Packing list for Turkmenistan

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This list has been compiled by Volunteers serving in Turkmenistan and is based on their experience. Use it 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 at the Peace Corps office (and unlike Volunteers in many Peace Corps countries, you will not be charged customs taxes). As you decide what to bring, keep in mind that you have a 100-pound weight limit on baggage. And remember, you can get almost everything you need in Turkmenistan.

Dress is very important in Turkmenistan. The popular image of a Peace Corps Volunteer in sandals and a T-shirt with a university logo is inappropriate here. Fair or not, people are judged by the way they dress in Turkmenistan, more so than in the United States. Your colleagues will dress as professionals and for you to do otherwise will be considered disrespectful. If you come to work inappropriately dressed, your colleagues and clients (e.g., students or clinic patients) will probably not say anything to you directly but may talk unfavorably about you to others. Following the lead of your co-workers will help you gain acceptance and respect in your community and in your development work. But this does not mean that you need to spend a lot of money on new clothing. Rather, be selective in what you bring, and consider buying some of your professional clothing in Ashgabat. If you plan on this, bring along some extra money in order to do so.

Female Volunteers in Turkmenistan usually wear mid-length to long dresses or skirts at work, though pants may be acceptable in some areas. Tops can be short sleeved, but should be modest. You should probably bring at least one versatile dressy outfit for social events in the capital. Fashionable clothing can be bought in Ashgabat or made by a local dressmaker.

Male Volunteers are expected to wear pressed chinos or dress slacks with a shirt and tie, and shined professional-looking shoes are a must. Consider buying some of your professional clothing in Ashgabat. The quality and style may not be equal to that found in American brands (though several high-quality European manufacturers have opened outlet stores here for excess inventory), but they are the same clothes your local colleagues will be wearing. However, if you are very tall or large, you may not find the sizes you need.

Many types of appliances and electronics are available in Turkmenistan (including reasonably priced blow-dryers, irons, and boom boxes), and buying them locally eliminates the need to bring a voltage converter. Standard batteries of varying quality are also available. Do not bring items of great sentimental or monetary value, such as expensive jewelry, radio transmitters of any kind, or military surplus clothing.


General Clothing

For Men

For Women


Personal Hygiene and Toiletry Items


You can buy most kitchen supplies in-country, but there are a few items that Volunteers recommend bringing:



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