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Luggage and bags: I find it handy a convertible travel bag: it can be wide opened up for convenient storage; it can be carried either with a belt or shoulder straps.
a smaller backpack is useful for daily trips and excursions, and also to bring (in an inside pocket) passport and money.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: According to which kind of journey you are planning, you can buy everything you need there or not.
If you stay in main islands and want to swim or dive, flip-flaps, shorts and tshirts are fine; you might need a light sweater for the night (from May to October): you can easily get all this stuff in Port Vila or Santo, at reasonable prices.
If you are thinking about volcano or bush excursions, you will need waliking shoes, a waterproof jacket, long trousers, a hat.
If you are jumping over the reef's edge for a dive: then you might like to have waterproof shoes to walk on the reef and a waterproof tshirt (the ones you wear under a wet suite or for canoeing). You might want to bring your tech stuff from home.
Treat clothes and mosquito nets with permethrine.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Antbiotics, antistaminics, antipain tablets, hydrogen peroxide, waterproof plasters, tweezers, scissors, anti diarrhea tablets, water purifying tablets (not compulsory, just for peace of mind).
Despite what is said by doctors and in the Net, malaria is not common in Vanuatu, and not present at all during dry season (may-october): again, for peace of mind, it is wiser to follow an anti-malaria treatment if you travel to rural areas (that is: 500 mt out of any town) or outer islands (any other island except Santo, Efate or Tanna, provided that you are staying in hotels or resorts).
Bring a insect repellent with 30% DEET or more, better if with sunscreen: you can buy good ones in Sydney airport (can't mention the brands)
In any case, bring sunscreen
Photo Equipment: Charge your batteries anytime is possible: you never know when electricity will be back!
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: A sleeping cotton liner is useful: you will not always feel confortable in bungalows beds. Mosquito nets are ususally provided but the mesh are often quite wide: bring your own if you want to be sure to avoid undesired visits while sleeping.
Lighters, front torches, candles are important. Bring a good knife (maybe a diving knife too). you can always buy a bush-knife there: I did for 1000 VT (7 euros) and gladly used it to clean sugar cane and coconuts and pawpaw.
Miscellaneous: Bring your favourite foods and treats from home. Anyway, most of what you might want is easily found in Santo stores (we found italian spaghetti, Skittles, etc)
Updated Sep 8, 2008
Luggage and bags: Bring a roomy-ish day bag for general around town and on tours, and a beach bag for longer day trips.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Thongs (or flip flops), maybe some dressier ones for evening wear if you feel inclined. No heels! Some people do wear them, but the paths aren't what I'd call even. Bring some comfortable walking sandals, but don't bother with proper shoes if you're just hanging out in Port Vila. We went in November and it rained a bit but not much. I wouldn't bother with wet weather gear. Or proper evening wear for that matter, no need to dress up, even the fanciest place is at most dressy casual.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Bring everything! Especially sunscreen and mozzie repellant. Sunscreen is hideously expensive (~$20 for a small bottle). The local Tamanu Oil was a lucky find for soothing mozzie bites (can be bought from Iririki tour shop).
Photo Equipment: Bring everything!
Written Dec 6, 2007
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: We were heavily warned about the expense of nappies in Vanuatu, so we packed as many as possible to find that not only are the supermarkets well stocked with nappies, but the price is literally only a few dollars more than in Australia. I would advise parents to take only enough nappies for a few days and buy what you need there. Packing for kids is crazy enough without stuffing your bags full of nappies unnecessarily.
Written Sep 2, 2007
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Slip on style wetsuit shoes (I don't know what they are called?) would have been very useful. Would save you cutting yourself on coral/rocks and also useful for walking through waterfalls and springs.
It's steamy and humid all the time - you tend to sweat a lot and hence go through a lot of clothes. I know the general rule of travel is to pack light, but for Vanuatu I'd take as many t-shirts, shorts and pairs of underwear as possible.
Can't imagine you would ever need cold weather gear in Vanuatu. I wore jeans to dinner one night and wished I hadn't.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: All travellers should take suncreen and heavy duty insect repellant. Having said that, mosquitos were not an issue while we were there. We didn't bother with anti-malaria tablets and were fine.
Updated Apr 27, 2007
Luggage and bags: If you are back packing - like anything a nice big backpack!
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Summer clothes - however if you are staying for over a month, then a jumper and long trousers are really good. Basically you get acclimatised really quickly, within say 2 weeks; and 24 degrees can be chilly enough for goosebumps! Believe me, it happens! Shoes - thongs. Unless you intend to go on a nice long walk over some big mountains or up any volcanoes - runners.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: MEDICAL - REALLY IMPORTANT!!! Take with you antiobiotics for longer stays - you will most probably need them; malaria - is important, but the chances are low, but take it just in case. Toiletries - you can find these on most islands - even the outer ones with tiny shops.
Photo Equipment: Lots of film/mem space. Also handy to take some silicon moisture thingies - because the humidity can sometimes ruin electronic equipment by moulding etc... just a handy hint!
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Beach - just be VERY wary if you are on the outer islands that for females to expose their legs above the knee, or wear skimpy/singlet tops is against kustom, and should be avoided if possible. Swimming with a tshirt and long boardies for females is recommended in this circumstance.
Miscellaneous: For more tips:
Written Mar 1, 2006
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Although the toilet/bathroom facilities are of an acceptable standard around the capital of Port Vila, if you wish to venture further afield you should pack plenty of toilet paper. You do have to travel further around the island to access some of the more stunning reefs, lagoons, islands and beaches etc. The bathroom facilities range fron non existant or "primitive pit toilet" to this rather "flash pit toilet."
Written Sep 26, 2005
Photo Equipment: I do not like digital cameras so I always travel with my Minolta SLR camera with 2 lenses (1x 35/80 and 1x 75/300 zoom), a two times converter, a polariser for both lenses, a spare battery and 10 spare rolls of 400 asa film (36) with 1 loaded into the camera. I find you do not have to worry about the expensive batteries required for the remote areas you can find yourself in or finding power for the battery recharger.
Written Sep 26, 2005
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Flip-flops if you want to blend in with the locals -- EVERYONE wears them here! A pair of closed shoes with good grip that you don't mind walking through water in if you plan to visit the Mele Cascades.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Sunscreen and DEET containing mosquito repellant of course. Nearly all the toiletry brands available in Australia are available at the Au Bon Marche supermarkets (Nambatu particularly) and the Pharmacy in town if you forget something.
Photo Equipment: If you use a disposable underwater camera, get it developed back home - the quality wasn't so good compared to the labs in Australia.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Don't forget to bring a good snorkel with you - you will kick yourself if you don't! There are fantastic snorkelling sites everywhere, and you don't have to swim very far from shore either. They are more expensive to buy in Vanuatu, and the ones provided by tour operators are pretty dodgy.
Miscellaneous: A small umbrella is a must if you are travelling around November - December. The showers arrive and pass quickly, but you don't want to get stuck.
Written Oct 7, 2004
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Pack suitable footwear for walking around. If you plan to go to the waterfalls take along an old pair of sandshoes as they can get quite muddy. One friend who did the hike threw hers away afterwards!
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Mosquito repellent is recommended as I was told there is a small chance of contracting malaria. You will be spending many hours in the sun [ weather permitting of course ] so get yourself a good sunscreen.
Photo Equipment: Take heaps of film as you'll be clicking away where ever you go.
Written Aug 28, 2004
Luggage and bags: Take an extra bag for when you go home...you will probably buy a few things while in Vanuatu... ;)
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Light and casual clothing is about all you will need. Plus maybe one pair of long pants and a light jacket.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: You should bring most stuff from home but you can buy things at the chemist and supermarket (at a high price).
Photo Equipment: Take lots of film or huge memory cards! And a tripod will come in handy too...
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Insect repellant with DEET in it is a must...as well as sunscreen and lots of it!
Written May 6, 2004
Vila Chaumieres Hotel Port-Vila
1 Review and 82 Opinions Large comfortably furnished garden bungalows with separate double bedroom and spacious living area...
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