Friday, 10 March 2017

Countdown to French Polynesia- Packing

We're leaving to return to French Polynesia tomorrow.
When travelling it's always a balance between not overpacking and having with you enough to make you comfortable while travelling. In the case of going to far flung locations like French Polynesia though, it is necessary to pack more than one would otherwise. For one thing, because French Polynesia is in the middle of the South Pacific, everything is imported, so it's very expensive to buy things like sunscreen. So, it's better to bring those items with you. Secondly, on the more outer islands (for instance the Tuamotus) there are few if any stores on some islands and they have little in the way of supplies or comforts. Thirdly, when you're pregnant it's even more necessary to have with you what you might need as only certain medications and supplements can be taken by pregnant women, so substitutions may not be possible.

Last time we went to French Polynesia we took enough of items like over the counter medications, sunscreen, and insect repellant, but too many clothes. This time we're wise to that and we'll be taking less clothes (though still enough to survive without any laundry facilities except for a sink to wash underwear for three and a half weeks), as we'll be spending pretty much every day in the ocean swimming, wearing a bathing suit anyways (but this time we'll take two towels each for the beach as pensions don't provide you with a beach towel and one towel each last time resulted in absolutely filthy, salt and sand encrusted towels by the end of our three weeks during which we couldn't wash the towels at all).
Who needs clothes here?

On our last trip to French Polynesia, the airplane agents were shocked that we only had one suitcase each. We thought this was pretty average until we looked around at all the Europeans and Americans who had travelled to French Polynesia, surrounded by two to three suitcases each. We're only going to be taking one medium sized suitcase each, as well as a couple of carryon bags between the two of us that we can use to carry our GoPro 5 Hero, laptop, a change of clothes, and all of our prescription medications.

We'll be using the strategy that we've used on the last several trips we've taken of using hotel toiletries like shampoo and conditioner and abandoning them along the way, thereby decreasing the weight and bulk of our luggage as we go, leaving room for souvenirs that we might find on the various islands that we visit.

Now let's just hope that we haven't forgotten anything . . .

Just a few last minute toiletries left to add.

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