Packing list for Dominican Republic

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This list has been compiled by Volunteers serving in the Dominican Republic 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, considering your work sector.. Please keep in mind two important factors that might affect your decision on what to buy and what to bring: 1) you have a baggage weight limit; and 2) You can get almost everything that you need in the Dominican Republic.

General Clothing[edit]

Dominican extension workers in forestry and water (male or female) usually wear a button-down short- or long-sleeved shirt, neat trousers, boots and a hat. Volunteers in health, education, youth, and small business projects will find that their co-workers often are casual-professional in their dress. In general, men wear pants and short-sleeved sports shirts or Dominican chacabanas (also called guyaberas), and women wear skirts or pants with nice tops. Worn, torn, patched, tight, overly baggy, or very low-cut clothes are not appropriate for Volunteers. Nor is military-style clothing (i.e., camouflage or olive-green Army surplus items). Also, shorts and flip-flops are not appropriate to wear, either to work or when visiting the office in Santo Domingo. Following are suggested items for both men and women.

  • At least five T-shirts
  • At least two casual shirts or polo-type shirts (or sleeveless shirts for women)
  • One or two sweaters, sweatshirts, or windbreakers
  • At least two button-down shirts
  • Appropriate mix of athletic and dress socks (twoweek supply)
  • Two-week supply of underwear (cotton is highly recommended)
  • Two or three swimsuits
  • Rain gear
  • Cap or hat
  • Light jacket
  • Belts

For Men[edit]

  • Five to eight pairs of pants for work (e.g., denim, cotton, or khaki)
  • One or two pairs of dress pants
  • One to three pairs of casual pants
  • Four or five pairs of shorts
  • One or two ties (for special occasions)

For Women[edit]

  • Three pairs of work pants, more if you are in agroforestry or water (e.g., denim, cotton, or khaki; capris)
  • Two to four pairs of casual pants
  • One or two pairs of shorts (fairly long, e.g., capris)
  • Two or three casual skirts or casual dresses (knee length is recommended) and one or two dressy outfits


  • One or two pairs of sturdy walking or hiking shoes/ boots (some Volunteers suggest Vibram soles)
  • One pair of running or athletic shoes
  • One pair of dress shoes
  • One pair of sandals
  • Flip-flops for showering or beach (these are not appropriate to wear in your work setting) Personal Hygiene and Toiletry Items

You can buy almost anything available in the United States in the way of clothing and toiletries in the Dominican Republic. However, if you have any favorite brands of toiletries or cosmetics, you may want to bring a supply, as most imported items are considerably more expensive here than in the United States.

  • Start-up supply of shampoo, deodorant, tampons, etc.
  • Two bath towels, one beach towel, one hand towel, and one “quick dry” towel Kitchen

You can easily buy most kitchen supplies (e.g., dishes, pots, glasses, and utensils) locally. There are a few items you might consider bringing:

  • Plastic baggies (freezer style is best)
  • Good can opener
  • Favorite spices (many are available locally, but are expensive)
  • Favorite cookbook
  • Peeler


  • Sturdy backpack or duffel bag for three- to four-day trips
  • Day pack or small backpack
  • Fanny pack or money belt
  • Full-size cotton sheets with pillowcases (one to three sets)
  • Inexpensive, water-resistant or waterproof watch
  • Small travel alarm clock (and extra batteries)
  • Two pairs of sunglasses
  • Laptop computer (if you are considering bringing a laptop, please also consider personal articles insurance as high-priced electronics are at a higher risk of theft and/or loss. A good battery source is also recommended since most towns, including the neighborhoods of Santo Domingo, experience frequent and prolonged power-outages)
  • A USB flash drive (for document storage; 256 to 512 is recommended)
  • Umbrella
  • Multiple-utility pocketknife (e.g., Leatherman)
  • Camera, film, and batteries
  • Radio, cassette, CD player, or other music player and portable speakers
  • Shortwave radio
  • Surge protector for electrical appliances
  • Light, stuffable (preferably waterproof) sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad (e.g., Therm-a-rest)
  • Good-quality water bottle (e.g., Nalgene)
  • Headlamp or flashlight (and extra batteries)
  • A few U.S. dollars
  • Sewing kit
  • Good scissors
  • Start-up supply of stationery and pens
  • World map
  • Photos of family and friends
  • Inexpensive jewelry
  • Backgammon, cards, and other travel games
  • Gardening gloves
  • Extra suntan lotion with high SPF
  • Rechargeable batteries and recharger
  • Digital camera
  • Yoga mat (if you do yoga)
  • Rain suit (jacket/pants)
  • Small Spanish-English dictionary
  • Books (Peace Corps/Dominican Republic has a LARGE selection of paperbacks accumulated over the years. Otherwise, English-language books generally are not available. The Peace Corps’ technical reference library is also quite good. If there are materials you think could be essential to your job, bring them with you.) If you use Media Mail (bulk rate surface mail) to ship a box of books, it can take one to two months to arrive.

Items You Do Not Need to Bring[edit]

The following items are either available in-country or provided by the Peace Corps:

  • Large supply of razors, soap, shampoo, conditioner, standard healthcare products, condoms, etc.
  • Camping stove or kerosene burner
  • Iron
  • Mosquito nets and repellent
  • Large Spanish-English dictionary or the 501 Spanish Verbs book, (you get these in training)