Packing for one’s trip to the Kenyan coast seems like a pretty straightforward undertaking. However, there are a few little things that can be easily overlooked and end up turning your whole vacation upside down. Well, maybe that’s a little dramatic but it’s forgetting to pack for little things that can be annoying; like having a pebble in one’s shoe. So to avoid that pebble-in-your-shoe feeling and foster a more warm-sand-on-your-feet feeling, so to speak, here are a few often overlooked things to pack for your trip to Mombasa.
To be honest, ladies are less likely to forget this but men rarely think about sunscreen. A guy’s skincare routine is simple: shower and off you go. Men who seem to put any effort into skincare, apply lotion and that’s the end of that. In fact, some men frown upon men who apply anything to their skin. So to think that a man has even heard of sunscreen is something akin to the eighth wonder of the world. Sunscreen is important for all skin types. As a matter of fact, it is recommended that everyone has sunscreen on all the time. Direct exposure to sunlight at the coast makes sunscreen a necessity.
If you forget sunscreen, do not forget to at least carry a hat. A baseball-type cap for men or a sun hat for women should do the trick. And that’s about that for hats. They protect you from the sun and are a chance to make a fashion statement.
3. Soap or Showering Shampoo
I know what you are thinking. Aren’t hotels supposed to provide this? Well, yes but there’s a big but there. Most hotels provide small barely usable soaps or small sachets of showering shampoo that quite honestly do not do the job. Some hotels do a better job at this but most do not. Moreover, you might want to carry a loofah or a bathing cloth as this is not provided at the hotel. The same goes for things like toothpaste. This is hardly ever provided. On the other hand, there are plenty of clean towels and even hairdryers should you need one.
4. Small Bags
I get it. You already have a big suitcase or bag and you are not about to carry another bag. A small sling bag or clutch bag or something of that nature is important to carry your phone and hotel room key and stuff like that. This is particularly important, for example, when at the beach. Most swim or beach attire does not have pockets. And even if it does, you might want to think twice about jumping in the water with your phone and keys in your pocket. This is where a small bag comes in handy.
5. Twice the Amount of Clothes You Think You Will Need
That suitcase is getting fuller with each paragraph. However, hear me out. If you are going, say, for a 3-day trip to Mombasa, you would be forgiven for packing just three outfits. One for each day. In reality, you may end up needing to change clothes sometimes even twice a day. You may wake up and head for the beach wearing beach clothes and need to change into formal wear for the evening dinner. Some hotels even have themed dinners that have recommended dress codes. Usually, guests will be informed about such dinners in advance. Your clothes for the day may get dirty while out on the beach and you then need to head into town for shopping or other errands. You may spill some wine on your white clothing item and require a change of clothes. Preparation is key to avoid a wardrobe malfunction type of scenario.
Every traveler packs differently. The goal when packing is to first pack the bare minimum and then think through each day and figure out what you might need. All said and done though, do not overthink packing. You can always shop for small items you may have forgotten once in Mombasa. Happy packing!