A vacation is not something that happens always. So please since it happens once in a lifetime, one has to plan for it completely in advance. So this planning takes a lot of forms ranging from when to go, where to go, what to see when there as well as what to carry on the trip. So this planning starts with making a reservation for your vacation with the right company and flightsHowever, check the list of the essential things to pack with you below in order to have a stress-free holiday.


First things first: you cannot go anywhere without your documents, so you’d better check you have yours and those of your family before leaving the house. When organizing a trip, be sure to know ahead of time if you will need a passport, visa, or just an identity card, and check if they are still valid and can be accepted in your destination country.

Universal plug adapter

This is one of those things you underestimate when you are in your country, but that is essential when going abroad. How are you going to charge your mobile phone? How are you going to use your blow dryer? There are different plugs and electricity sockets all around the world! Buy a universal plug adapter before leaving for your holiday and you will never have this problem again.


No one wants to feel sick on holiday but you never know what might happen! So better remind yourself to bring some over-the-counter medicine with you during a holiday abroad, such as pain relievers and an anti-diarrheal plus mosquito repellants, and don’t forget your medicine, especially if you’re on prescription: of course, there are pharmacies everywhere, but the dosage may differ, so play it safe.

Guidebooks and dictionaries

Buy a guidebook and a dictionary before leaving for your holiday abroad. If you are traveling on your own, you might want to know more about the places you are visiting, their history and their background. Also, guidebooks give useful information about hotel, restaurants and things to do. Moreover, dictionaries often have a section with idiomatic expressions in the local language that will help you communicate easily abroad.

Small travel bag

It might be useful to bring a small travel bag with you, one that doesn’t take up too much space and that you can easily fit in your backpack or baggage (especially before security check at the airport). There you can put and carry all your travel documents, your passport and visa, your cellphone, guidebooks and wallet so that you have all at hand.

The above checklist has been incorporating general guidelines for a vacation anywhere in the world but Rwanda has some specific checklists(Rwanda Checklist) that you have to adhere to in order to have a worthwhile vacation.

Follow these simple recommendations and your holiday will not be ruined because you forgot something important at home!

-Your Passport must be at least 6 months validity, though more is advised

-You must have a Yellow fever vaccination card before being allowed entry into this country

-Credit Cards are not widely used in Rwanda and Uganda. However, you can carry one or two visa cards which you can use to withdraw cash from the ATMs and execute whatever you want to

-Please don’t waste your time carrying Debit Cards to Rwanda as they will never help since its use and know-how is very little in Rwanda.

-please try to carry some cash on you. Though you can withdraw from the ATMs they are not evenly distributed in the country especially outside the capital city of Kigali they are almost not there so it’s the cash you have on you that will rescue you.

-Carry all your accommodation vouchers, if you have booked in advance on your own.

-Soft copies of all important travel documents in form of photocopies just in case you need them.

Some of the important accessories to include;

– Backpack with rain cover – don’t put stuff into this that you don’t want to check in or leave at your hostel/guest house

– Daypack with rain cover – put all valuable stuff in it

– Money pouch or waist belt to be worn inside clothes

-Copy of all important documents in backpack. Copies include (bills of all camera gear so that you don’t get questioned at customs, passport, visa, travel insurance)

-Camera, Lens, Batteries, Charger, Filters, Battery Grip, Memory Cards, Card Reader and Camera Strap

-Cell phone and charger


-Laptop and Laptop charger

-Hair trimmer and charger

-Travel Adaptor (that can handle multiple country plug points).

Importantly, there is no visitor to any country that does not have a backpack. However, there are some elements that a good backpack must adhere to and possess in order to make one’s vacation a success.

It is phenomenal that every traveller must have a back packer majorly for the most important small things. A wrong choice of backpack means more shoulder pain and maybe back pain too. In essence, a bad backpack causes unnecessary pain during your holiday.  You can save yourself all that pain if you follow these handy tips that I have put together based on several experiences from various travelers that I have shared this issue with;


For all practical purposes, male travelers should look for a backpack in the 55 to 65 liters category while female travelers should look for backpacks in the 45 to 55 liters category. I do understand that a lot of travelers want to carry the entire kitchen sink and if you do end up carrying it, carry it in a large trolley suitcase and not in a backpack. I have recommended the volume based on the average weight that one can comfortably carry on their back for long durations without complaining of any pain.

Proper and Comfortable Fit

A backpack should hug your back in a way like how a glove hugs your hands in a snug fit. Fit is super essential in getting the right backpack. There are 3 fits that one needs to take into account: Shoulder Fit, Lumbar Fit and Hip Fit. It is best to walk into a store to see which backpack fits you best as backpack fits typically varies with shoulder width, torso length and waist size.

Choosing a daypack for your travels

These days, backpacks come with small daypacks that can be detached from the main backpack. While these are super convenient and helpful, I do not prefer them as they affect the center of gravity while wearing the pack. But, if this option works for you, do opt for it, as it will offer you the convenience of a backpack and a daypack in one piece and for the price of one.

Semi Rain Proof Pack with a Rain Cover

Most backpacks come with rainproof material, but it is their zippers that are not rain-proof. The ones that have rain-proof zippers don’t last for long. My choice is a good semi rain-proof pack with a rain cover. The rain cover can either come with your pack or it can be purchased separately.

Should not blow like a Balloon

There are many backpacks that expand like a balloon on adding clothes and gear. You shouldn’t prefer such backpacks as they affect fit, center of gravity and end up taking too much weight. Go for packs that are a tight fit and thereby ensuring fit, posture, center of gravity and weight. Such packs come in very handy while you go on mountaineering expeditions, trekking and other adventure activities.

Many Compartments

The ease of packing and unpacking in a backpack depends on the number of compartments it has. Always prefer the ones that have top loading, middle loading and bottom loading facilities. That way, you can separately take the heavy items from the top, my clothes from the middle and my sleeping bag from the bottom without tossing the contents of the entire backpack. There should also be small fit pouches where you can store things that require quick access.


Like most baggage, backpacks also get thrown around at airports, train stations and bus stations and they also have to bear the elements. Hence, it is recommended that you choose a backpack that has a tough exterior with anti-tear properties.


Backpacks have to be light. It helps with airline weight regulations and is also appreciated by your shoulder.

Easy to Identify

Like with all baggage, buy a backpack that is easy to identify or at least put some sticker or badge that allows for easy identification.

Lockable Zippers

There is some level of mental satisfaction if you can put a lock on your backpack zippers. This helps everywhere especially at airports and in hotels. But, don’t trust these lockable zippers to store cash, electronics and or jewelry.

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