So you have decided to take a trip to Costa Rica? Well, I want to help make your trip as simple as possible by providing you with a necessary list of items you will be needing once you embark on this adventure. Packing is always one of the most dreaded things. It’s actually pretty funny because the entire leaving for your trip thing is okay, but getting your life together before hand is such a mess. If you know anything about me, you know that I love to wait until the last minute to pack for anything. My mom has a great system though, pack super duper early and then gradually remove items from your suitcase throughout the week that you know for sure you will not be needing… this kind of helps weed out a lot of the over packing. But— let’s be real.. I always still pack the day before LOL.
My advice to you for packing is some of my advice for traveling in general… know your itinerary! For example, if you know you will be doing more water oriented activities as opposed to jungle activities you are going to need more bathing suits than you will parkas. Any who, like I said before– prior to my trip I did a lot of research in regards to the best water shoes, insect repellent etc, so I wanted to share all of my knowledge with you guys. I have also gone ahead and made the What to pack for your trip to Costa Rica.. totally printable. Yes– so you can actually walk around your house with a piece of paper and check things off as you go along.
Here are some of the items I brought along with me on my Costa Rica Trip that I want to highly recommend!
1. WATER SHOES
This is one of the items I really really recommend you spend a little extra on. You are going to need a great pair of water shoes that are both comfortable, light, and have a really good sole made for hiking. Since I am a bargain hunter in my spare time- I found some fantastic gently used ones off of Poshmark. The ones I purchased are by the brand KEEN. Although these are not the most fashionable, they will hands down be the most necessary item on your packing list. To be honest, your typical Walmart water shoes really won’t be sturdy enough if you plan on doing any jungle/waterfall/or hiking activities. You always want to make sure you keep your feet safe!
2. LIGHT RAIN JACKET
Even if you do not plan on venturing into the rain forest you are still in a location that rain is very common in! You for sure want to make sure that you bring a super light weight and pack-able rain jacket. The one I brought with me I purchased from Oakley. It is called “High Tide Full Zipped Cropped Hoodie”. I believe that they currently have it on sale right now- but very limited sizing. If you are interested in purchasing it, I love mine. You may be able to find your size from someone reselling on Poshmark. It was super perfect and 100% waterproof, Oakley really does a great job with creating waterproof and breathable clothing! They are amazing!
3. WATERPROOF BACKPACK
Having a light weight and pack-able waterproof back pack is going to be essential if you plan on taking on any day trips. First off- when does’t having a backpack come in handy? Second, you are going to need something to carry your essentials in and this is the perfect way to make sure nothing gets lost while exploring. The backpack that I used during this trip was Eddie Bauer’s Packable Pack. This backpack is is as light as a feather, 100% waterproof, affordable, and spacious! If you are wanting to look into purchasing it, they are sold out on their website but you can still buy them on Amazon!
4. SUNSCREEN & INSECT REPELLENT
I cannot stress enough how important it is to carry both with you at all times, regardless on whether or not it is a sunny day you will always need some sunscreen. There are so many great brands of sunscreen currently on the market right now so anything with a good SPF works fine, I really recommend buying this in advance at home. You do not want to be spending $20.00 on sunscreen once you arrive at your destination. I typically purchase sunscreens that contain caffeine, the caffeine helps fight skin cancers. A great one is Replenix. When purchasing insect repellent I am a little crazy because I am actually allergic to insect bites, whenever they bite me I end up with welts on my body, so a great insect repellent that works incredible is Cactus Juice! This repellent was actually introduced to me by my boyfriends mom after I was eaten alive in Louisiana (he is originally from there)..Louisiana bugs are NO JOKE & this stuff worked better than anything I have tried so far!
5. WATERPROOF CAMERAS
If you plan on doing anything adventurous you are going to want to invest in a GoPro and a really good waterproof phone case! Go Pro’s are probably the most compact and awesome small cameras to have for any type of vacation. Not only do they take awesome videos, you can purchase different accessories to put them on helmets (most useful), handlebars etc. You also want to be able to capture your memories instantaneously which having a GoPro allows you to do, although they can be a little pricey, if you plan on traveling often you won’t regret buying one. We have used ours for just about everything, the GoPro is pretty indestructible too. If you are looking to invest in one, Amazon has some of the better pricing on these items.
6. MICROFIBER TRAVEL TOWEL
This is another one of those items you want to be able to fit into your backpack. Having an actual travel towel that is microfiber will dry much faster and is much more efficient. There is nothing worse than carrying around an over sized wet beach towel when you’re trying to be proactive. If you plan on doing any waterfall, hiking, or jungle activities I suggest purchasing a travel microfiber towel. The one I used on my trip is only $10.99 on Amazon and worked incredible.
7. WATERPROOF MONEY & ID CASE
So this is literally one of those things that I think about last minute, never bring, and then wish I had. There are so many options for buying one of these, you can find them just about anywhere. I do suggest bringing one though. It’s never a bad idea to be well prepared for anything that may arise. Also, if you plan on venturing somewhere that may require an ID this works much better than a plastic baggie. TRUST ME lol. You can buy one off of Amazon for super cheap too.
I hope you have an amazing trip! Feel free to shoot me an e-mail and tell me about it! I love hearing about your adventures and discoveries!