What I'm Packing for a Month In Uganda

If you've watched Minimalism, caution: you will probably offended by this blog post.

hahah, I'm actually joking (slightly) and have honestly spent so much time thinking about the optimal amount of things I should bring with me on a one-month trip to Uganda. I don't want to be THAT person and show up to LAX with eight bags, but I also don't want to be the girl who didn't remember her passport and only packed two pairs of socks. You know? There's definitely a sweet spot, so here's my attempt at being a minimal-yet-prepared world traveler, and hopefully you can snag a few tips for your own future adventures.

1. The Essentials

To begin packing, I always gather my most important items that I CANNOT leave behind. For this trip, that includes:

1. passport

2. wallet

3. camera

4. phone

5. laptop

6. chargers for ALL OF THAT. this is v important and easily forgotten.

 

2. The Carry On

Carry-ons get tricky because you want to keep them light, but for over thirty hours of flying? Girl's gonna need a bunch of stuff to stay cozy and prepared. 

The main concern of what to put in my carry on started with what to put my carry-on items in. I quickly discovered Atlas Supply Co. and I am in LOVE with my new Entrepreneur Backpack. It's all leather which means it's waterproof (great for Uganda) and most of all beautiful. I've only been using it for about a week and so far haven't gone a day without a compliment on it. It also has a little shelf that fits my camera equipment perfectly. Total score. 

Besides the obvious laptop/camera gear, I filled my backpack with a change of socks for day 2 of traveling, sunglasses, headphones, gum (a MUST), a toothbrush, chapstick and some essential oils and face serums. Nothing dries out my skin more than flying, so when everything else is uncomfortable, it's nice to at least smell and feel fresh!

Lastly, I included a LifeStraw Go water bottle! This bottle filters all the nasties out of water, so even unsafe water is good to drink! I'm really excited about this because I was disappointed at the thought of using bottled water for everything for a whole MONTH. That's a ton of plastic, and this little guy will keep me safe and healthy while still being eco-friendly. I plan to bring it through security empty (obviously) and fill it up once in the terminal just to, again, stay hydrated!

 

3. The Toiletries

Ok, I'm stoked about this one. I've partnered with Osana Bar, who is doing super cool things to prevent Malaria in under-developed countries. I've always been a total treat for mosquitos so I'm stoked to try this! It's an all-natural insect repelling soap, which means I won't have to lather chemicals on my skin to stay safe and malaria-free. This will be great both for Uganda and back on the farm in Texas! For 10% off your own order, use the code: kendallmcleod at checkout. Surprisingly, it smells pretty dang good (I was totally expecting that citronella bug-spray smell, but it's non-existent! Think, "sweet minty fresh."). They've also given me a couple samples to hand out to local Ugandans, so I'm excited to hear reviews from them as well! Make sure to check out their site to hear more about their campaign, #biggerstory.

I also brought along Alba Botanica sunscreen for the hot African sun, a wooden recyclable toothbrush, Tom's of Maine toothpaste, and some of my favorite all-natural jasmine face wash from Essensu.

 

4. The Big Bag

For this trip, I have two stores to send my love to: Madewell and TjMaxx.

Honestly, I was so lucky to find some awesome finds for super low prices. 

Here are the highlights from each:

Madewell-

  • bandanas make every outfit better. I snagged this one for $12.50.
  • I looked for a classic white safari shirt, and finally found this one I'm probably never taking off.
  • these pants are staples. I love the fit, and they're super dependable and mix-and-matchable.

TjMaxx-

  • I'm OBSESSED with these pants I got from TjMaxx's Runway section. I got them for $50, and they were so huge, but I got them tailored for $20 which means I spent $70 on pants worth $300. SCORE!
  • The sandals pictured are also from TjMaxx and are Maypol.
  • I also snagged some Shea Moisture shampoo and conditioner (perfect size!!) and tore the labels off to keep things looking simple. 

I got the hat from H&M and the makeup bag from Izola, which are also great places to shop for travel essentials!

5. The Splurges

The splurges are the things I didn't necessarily neeeeeeeeed per se, but really wanted to have for my trip. First, this included my guilele from Cordoba. A guilele is 1/2 ukulele and 1/2 guitar, meaning it uses the same chords as a 6 string guitar, but sounds just like a guitar. This is perfect for the guitar player who needs the convenience of a uke (hey, that's ME!!), and I know that music will comfort me when I'm feeling homesick in Uganda, so I decided to go ahead and bring this for added good vibes and campfire-y memories that are sure to be made. 

My other big splurge, atleast weight-wise, is my pair of Danner hiking boots. These things are tough and durable, and even though they weigh 300 lbs, I knew I wanted to bring them along. Plus, they are GORGEOUS.

 

NOW,

I'm not sure how much I will be able to update my blog whilst in Uganda, but stay tuned for my travel photos and experiences I will definitely be adding on here as soon as possible! Thanks for reading!