Rookie Packing Mistakes

I’ve been overseas enough times to know that you have to be prepared for pretty much anything. Apparently it’s been too long since I’ve traveled because I made a few rookie mistakes. If you’re traveling soon, these tips may help you.

  • Check the weather (which I did thankfully). If it says rain, just plan for more than it says. It was the rainy season in Costa Rica and there can be a torrential down pour in the afternoon. At the last minute I took out my big umbrella and replaced it with my small one because I thought that would be sufficient. It was not. The first day there we got totally drenched, even under our umbrellas. Note to self, sometimes bigger is better.

(The waterfall from that statue on campus was all from the rain)

  • Pack a couple more long sleeve shirts than you think necessary (especially if you’re always cold like me). I was cold at night and I could have used another long sleeve to layer with during a couple of the days that were clean (I know, so high maintenance, but I like clean).
  • Pack a flashlight. I usually have one in my backpack but it seemed to have disappeared and I didn’t check before leaving. After getting drenched that first day we also had a power outage for a while and a flashlight would have come in handy.

(We kept hearing weird noises and then realized they were cutting apart plastic bottles to make small candle holders when the power was out. Resourceful and helpful!)

  • Good earplugs. I took some but they were not sufficient. I am a very light sleeper so didn’t get much sleep the whole week. I need to invest in some serious soundproof earplugs. Any suggestions for me?

Even with forgetting those things or wishing I had a couple extra of something it just made for good stories, lots of laughs and fantastic memory making.

Besides those things my packing was pretty darn good. I had plenty of snacks for traveling, lots of tissues, some hand sanitizer, my phone which had my camera on it and good shoes for walking. I did bring books and my iPod for down time but I was too busy working, having fun, and chatting with those around me to put those to much use.

What about you? Have you made some packing mistakes? What do you always travel with?

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