(Downloadable packing list at the bottom of this post!) I’ve mentioned at least five times how impressed I am that I packed into a carry-on bag for six weeks of travel. I’m more impressed that I survived with only the items I brought and I wanted to say a few words on my choice of items to pack, for any of you out there thinking about long (or short) term travel.

First, I am now a huge advocate of bringing the smallest bag possible. Also, while those bags with 4 wheels are AWESOME on flat surfaces, they SUCK on bumpy surfaces, which is basically anything outside the airport. Most hotels I stayed in did not have elevators or a bellhop. Border crossings involved long walks, and boy was I glad that I brought small bags.


What I’m Glad I Brought/Invested In:

  • Nail clippers and a nail file
  • A labeling system to label all my power cords so I’d easily be able to locate the one I needed
  • A blanket (from the airlines – there were some beds that had only sheets, and some places like buses that were cold, what a great thing to have brought!)
  • A multi-country plug adapter that allows 3 items to plug in at the same time
  • Only 3 pairs of shoes – I wore them all out but they were exactly what I needed!
  • Plastic bags you can pack and push all the air out of to create more space in my luggage
  • An umbrella – mostly to shield me from the SUN
  • Sunblock – it was expensive in Costa Rica, glad I didn’t have to buy any!
  • A fold-up knapsack for day trips
  • A GoPro – my first one and it was fabulous for alternate photos and videos
  • Eyeglass cleaner wipes – man do glasses get DIIIIIRTY!
  • Waterproof sandals – who knew I would be on so many boats where I would have to hop out into water and walk to shore?

Hiking the black rock of Arenal volcano.

What I Wish I’d Left Behind:

  • A few shirts. I only brought about seven, but it gets really annoying wearing the same shirts over and over. I’d leave room to cycle in a couple new t-shirts so I can buy a couple on the road and feel inspired.
  • So much underwear. I brought about 3-weeks worth, and never used all of it since I did laundry, so it just took up space.
  • So many pants – could have left at least one pair home

If you need a packing list, look no further! Click the icon at the left and download the one I made. Feel free to share it!

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