What to Pack for Costa Rica

Arenal Volcano

As an obsessive planner, one of my favorite things to do before I take a trip is to Google what to pack for the destination. An adventurous trip to Costa Rica is obviously going to require different luggage than a relaxing trip to Riviera Maya or a cultural trip to Paris in springtime, which can kind of stress me out. I hate not having what I need. So to help ease your mind, I’ve compiled my complete list for Costa Rica.

Rio Celeste


Bug spray and sunscreen. The bugs are intense in rainforests like in Arenal National Park, and the sun is bright in beach towns like Tamarindo. (You’re super close to the equator, after all!) Because Costa Rica is super green and into saving the environment, they ask that you skip the DEET and other harsh chemicals. Also, even when you’re in the rainforest, make sure you have some kind of sunscreen on, because sunlight does peep through. Take it from me; I managed to get burnt on my shoulders!

Rio Celeste


I had a really tough time deciding between hiking shoes and water shoes. I knew I’d be hiking around Arenal and Monteverde, which would be arduous enough to demand hiking boots but wet enough for water shoes. I chose somewhere in the middle and went with Keens. They offered the perfect amount of protection from rocks while letting my feet  dry in the sticky climate. Total lifesaver, and worth every penny. And don’t forget cute wedges and sandals for the beach and nights out!



We started in Arenal, spent a few days in Monteverde, and wrapped up in Tamarindo. Because of that, I needed versatile clothing that could handle everything from hiking and  ziplining to lounging by the pool and grabbing drinks as the sunset on the ocean. For active days, I would definitely recommend some kind of performance clothing; whether you prefer Under Armour, Patagonia, or C9 is up to you.  On days when we went hiking, I wore pants, and I’m really glad I did. The Boy was getting eaten alive on his lower legs  + scratched up from the terrain, and I came out without a mark. Just make sure they’re lightweight enough that you can breathe, as it gets super hot.

Arenal Volcano


A lightweight raincoat. You need one that is waterproof, not one that is water resistant. When it rains in the rainforest, it really rains! It doesn’t last very long, but I would have been drenched without my jacket. Also, for hiking, I opted to use a backpack instead of a carryall. It may not have been as cute, but it was much more efficient, and it was easy to hide under my jacket when it started to rain. A clutch or crossbody is great for nights out.



Don’t forget your camera! iPhones are completely inadequate for capturing images in the rainforest due to the lack of lighting, so make sure you invest in a decent camera to capture memories. I also ordered a waterproof casing for my camera. I wasn’t brave enough to submerge it underwater, but it was super handy and kept my camera safe when we got caught in storms (and also from all the dirt!).

Rio Celeste

Most importantly? HAVE FUN!

Packing for Europe

As you must know by now because I never shut up about it, Melly (my younger sister) and I are heading to Europe in exactly one week! Our trip begins in Greece, covers all the big spots in Italy (Milan – my friend is doing a law internship there!, Florence, Venice, Naples, Capri, and Rome), hits Paris (doing the most romantic city on the planet with my sister seems fitting), breezes through Edinburgh, and ends in Dublin (for my sister’s 22nd birthday. Trouble will ensue).

Anyway, as if planning the whole trip wasn’t stressful enough, I’m now working on what to pack. We’re staying in a lot of hotels and apartments with washers and dryers, so I plan on doing a lot of laundry in an effort to reduce the amount of clothing I bring. I need to have room to bring more back. Duh. I definitely plan on bringing everything I’ve included in this post, along with an old blazer and a few other sun dresses. In terms of jewelry, I think I’m just bringing my watch, my monogram necklace, and pearl earrings so I don’t have to worry about losing anything. Do you have any other recommendations?

 Stripe Sun Shift

J.Crew Sun Shift, $98


J.Crew Sheath Dress, $98

Lilly Pulitzer Macauley Dress, $188

Jackie Cardigans from J.Crew, $65

Cotton Sweater from Vineyard Vines, $125 (Take 25% off with code FRIENDS2013)

Eyelet Dress from Vineyard Vines, $165

3″ J.Crew Chino Shorts (in pretty much every color), $45

Tie-Front Shorts from Banana Republic, $49.50

Bikini from Victoria’s Secret, $46

J.Crew Eyelet Skirt, $75

Lilly Pulitzer Mardi T-Shirt, $58

Kate Spade Crossbody Bag, $178

Jacks Rogers, $110

AG Adriano Goldschmied Skinny Jeans, $172

Murfee Scarf, $118

Michael Kors Runway Watch, $250

Folding Wayfarers from Ray-Ban, $160

Wedges by Ugg (who knew they had cute shoes?!), $104.99