Samples Survival: My Africa Packing List

We traveled through Africa this past holiday – it was an unbelievable family trip as we were “unplugged” for most of it.  We played cards and trivial pursuit, read a ton, laughed a lot and went to bed early. As we were on the move – from Zambia to Zimbabwe, Cape Town to Hoedspruit to Johannesburg, we each only packed a teeny tiny duffel bag. I dug through my drawers and came up with a set of precious samples I brought with me. Here were my most used: 

1. La Mer Creams. The Kalahari Desert was dry and the sun was scorching – this was my most used item, especially on sunburned noses. 

2. Darphin Intral Toner. I used this every afternoon and night to wash the red dust off my face that seemed to permeate everything!

3. Darphin 8 Flower Nectar Essential Oil Elixir. Perfect overnight hydration. 

4. Skinceuticals C E Ferulic. This serum turbocharges sun protection, so I used it in the morning under my sunscreen.

5. M-61 Skincare Hydraboost Eye Cream. I pulled the sample size out of my Power Packed Must Haves Set. It's perfection for tired eyes from waking up at 4:30 a.m. to go on safari. 

6. M-61 Skincare Hydraboost Body Butter from the Moisture-to-Go Set. Perfect for desert-dry hands,  legs and arms. 

7. Acqua di Parma Colonia in travel size. Who doesn’t want a hint of glamour at night in the desert? This was my evening pick me up!

Beck Family in Africa

Beck Family in Africa


  • Thks for sharing! You should sell your survival kit/samples for fellow travelers that need best basics!
    Wendy Kosofsky Rothstein on

  • What an amazing experience!
    Amanda Clark on

  • I’m leaving for South Africa in a month and would love to purchase your sample survival kit— is there anyway of replicating it for purchase. Thank you!
    RAndy BArr on

  • Hi Marla-

    I loved reading about your Africa travel list! Please make travel survival kits available. I have always found traveling for business challenging, particularly when I gave had to pack for different climates.

    I love, love, love Blue Mercury!

    Susan Hillson on

  • i just read Marla’s sample packing list for her travels to Africa…all great ideas, but could you offer them to us in these sizes?? Maybe, package them with a regular size and include the sample with it…. i’m not opposed to ordering regular sized product, but i’m not going to be searching high and low for the samples of these- it would be great if you could offer them and sell them this way… just an idea, i’m taking several trips to visit my children who live and study in Spain, Italy, & Iceland this year- i would love to bring these along!

    erin on

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