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.


  • One pair of jeans, but because of the extreme heat, most prefer to wear khakis
  • Loose cotton tops—some sleeveless and some with sleeves to protect bare shoulders from sunburn
  • One or two light jackets or a few sweatshirts, sweaters, microfiber garments
  • Underwear—cotton is best
  • One or two pairs of shorts
  • For women, several skirts or dresses, below knee length
  • For men, two or three pairs of lightweight pants (cotton or cotton blend)
  • Two or more dressy outfits for more formal work or social occasions
  • Belt(s)
  • One or two hats or caps for sun protection
  • Two or three pairs of socks 


  • One pair of sturdy sandals
  • Trail/running shoes
  • One pair dress shoes 

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)
  • Two quick-dry towels
  • Two pairs of prescription eyeglasses
  • Contact lens solution
  • Sunglasses
  • Hair conditioner
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Hair ties or elastics
  • Nail clippers
  • Keeper or Diva Cup
  • Kitchen
  • Soft-drink mixes
  • Sturdy water bottle(s) (e.g., Nalgene) or unbreakable thermos to carry clean water
  • Your favorite recipes
  • Plastic food storage containers with airtight lids/Ziploc bags
  • French press/drip filter
  • Spices
  • Can opener


  • 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
  • Camera and accessories, such as SD cards or film
  • USB flash memory key (at least one, perhaps several)
  • Plug adapters from U.S. (two flat prong to European/African; two round prong)
  • Flashlight/Headlamp
  • Swiss Army knife and small whetstone
  • Daypack or sports bag
  • Pictures of your family and friends to share with Senegalese friends
  • One or two bathing suits
  • Watch
  • Audio player and small speakers
  • Rechargeable Batteries
  • Three or four bandannas
  • Scissors
  • One set of fitted and flat sheets—double size is best
  • Light sleeping bag
  • Calendar or schedule book

Nice to Have but Not Essential

  • Rain jacket/ poncho
  • Books (the Peace Corps office has many, but additions are always welcome)
  • Maps
  • Musical instrument (if you play one and can tolerate possible damage to it from the climate)
  • Cosmetics
  • Games (e.g., Frisbee, Scrabble, playing cards)
  • Sports equipment (e.g., football, softball and mitt, tennis racket) Solar battery charger and/or cell phone charger
  • Sunscreen, at least SPF 15
  • Comfortable pillow(s) and pillowcase(s)
  • Notebooks, pens, envelopes (all available locally, but expensive and of low quality)
  • Knitting supplies and patterns
  • Packing tape, scotch tape, duct tape