Costa Rica,  Travels

Packing for Costa Rica

I’m going to be gone for at least a month, maybe more, so my backpack is stuffed pretty full of clothes and toiletries.  Here’s what’s in my carry on and in my backpack.  Amazing I managed to get it all to fit into the 50 litre backpack!  This is an old Macpac Pegasus I bought in 2012 when I did my ‘Round the World trip.  It originally came with a little 15L daypack attachment, which I’ve since left behind in Singapore as it was getting way too dirty and worn out.  That little gem had been with me through a lot and it was time to let it get some rest.

A few tips on choosing a backpack:

  • Don’t get the biggest bag you can find, you will always be able to fill it up, but you likely won’t need to take all that stuff with you.  A smaller bag forces you to pack more efficiently.  Really, you only need about 1.5 weeks of clothing, because on longer trips, you will inevitably end up doing laundry after a week or so.  I know I’m already overpacking a bit, I could probably take out a few shirts and a couple pairs of shorts, but I like to have more wardrobe options 🙂
  • I prefer bags that have easy front loading designs.  My brother had a backpack that was a top-loader, and it was annoying to have to dig through the entire bag to get to the contents at the bottom.  With this packpack, I can unzip in a big U shape, allowing easy access to everything in the bag without having to upend the entire contents.
  • The detachable day-packs are handy, but you almost never clip it on after you leave the store!  The daypack always stays close to me, so whether or not the daypack I use is part of the set of the larger backpack is not really important.  This time, I’m using an old Swiss gear backpack I’ve had since university days!

And for my two cents on the classic debate: luggage or backpack?  Well for this trip to Costa Rica, I’ve decided to go with a backpack because 1) it forces me to pack a bit lighter and 2) give me a bit more flexibility in terms of walking up and down stairs and hills.  Whilst I’m not planning to truly backpack it like a 20 year old on this trip, I’m happy to pack like one.

In my four years travelling around Asia, I didn’t have this backpack with me, so I always travelled with either a carry-on sized suitcase for weekend trips, a slightly larger spinner rolly check-in for 4-6 days, and a 20 inch (I think) spinner rolly for 7+ days.


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