Tuesday, April 14, 2009

What to pack for Costa Rica

When I took my trip to Costa Rica, I realized that there are a few things I wish someone who had taken the trip had told me before I went.

For those who want some tips, here are some extras I would suggest you pack:

If you can fit them, maybe even more than one pair.  Since it rains almost EVERY DAY while you're there, your sneakers will get very wet, and you need those for a lot of the excursions!

Since it is very hot most of the time, you will wear shorts for the majority of the days in Costa Rica.  I wish I had packed more pairs of shorts for my trip.

Since most of us rely on our cell phones for alarms these days, one doesn't usually think to pack an alarm clock while traveling.  Since your cell phone won't work there, you'll be out of luck using that for an alarm clock.  Thank goodness my parents required me to get a global phone for my trip to Costa Rica, because at my home stay, I was not given a clock of any sort!  So, I relied on that little phone to tell me the time and for an alarm.  I would definitely recommend packing an alarm clock.

There are many foods you can't get in Costa Rica, so if there is a certain food you can't live without, I would pack it.  I lived off of the peanut butter I packed, and don't know what I would have done without it!  There are also times when you can't go and buy food, like on long bus trips, when food that was packed in advance will come in very, very handy.  I would suggest granola bars and other easily packable snacks.

In Costa Rica, I lived off of some of my favorite American staples

This is especially for those staying at the Inn, since on my trip, they had some things go missing.  I would pack a small safe or something that can be locked to keep your important things.

Many people lost/broke their cameras on our trip.  If you have an old camera laying around that you don't use, why not bring it just incase?  It's not imperative, but it could be a good idea.

If your camera breaks, you don't want to miss a great shot like this one!

And lots of them!  You'll be glad you packed them when you're always trekking through the rain and have shoes that dry quickly.

My best friend and I kept journals while in Costa Rica and documented the exciting parts of our trip during our downtime.  I'm so glad I did, since it was so easy to relay my stories to my family and friends once I came home!  And later, when I'm older, I'll be able to remember all my great times in Costa Rica.

Especially since Dana and I had to walk the streets at night alone since I was in a homestay, we were both really glad we had an extra means for defending ourselves.  I would definitely recommend bringing it along with you for those nights after going out.

You'll thank me later, trust me.  That rain jacket will get a TON of use.

I lived in that rain jacket all through our trip!

See above.

Although you can get Halls easily at the sidewalk pharmacies (ha!), I would definitely recommend bringing your own favorite brand and some cold medicine.  Almost everyone on the trip got a chest cold and a sore throat from all the rain.

I went through a TON of Halls on my trip!

I ruined quite a few tops while in Costa Rica because I couldn't buy effective stain remover there.  I'd recommend taking ZOUT.  :)

I took a few books with me, and I'm really glad I did!

Dana read Harry Potter on every bus ride!

I made the mistake of only bringing two suits, and I was out of luck when I needed to put a new suit on and only had a wet ones from the days before.

I hope this helps prepare you all for your upcoming trip... only a few more days and you'll be in COSTA RICA! Good luck!


  1. What a helpful list! I didn't think about the cell phones not working in Costa Rica, but that makes sense. I guess folks will be out buying alarm clocks again (-:

  2. That's for sure. My global phone saved my life!!

  3. So nice your posting.
    Everything looks good in your posting.
    That will be necessary for all. Thanks for your posting.

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  8. Hey, great advice and ideas! I'm leaving in a week for 4 months in Central america and can't wait! these tips will definitely help me feel prepared.

    Do any suggestions on getting a raincoat? do we want one that will keep us warm too or just one to block the rain?

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