I'm getting excited about the stuff I'll need to bring. I guess it's the Boy Scout in me--I like to pack for a trip. I'm trying to be well-prepared but also pack light, and do it on a budget. That can be either the perfect storm for a traveler or a very fun activity.
I had a birthday yesterday (yeah, I'm getting old) and had a few bucks of birthday money to blow on fun stuff. Alisha and I decided to go shopping for Ghana stuff. We first went to Missionary Mall to get ideas about what we would need. The prices there were pretty high, so we made a list and drove down the street to Walmart. We were able to get most of the things on our list at Walmart for half the price.
Thanks go out to my Uncle Ben for many of these ideas.
Here's my list so far. It will probably grow over the next two weeks, but hopefully not by much:
Microfiber towel -- like a shammy; compact, absorbent, and much smaller than a cotton towel. $29.95 at Missionary Mall, $3.95 at Walmart.
Crank LED Flashlight -- Small, clips to your backpack, and requires no batteries or replacement bulbs. $10.95 at Walmart. Ghana is pitch-black at night, and even on the grid there are frequent rolling blackouts.
Twin Sheet -- You will probably end up staying in some interesting places. It's nice to have a little control over what you sleep on. $4.99 at Walmart.
Composition Notebook -- I call the oreo notebooks. They're the perfect journal: inexpensive, easy to lug around, and you can get lined, graph, or unlined versions. $.89 at Walmart
Immodium Plus -- when you leave the U.S., plain Immodium won't do. Take them before you need them.
Baby Wipes -- Sometimes you won't be able to shower, and wipes will be your best friend. You also want these around to wipe off the little bags of drinking water before you tear them open.
Universal Adapter -- a must whenever traveling, unless you don't intend on plugging anything into a wall. $18.99 at Walmart.
Culture Smart: Ghana -- I'm looking for a good guidebook to the culture. This one seems to be the most popular. Haven't made my decision yet. $5.43 on Amazon.com
Bradt Guide: Ghana -- Supposedly the best guidebook. $11.59 on half.com
Security Belt/wallet -- I'm on the fence about this. It's a belt you wear under your clothes that holds your money and credit cards. They're kind of awkward to use, but I guess they can keep your stuff fairly secure. $9.95 at Walmart.
Water Purification Tablets -- You can usually buy bottled water anywhere you go (or those little cachets of water), but I figure these might come in handy. I read a list somewhere of all the stuff in the water over there (typhoid, yellow fever, sleeping sickness, raw sewage etc.) and I'm not dying to ingest it anytime soon.