Costa Rica is a country of lush rainforests, pristine beaches, and a vibrant culture. It’s no wonder that it’s become one of the hottest travel destinations in recent years. If you’re planning a trip to this Central American paradise, you’re in for a treat. But before you hit the road, it’s important to make sure you’re prepared with the right gear, especially if you are traveling during the rainy season. I’m headed to Costa Rica at the end of May and I have done a TON of research on items I should bring, combing through many, many online blogs and packing lists. As always when traveling internationally, accounting for space and weight in my luggage was a main concern. Aside from the normal items like clothes and toiletries, here are the items that will be going in my suitcase:
- 3-in-1 Wireless Charger. Gone are the days of keeping track of multiple cords and having to choose which device to charge because there are no extra outlets! This 3-in-1 charger will charge your iPhone, Apple Watch, and Airpods, all in one compact package, with only one cord and plug necessary. It is super convenient to have in your carry-on for flights with layovers, since you only need to find one plug in the airport to charge all of your devices. I have already used this charger on several domestic trips and it now has a permanent place in my bag any time I travel.
- Universal Travel Power Adapter. This worldwide travel adapter includes 4 different plug configurations that cover 150 countries. It also includes charging for up to 6 devices simultaneously, just in case the 3-in-1 linked above is not enough for you. With 4 USB-A and 1 USB-C port, there’s no need to carry charging bricks with you, saving you valuable space and weight in your luggage. Please note that this is NOT a voltage converter and is not appropriate for use with hair dryers, curling irons, or other similar appliances. (Note: Yes, I know that I do not need an adapter for Costa Rica. However, I am bringing this anyway for the extra charging ports.)
- Anker PowerCore Portable Charger. For charging on the go when you run your phone battery down snapping so many photos, I can’t recommend the Anker PowerCore enough. This ultra-compact, high-speed charger will ensure that you never lose contact due to a dead battery.
- Insect Repellent Wipes. These wipes are perfect for traveling. They are individually wrapped making them easy to stash in a small bag for a day of hiking or sight-seeing. I’m always hesitant about packing extra liquids or aerosols when I’m flying, and these pass the TSA test with flying colors.
- Reef Safe Sunscreen. Ever stopped to think about what effect the chemicals in your sunscreen may have on marine life? I have; and in fact, some destinations require reef safe sunscreen or no sunscreen at all to protect the marine environment. As someone with fair skin that is extremely prone to burning, I have to balance my own skin protection with my impact on the environment. Thankfully, I found Sun Bum. Before anyone starts in on me, I know that Sun Bum is not 100% perfect when it comes to a reef safe sunscreen. However, it does not contain octinoxate and oxybenzone, which are the two worst offenders. Sun Bum is also widely available and relatively affordable compared to some of the mineral sunblocks, and it works. For reference, I usually use SPF 70 at the beginning of summer, stepping down to 50, and sometimes 30 as I get a tan going.
- Travel Umbrella. I am visiting CR during the rainy season, so I plan on packing this handy travel umbrella in my day bag for our sight-seeing excursions. Lightweight and portable, it hardly takes up any room and will be perfect to have for any pop-up showers.
- Dry Bag. Did I mention I’m going during rainy season? I am also a hobbyist photographer, and I plan on taking some nice equipment with me to (hopefully) capture some of the amazing wildlife. We are also taking a couple of boat trips while exploring. Water and camera equipment do not mix; thus, the dry bag. They come in various sizes, but I got one large enough to hold my camera and my lenses, plus phones or other small electronics that don’t need to get wet. I’m hoping that I don’t need this very often, but I’m sure I’ll be glad to have it just in case.
- Quick Dry Travel Towel. Waterfalls, rainforests, rainy season. I’m imagining that I am going to be getting wet some during my trip. This quick dry travel towel folds up to an impossibly small size and has its own compact carrying case, complete with carabiner so it can clip onto the outside of a backpack or purse. Functional and with an affordable price tag, I am sure we will put these to good use.
For folks who have been to Costa Rica before, anything I should add to this list that you were glad to have or that you wish you’d had? Let me know in the comments!
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