Packing list for Macedonia
This list has been compiled by Volunteers serving in Macedonia and is based on their experience. Use it as an informal guide in making your own list, bearing in mind that each 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. As you decide what to bring, keep in mind that you have an 102pound weight restriction on baggage. And remember, you can get almost everything you need in Macedonia.
All Volunteers will need an assortment of clothing for work, play, and socializing. Layering is recommended for winter wear as it is cold outside and generally hot inside. Suitable attire for male teachers includes slacks with a nice shirt and an optional tie. Community development Volunteers working in a municipal or NGO office may find a suit and tie de rigueur for everyday wear, but wearing nice slacks with a sport coat or blazer is fairly common. Community development Volunteers working with an environmental NGO fall somewhere in between, depending on the organization they’re placed with. Suits, dresses, and skirts that are not too short, or nice slacks with blouses are all suitable work attire for women. For both men and women, nice jeans (but not the grunge look), dressed up with a nice shirt and jacket, are also acceptable in many situations, especially social ones. For most places outside of Skopje, a more conservative approach to dressing is appropriate for women. Most men and many women wear jeans to work with a pullover shirt or blouse. Clothing is expensive because most of it is imported, so it is best to bring most of what you will need. Shipping clothes from the States is also possible but expensive. See further suggestions below:
- Two or three pairs of fleece or silk long underwear (available locally but not of great quality), in colors other than white (which is harder to clean)
- Several sweaters
- Scarves, hats, and gloves (Gore-Tex if possible)
- Winter socks
- Windproof and waterproof coat or warm jacket
- Clothing for warmer weather - shorts
- Pullover shirts - long and short sleeve
- Hiking boots made of leather, waterproof, and lightweight (good-quality ones are available in Macedonia but expensive); winters are cold and very wet
- Work shoes - most Macedonians men wear tennis shoes of every kind, women wear high heels (very difficult to maneuver on streets and sidewalks) as well as typical women's shoes.
- Summer/casual shoes
Personal Hygiene and Toiletry Items
A wide variety is available in Macedonia, so do not pack extra toothpaste, toilet paper, dental floss, and shampoo.
Note that most items can be bought in Macedonia and many dried spices and herbs can be found here, especially in Skopje.
- Favorite recipes
- Plastic measuring cups and spoons
- Travel alarm clock
- The Peace Corps discourages you from wearing contact lenses and does not provide contact lens cleaning supplies. You may bring your own supplies or buy them here. Contact lens maintenance supplies can be found in Skopje, but are somewhat expensive (around $15 to $30).
- Backpack, small, durable, lightweight, and of good quality for overnight trips (suitcases are a nuisance and large packs may be cumbersome for short trips)
- Money pouch or belt (to hide your passport and other valuables when traveling)
- Cash (for vacation travel) ATMs are readily available in most communities and will accept American debit/credit cards.
- Personal checks from a U.S. checking account (handy if you plan to apply to graduate school; can be cashed at a bank in Skopje)
- Credit card (accepted in most places in Skopje and other large cities, also useful for wiring money to Macedonia)
- Laptop computer (not required, but tough to get along without one as it is the primary means of communication between Peace Corps Macedonia and yourself; please see prior sections for tips and other advice on transporting this item)
- Flashlight (small and durable), an absolute necessity
- Compact sewing and tool (a multi-tool knife such as a Leatherman works well) kits
- Compact sleeping bag (not necessary but may be useful is visiting other volunteers; they take a lot of room in a suitcase and can be purchased in Macedonia)
- CDs (also available in Macedonia, except for country music)
- Colored chalk (if you will be working in a school)
- Family pictures or postcards to share with your host family and friends
- Electric plug converters and extension cord
- Hearing aide batteries - they are not readily available in Macedonia