Packing List

Below is a list of everything I packed in my suitcases for two years of living in Costa Rica!

This list has been updated throughout my service to indicate the items I wish I would and wouldn’t have brought.

Things I wish I WOULD have brought:

  • 1-3 more pair of running shorts (if you workout)
  • More running/yoga leggings. I am in leggings ALL THE TIME.
  • More simple quick drying v-necks instead of nice t-shirts
  • More of my favorite foods (peanut butter, nuts, protein powder)

I have donated more than half the clothing I brought since I basically rotate through the same 10 outfits. There are also plenty of Ropa Americana stores (like the Goodwill) here where it is easy to purchase cheap clothing. LESS IS MORE PEOPLE.

Also as far as the “business casual” dresscode goes for during pre-service training, a basic top, jeans/skirt, and any shoe but flipflops is fine. We all like to wear this brand and style of sandal. It’s comfy, durable, and perfect for dressing up or down.

And, do not DO.NOT. bring down clothes that you love. They will get destroyed. Just leave the good stuff back home!


As a Peace Corps volunteer, you are allowed:

  • 2 checked bags (each cannot weigh over 50 pounds)
  • 1 carry-on bag
  • 1 personal item

Luggage I brought:

  • 1 North Face 36” Rolling Thunder – 48 lbs
    • This bag is huge. The 30” or a smaller option would have been perfect. Highly recommend the rolling duffelbag style.
  • 1 55-liter backpacking bag – 46 lbs
  • 1 carry-on bag (a Marmot Granite backpack)
  • 1 personal item – ukulele

Screen Shot 2016-02-23 at 10.01.51 PM

My Peace Corps Packing List:

CLOTHING:IMG_8946

  • (6) business casual/casual shirts BRING 3-4
  • (6) casual tank tops BRING 3
  • (6) workout tops BRING 4
  • (8) dresses BRING 4
  • (4) skirts (mostly knee length and maxi skirts)
  • (4) shorts (2 for hiking, 2 for running)
  • (3) yoga/running pants
  • (6) bras (1 neutral, 1 black, 2 others and 2 sports bras)
  • (?) lots of underwear
  • (15) pairs of socks
  • (4) swimsuit tops BRING 2-3
  • (3) swimsuit bottoms
  • (3) coats (1 jean jacket, 1 gortex raincoat, 1 lightweight coat) 1 RAINCOAT IS PLENTY
  • (2) hats (1 sunhat, 1 running hat)

TOILETRIES:
**a lot of this you can buy in-country but bring as much as you can of your favorite products. I suggest packing extra bottles of conditioner as it can be pricey down here.

  • (4) tubes of toothpaste (I’m picky. Here’s what I’m into:
  • (3) tubes of face specific sunscreenIMG_8942
  • (5) essential oils (why? Unnecessary)
  • (1) bottle of face wash
  • (6) toothbrushes (I bought this pack off Amazon)
  • (1) dental flosser + replacement heads (this is the bomb)
  • (3) sticks of deodorant
  • (1) tube of shaving cream
  • (2) nail files
  •  (5) workout headbands
  • (1) big thing of conditioner BRING TONS (like 8)
  • (3) shampoo bars from Lush (These are awesome)
  • (1) bar of soap
  • (1) travel size hairspray
  • (1) DivaCup (being a woman really did just get easier)
  • ponytails, BB creme, mascara, and a few more other light items

SHOES:Screen Shot 2016-02-24 at 6.37.15 AM

  • (1) low-rise lightweight hiking boots (love these from Salomon)
  • (1) TOMS DESTROYED
  • (1) cheap black flats NEVER WEAR
  • (1) Chacos
  • (1) dress sandal DESTROYED
  • (1) dressy flip flops
  • (1) beach-style flip flops
  • (1) strappy casual sandal
  • BRING THESE -> Havaianas
  • I just bought these Luna Sandals and love them

SHTUFF:

  • (1) eye mask (for long bus rides :)) NEVER USE
  • (1) headlight
  • (1) super intense flashlight
  • (2) pairs of sunglasses
  • (1) expandable bagIMG_8943
  • (1) yoga strap MOLDED IMMEDIATELY
  • (1) tripod for taking photos with my phone
  • (1) hammock REALLY DON’T USE
  • (1) small globe (Balls are great for class!)
  • (1) quick dry towel
  • (1) Vapur water bottle (water bag. I love this thing)
  • (1) small bag of pens and pencils
  • (3) reusable travel zip bags
  • (3) adult coloring books
  • (1) set of watercolor coloring pencils
  • (2) sets of normal colored pencils
  • (1) resistant bag for working out
  • (1) Braza Secret Stash for carrying extra emergency cash HAVEN’T USED
  • (2) journals
  • a few pieces of jewelry NEVER WEAR
  • a few cards from friends and family

 

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