Let’s just state it and get it over with – if you are packing more than a medium suitcase or backpack for your trip to the South Pacific, you are packing too much. There is an old saying, “put everything out you want to take and then put half back and you’ll still have too much.” Your total suitcase weight for trips to the South Pacific should be 10 kg (or 22 pounds). If you go 16 kg (35 pounds) or more, you are hindering your health and your mobility on this trip. So categorize, separate, and put all items in plastic or other moisture-proof bags. Along with your principle 10 kg (22 pound) bag, pack a small day or flight bag. When checking in for a flight, place anything that cannot be replaced into your flight bag, also called your day bag.
Don’t think you can make the weight recommendation? Let’s think about what we’ve learned:
- Leave all synthetics behind to prevent prickly heat
- Leave all jewelry behind to prevent theft or curious sharks.
- Leave all perfumed scents behind to prevent attracting malaria-carrying mosquito and itchy nono bites.
- Pack loose-fitting, cotton washables that are light in color and weight. If in doubt of the dress code where you are traveling, pack the minimum and buy what you need locally. Stick to clothes you can rinse in your room’s sink.
- Pack one item for the cool nights in mid-winter (July / August) if you are going to Cooks Island, Tonga, or New Caledonia.
- As already mentioned in an earlier post, pack or buy a pareo or muumuu.
- Take comfortable running shoes and rubber thongs that have been broken in. Scuba diver rubber booties are lightweight and perfect for crossing rivers and reef walking. If you want to enjoy the night-life, a pair of dressy shoes may be needed.
- If camping, you’ll need to pack a nylon waterproof tent, but not a sleeping bag. A simple youth hostel sheet sleeping bag liner will do. Here’s how to make one. http://beersandbeans.com/2011/07/27/this-is-your-mommas-sleep-sheet/ or http://www.trusty-travel-tips.com/travel-sheet.html
- Depending on where you are traveling, packing a mosquito net is a good idea.
- If you plan to scuba dive, check with the local operators to ensure they have what you’ll need, so you will not have to pack your own scuba gear.
- Pack some reading materials and extra batteries.
- Pack some photos or post cards of your home town, your workplace, your home to show the locals.
- Pack some small trinket gifts like lapel pins, Kennedy half dollars, etc. for the locals. Miniature compasses sold in camping stores also make good gifts.
- Gray sunglass lenses are best in the tropics. They provide the least amount of distortion. Take an extra pair if you can.
Cite for September Posts: Stanley, D., South Pacific Handbook.