Packing list for Albania

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This list is based on the experience of Peace Corps Volunteers generally. You will need an assortment of clothing for work, play, and socializing. Keep in mind that Albanians dress stylishly, even if their clothes are worn. Don’t expect to replace clothing at the same rate that you might in the United States. You also will need your own money for your purchases. Many Peace Corps Volunteers throughout the world end their service with the same clothing (albeit well-worn) that they started with.

Use the list as an informal guide in making your own list, bearing in mind that experience is individual. There is no perfect list! You obviously cannot bring everything we mention, so consider those items that make the most sense to you personally and professionally. You can always have things sent to you later. Do not bring anything that is so valuable or precious that you would be traumatized if you lost it. Although dry cleaners exist, it is best to avoid bringing clothes that need dry cleaning. As you decide what to bring, keep in mind that you have a 100-pound weight limit on checked baggage. Though clothing and shoes can be expensive, you can get most things you need in Albania if you look hard enough. If you choose to buy clothing, you will probably need to use your own money as your living allowance provides only a very modest amount for clothing.

General Clothing[edit]

  • Slacks and jeans
  • Shirts for summer and fall
  • Warm shirts, turtlenecks, and sweaters for winter
  • Shorts and T-shirts for relaxing in hot weather
  • Long underwear
  • Light socks for summer and heavy socks for winter
  • Warm hats and gloves
  • Sweats or heavy pajamas
  • Heavy winter coat
  • All-weather coat
  • Bathing suit

For Women[edit]

Any type of clothing is generally available in-country, but you won't have much to spend on it. If you want to buy clothing in-country on a Peace Corps budget, keep in mind that it will be used. For special purposes, almost anything can be found in the capital, but maybe at European prices.

Everyday basics[edit]

  • 2 pair stylish yet durable jeans
  • A few stylish tops and tees you can mix and match; avoid anything too lowcut
  • Semiformal party dress
  • Dress or outfit that you could wear to a club
  • 2 nice business casual outfits for meetings
  • A few extra pairs stockings or pantyhose (even if you don't normally use them)
  • Hiking gear you can layer (better off weatherproof)
  • Plenty of accessories that you can reconfigure with different outfits, such as inexpensive jewelry and scarves
  • Stylish American or Italian handbag
  • Backpack
  • Reusable shopping bag
  • High-quality bras and underwear (hard to find)
  • Sports bras (very hard to find)


  • Sunglasses
  • Bathing suit
  • Long underwear
  • Warm winter coat (thinner and warmer is better)
  • Warm sweater
  • Warm winter socks
  • Gloves
  • One warm winter hat

SCARVES (the locals like to tell you ALL the time that you will get sick if you don't wear one)

For Men[edit]

  • Collared shirts for work (it is better to dress up than to dress down)
  • Underwear
  • A few ties
  • At least one jacket or suit for special occasions


  • Sturdy, thick-soled walking shoes
  • Warm, insulated, and sturdy winter boots OR
  • Hiking boots that can double as winter boots (very hard to find)
  • Running shoes / crosstrainers (very hard to find)
  • One good pair of comfortable and durable walking shoes you can also wear in a business casual context (hard to find)
  • Pair dressy flats (for women), if you don't care for heels (heels are plentiful in country, even up to size 41)

Personal Hygiene and Toiletry Items[edit]

  • Any favorite nonprescription medical supplies (those provided by the Peace Corps may not be your favorite brands)
  • A three-month supply of any prescription drugs you use, to last until the Peace Corps can order more
  • Two pairs of eyeglasses (if you wear them), along with your current prescription
  • Contact lens solution (not supplied by the Peace Corps and not readily available in Albania)
  • Supply of cosmetics (the quality in Albania is low)
  • Tampons
  • Wetwipes


  • Sturdy travel water bottle (e.g., Nalgene)
  • One sharp cooking knife
  • A few favorite cooking tools or utensils
  • Basic cookbook
  • Packaged mixes for your favorite sauces, salad dressings, and soups
  • Your favorite spices (Mexican, Chinese, or Indian can be hard to find)


  • Tough but flexible luggage (the roller/backpack combos work especially well)
  • Large backpacker's backpack
  • Money pouch
  • Digital camera
  • Sunglasses
  • A pocketknife (e.g., Swiss Army or Leatherman type) and toolkit
  • Duct tape
  • Good flashlight with rechargeable batteries and charger
  • Miniflashlight (keychain sized)
  • Alarm clock (battery powered only)
  • Watch
  • Compact and warm sleeping bag
  • Travel pillow
  • Light laptop computer with external battery
  • Small MP3 player with extra chargers
  • Tablet (better off with Android than apple) with extra chargers
  • External battery to charge devices
  • Small US - European converter with surge protector
  • Journal
  • Small gifts
  • Tampons
  • Wetwipes