Probably the most commonly asked questions of us are centered around packing.  These questions are difficult to answer as everyone’s experience is so different, depending on so many things, some of them being their nationality, gender and palate.

Rule of thumb is if you absolutely adore a specific brand of tinned tomatoes then bring them.  Bring them by the boxful.  Worst case scenario you arrive and you find them in the stores here, but better off bringing a little extra over in your container when you relocate than having to shove tins into your measly 22 kilogram allowance in economy class after a week back in the Yorkshire Dales.


Here’s a list of things our readers think you might want to consider packing ...


  1. Bullet Non perishable vegetarian supplements or products.

  1. Bullet Vegemite (for the Aussie contingent), Marmite (for the British and Kiwi’s.)

  1. Bullet Convenience food - eg. packets of fresh noodles (dry rice and egg noodles can be found), ready made rice or pasta kits with sauce (becoming available at Palm City however as yet a small range is available).

  1. BulletPesto (not widely available)

  1. BulletWholegrain seeded mustard (not widely available)

  1. BulletPopcorn.  Canned popcorn is available however microwave popcorn can be very difficult to find.

  1. BulletCling film/Glad wrap - Available here but not the same quality as is available overseas.  Depending on your patience level you may or may not want to pack this!

Baby & Children

  1. BulletChildren’s healthy snacks - fruit bars, rice crackers, fruit puree sachets.

  1. BulletBaby formula  - Bring enough for a few months supply as you may have to transfer to a different brand here if you’re unable to find the one you use.

  1. BulletKids’ birthday party items - cake decorating items are very basic, such as food colouring and chocolate sprinkles.   Also hard to find are good quality children’s party invitations and party bags, although, depending on the age of your child, they may not know the difference.

  1. BulletScented nappy bags


Men - T-shirts and below the knee shorts are acceptable.  However Libyan men do not wear shorts so you will look the odd one out.  Be reminded that it does get cold during the winter months and so long trousers and jeans will be worn frequently.

Women - It is appropriate for women to wear full length or 3/4 length trousers, skirts below the knee and short or long sleeved t-shirts. Sleeveless tops are frowned upon, as are revealing clothes.  Clothing like this is readily available in Tripoli.  There is no need for western women to cover their heads.  However, outside of the city of Tripoli, in neighbouring regions, where expats are smaller in number, the dress code is certainly more modest. Long sleeved t-shirts and shirts for women would be advised, as would full length or 3/4 length skirts or trousers.

Other miscellaneous items

  1. BulletEnglish books - especially for children.  Note: A small bookstore has opened in Tripoli which caters to English speakers, however stocks are limited.  Customers may order books at the store.  Read about it here.

  1. BulletSwimming costumes - There are plenty of places where it is appropriate for you to wear a western style costume and many villas have swimming pools.  Note: A few western style bathing costumes are usually available at M & S and BHS.

  1. Bullet Holiday themed products - If you wish to celebrate Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving or Halloween in Libya you are best to bring decorations and chocolate eggs in ahead of time.  Note: One of the children’s toy shops in Tripoli which is frequented by expats (Children’s Garden Toys), sells a small range of products during holiday seasons.

Beach equipment

You will definitely want a beach tent as a means of creating shade when you take a drive to the beach.  There are lots of lovely beaches along the coast, however no umbrellas or huts are provided.  Something sturdy that won’t blow away and will allow you to comfortably relax while gazing into the Mediterranean will not go astray.

Note: Shade tents can be found here however choice is limited and prices are likely to be higher than you might find at home.

Camping equipment

Camping on the beach is a common leisure pursuit of expats in Libya.  Even those who don’t consider themselves campers have been converted!  Very, very basic camping equipment is available in Tripoli although there is a better shop in Zawiyah.

Snowboarding and skiing equipment

For the dunes dude!

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