Packing tips needed for spring break trip to Costa Rica

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Posted 2/23/2013 by Mary Kay Lady in NSBR Board
 

Mary Kay Lady
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Posted: 2/23/2013 12:10:08 AM

My 13 year old son and I are traveling to Costa Rica over spring break with Education First Tours. I'm sooooo excited I can hardly stand it.

Can you offer any packing suggestions? I want to be sure that we have everything that we need.

Here's what we're taking:

hooded lightweight waterproof jacket
1 pr for each of us convertable quick-dry (zip-off) pants
2 pr quick dry shorts each
3-4 quick dry shirts (each)
swim suit
comfortable walking shoes
aqua/beach shoes
digital camera with battery charger
snacks
water bottle
quick dry towel, each
4-5 pair socks, each
underwear
pajamas
toiletries
medications
sunsceen
bug spray
hat
travel clothesline

Please help me add to the list. Traveling to a foreign country isn't like traveling in the US where there are 24 hour Wal-Marts/drug stores around.

TIA!


fletchisme
PeaWee

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Posted: 2/23/2013 1:13:53 AM
Hi just got back from a 2 week trip from there (San Jose-Arenal-Monteverde-Manuel Antonio-Brasilito), i think your list looks pretty complete, except maybe something to read and a pen and paper.
The only thing we didn't bring that we sort of wished we had were a deck of cards or some dice.

Mary Kay Lady
I'm thinking . . .

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Posted: 2/23/2013 1:27:51 AM
Thanks. I plan to take my Kindle Fire, a travel journal & pen. I was thinking of taking a set of Uno cards. It sounds like that might be a good idea.

I like the spray on type of sunscreen. How many cans do you think for 2 people for 1 week?

I appreciate your help.

babybeansmom

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Posted: 2/23/2013 1:38:14 AM
Looks good. Only other thing could be an umbrella - while we were there we did have to use one, but our resort provided them, thankfully.

I'm wondering if one sunscreen is enough.....you go through the spray so fast. You can always get more if you run out though.

Have fun! We had such a fantastic time there over spring break a few years ago!!!

(Where are you all going? We were in Arenal and Manuel Antonio)

Loydene
AncestralPea

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Posted: 2/23/2013 7:58:07 AM
Common sense and alertness!
My sister and I were robbed by 4 armed (machetes and a pistol) teenagers while on a tour (with a tour guide) in a banana grove.

Be smart. Be alert.

CrazyHare
PeaFixture

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Posted: 2/23/2013 9:36:41 AM
I like to pack 2 swim suits when I'm on vacation. That way one is always dry when I need it. They don't take up muh room.


Connie
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3kidmama
Ancient Ancestor of Pea

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Posted: 2/23/2013 12:29:30 PM
Hand sanitizer!!!!!!

The ground doesn't every freeze there so there are microbes in everyday dirt that we never think of in the USA. You need to watch your hands everytime before you put something in your mouth.

Because of all the earth tremors (Causing hairline cracks in water pipes), tap water isn't safe to drink (no matter what you are told). Be sure you use bottled or boiled water to even do simple things like brush you teeth.

3kidmama
Ancient Ancestor of Pea

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Posted: 2/23/2013 12:41:40 PM
OP, not sure if you saw the rest of the answers to your thread of a few wks ago as several Peas posted after your last response? You might find additional helpful info there. Costa Rica thread

I"m really excited for you - I'll bet you make some wonderful memories with your son!

hop2
Ancient Ancestor of Pea

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Posted: 2/23/2013 1:36:17 PM
For Costa Rica ( or any very humid place really ). Go to the dollar store or where ever and get 2 gal ziplock bags. Enough for 1 for each outfit. Pack 1 outfit in each. Bring an extras for any paper or electronics you need to stay dry. Some places can be extremely humid.

DD did this just for organization but it ended up having other benefits as well. Clean clothes stayed fresh and dry and did not absorb humidity. They were not musty or clammy. Dirty clothes kept their icky stickiness to themselves as they had their own bag to go back into.

Not sure where your staying but we had very very few laundry facilities available, unless it specifically says you have them don't count on it.

First aid kit
OTC things like Advil etc.
Definitely 2 swim suits (swim cover shirts maybe too)
Sun glasses the sun is bright there
1 1/2 can high SPF sunscreen each
1set of nicer clothes incase they have a farewell dinner?



Mary Kay Lady
I'm thinking . . .

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Posted: 2/23/2013 2:43:36 PM

Thanks for your thoughtful and helpful replies. Originally, my son wanted to go alone and I wasn't comfortable with him traveling out of the country without a family member and that's why I decided to go too.

Loydene, thanks for sharing your experience. That must have been very scary. It makes me even more glad that I've decided to go with him. He's very adverturesome but doesn't always pay attention to what's going on around him.

I'm off to Wal-Mart to buy the remaining things that we need. I'm sooo excited! Can you tell?

lindywholoveskids
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Posted: 2/23/2013 3:00:39 PM
You do sound excited!
It's a beautiful country- and the people are wonderful.

Where are you going exactly?

Maryland
Ancient Ancestor of Pea

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Posted: 2/23/2013 4:28:22 PM
No packing advice, but have a great time! I don't blame you for not wanting a 13 yr. old boy traveling without a parent on the trip. It's hard if he is not familiar with the country.

Have a wonderful adventure!


momof1child
BucketHead

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Posted: 2/23/2013 5:06:57 PM
Are you required to take anti-malaria meds?

Hand sanitizer is a MUST. The locals have tha antibodies to many of ther "germs" that a person from the USA does not have tolerance to.

Also, immodiumn, benadryl & gravol - get the generic pills from Walmart/Target.

3kidmama
Ancient Ancestor of Pea

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Posted: 2/23/2013 6:02:31 PM
You know what I don't see on your list? Something a bit dressier for going to a nice restaurant in the evening. The Costa Rican people dress up when they leave their homes, and if you plan on wearing only shorts or zip off long pants, you will stand out (not in a good way.)

It doesn't have to be fancy, but it would be wise to take along a nice shirt (for your son) to wear with a nice pair of jeans. For yourself I would tuck in a skirt or pair of dress pants (even colored jeans)along with a top that can be accessorized up a bit.

Culturally, when I lived in Costa Rica as an American who worked there, it always made us cringe a bit to see American tourists come into a nice restaurant in the same attire they would have worn on a hike or by a beach. Having something a tad more "dressy" to wear if you are in a nicer place, communicates that you are being respectful of their wonderful culture and society.

lesserknownpea
BucketHead

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Posted: 2/23/2013 7:42:43 PM
I second the nicer clothes suggestion. Just one set each will do.

NEVER leave valuables unattended. Even for a second. Ticos are lovely friendly people, but theft is super common.
Immodium is a must when traveling in my opinion.

Can you pick up a guide for identifying the birds you see?

Be prepared to be amazed by the birds and animals you see. Crocodiles, monkeys, iguanas, gorgeous birds, butterflies.

Have fun.

Pett pea
PeaAddict

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Posted: 2/23/2013 8:57:42 PM
Please be careful with your valuables. My friend just came back from a week there and they had their cell phone and I Pad stolen from their room. They had an in room safe but didn't use it for these items. When they said something at the front desk they said the police do not come on property, they would have to take a taxi to town, get someone who speaks the language etc...She said later when she went on trip advisor it said theft was common there.
Sorry I don't want to be a downer, have a great time.
Lauren



lindywholoveskids
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Posted: 2/23/2013 11:33:38 PM
I had heard Costa Rica was a little more like the rest of world .
Good to take all the suggested Meds !
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