10 “Must-Brings” for your Costa Rican Family Vacation
Packing for your Costa Rica family vacation is a snap and when you keep in mind a few must have items for your trip to Costa Rica, you and your family will have a fun, safe, happy trip free of any vacation downers. Keep in mind though, that any forgotten items can easily be purchased once in Central America, so there is no need to stress about forgetting anything.
Costa Rica’s warm, tropical climate and high humidity make it a breeding ground for bugs –some of which bite and sting. Mosquitos in particular are prevalent in the wet season. It’s important to bring bug spray on your trip, and to apply it on yourself and your children during outdoor excursions.
Portable First Aid Kit
Bring a kit that contains gauze, Band-Aids, disinfectants and other items to treat minor wounds, as well as creams that relieve stinging and itching from bug bites or minor skin rashes.
Waterproof (and Shockproof) Camera
Unfortunately, an accidental dunk in the ocean or a sudden torrential downpour is all it will take to ruin your camera, and your Costa Rica family vacation memories. Invest in a waterproof camera, and while you’re at it, find a waterproof, shockproof camera for the kids so they can take their own pictures.
It’s a good idea to carry a bit of cash on you at all times, both in US and Costa Rica currencies. There are many rural areas of Costa Rica, and if you find yourself in a situation where you need to buy something your credit cards may be all but useless.
When it comes to International travel, a calculator is a must-have for converting currencies. This prevents sticker shock, and helps you stay within budget.
Using your Costa Rica trip as an excuse for getting yourself some Ray Bans is fine if you plan to spend most of your time taking in the sun seaside. However, if you’re planning on doing some more adventurous trips, it may be better to take several a less expensive pair.
Given its location near the equator, the sun is strong in Costa Rica, and sunburn can set in before you know it, even on cloudy days. Protect yourself and your family with an effective high-SPF sunscreen.
Light layers are best for trips to Costa Rica, as your clothing needs can change depending on your activities and the weather. If you’re trekking through the rainforest, long sleeves and pants are your best bet to prevent bug bites and scratches from underbrush. If you’re headed up in the mountains things can get chilly, especially during green season, so a sweatshirt or light jacket is a good idea. If you’re traveling during the wet season, hats and ponchos are a must. And it’s always wise to bring something dressier in case you want to go out dining and dancing.
If you’re boating, fishing or hiking in the rainforest, you’re going to need supplies, especially when kids are involved. Carrying your things in a durable waterproof backpack will help protect them from a sudden rain shower or an inadvertent fall into the water.
Several Pairs of Shoes
If you’re planning to enjoy a range of activities, you’ll all need to bring a few different types of shoes, including lightweight walking or hiking shoes, water shoes, sandals or flip flops for the beach, and casual dress shoes or sandals for restaurants.