Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Things to take with you

As an introduction to preparing for my trip to Laos, which won't happen until December 2011, Steve Rutledge, who is spearheading the Adopt A Village in Laos project, has compiled this list of things one needs to take in one's backpack.

  • Small bottle of hand sanitizer
  • Drugs for bladder infection (prescription)
  • Bug spray with DEET
  • Full bottle of extra strength Tylenol and another one of Advil
  • Vitamins - 1000 mg Vitamin C and One-A-Day
  • Bath towel (large)
  • Saree (for women)
  • Protein or snack bars (no chocolate in them, it will melt) as a supplement to meals.
  • DO NOT take jewelry. We do not want to show wealth - could be targets for theft and we want to show respect to them by not flaunting what we have.
  • Salt packets (if you are heavy salt eaters) and put in re-sealable plastic bag
  • Large roll of toilet paper unless you want to use sticks
  • Flip-flops for the villages and old running or hiking shoes for the treks
  • Swimming clothes (if you dare to swim in the river)
  • Flashlight (small) - will need it after dark for sure
  • Re-sealable plastic bags for anything you need to keep dry.
  • Passport sized photos (4 cm x 6 cm for Vietnam) - Canadian passport photos are slightly larger so they should do. Take 4 in total - 2 for Vietnam, 1 for Laos and 1 extra in case you need it.
  • For Vietnam, get a Visa permit letter on-line - it is cheaper. It is even cheaper if going as a group and one person do the visa letter application. It takes three days for the letter to appear on-line where it can be printed. You need to take this with you along with an entry/exit permit which can be downloaded at the same time as the visa letter.
  • Passport cannot have less than 6 months left on it before expiry
  • Suntan lotion if you burn easily (at least a 35)
  • Snacks for flight - suggest also hard-to-find candy for descents if your ears are prone to uncomfortable pressure changes
  • Balloons and wrapped candy for the kids - we will have more than that but you will be disappointed if you are by yourself for some time and don't have anything to give them.
  • Lip gloss (Chocolate flavour is OK because the lip gloss will likely melt anyway if you leave it out).
  • Luggage: you can take 2 bags for check-in - total can weigh from 20 kg (44 lbs.) on Cathay Pacific to 23 kg (50 lbs.) for Air Canada. Carry-on - 10 kg (22 lbs.), but there are size limitations. You can also carry a notebook bag or purse, duty-free stuff. Rules change so doublecheck before you go. No gels, toothpaste, perfume, etc,..
  • Note: If you plan to stopover in Vietnam overnight due to long connections, you may want to check your bags right through to Luang Prabang and just throw some overnight stuff in your backpack.
  • If you have a Canadian flag pin, I suggest you wear it.
  • Schedule appointment with travel clinic 3 to 4 months before you plan to leave. Estimate $500 for shots and medications.

1 comment:

  1. I love the redundancy of the "NO CHOCOLATE" in the list. Hehehe.

    If I might suggest, you ought to bring your own eating utensil and something in lieu of matches/lighter.

    I'd suggest these: