  • Shorts
  • One or two belts
  • Good facial shaving cream

For Women

  • Three to five knee-length or longer skirts or dresses
  • Three blouses
  • Two nice pairs of pants for work (khakis, nice jeans—non-weathered—are also good)
  • One or two nice outfits for going out
  • Tank tops are fine as long as they are not spaghetti straps (not appropriate for work)
  • Five T-shirts
  • Two pairs of leggings
  • Three to five scarves (to jazz up outfits)
  • Facial moisturizer with sunscreen
  • Favorite toiletries( i.e., shampoo, conditioner, or facewash)
  • 10-20 pairs of underwear
  • Sports bras and your regular bras
  • Hair ties/hair elastics/bobby pins/hair gel/mousse
  • Six-month supply of female hygiene products (especially tampons)
  • If you wear makeup, bring some!
  • If you wear jewelry, bring some (but leave your mother’s pearls at home)
  • Two-piece bathing suits are OK
  • Bag/purse with a zipper


Volunteers walk many miles every week, so shoes wear out quickly. Female Volunteers suggest bringing one pair of fashionable sandals or shoes, as there are chances to dress up a bit and go out once in a while. People with large feet (especially men who wear size 11 or larger) should bring an extra pair or two of shoes, as larger sizes are hard to come by in Mozambique.

  • Professional shoes
  • Athletic shoes/running shoes with good soles
  • Durable walking sandals

Miscellaneous (recommended but not required)

  • 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
  • Watch
  • Money belt
  • Duct tape
  • Leatherman tool or Swiss army knife
  • Rechargeable batteries and charger
  • Mosquito tent (convenient for use when traveling around so you don’t have to carry and put up a mosquito net every time—easy to set up, automatic mosquito-free/bug-free sleeping)
  • Crayons, markers, colored pencils, cheap paint sets, and colored chalk
  • Medium-sized towels (large ones are difficult to wash) or quick–dry towels
  • Scissors
  • Sewing kit
  • Printed pictures of home, family, and friends
  • Lightweight sleeping bag or fleece blanket
  • Games (Scrabble, chess, Frisbee, cards, etc.)
  • Compact tent, if you like to camp
  • Hobby materials e.g., journal, art supplies, seeds for veggies, crossword books
  • Favorite books (E-reader)
  • Tweezers/nail clippers
  • Hairbrush/comb
  • Somewhat professional big purse/bag for work
  • Small pocket notebooks
  • Maps