Sunday, September 7, 2014

How to pack for a trip to Costa Rica - Avoid OVERpacking

This is a packing list I got from a cool blog called the Ramblin Traveler. You'll also find a lot of other helpful info especially about Puerto Viejo, if that's your destination. She moves around so you can also follow her other travels.  My packing list items are in blue.

I have already started to angst over what to bring on our trip and it's 6 months out. The trip is 14 days but since we are going to be moving around quite a bit (and frankly the crime problem has gotten me a little worried - the one that says NEVER LET ANYTHING OUT OF YOUR SIGHT). So since we will have our luggage with us I don't want to travel with anything more than I have to. Hence my plan is one bag and a carry on. My one bag is even carry on size,  so if I get lucky maybe I won't have to check a bag (f I can pull it off, this will be a first.!)  I generally travel with a large spinner, plus the carry on I mentioned and another bag filled to the brim with laptop, cosmetics, etc.

I don't believe it's ever really too early so....

  Shorts and T-shirts
         I'm thinking 5 pairs of shorts should do it

UPDATE: I just read that shorts are ONLY acceptable at the beach. So I am only going to take 1 pair of shorts. If you wear shorts supposedly you will automatically be targeted as a TOURIST! 

 Nice casual outfit for evenings out (aka dressing’ to impression’!!)
        Not exactly sure about his one yet. Probably a long dress and nice pair of black slacks

  Sweater (yes, sweater) and long pants
       Ok sweater and 5 pairs of light weight long pants and a pair of jeans (which I will travel in) I try to travel in the heaviest pair of pants and shoes to save on space in the suitcase.  Plus jeans are sturdy and will be good for the cooler temperature on the plane and the weather in San Francisco which will be our city of origin. 

UPDATE: Source says ditch the jeans for a different choice of pants such as something light weight that is NOT cotton. Apparently cotton is not a good choice for hot and humid weather. You need breathable fabric.

 Underwear and bras of course (men, you can skip the bras unless you are into some crazy kinky stuff I don’t know about and frankly don’t want to know about;))

  Shoe variety (I brought 2 sets of flip-flops and a pair of keens which have been invaluable throughout the trip!!  They serve as my hiking/general exercise “boots” and even my riding “boots”!  And they aren’t that bulky so they don’t take an excessive amount of space up in my bag.)

Tom's Tom's Tom's!! They are my go to shoe for traveling. They are light and comfy. So 2 pairs of Tom's. I have some hiking boots that I bought for my trip to Africa (I never wore them) They are kind of heavy so may settle for another pair of shoes I have that are walking shoes (wear them to travel in). Served me well on past trips to Paris. Also 1 pair of flats (you can wear for casual or dress). 1 pair flip flops and a pair of sandals. 

   Poncho (thanks mom!!)
            Rain can happen anytime

   Bathing suits (more than one as it takes 2-3 days for anything to dry around here and slipping into a wet and cold bathing suit isn’t all that great!!)


   Compact caboodle to put in all toiletries (I found a fabric caboodle that came with many storage areas and even little travel bottles that I filled with hydrogen peroxide, shampoo, lotion and tea tree oil bug spray.  Mind you this was in my backpack and not in my carry-on so there were no airport security issues)

  Compact sleep travel kit (as mentioned before I happened to purchase mine on the flight over and it’s come in handy many times!!  Pack included blanket, air pillow, eye mask and ear plugs)

Not needed as we have hotel reservations at every stop

   Towel (not all hostels provide you with a towel, and even if they do, sometimes it’s just a better idea to use your own!! Also, I have a second towel that my sister gave to me a while back.  I believe it is from Japan but it is very small yet acts like one of those sham wow towels while actually still having the feel of a towel)

 I plan to take a hand towel and washcloth (just in case). These items should be provided at out hotels

   BUG SPRAY!!!!!  (ok, now I really didn’t have any need for bug spray until I reached the Osa Peninsula, but in general this is a good idea!!)

Gonna try Avon Skin So Soft  some swear by it, others don't but I'm also taking my Repel (it is Deet free). It worked in Africa, but we'll see. 

  •  Water bottle (my mom and I found this great water bottle called vapur: it’s a eco-friendly reusable plastic water bottle that is also BPA-free and the best thing about it is that when it’s empty, it’s as flat as a few sheets of paper, but when filled it simply expands and allows up to, if memory serves right, a half a liter of water!  It also comes with a carabiner for easy clipping to your body or pack!)
  •  Hands-free headlight (I got one with three modes of lighting and it has come in great handy!!  Whether used for a night tour, light to get home after late-night fiestas, during blackouts that actually occur more often than not or simply in my own home when the 3 of the 4 light bulbs suddenly decide to burn out all within the same hour!)
           I have a headlight from my Africa trip will take it 
  •  Plastic bags (these are really essential too!!  They are great for stuffing still wet clothing into or dirty clothes into to separate them from the rest of the dry and clean clothes while traveling from one place to the next)
  •  First Aid Kit (I bought one from Bass Pro Shop that is quite compact and has a lot of handy stuff including a syringe and gloves.  I’ve added to it extra bandaids, Neosporen and tea tree oil for bug bites)
          A must plus any other medications you might need (Tylenol etc)

         P.S I am also taking a roll of travel toilet tissue. Took some to Africa, You just never know!

Happy Packing
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