Why the packing lists? Well, I am OBSESSED with packing. I have always been a packer and one of my favorite things about planning trips is figuring out what I am going to bring. Here is MY packing list for Central America. It will probably change when I come back (it only did slightly), but here are the things I think we will need for 9 weeks of beach, mountain and lake travel.
The challenge of packing for this trip was the heat and humidity combined with a high potential for very little laundry, combined with wanting small enough bags that we can be as mobile as possible. We initially wanted to carry our school backpacks, which are about 30 liters. We did a test run with those bags and although everything “fit” it was VERY tight and we had no wiggle room. So, we decided to use the bags we got for Europe with (almost) the same amount of stuff we had planned on putting in our small bags. We did decide to bring our Eno hammocks with this extra space, but we will see how much we end up using them (we did not sleep in them but we did use them).
We are bringing a lot of dry fit gear so our clothes will dry quickly. Our clothing is a mixed bag of things we splurged on and things we picked through the racks of Ross and thrift stores to find. For example, our convertible pants ran around $50 each, but they fit us very well and will be highly useful for all the camping we do. Our underwear and socks were also pricy, but we will be wearing the same 5 pairs of underwear and socks for almost 7 months, so we figured we better buy quality gear. All the shirts we are bringing are either Ross or Thrift store finds and we both already owned Chacos (which are $$$ but are VERY sturdy for sandals).
Bottoms: convertible pants, silk leggings, knee length skirt, shorts, gym/sleep shorts, ADDED: skirt I bought in Guatemala
Shirts: 1 undershirt, 2 dry fit tee shirts, 2 dry fit tank tops, 3 cotton shirts, 1 long sleeve flannel, 1 bug/jungle long sleeve shirt, 1 warm long sleeve (I DID NOT regret bringing 3 long sleeve shirts)
Undergarments: 5 pairs of underwear, 3 pairs of socks, bras
Shoes: Chacos, Converse (I did not NEED these, but it was a nice break for my tortured feet once in a while), Teva flip flops
2 1 bathing suit, 2 bandanas, rain jacket, hat (lost), purse
Bottoms: convertible pants, 1 shorts, 1 gym shorts
Shirts: 5 dry fit tee shirts, 1 jungle/bug shirt, 1 sweatshirt, ADDED: 1 shirt
Undergarments: 5 pairs of underwear, 2 pairs of socks
Shoes: Chacos, flip flops
Other: bathing suit, rain jacket
Health: sunscreen, toothbrush, toothpaste (we bought more while traveling), chap-stick, q-tips, insect repellant, feminine products
Beauty: hair product, deodorant, razor, mascara and eye shadow, pumice stone (so useful!), nail polish (helped cover my NASTY toenails), tweezers, nail clippers, hair bands,
hair cutting scissors
Health: sunscreen, toothbrush, toothpaste, chap-stick, insect repellant
Beauty: 2 pair of contacts and cases, razor, deodorant,
**We are buying shampoo, conditioner and soap when we get there** We bought lotion and toothpaste too.
– Cameras (and memory cards)
– iPad (and charger, keyboard, memory card reader)
– Kindles (and chargers)
– Travel power strip
– Zunes (and chargers, headphones and headphone splitter)
– AA rechargeable batteries (and backup batteries)
– Flash drive
Medicine Kit (most of these things we ended up not needing, and medicine was CHEAP everywhere we went, so we probably would not bring most of this again)
– bandaids, antibiotic cream, pain killers, sleeping pills, anti diarrheal, motion sickness pills, anti-cold pills, antimalarials, allergy pills, salve, hand sanitizer
Bags: 2 Gregory Backpacks (Logan has a Savant 48L and I have a Sage 45L, they were not be full on this trip), Day packs (Logan has a REI FlashPack and I have a Eagle Creek, both fold to the size of an orange), compact grocery bag (super useful!)
“Travel” Gear (marketed as travel specific things we bought/ got as wedding gifts, specifically for travel): microfiber towels, silverware, sink stopper, travel clothesline, Dr.Bronner’s soap (for laundry), Eno Hammocks (and straps), Silk travel sheets, Steripen, money “pocket” (like a money belt but less….lame), Platypus flexible water bottles
Other: headlights, small keychain flashlights, padlocks, watch, alarm clock, small sewing kit, sunglasses, glasses (Logan), Passports, Journal, Spanish dictionary, ear plugs, eye masks, pens, Cribbage board (and cards), Guidebook (get one for the year you are going because hostels seem to come and go fast in this part of the world.)