Don't forget to bring...
It is scary to pack your luggage when travelling to a country where you have never been before. For most of us, keeping the luggage small is essential, but there are some things you should not leave behind:
- Liquid soap. This is generally hard to get on the road, and who wants a wet bar of soap floating around their toilet bag?
- Small toiletteries of every sort you get; tooth paste, shampoo, body lotion etc. Bring as much as you plan to use, in order to avoid buying this on the road: these often come in large bottles in North Africa.
- A tiny bag of salt. When it is hot and you sweat a lot, drinking plenty of water is not enough, you need salt too.
- A bottle of lemon to add to your bottled water. Bottled water soon becomes boring, and lemon is a better solution than resorting to sodas.
- A cap. Caps or hats in North Africa are often very much decorated, and this might not be to your liking.
- Sandals, good quality and used. Open sandals will be your best friend, but they should be of so good quality that they will last the entire journey, and they should already be broken in. You don't want to trod around on sore feet.
- A pocket book. Night life is not well developed in many places around North Africa, the hotel might only have local TV-channels, and sometimes you need to get away from your company. Getting the book you want in a language you understand is harder out here than back in your own country.
- Silk bag (for sleeping). Unless you only travel to popular destinations, and have enough money. For budget travellers, a silk bag turns the hotel bed with the dirty sheets into a comfortable place to dream.
- Trousers that can be made into shorts.
- A fold up bag for keeping souvenirs that won't fit into your tight backpack.
- A pouch to keep dirty clothes, in order to protect the rest of your luggage.
- A neck bag for your money, tickets and passport. Keep this inside your clothes. If you sweat, wrap the content into a plastic bag for protection.
- Put some survival money in your luggage in addition to what you safeguard in the bag around your neck.
- A guide book. Believe it or not, there are still people exploring new countries with no other armour than their wallet and their charm.
- If you have skin that is sensitive to strong sun, bring along sun protection with high SPF. This tend to only be available in beach resorts. Otherwise, the shops sell to locals, who are better protected from nature than most Europeans and Americans.
- Lip balm with UV protection is equally hard to find. Remember that your usual lip balm will start boiling in the hot sun.