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!

Winter Getaway

1535512_10152400347346949_2564902976211978200_nAfter an amazing Christmas (and entirely too many carbs!), I’m feeling slightly spoiled that I also get to go on vacation, but good things come to good people, right? The Boy and I went to the Riviera Maya last year for Thanksgiving (obviously loved it), and we’re headed there again! It couldn’t come at a more perfect time now that our second summer seems to be passing and the forecast is in the 40s. Brr!

While I should have been busy packing, instead, I have been looking through our pictures from last year and making plans for our latest adventure. Oops! So, one day away from the trip, I’m frantically searching for all my bikinis and hoping two-day shipping pans out.10460414_10152400348706949_2365394065801061898_n Browse through below to see my winter getaway must-haves! What do you always take?

Delight of the Day 8/18

At the beginning of this year, I stumbled upon the best (read: most affordable) weekender bag ever. However, a week after I shared it, it sold out. Cue devastation across the country. Good news, ladies (and gents)! It’s back. Sole Society‘s weekender bag, $84.95, is the perfect size for long weekends in the Finger Lakes/wherever else you’re dragging your besties for Labor Day Weekend. It fit all of this stuff with room to spare.

leather duffel

$84.95 sounds like a good deal, right? But doesn’t $67.95 sound even better? Here’s how to do it. Sign up with this link; you’ll get a popup with a 20% code. (Tip: you have to sign up with a new email address. If you already have an account, try another email.) Then use this direct link to the bag itself.

Delight of the Day 3/26

weekender bag

I have a confession. I always overpack. As in I go for a week but pack for three. I’m a planner by nature, so I always make lists weeks in advance and take clothes/shoes/toiletries so I’m covered for any situation. So, for our trip to Costa Rica, I’m trying to limit myself to a carry on (and I’ll split a checked bag with The Boy). Whilst browsing the latest L.L. Bean Signature catalog, I saw this adorable weekender (and this one, but it’s a little pricier) for $179.00. Now I just have to figure out how to get everything in this bag…

Scroll through below for some of my other favorites


Delight of the Day 1/8

leather duffel

I’ve been searching high and low for a new weekender bag. My Longchamp has served me well, but it took quite a beating after five weeks in Europe, so it’s time for a new one. However, finding one was a lot more difficult than I had anticipated.

leather duffel

I love the bags from Frank Clegg and Barrington Gifts, buttt I couldn’t justify the price tag. I thought about the monogrammed weekender from Marley Lilly or Tuckernuck, but I really wanted a leather bag. Lucky for me, I stumbled upon Sole Society and found one for $84.95. Now, to be clear, this is vegan leather (aka faux leather, but not like those tacky pants girls used to wear in middle school). However, the quality of it is very nice, and you seriously can’t beat the price.

leather duffel

I wanted to test it out to see what all could fit inside. As you can see from my picture, I planned on going somewhere very cold (so I can try skiing) but with an easily-accessible hot tub. I was able to fit my Patagonia fleece, two sweaters, two pairs of jeans, yoga pants, two bikinis, a scarf, a dress, my Kindle, and three bags of makeup/toiletries – plus I threw a pair of the boys huge sweatpants in there just to test. Everything fit with room to spare. I call that a success!

p.s. If you’re visiting Sole Society’s website for the first time (or if you clear your cookies), they offer you a 20% off coupon. Win win! UPDATE: try this link. Next, use this one to get directly to the bag.

Scroll through below to see some of the others I considered, and where you can find some of the above items:

Winter Vacation Packing

When it comes to packing, I have a bad habit of packing waaaay too much stuff. What can I say? I like options. The Boy and I are headed to Riviera Maya soon, and I’m trying super hard to limit my suitcase to the essentials: bikinis, flip flops, sneakers (for zip lining – not working out!), dresses, a tote bag, and a few good books. What are your vacation must-haves?

Delight of the Day 10/8

 By now, you know I love Black Watch tartan. (My obsession is legit, though. I’m Scottish.) Recently, whilst procrastinating at work browsing Instagram, I noticed Barrington Gifts released a new Black Watch Collection. And you guessed it, I’m obsessed. They’ve got totes ($145-195) , duffles ($225-275) , accessory cases ($42-85), shoe bags ($85), and a laptop sleeve ($100). WASPs everywhere can rejoice, because now you don’t need to make a trip to Edinburg to get your fix. Or still do that. And bring me, please!

Delight of the Day 9/11

I don’t know what it is, but I’m obsessed with the idea of leather duffle bags. There’s just something so classic about their look, and I love the idea of grabbing one, filling it with the essentials, and hopping on the first train out of town. Pair that with beautiful craftsmanship made in America, and you’ve found pure perfection. Frank Clegg’s Compass Duffle is the quintessential travel bag and will be topping all of my Christmas lists this year. That, and a trip to Paris.

Delight of the Day 6/13

I’m a little late to join the Barrington Gifts party, but I’m seriously loving this shop. Personalized bags? Yes, please! I’m particularly smitten with the St. Charles Yacht Tote, $174. It beats the look of a Longchamp any day, and it won’t cause you to forego groceries for the next 12 months like a Neverfull. How could you say no?

p.s. If anyone is feeling particularly generous, I’ll absolutely take one of these.

Serengetee + Krass & Co.

If you have been living under a rock haven’t already noticed, I have a slight obsession with Krass & Co. I’m not quite at full-blown stage 5 clinger status yet, but I’m getting there. So, needless to say, when Pierson approached me about their new line with Serengetee, whose tagline is, “Wear the World. Change the World,”  I was intrigued.

Serengetee started while 3 college kiddos were studying abroad through Semester at Sea. Their goal was to “create a new kind of clothing brand with a simple mission: to connect people to the globe through fabric while giving back to the communities that inspire [their] products. [They] launched Serengetee out of [their] dorm room in the spring of 2012 using every last penny in [their] pockets.” 5% of each purchase goes to one of their 32 causes – depending on what you buy. Pretty amazing, right?

Here’s where Krass & Co. comes in: the two companies created what is probably my favorite collaboration of all time – the America Shorts, $40. (They actually created a whole line that is pretty darn phenom, but you know how much I love America!) A portion of every sale of these shorts will be donated to support Whole Planet’s mission: the alleviation of poverty through microcredit in communities worldwide.

I won’t gush about the quality of the shorts, because you’ve already read 4986734689 posts about them. (Just in case you missed it though, here’s my post about their fall line with a pretty in-depth review!) I will, however, tell you that they may or may not give you super powers, because I ran twice as many bleachers as I normally do when I wore them the first time, and, for my last 5 sets, Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” came on. I can’t make this stuff up, people.

 The team at Serengetee very kindly also sent me their America Tank to review, and it is seriously the most comfortable tank I’ve ever worn. I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t seriously consider blowing off my boyfriend on Saturday to lounge in it all night. (Sorry, Josh – love you!) The proceeds for this one go to The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, which “serves US military personnel wounded or injured in service to our nation, and their families. Supporting Intrepid helps repay heroes for the sacrifices they have made.” Incredible.

 The tanks (plus crew-necks {$26}, v-necks {$26}, racer-backs {$24}, long-sleeves {$28}, and crop-tops {$22})  come with a bunch of different pockets; you can order one with your state’s flag, your fav country’s flag, or other really awesome, colorful prints. I love them for unique (in a good way!) gifts for friends, littles, and fam. Plus, there’s just something about ordering from a company who gives back – don’t you agree?