There are some things we all know to take with us when traveling –like toiletries, clothes, and your passport. But it’s incredibly easy to forget some country-specific items when you’re excited to go on your trip. For that reason, I’ve compiled a list for those who are going to Costa Rica to prepare themselves to live/travel/study in this beautiful country.
Here are the items I knew I had to take with me to Costa Rica and some that I quickly learned were vital to my trip.
- Dramamine: I specifically purchased the 24-hour non-drowsy formula and it was a lifesaver. Costa Rica has some rough terrain and adventurous drivers. So, understandably, any form of transportation also meant queasy/nauseous travelers since most of us were not used to the altitude. With the aid of this medicine, I was able to enjoy my travel without having to worry about being sick.
- Chacos: Of course running shoes are imperative to any trip, but between Costa Rica’s wet season and the beautiful beaches, it was easy to end up with drenched/sandy sneakers. The shoes that seemed to stand up the best were the Chacos. Actually, even the mountain boots were no competition for the rocky walks. Someone in my trip lost both of the soles on her mountain boots during one of our hikes.
(Me wearing my rain jacket)
- Umbrella: Costa Rica has exactly two seasons, wet and dry. The trip I went on was set in the beginning of the wet season so a waterproof jacket, poncho, or umbrella is a key item during this time. Well, unless you don’t mind swimming in your clothes.
- Sunscreen: Whether it’s the wet or dry season, you will definitely need sunscreen. Since Costa Rica is above water level, unlike Florida, and it is close to the equator, it’s important to wear sunscreen wherever you go. The sun seems like your best friend at the beach, but once you get home, you will notice how relentless it actually is.
- Gifts: Everyone loves international gifts, that’s a given. For that same reason, you should prepare to bring either your program coordinator, your homestay family, and/or your teacher a gift from the states. Since I did a homestay, I brought my family typical puerto rican candies. This not only showed them how grateful I was to be staying in their home, but it also gave me a conversation starter when I first met them.
Packing your bags is a testament to the research you have done about your country. I prepared myself through reading books and asking friends about their experience; this research resulted in a successful transition into Costa Rica. Therefore don’t forget to pack these items to ensure your trip is one to remember!