Packing List for Group Tours

With so many countries and regions around the world, your packing list will vary widely depending on where you are going, time of year you are travelling and what tour you choose to do.

Luggage

On all of our tours you will be expected to be able to carry your bags. You must be able to comfortably lift your luggage, sometimes up several flights of stairs where elevators are not available. There will also be times when you will have to get your luggage through crowded streets which are often dirty or cobbled to bus or train stations. At times you may have to store your luggage in lockers. Luggage too large for lockers will have to be left insecurely or carried for the duration of the day.

We recommend that you bring along a frameless backpack or a sports type shoulder bag as these are less bulky and easier to handle than rigid suitcases or framed backpacks. Suitcases are unsuitable for our tours and are not recommended. It is very important that you are able to carry all of your belongings long distances so your rucksack must fit comfortably on your shoulders.  Tucan Travel takes no responsibility for any damage to your luggage while on our vehicles or public transport. Make sure your backpack can be waterproofed and contains plenty of pockets as this makes living out of a backpack much easier. It is also recommended that you purchase a rucksack where you can access the main body of the bag in multiple places and not just from the top.

In addition to your main bag, you will need a small daypack for your everyday excursions. Try to keep this bag as light as possible and make sure that all main sections of your bags can be padlocked. This daypack should have enough room to carry plenty of food and snacks for long hikes and treks and be big enough for an overnight excursions.

Sleeping bags

For all tours that include camping nights, you will need to bring a sleeping bag.

The style and thickness of sleeping bag required depends on the region you’re travelling in. For all tours through Patagonia and areas of high altitude (Serengeti NP and Inca Trail for example) we recommend a four season bag with side zip which can be opened out when you reach warmer weather. If you do not have a four season sleeping bag, you may be able to purchase extra blankets locally. If you are travelling through Africa through the height of summer, you do not need a thick sleeping bag as the climate will be warmer. However, please be aware that weather can change from region to region and quite suddenly.

Sleeping bags are not required in the Berber Camp in Morocco but a sleeping bag lining is recommended and if you are travelling in winter you should bring a winter weight sleeping bag as it can get very cold and the bedding provided may not be sufficient.

A sleeping bag liner/sleep sheet is optional on all of our tours. Some passengers like to use them on long bus journeys and overnight trains

Clothing & footwear

All clothes should be lightweight, durable and easily washable. Please do not bring any military or camouflage-style clothing as it can be dangerous to wear and occasionally illegal.

Everybody packs too much, so rather than bringing lots of chunky sweaters, wear clothing in layers when in the colder regions. Nights can be cold at higher altitude so it is a good idea to bring at least one pair of warm trousers or jeans plus several thinner sweaters / fleeces which you can layer (note: it is very easy to buy extra sweaters / jumpers locally). Check the climate and altitude at http://www.weather2travel.com/ to get an idea of what the weather will be like on your tour.

It is also essential that you have good, comfortable shoes that are suitable for walking and trekking. These don’t need to be expensive boots, but they should have good ankle support and grip, be worn in and ideally waterproof. You may also decide to take closed toe shoes that you are comfortable getting wet.

If you are trekking the Inca Trail please see the Inca Trail Information Sheet for notes on packing and load limits. If you find that you have forgotten something, especially clothing, don’t worry as it is normally cheap and easy to purchase locally. Clothes in extra large sizes, however, might be more difficult to find in some regions.

The Essentials

The essential items vary from region to region, depending on the time of year, the altitude and the place you are travelling. Make sure you pack plenty of layers and clothes that will keep you sufficiently dry if it rains.

The following items are important for all of our tours and are easily forgotten in the excitement of preparing for your trip.

A lightweight water/windproof jacket with hood
Easy to pack wide-brimmed hat or cap
Towel - you will need a towel for most overnight excursions.
Swimwear
Sandals or thongs / jandals / flip flops

Suggested Equipment

Even though you will be staying in hotels, there will be times when you will have limited access to familiar facilities and access to shops will be difficult.

The following list will help make your experience easier and more comfortable. We have left out the obvious such as clothing and footwear as this will vary depending on trip length and destination :

    Cotton money belt
    Sunglasses
    Small calculator 
    Lockable pouch for your money and valuables to use in safety deposit boxes.
    Plastic bags to keep things waterproof
    Inflatable pillow 
    Small collapsible umbrella
    Pegless washing line & travel laundry detergent (bio-degradable preferably)
    Universal washbasin plug
    Swiss army type penknife (don’t pack in hand luggage when travelling on aircraft)
    Head torch or flashlight
    Binoculars
    Travel alarm clock
    Travel plug adaptor with a USB port
    Small medical kit with diarrhoea remedy, rehydration salts,  antiseptic cream, sterile dressings, plasters, bandages, pain-killers, safety pins etc.
    Small sewing kit
    Lip balm, sun block with high UV factor
    Insect repellent (DEET 35% min) and bite cream
    Toilet paper (best to carry a roll with you at all times) and/or tissues
    Antibacterial hand cleansing gel
    Wet wipes
    Ear plugs & sleep mask
    Travel sickness tablets 
    Cheap plastic wristwatch
    Spare pair of spectacles or contact lenses and solution
    Memory cards
    Hard drive or USB stick
    Spare rechargeable batteries
    Writing materials, address book & diary
    Pocket size phrasebook
    Travel games, cards & couple of paperbacks
    Gifts for local children - pens, coloured pencils, small notepads. To discourage a begging mentality we recommend that you try to give these gifts at schools or childcare centres rather than on the street.

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