Indonesia Travel Packing List

This is an overview of the most important things I packed in preparation for two years of service as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Indonesia. However, this list could also be useful for anyone planning to visit Indonesia in general (i.e.: my parents).

There are some things I’m sure I’m leaving out, but you can often buy things you need in Indonesia. There’s actually a lot of stuff to purchase here, but if you’re very particular with certain items (like me with my headphones), then you should definitely come prepared.

Electronics:

  • iPhone (Best travel tool ever! I also have a waterproof case for it, which comforts me since there’s a lot of sudden rain here.)
  • iPod
  • Laptop
  • Camera (Waterproof case or waterproof camera would probably be best.)
  • Travel Universal Adapter/Surge Protector
  • External Hard drive (I recommend Seagate 1Terabyte, which I bought in Indonesia, or the biggest one you can get for backing up all your documents –and if you’re in the Peace Corps—for stocking up on entertainment.)
  • Flash drive (they are super portable and handy.)
  • Headphones (Get good ones. Indonesia is loud. Also, get extra pair for everyday use. They will break and I can’t find the ones I like here.)

*All of these items have carrying cases. Traveling definitely bumps your stuff around so it’s best to have these well protected.

Clothing:

I didn’t bring anything particularly special to wear. Indonesia is a Muslim country so you must dress conservatively most of the time, but I have clothing for every occasion and I’ve used everything. I didn’t really pack light when it came to this.

  • Jeans
  • Jeggings (These sound stupid, but they are awesome.)
  • Tank tops (I usually layer these under long sleeve shirts and then you can have them for other occasions too.)
  • Short-sleeved shirts
  • Long-sleeved shirts
  • Button downs and other dress shirts (although batik is standard in Indonesia, so no need to overdo it with the professional clothing required by the PC.)
  • Skirts that reach my ankle
  • Dress pants
  • Leggings
  • Yoga pants/capris (* I wear these the most since they can look less sporty with the right shirt.)
  • Light Jacket
  • Thicker Jacket (mostly in case I travel anywhere cold, but right now it smells like mold hard core.)
  • Rain jacket
  • Sweatshirt
  • Cardigan
  • Socks
  • Underwear
  • Bathing Suit
  • Sarong (I brought one and bought another one here. These are so useful and easy to pack.)
  • Bathing Suit

Shoes:

  • Keen Waterproof Hiking Shoes
  • Converse
  • Flip Flops
  • Running Shoes
  • Black Flats (The Peace Corps requires us to wear dress shoes on most occasions. You will destroy these shoes in these roads. They sell comfy black flats that are plastic and easy to replace. Every girl here has these and they are easy to find.)

Bags:

Backpacks and daypacks can be bought here with ease. I am thankful everyday for the backpack and daypack I have and the most important feature is the rain cover and hip straps. They are comfortable, portable and have traveled well so far.

  • Large suitcase with wheels (This is mostly for future Peace Corps Volunteers who will be moving here for two years.)
  • Deuter 32 Liter Backpack
  • Eiger Daypack (I bought this in Indonesia and I use it everyday to carry my computer and other necessities. The smaller the better.)
  • PacSafe Purse (This is nice because it fits everything I need for walking around the city and though Indonesia is the safest place I’ve been in, it’s always nice to have the extra security measure.)

Household:

  • Quick Dry Towel (Mine isn’t quick dry – that would have been best.)
  • Nalgene 1L Water Bottle (I thought this would be superfluous, it’s one of the best things I brought.)
  • Full Size Sheets (these were useful during training, but took up a lot of space. I wouldn’t bring these again and just buy sheets here, if needed.)
  • Bahasa Indonesia Dictionary (Tuttle Compact Indonesian Dictionary – I highly recommend this one.)
  • Guitar (This is mostly for future PCVs who will have abundant time. I bought mine in Indonesia.)

Toiletries:

  • Loofa
  • Razor and many replacement heads
  • Deodorant (multiple)
  • Diva Cup (if you’re a girl, get this and learn to use this ASAP.)
  • Sunblock
  • Face Lotion with SPF
  • Moisturizing Face Lotion
  • Body Lotion (Most lotion here is expensive, not that good, and often has whitening. This was heavy, but worth it)
  • Face Wash (most are also sold with whitening)
  • Dental Floss (multiple packs)
  • Chapstick (multiple)
  • Hair Ties
  • Hair Brush
  • Make Up
  • Make Up Remover

Documents/Financial Stuff:

  • Passport
  • Immunization Records
  • Health Records (required by the PC)
  • Bank information (especially if you plan to use funds from home)
  • Traveler’s checks (which I’ve never used.)
  • Credit/Debit Card (preferably one that won’t expire prior to end-of-service.)

**Big advice: Open a PayPal account in the United States before you leave—because PayPal knows where you are located— and set it up with your home bank account. This will save you a lot of trouble in the long run.

Other:

  • Swiss Army knife
  • Zip lock bags
  • Space saver bags (which is how I got all the previously listed clothes to fit in my suitcase.)
  • Sunglasses
  • Waterproof watch
  • Some jewelry
  • Photos
  • Notebook
  • Gel Ink Pens
  • Markers
  • Crayons
  • Melatonin (though I haven’t used it at all)
  • Movies/TV Shows/ Music /Books as electronic files

Gifts:

  • American candy (chocolate is ok if it’s in foil wrappers, like Dove Chocolate)
  • Household items
  • Crayons/Coloring Books for Kids
  • T-shirts/key chains/mementos from your home city/state/etc.

Items I Didn’t Bring But Wish I Did:

I’ve starred (*) the things I would get now if I could.

  • Kindle * (Trust me you will want this! I’m getting one soon.)
  • Quick Dry Towel *
  • Waterproof case for my camera*
  • Waterproof bags
  • Waterproof Running Shoes (which another PCV brought and jumped into a river with!)
  • Camelback Air Bladder
  • Tiny Camelback Backpack
  • Noise-Cancelling Headphones *
  • Extra headphones*
  • Extra iPhone case
  • More Yoga pants *
  • More teaching materials like flashcards, children’s books, etc.**
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