According to a recent review on social media, these are the top 10 travel items you need to pack before you begin your travels to Vanuatu (or any other tropical paradise I'm sure!). Our team has checked them all out to provide added local expert knowledge to make that much more helpful!
1. Suntan lotion high SP - Yes totally agree, the sun is much stronger then people may be used too! We have seen a few cooked tourists in our time!
2. Personal Insect spray - You need to be aware of the insects mostly as they can carry nasty things like dengue, not too common now however better to be safe then sick!
3. Bandaids, anti-itch spray for bites, antibiotic cream for cuts. Yes definitely! This can be the number one cause of illness sometimes for tourists (or anyone for that matter!) you get the slightest cut, scrape or bite and think nothing of it, then WHAM-O, you have a nice little infection growing or worse septicemia a week after you return home. Always cover any open sore immediately to keep the fly's away with a little antiseptic cream for good measure.
4. Underwater camera - As long as you are going to post some great images on social media but if not just enjoy the moment. If you do decide to grab some shots, we love the new underwater iphones, gopro (or cheaper version, same thing) even some of the older underwater cameras you can pick up pretty cheap second hand!
5. Laptop computer - Great idea for night time when you want to watch a movie or back up your cameras however be mindful of where you are traveling. Computers are a hot commodity and some places may not offer suitable security. It will also limit your ability to bounce around the islands and add unnecessary stress to your trip.
6. Mask, snorkel and reef shoes. Reef shoes are a great idea to avoid reef cuts and move freely around the water, if you pick up a cheap pair, it is also a great gift to leave behind to one of the locals (with the same size feet!). Snorkel & Mask are necessary for avid snorkelers wanting serious gear but for the rest of us, most resorts can offer you a set or they can be purchased in town, cheap but sufficient for what you need. You can pick up reef shoes in the chinese stores as well for around 800vt ($10AUD) and Snorkel gear 1200vt+ ($15AUD)
7. If planning to visit a village/school take some school supplies. Anything you take will be greatly appreciated. Suggested items include pens, pencils, rulers, colored pencils, erasers, pencil sharpeners, crayons, books, maps, clothes, toothbrushes. Don't take lollies/sweets. Yes we love all the suggestions here and you cant go too far wrong either. You should always try to be culturally aware once you start heading into the villages and be respectful. If you want to make friends quickly though, it is certainly through gift sharing and presents. Some other suggestions are clothes, shoes, old phones/computers, first aid supplies, sewing kits, cooking utensils to give you an idea. We have plenty more and coordinate with loads of visitors who are wanting to donate back to the communities. Its a VERY rewarding experience and recommended to make your holiday that little bit more special!
8. Drinks at the resorts can be pricey. Take the amount of alcohol you are allowed to bring by customs. Also make sure you pick up some bottled water at one of the local supermarkets Alcohol is actually really cheap in the supermarket as well (yes the supermarket!) Some of the cheap bottles are only $12AUD for vodka, gin, barcadi and whiskey however you may feel it in the morning. Not too bad considering the price though and still other great options and prices on your favorites. If you want to feel the island buzz, then give kava a go! Don't just taste is once and say you tried it, give it a REAL GO. You will need at least 3 to 4 cells, stay sitting and once you feel the effects you will forget the taste of it!
*DUTY FREE TIP - Also a quick on the alcohol, it is cheapest in Vila, so be sure to get into town and put yours aside before you forget and miss out. It is much cheaper then the Vanuatu airport and cheaper then at least the Australian airports. We recommend Fung Kui at the end of town but like anywhere, you need to purchase at least 24hours in advance.
9. Pack a change of clothes and your swimsuit in your carry on bag - It is a helpful point made as you never know where all of your stuff might end up but another take away is to always be as prepared as possible whenever you travel anywhere in Vanuatu. Communication can be difficult and things can change all the time, so its best not to plan too far ahead as for starters, it can be near impossible and secondly, when dealing with the smaller local businesses it easier done once in Vanuatu and get ready to be very flexible and adapt quickly.
10. Take a torch, handy when walking on uneven pathways at night - Can't go wrong with a torch anytime you travel but once you leave Port Vila and head to North Efate or remote islands, you are reliant on their solar power or generators, so its always good to have a back up if anything goes wrong. Also most local bungalows or tents will not have light and its expected you bring your own and with no street lights, its essential for you to get around at night.