What Not to Pack for Third World Countries


When you’re getting ready for a trip, deciding what you need to pack can be hard, especially if you’re not working with a lot of space. If you’re traveling to a third-world country, here is a list of things to leave at home:

  • Laptop and Other Expensive Electronics

Unless you’re traveling for business, leave your laptop and other expensive electronics at home, especially if you’re backpacking and traveling by bus. The risk of theft is always a possibility, and losing something like a laptop can put a serious damper on your vacation – plus, hostels and hotels usually have a computer for communal use.

If you really want to bring a device that will hook you up to the Internet, a good, smaller alternative is a smartphone. Just be sure your data and roaming are turned off for the duration of your trip!

  • Excessive Toiletries

Keep your toiletries to a minimum. They’re bulky and can take up a lot of room if you don’t edit accordingly. Basics like shampoo, conditioner, soap and lotion can all be purchased at any local pharmacy or grocery store. The things that are more difficult, if not impossible to find, are specific brands. Pack enough of the things you may not be able to find once you’re on the road to last through the end of your trip, and a small amount of the basics. Purchase additional items when necessary.

  • Flashy, Expensive Jewelry and Clothes With Labels

You want to keep a low profile while traveling, and flashy or expensive jewelry is a sure way to stand out. The same goes for clothing and accessories that have big logos and labels. Leave them at home!

  • Heels

Also bulky and unnecessary unless you plan to attend a fancy event, like a wedding. Flats are more comfortable, practical and easier to pack. If you must pack heels, wedges are a good choice. Stilettos and cobblestone are a dangerous mix.

  • Hairdryer, Curling Iron, Straightener

Again, bulky! If you can’t live without a blow dryer, buy one that folds up and doesn’t take up a lot of space. Or you could just opt to go au natural and save yourself time, space in your backpack and heat on your hair.

  • Anything You Would be Devastated to Lose

Only you know what this is – family heirloom? A photograph? Jewelry? Make sure that none of these things accidentally make it with you while traveling, or risk losing them.

It’s not that you’re going to get robbed the second you start traveling. Odds are your trip will be perfect and nothing will go wrong, but it’s better to be safe than sorry, no? Plus, the lugging around less with you will save your shoulders from some aching!

Can you think of anything else you don’t pack when you travel? 




About Author

Ellen wanders. She wandered her way through Europe in 2007 during a semester abroad in Madrid, then through parts of the South Pacific after college graduation, and spent a year in South and Central America during 2010. Most recently, she went on a solo adventure south of the border to research and write the travel guidebook Go Girl Guides: Mexico.

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