It’s Monday afternoon and I’m doing last minute prep for my trip to Central America! I just moved out of my apartment, put all my stuff in storage until I get back in March, and am now living out of two backpacks (I’ve found traveling in between leases is much more stressful but a hell of a lot cheaper. I’m hoping to save about $750 by signing a lease starting once I’m back. More on this in a future money saving blog)! I’m currently staying in my friend’s apartment where I’ll be sleeping (on the couch) until I leave Wednesday morning. It’s good to have good friends.
I’ve pretty much got everything I need ready to go, with the exception of a few things. Since this is my first long, solo trip, I thought I’d document everything I’m packing. And I can guarantee that I’ll pack things I don’t need and not pack what I do need. This is less of a resource for backpackers and more of a “first-timers naive expectations of what he’ll need.” We’ll probably be able to laugh at this once I’m back. A good backpack – They say a backpack makes all the difference. Mine is big but has padded straps and plenty of space. There are pockets and compartments for smaller storage and the main compartment has access from the top and the bottom.
6 shirts (3 tank tops)
2 long pants
2 bathing suits
5 pairs of socks
5 pairs of underwear
Mesh Laundry Bag – Perfect for keeping socks/underwear together (and making it easier to access them in my backpack of wonders).
Bandana – I’ll probably douse it in bug spray.
Quick-dry Towel – While not luxurious at all, these thin, small towels make on-the-go travel so easy; they dry in minutes.
Sunglasses (and a good case) – I recently bought a new pair of RayBan sunglasses for $150. I’ve never spent that much money on sunglasses, but who says a backpacker can’t have a little bit of style.
Flip-Flops – Perfect for the beautiful beaches and dirty hostel showers.
Sneakers – I got Nikes that have good traction for hiking, good support, and aren’t as much an eye-sore as hiking boots. I may regret this.
Padlock – While this adds more weight to my pack than I would like, it’s necessary for hostel lockers.
Travel Folder – This will keep all my travel documents. I’ve got a 4 week calendar with a rough itinerary of where I want to go and how long I want to stay, my passport (and 4 copies of it that I’ll put in my backpack, daypack, and money belt), and medication prescriptions.
Toiletry bag – This holds all my travel size toiletries from soap and toothpaste to hair product and medications. I’ve actually fit a lot in here.
Wet ones – I’m not going to go into detail, but they came in handy during the 4K for Cancer, so, yeah… Wet ones.
Dry bag – This holds any wet clothes without getting the rest of my backpack wet. It came in use on my bike trip with dirty laundry, bathing suits, and such when I was on the go and just didn’t have time to let things dry.
Go Pro and accessories – I’m excited about this one. I’ve got a Go Pro Hero 3, perfect for capturing pictures and videos. And for Christmas, my dad got me the Go Pro “Selfie Stick,” which say what you want, is perfect for solo travelers.
Money Belt – These are like little fanny packs that go under your shirt. They are ideal for any traveler, providing a secure spot for cash, passport, and other essential items.
Ziploc bags – This is one tip I’ve learned from fellow travel bloggers that I never would have thought of. Ziploc bags are perfect for everything: toiletries, sunscreen, electronics, organizing chargers and cords, and I’m sure will come in handy in many unexpected situations.
Any last minute things I may be forgetting?