Packing.. The hardest part of traveling!? (Costa Rica and Panama Trip)

Travel … it is simply the best, at least in my opinion!  Getting to know a new place, new people, and not knowing what to expect when you arrive at your destination can be stressful.

Speaking for myself, I know I always want everything to be perfect!!!  For me, packing is a nightmare!  I want to make sure I don’t forget anything.  I don’t want to miss the basics, and all the combinations.  I have to check the weather and make sure I have an outfit for every occasion, and every possible natural disaster.  What if we go to a museum?  Do I need nice clothes?  Dress clothes?  Formal clothes?  And what about SHOES??  Ok… ok..  breathe!!  So let me rephrase my last statement, its not the packing or planning that is a nightmare, its getting everything that I have planned to packed into the suitcase without going over the weight limit that’s impossible!!

In our recent trip to Costa Rica and Panama, which you will get the lowdown from next week, I was only allowed to bring a carry-on bag, 1 backpack and my travel pillow….. FOR A TWO WEEK TRIP!!!  We moved hotels 4 times, and had 5 people in the rental car, and everything. everyone HAD TO FIT!

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I researched as much as I could about what was really essential and what other people has packed when they went on similar trips.  I read different travel blogs and packed, then took out half of what I had packed and it was still too much!!

I would panic (literally) every single time I saw the size of my suitcase and the pile of stuff I wanted to take with me.  Every time I tried to pack I would feel like I was forgetting something… and it was always something REALLY important!   However, now I can say that I am very proud of myself for being able to travel with the smallest suitcase I think I have ever had to travel with!  I usually used this bag when I went on weekend trips or day trips, this was not a two week trip type suitcase!  So I packed, and it turned out that I didn’t even use everything that I had packed….  I had 2 pairs of socks, a dress, 2 blouses and a pair of linen pants that made it back to California unused!  GO ME!

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Here is a list of what I DID use….
1 hat
1 good book (chose a classic Isabel Allende)
1 Straw Hat
2 sunglasses (in case you lose one in the jungle like me)
1 raincoat
1 giant scarf (serves as clothing, bag, blanket if you put it in the sand, and a wrap for your neck for all occasions)
2 transparent dresses (light fabric, perfect for over a swimsuit)
1 long-sleeved blouse (that is UV Resistant)
1 pair of shorts for water
1 mini towel with cooling activation
1 swimsuit that also serves as a blouse
1 pajamas
1 bra carrier box (With 3 swimsuits and underwear inside)
1 thin vest
1 denim shirt (KEY PIECE, can not miss in your suitcase)
6 blouses
2 short dresses
1 3/4 linen pants
1 pants Kühl (very important, especially for all kinds of activities)
2 shorts (one more would have been perfect!)
1 Asymmetric skirt
1 bag for cosmetics and liquids (do not want a mess of shampoo, creams, perfume, etc.)
1 tennis shoes (for water, hiking, etc and super comfortable).
1 sandals
2 flip flops (for a shower and the other for the rest)
1 bug repellent bracelet (not pictured)

IMPORTANT TIP!!! I find rolling my clothes works better than folding it.  I seem to get more packed that way, and don’t forget the space you have inside your shoes.  You can fill them with underwear or small articles so that you don’t look any space.


And of course I couldn’t go without my mini sewing scissors and sewing kit! I never know when you are going to be inspired to make something new or change an outfit up to give your clothes a new look!

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