Packing Tips · Travel - Central America

Packing List for Central America!

packing for central america

My latest adventure was traveling through parts of Central America! I went with a large group through a travel company called: GAdventures. I highly suggest this company!! Worth every penny and you get to meet cool people from all over the world!

Here is MY packing list that I used for this trip:


  • Small foldable hairbrush (it broke on my last day so I pictured my regular brush here)
  • Sunscreen
  • Deodorant
  • Small lotion bottle (remember everything has to be under 3.4 ounces if you’re bringing your backpack as a carry-on)
  • Chapstick
  • Very basic make-up products
  • Small bottle of perfume
  • Two packages of contacts, case, and small bottle of solution
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Travel-sized shampoo bottles, conditioner bottle, body wash, and soap
  • Razor
  • One pair of earrings
  • Ear plugs
  • Floss sticks
  • Glasses and case
  • Travel-sized toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Small medical kit with bandaids, alcohol swabs, etc.
  • Small bottle of Ibuprofen, anti-diarrhea pills, and allergy pills (these are a good idea to bring for those just-in-case moments)
  • Melatonin pills for sleeping on the long bus rides



  • 1 pair of skinny jeans
  • 1 pair of jean shorts
  • 1 tribal patterned skirt
  • 3 pairs of Nike shorts since I knew this trip would include a lot of hiking and other activities
  • 1 neutral colored cardigan; to wear with everything
  • 1 dressier tank top
  • 2 active cotton tanks to hike and travel in
  • 1 ‘active’ t-shirt; also for hiking or traveling in
  • 2 nicer shirts (black and white); pocket-tees from Target
  • 1 pair of stretchy yoga pants for hiking
  • 1 bathing suit
  • 2 bras & 2 sports bras for hiking
  • 3 thin pairs of socks; I knew it would be hot so I picked really thin cotton pairs
  • 3 pair of ‘boy-shorts’ underwear; I like wearing these to bed but didn’t want to take up too much space with a week’s worth of these plus other underwear
  • A week’s worth of underwear plus two extras; I brought all thongs since they’re easier to pack a lot of




  • Chaco’s Sports Sandals; perfect for warmer weather and walking around towns in.
  • Nicer pair of sandals; for going out with the group. I suggest finding a comfy pair because these were rough to walk around in when I wore them during the day for sightseeing.
  • Pair of tennis shoes; for hiking or travel days. I suggest getting a thin pair that ‘breathes well’ because it gets HOT in Central America!


The REALLY important stuff:

  • Passport!
  • Credit & Debit cards
  • Driver’s license; in case the passport doesn’t prove enough
  • Kindle (or physical book, but I didn’t want to take up that much space in my pack)
  • Journal & pen; because hey, you may become famous for your travel writings one day or something like that.

The other fairly important stuff:

  • Headlamp; some of the hostels don’t have lights in their tents but also you may want this when you get up to go to the bathroom so you don’t wake up some random roomies you’re staying with
  • Camelbak
  • Sunglasses
  • Headphones
  • Hat
  • Purse; preferably one that you can tighten to be very close to your body (just in case)
  • Extra flashlight
  • Phone chargers
  • UP by Jawbone & charging accessories; AWESOME wristband that allowed me to track my steps and sleep on my journey!
  • Small locks with keys; to put on my backpack on plane and train rides (from REI)
  • Camera & battery charger
  • Bandana
  • Birth control; or some other contraceptives
  • Blow-up neck pillow; A blow-up pillow takes up MUCH less space than a stuffed pillow. I also found it just as comfy and you can adjust the air to make it fluffier or harder. I got mine at REI.
  • Phone case with extra battery pack (GENIUS – especially when there are no outlets in the hostels you’re staying at!)
  • Water bottle
  • Laundry soap pouches; I highly suggest putting these in small plastic bags so they don’t erupt in your backpack. I also only brought a few of these because I didn’t think I would need to do any laundry since I was only gone two weeks!


And other essential items:

  • A large ‘backpacking’ backpack! This one, I hope, is obvious. I got mine from REI and LOVE it
  • A smaller ‘day-pack’ for trips during the, you guessed it, DAY! My backpack actually came with a zip-off day-pack! I HIGHLY suggest finding a backpack that has this feature. Great for plane & train rides to keep stuff handy for long trips.
  • A towel (preferably thin to dry quickly). I bought an XL travel towel at REI and it’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen. It just wicks away all the water on your body without even getting damp; it’s like magic!
  • A rain jacket because unfortunately, it rains everywhere. A light breathable one is best for warmer climates.
  • Another light jacket, in case the nights are a bit chilly.


In my next post, I’ll show you some different outfits that I wore from my packing list! I’ll also include some packing tips for first time travelers!

Any questions or comments? Leave them below 🙂


2 thoughts on “Packing List for Central America!

  1. I also love all my gear from REI, although I’ll have to go look for an inflatable pillow–thanks for the list! It will come in handy when I go to Nicaragua in March. 🙂

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