⁃ Always travel with your family’s passports. (Fortunately we knew this one and it’s a habit.) Not only will you need them for checking into hotels, but that way you have them if you need to leave the country in an emergency and can’t get back to Dakar. (On this note, see Packing your bug-out bag.)
⁃ Mobile money goes with you. Whether you Wave or Orange Money, put money on your phone and download the apps before you leave Dakar. Finding an open mobile money kiosk that can handle larger transactions may get harder as you get further out of town.
⁃ If you have Woyofal prepaid electricity in your home, be sure you have enough credit loaded to last, even if your return date is delayed.
⁃ Purchase phone/4G credit before hitting the road.
⁃ Bring all the chargers and adapters for your devices, including USB charger for whatever vehicle you may be in.
⁃ Let someone know where you’re going (include GPS location), how you’re getting there and when you’ll be back, and your emergency contact info. Update them if/when your plans change.
⁃ Extra masks, hand sanitizer and hand wipes.
⁃ You don’t need to carry tons of water with you, but do plan ahead. Will you be in an area that bottled water is available? Or will you bring refillable personal bottles? Should you bring Aquatabs with you? (Our go-to is traveling with a pump that goes into a 19L bottle. Easy refills for personal water bottles.)
⁃ Travel with ataya goodies. Tea + sugar gifts for the guards where you’ll be staying make you more memorable.
⁃ Ladies, no matter where your destination may be, bring an easily accessible wrap or scarf if you are wearing shorts to travel. If you have an impromptu stop (car probs or other) in a more remote area, you can use it as a skirt.
⁃ The corner buutiks carry soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, toilet paper, packets of laundry soap and basic food items for snacks (Bisko cookies & milk, chips, etc…) and simple meals (pasta salad with sardines, olives, mayo and mustard).
⁃ The corner buutiks may close for Friday prayers… and also during demonstrations. #lessonlearned
⁃ Pharmacies carry feminine hygiene products. And purchasing them there will then help you understand Period Poverty.
⁃ Heed the advice that my dad gave me when I was 16. “In the long run, it doesn’t cost you any more to keep your gas tank full than it does to keep it low.”