What to pack for your gap year

Sofia Dragoti - Brazil


January 29, 2020

Usually when you think what to pack for 8 months, your minds gets a little bit chaotic (Chaos(χάος) is a Greek word 😉 )
But it is simplest than you think! Believe me!
Lets start with the basics. 
1.You will take clothes that are comfortable ,you use and you like! (keep those 3 words in mind )
2.You will pack cloths that are weather friendly (Ι mean Brazilian weather friendly, which is a pretty hard task!).
Lets assume that you know what you like,use and like -sometimes you don’t, but you will find it out, maybe packing back for home? 😉 -and lets focus in the weather factor for the moment.
September and October which are your first months here, it will be pretty cold.(its end of winter and spring) .
December-January-February are summer months and this mean that is very hot with a lot of rain ( an umbrella here is needed )
March is the beginning of autumn ( just think something hot like summer with some doses of winter :))
Now that we understand the weather component, lets create our essential list 🙂
***Just keep in mind this list differ from person to person, those are my recommendations from my experience in-country and fell free to make any changes you need, this is just a guide for you.***
What to pack 101
For the first days in country – meaning winter :
Chapter 1:Winter
1 Jacket(a warm one)
2 hoodies (for the winter that you will face)
2 very warm pair of pants (I promise it will be cold)
1 scarf ( its an essential, you always need one with you)
For the rest of the months-meaning rainy hot summer:
Chapter 2: Rainy summer
1 lighter jacket ( for summer months -personally i use a red hoodie with a zipper-  anything that you use during warmer months)
1 umbrella
1 rain coat
Chapter 3: Hot summer 
1 pair of sunglasses
1 sunscreen spf 30-50 ( Its the 2nd Brazil essential! Protect your beautiful skin and be extra careful during 12pm-2pm as then the sun is the strongest and you can get burns and irritations, not just in Brazil but anywhere in the globe)
1 water bottle 500ml-1 L ( Think sustainably and hydrate yourself)
All the rest that you need (not weather based):
Chapter 4: Basics
8-10 t-shirts
5-6 long pants(jeans and sport pants-leggings ex. 3 jeans and 3 legging)
3 short pants ( the number of long and short pants can differ because it depends from what you wear the most)
10-15 pairs of socks
10-15 pairs of underwear
1-2 swimsuits
1-2 causal – good pair of cloths. (Keep in mind: you want clothes which you can wear everyday and not only in one occasion. I use my t-shirts and jeans, and i do have two extra dresses)
Bonus
1-2 skirts (during summer they are perfect )
1-2 long sleeves shirts
Chapter 5: Shoes
1 pair of everyday casual shoes
1 pair of waterproof shoes-boots
1 pair of short shoes (gym etc.)
1 pair of flip flops
Bonus 
1 pair of hiking shoes
1 pair of sandals (if that’s you)
Chapter 6 : Essentials
~ Hygiene
Shampoo
Toothpaste
Tooth brush
Soap
Deodorant (Use it everyday :it’s the 1st Brazil essential)
1 Nail cutter/clipper
1 Hair brush
1 Lip balm

Bonus
Perfume
Face moisturizer cream
Body moisturizer cream
Tower for beach or trip use
Makeup products (if this is you)

~Stationary
1 notebook
2-3 pens

Bonus
1-2 Highlighters ( for language classes)
1 English-Portuguese dictionary
Books or Kindle(if you want to spend some time reading)

~Other
Jewelries(do not bring high value/ sentimental stuff because you never know)
Small gifts for the family from back home
Stuff that reminds you of home( ex. pictures)
Chapter 7 : First aid kit – Meds
1 elastic bandage
1 box of Hansaplast
1 box of alcohol swab (to clean wounds)
1-2 boxes of Pain killers
1 box of diarrhea-upset stomach medication(ex Pepto bismol)
1 cough syrup
1 box of fever medication
1 bug repellent spray
1 cream for insect bites
Personal med’s (if you use any, please bring the amount needed for your trip)
Anti-malaria medication (you will use this for your independent travel- if you travel to malaria region-which is 2 weeks long.Inform your doctor that you need a portion of the medication for 2 weeks of travel in a malaria region)
Bonus
1 after-sun cream (if you get burn easily)
1 box of painkiller for period cramps (if it’s needed)
Chapter 8: Tech
2-3 pairs of headphones (you will destroy or loss them)
Phone + Charger
1 adapter to USA(or whatever else)-to-EU charging spot( Brazil generally uses European electricity standard : 220 Volts and European charging spots)
Bonus
1 Power-bank
1 Laptop
1 laptop charger
1 Camera + batteries+charger
External drive( if you do have files needed or you take a lot of pictures and you want a back up that’s not online)
Don’t forget to take with you happiness,curiosity,adventure self and let’s go!
With love,
Sofi

Sofia Dragoti