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What to Pack for a Dictatorship

Packing is a pickle, especially for people like me who tend to bring almost… every possible gadget. Packing for Europe is one thing, but what do you pack for a dictatorship?

It will vary depending on where you plan on going.

What’s a Dictatorship

A dictatorship is a type of authoritarianism, in which politicians regulate nearly every aspect of the public and private behavior of citizens. An offbeat destination, for sure, but it’s a an attractive idea for adventurers who wish to keep away from crowds.

In other words , A dictatorship is a form of government in which a person or a small group rules with almost unlimited power. The ruler of a dictatorship is called a dictator, who holds absolute authority in any sphere.

Packing Ideas

Based on internet and common sense, it is easy to pack a suitcase if you go to Thailand, or Spain, or Jordan. But what about the special countries? Like North Korea? Yemen? Or China? Does the packing rule change?

Do not try and take EVERYTHING with you. Exhibit A above.

What you need to keep in mind is that these countries often present warnings and limitations to tourists in order to maintain a certain because of their governments (China, though, is not exactly a dictatorship but does present many limitations) sometimes there are rules set out in advance to prevent any difficulty for and from the visitor. Like North Korea. Myanmar didn’t have ATMs until couple of years ago, so rules and recommendations need to revised from time to time. For North Korea, I wasn’t warned about any specific rule regarding clothing (except the one piece of cloth for a formal visit to the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun), but I distinctively recall the pre-tour information pamphlet with recommendations. Let’s see the bottom lines on packing:

  • Do not pack any religious book with you. You can’t play with this topic as it is highly sensitive in most sporty places (North Korea, Palestine, China, etc).
  • Pack light and with the necessary, do not pack too many pieces of clothing, remember that is always best to travel light with the necessary items. If you find a pretty shirt, you’ll buy it in the moment, but depart light.
  • Photo equipment: bear in mind that professional cameras with lenses up to 250mm might not be allowed in some places. For the rest consider that in many places you won’t find lenses and other camera items, so pack them with you.
  • As ATM machines may not be available, bring lots of cash with you in sufficient quantity for the duration of your trip (Eur and USD will both be fine). Don’t waste time and space for travellers cheques. Just cash.
  • Lots of gifts like tobaccos and cigarettes, pens, mainly intended for bartering and gifts. Very useful items 😉
Cigarettes are always well accepted
  • If you not visiting a muslim countries, you might want to take whiskey or any other fancy alcoholic drinks that locals can’t normally access to. In North Korea they are very appreciated presents to tour guides. Chocolates too!

  • A torch or flashlight. This is a fundamental item. The best countries are those that are sporty, do not always expect light everywhere and have your own.
  • Take with you a useful passport. Many passports are not accepted, like in North Korea a South Korean passport will not be allowed to enter the country. Here is a list of friendly passports and here as well.
  • Notebook in case you want to write down interesting things you hear or see.
Everybody likes Italians, that is a certainty, and Chileans. Although Chileans are a more rare and safer sight in sporty countries.
  • Minimized toiletries: we girls are specialists in finding teeny tiny tooth pastes, shampoos and creams. If you know you’re going somewhere where you will not find these items, use small containers.

 

Follow these rules and you’re good to go 🙂 !

By:

Italian-Chilean travel writer, photographer & culture enthusiast with a penchant for la dolce vita and a severe case of wanderlust.

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