The List You’ll Need to Spend 3 Months in San José
So, you’re almost ready to make your trip, but are you packing the right things?
This is a list of the items that I brought and those I wish I’d brought/ hadn’t and why it was useful or not. I packed 1 suitcase and 1 backpack and packed another bag for travel and souvenirs, I hope this helps!
What I wish I brought
- Another towel- our homestay didn’t have towels, an extra one could really come in handy
- More sunscreen- it is hot near the beaches, and the sunburn doesn’t help anyone
- Another water bottle-there aren’t many places where the water is unsafe, but while traveling another water bottle comes in handy
- A pair of running shoes- one of the only easy ways to be active here and stay out of the hot gym is to run. There is also a soccer team with ticos and they’d be useful there
- An umbrella- people here don’t really use rain jackets, and the downpours are rather heavy
- A 3>2 prong charger converter-these aren’t necessary in most of the homestays, but mine was an older house and I liked to use my laptop frequently
What You’ll Want
- Only bring the amount of clothes that you’ll wear in one week as the host family does your laundry at least once a week. You’ll want to bring light clothing that will easily dry as it rains most days.
- You’ll likely want a long sleeve shirt and a pair of pants as the bus rides during excursions can get cold.
- You may also want dressier clothes for some of the dinners or going out.
- Bring shoes that’ll be good for hiking, going to the beach, daily-wear, and something dressier.
- Nothing is provided and most of it is much more expensive here- bring enough shampoo/conditioner/lotion/etc. for your entire trip in addition to dental hygiene products, period products, and nail clippers.
Swimming/ Beach excursion stuff
By far one of the best parts of the trip for me, the water feels awesome, and there are a lot of cool places to explore
- 2 swimsuits-there are no real standards of modesty here, all beachwear is accepted and worn by ticos
- 1 pair of goggles-if you have them, many of the beaches have cool underwater rock formations or coral that are fun to explore
- Sunglasses, Sunscreen, After-burn lotion/Aloe, Bug spray- the sun is hotter here, and many of the beaches have sand flies, protect yourself!
- Diarrhea medication (just in case, almost everyone gets it at some point)
- Ibuprofen/Aspirin/other pills
- Bring the items that you’ll want for each class in terms of notebooks and pencils, textbooks are provided and have already been paid for.
Other Useful items
- Phone (make sure you call in and tell them where you’ll be and get an SD card if necessary)
- Laptop (not necessary but useful)
- Headphones and MP3 player
- A Journal-to document your time here
- Water bottle
- Neck pillow (good for plane and bus rides)
Allie N. is a CEA alumni. She studied abroad in San José, Costa Rica during the summer of 2017 and is currently a junior at Ohio Wesleyan University.