Leaving The Country: Travel Checklist For a Costa Rica Vacation

Remember how I don't like to go anywhere farther away than Target?  

Lest you think I am just one of those moms of four kids who works out and then doesn't shower for three hours while taking care of "just one more thing" (Give a Mouse a Cookie...), often at the expense of all house cleaning, laundry and food prep...I am flying to COSTA RICA next week!  All. By. Myself.  

Rio Celeste Waterfall in Costa Rica

Rio Celeste Waterfall in Costa Rica

I actually adore traveling, but when you are leaving behind a life of Pure Insanity it isn't as easy as one might think to just "get away". 

One of my very closest friends moved from Portland to Costa Rica a couple of years ago on something of a whim for adventure.   I think she was more surprised than even I was when I finally hit the "submit" button on the airplane tickets.  She is clearly the adventurous one of the two of us.  

But, as they say in Costa Rica (or so I am told): Pura Vida!!

Now begins the anxiety of what to pack and what to leave behind.  I have a tremendous tendency to over pack; but the thought of lugging around extra crap through customs, etc. means I need to squelch the inevitable just in case trap I fall into every time I pack to go somewhere.

So, what do I bring on such a long flight to a climate and country I have never been to before to see a friend I haven't seen in years? 

I did a little digging and this is the list I came up with:

1: Sunscreen.  Hello, I am an Oregonian.  Sunshine, meet these pasty white legs.

Rainforest Sunrise in Costa Rica

Rainforest Sunrise in Costa Rica

2: Aloe Vera.  I may have mentioned something about my lack of familiarity with El Sol (that is Spanish for "sunshine" for those of you not holding onto your Spanish/English dictionary at the moment).

3: Wide Brim Hat

4: Sunglasses. As important as the shades themselves, I purchased one of these last year and it has been a lifesaver for my sunglasses when traveling.  This hard case is both adorable and durable so you won't crunch the sunglasses during travel!

5: Lip Balm.  With sunscreen Obvs.

6: Sweat resistant socks.  I plan to mostly wear flip flops or water sandals, but when we go hiking I don't want to be the one whining about blisters.

7: Sundresses.  (You can use code chelseaA10 for 10% off your order from P&D). It is hot and sticky and I have been well informed that loose fitting, cool dresses are where it's at in the areas of the world where the sun actually shines.

8: Workout clothes and workout shoes.  I hope to get at least one walk or run every day I am there to explore a country I have only ever seen on TV and in pictures.  SO EXCITED!!

9: Swimsuits.  (Don't forget to use that coupon code! chelseaA10) I am a fan of the wear one, dry one policy, so I will bring at least two. I have never ordered a swimsuit from Amazon before, but I saw this one and really want to try it.  

10: Water Sandals.  

11: Flip Flops for the every day casual outings, days at the beach, or after showers to avoid the much feared cockroaches and scorpions. 

12: Mosquito Repellent  I have heard horror stories.  Everything I read recommends using something with DEET in it b/c the odor repels mosquitoes.  I am all for repelling mosquitoes and any other creeping, crawling, blood-sucking things.

13: Hiking boots/shoes. This is what I am most excited about!  Outdoor adventure--minus the giant man eating scorpions and of course while wearing a lot of odor repelling bug spray.

14: Packing Cubes and Mesh bags.  I love to have my clothes subdivided ahead of time so I know I have enough socks and underwear and it also helps prevent me from too badly over packing b/c I can see exactly how many outfits I actually have and need.  A mesh bag for dirty clothes and wet swimsuits is particularly helpful when going somewhere warm and by a beach.

15: Travel Guides. I am not bringing this b/c I have my own personal tour guide I am staying with; but if I wasn't staying with my friend, I would have undoubtedly purchased a handful of Travel Guides b/c I LOOOVE that kind of thing.  Give me a research project with pretty pictures and I get ALL heart eyes.  These ones have great reviews and are available on Kindle or paperback.

16: The obvious stuff like a toothbrush, deodorant, makeup, razor, hair and face products.

17: Prescriptions, medications, my gazillion dollars worth of Rodan and Fields skin care products that at 40 years old I can no longer live without.

18: Charger chords, bricks, external charger, etc. so I can charge all of my devices.

19: Passport, Drivers license, Cash, Insurance information, Credit card.  Oh and I better let my credit card company know that I am leaving the country so they don't block my account.

20: Money sling to carry cash, cards, passport, etc. easily.

21: Laptop, Chromebook, Cell Phone.  This is a long flight there and back, with a layover.  

22: Books to read.  This is the book I am reading.  SO GOOD.  Please don't judge me for my love of YA fiction.  I sometimes read deep, thought provoking books....well, I did in college anyway.

23: Download at least one audible book for the flight there and back.

24: Collapsible Water Bottle.  My friend warned me of the potential for severe dehydration from the heat and humidity sucking all of the moisture out of your body.  This one can fold up and fit right in the suitcase. 

25:  My camera, camera bag, lenses, three extra batteries, 4 extra SD cards.  I am going to be in Costa Rica after all, I probably won't stop taking pictures the whole time I am there. 

Did I mention that I am SOOO EXCITED????

What am I forgetting?  Is this overkill? 



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