Tropical Travel: Packing Checklist

Let me tell you guys a secret... ok not really a secret because if you've known me awhile, you know I used to be absolute shit when it comes to organization. From my living spaces to my work to my website and my life in general, I was notably a very disorganized gal. It wasn't until I moved out of my house in NorCal to San Diego that I finally realized... I've got to get my shit together. 

I actually just recently did a blog post on staying on track when you're busy and one of the key ingredients is STAYING ORGANIZED! Who would have thought? You can find that blog post here

This particular post is going to go into detail about how I stay organized while preparing for a vacation! I used to think my best friend, Joanna, was insane for printing out her packing lists and now here I am taking notes. I curate an entire page to print out for every one of my future vacations with things I need to buy, things I need to pack, and the number of items to put into my suitcase. 

Have you ever heard of Canva? If not, you're in for quite a treat. This website allows you to pretend you're a graphic designer. I've used it to make my media kit for reaching out to brands on collaborations and now I use it to create my checklists like the one pictured here! This is the checklist I made for Costa Rica (which is only 3 weeks away & I'M SO FxCKING EXCITED)!


There's always SOMETHING you need before leaving your security and going off to a vacation destination so I start by typing out everything I don't have but NEED for this trip. 

Next, I list EVERYTHING I need to bring along from my fricken phone charger to the number of panties I'm bringing. Anal? Probably. Practical? You bet your ass. 

After creating a destination oriented list, I print it and make my check marks. I like to have everything (other than makeup and toiletries) packed a whole 24 hours before our trip. 

As you can see, I highlighted a few items that are semi unconventional like a knife, extra pair of contacts etc. so let's go over those realllly quickly.

1. Bug Spray is ESSENTIAL while traveling to a tropical destination. James and I learned that pretty quickly after each receiving over 10 bug bites on the first day of our last Costa Rica trip. The resort provided bug spray but sometimes the cans were out or we went off the resort and needed desperately to reapply.

2. Plastic baggies are SUCH a lifesaver in tropical destinations. One minute the beach is sunny as all hell and the next, you experience a downpour. We were snorkeling last year when it started raining and had to sprint up to the beach to cover the electronics that we left onshore. Always leave your phones in plastic bags before taking a dip in the ocean. You never know when mother nature is going to start crying her skies out.

3. Extra undies and contacts- SO IMPORTANT. Chances are, you won't use all pairs of underwear you bring with you but considering you shower twice a day or MORE in tropical areas because you're in and out of ocean water daily, it's better safe than sorry. Same with an extra pair of contact lenses. Hopefully you wont need them but you don't want to be left empty-handed if you do.

4. iPhone tripod because there isn't always someone around to take your picture and sometimes you really want a photo that isn't a selfie of your and your babe on the beach or in the rainforest. 

5. Knife and flashlight. The knife is for security while walking through the rainforest. Especially in Costa Rica, you never know what you'll run into. The flashlight is handy for walking back to your hotel room. Although the resorts have floor lights, I'm a baby and I like seeing at least 10 feet ahead of me at all times. 

6. One thing I forgot to add to my list is a small first aid kit. You should never go on ANY hike or trek through an unknown area without gauze, band-aids, and anti-inflammatory or anti-infection cream. 

Alright, peeps! That's all I've got for you today! I hope this post was helpful for those traveling this summer! Where should we go off to next? Drop your favorite destination in the comments!