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What 5 items are indispensable to you when traveling in CR?

Grecia, Costa Rica
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What 5 items are indispensable to you when traveling in CR?

This is a simple question to all the seasoned Costa Rica Travelers in the forum, pass on the knowledge to all the people coming for a visit to consider.

What 5 items do you never leave home without when traveling in and around Costa Rica?

We can forgo the obligatory bug spray, sun block, camera, binoculars, lose the generic, let’s get creative.

1. Trail Bars – Good to have some trail bars while hiking, I’m a man who likes a snack and these can really come in handy. Besides, you need a good snack while taking in some of the views you get here.

2. Crocks – Shoes to get wet in are crucial, if not crocks something that gets wet without getting wet. Crocks are perfect for river rafting, kayaking, and swimming in the ocean, anything having to do with water really. I had a run in with a Ray here many years ago. Got hit pretty hard in the foot, and believe me that stinger hurts like the dickens. Since that day I learned 2 things, always shuffle your feet when walking in the ocean, and for good measure, wear something on your feet if possible. P.S. Crocks are no good if you are swimming, just good for walking.

3. Compass – I don’t recommend folks get lost, but basic compass skills while hiking and going off the beaten path can mean life or death. This is only for folks going off on your own to explore. A compass takes up little space and can save your life.

4. Water Purifier – The water is pretty clean here, but it can also be nice to have a bit of extra protection. I like this little gadget – http://www.steripen.com/adventurer-opti If you travel a lot and go off the beaten path a lot, you will use it.

5. A Towel – Yea, I know that one is kind of generic, but I am particular about my towels… I will let the immortal words of the late great author Douglas Adams sum it up with the following:

"A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value - you can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a mini raft down the slow heavy river Moth; wet it for use in hand-to- hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or to avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (a mindboggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can't see it, it can't see you - daft as a bush, but very ravenous); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.

More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag = non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitch hiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have "lost". What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with." – The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams

There are my 5, feel free to chime in and add to the list folks.

Cheers

228 replies to this topic
Edmonton, Canada
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111. Re: What 5 items are indispensable to you when traveling in CR?

* Ability to see the forest through the trees

* Understanding that money cannot buy everything

* Sense to know that all that glitters is not gold - Costa Rica is not Wonderland

*Respect for what you might not understand or be able to buy (a childs smile)

*Enough vacation time to get more than a sunburn or tan

casper
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112. Re: What 5 items are indispensable to you when traveling in CR?

I seen a post about a collapsable cooler.. Can you buy coolers at the stores in Quepos or should we bring one from home. I have been thinking of taking all kinds of stuff from home. We are renting a house.. Can you buy drink mixes like Margarita, Bloody mary ect.

casper
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113. Re: What 5 items are indispensable to you when traveling in CR?

What kind of trinkets That sound awesome.. We are going in 3 weeks to Quepos. Your information is great.

Edmonton, Canada
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114. Re: What 5 items are indispensable to you when traveling in CR?

If you have money to burn, buy locally in Quepos. Thiat sort of cooler can be bought locally, but is not something most locals would buy, so it will be priced accordingly. If it is $5 in the US, it will be 50 to 100% higher there usually, just like sun block and bug juice. You might find them at lower prices in the big stores in San Jose, but I don't the trip to those places would be worth the experience

casper
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115. Re: What 5 items are indispensable to you when traveling in CR?

I also read about buying Trinkets for the children.. Is that something you should do in Manuel, Quepos area..I would love to bring somethings from the states. And if so what kinds of things.

Jaco, Costa Rica
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116. Re: What 5 items are indispensable to you when traveling in CR?

Can't think of specifics off the top of my head but I imagine if you filled up a bag in a Dollar Store in the States, you could get a lot of good stuff that kids and adults alike would be happy with.

Greeley, CO
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117. Re: What 5 items are indispensable to you when traveling in CR?

These are great posts... here's one more, 5 "indispensable" things to DO when planning and packing for a trip to Costa Rica (or other international trips, for that matter):

1. If you plan to hike in mosquito-heavy areas, spray hiking clothes generously with Permethrin to help keep bugs off.

2. Call your credit card company and let them know when you're traveling abroad so your card won't suddenly be put on hold for unusual international activity.

3. If you're a resident of the United States, register your trip with the US Department of State's Smart Traveler Program and download the Smart Traveler app. http://travel.state.gov (Ok, if you don't want the US government to know where you are outside the country, skip this one, but this enables them to reach you if a national emergency situation arises. :-)

4. Someone mentioned this, but either encrypt and place copies of your important travel documents on an Internet storage place like Dropbox or on a portable flash drive. Print a copy too but this provides extra back up.

5. Take photos of everything you pack in your luggage before you leave home, just in case the worst case scenario happens and you have to submit an insurance claim or otherwise document missing items/what you packed.

Never hurts to be prepared, less to worry about on vacation!

Grecia, Costa Rica
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118. Re: What 5 items are indispensable to you when traveling in CR?

Nice additions Steamboat323. Thanks for adding to the list

Edmonton, Canada
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119. Re: What 5 items are indispensable to you when traveling in CR?

Really? Unless you are travelling off the tourist grid, a couple of Steamboat's suggestions are a bit intense. Most visitors to CR stay within the grid and really do not have much to worry about.

* Bug juice is probably less important than sun block in the non-jungle areas that most people venture to (including Arenal). If you are really concerned about getting some tropical disease, you may want to consult the various www sites or a tropical medical service and get medication to prevent what can be prevented. This is way below the necessary radar for most travellers to CR however.

* The ability (interest) of government registeries in the USA, Canada, Europe and other Western nations to actually track anyone is generally extremely limited. It is a nice thought that they might care enough to do something, but they have a very limited mandate when it comes to operating in a foreign country.... Yes, even Americans must abide by the laws in foreign nations and are subject to consequences if they commit DUI or other stupid wrongs.... the CIA will not bail them out, nor will the consulate or embassy... though they might drop by if called on a weekday.

* A pic is worth taking of your things, but more important is the common sense to not leave it in or wear it in ways that make easy to steal. Airlines credit card and homeowner insurance policies all allow a fairly wide claim criteria, but do have maximums. So if you loose the bag with your $6000 camera inside, it is unlikely the airline will cover it unless you have specified the contents of your bag in advance of trusting them with it. Better not to take it or to keep your valuables in your carry-on

As a somewhat off grid traveller, I agree with the suggestion about the travel documents and credit cards. A simple solution is to pucture the items and email them to yourself. We also used this method to provide proof of credit card insurance for use by the rental car company we used. It saved carrying a whole bunch of paperwork.

Edited: 2:28 pm, February 28, 2013
Edmonton, Canada
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120. Re: What 5 items are indispensable to you when traveling in CR?

nikkie11500

Kids anywhere are happy to get stuff, especially sweets.... but the stuff they need, not so much usually. Tooth brushes, school supplies medical consumables, infant clothing and such might be of interest, but to know for sure you might want to do a search on "nonprofit charity clinic Costa Rica". Even then it may not be realistic to bring what they need. Costa Rica markets itself as an enviromental haven, but once you scratch the surface a bit you will find that the educational and healthcare systems available to the general public are not that much different than in other 3rd world Central and South American countries. The areas around the tourist resorts and attractions are usually wealhier than the urban areas in the central part of the country.

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