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My 5 Essential Items When I Go on Vacation

I’m writing this while staying at the Allegro Papagayo Resort in Costa Rica – I wanted to blog about the five most important things I take when I go on vacation now, before I forget!

If you’re going on a holiday, read What to Pack for a Beach Resort Vacation.

This is just a quick list of my most essential items 🙂 My plan is to rewrite this blog post in a much more detailed and helpful manner as soon as I get off this relaxing sun-soaked beach.

Life is good.

Travel mug. My husband suggested we bring our travel mugs, and I shrugged him off. But, boy, am I eating crow now! (or shall I say drinking it out of the hotel’s cups). Insulated travel mugs keep your daiquiris and diet Cokes icy cold, and your morning coffee hot and fresh. You can take them to the beach or pool, and enjoy larger serving sizes! This tip for packing for an all inclusive resort vacation seems counterintuitive (everything is included at the hotel, after all), but it’s a great idea.

Pilates or Yoga mat. The Allegro Papagayo Resort in Costa Rica offers stretch classes, which I love. But no matter where I am, I’m not a big fan of exercise mats that other people have sweated on. Ugh. So, if I were to pack for this all inclusive vacation again, I’d definitely bring my own Pilates or Yoga mat.

when I go on vacation

Me on my honeymoon

Photos of my house and city. Getting to know the locals is one of the best parts of any vacation. Not only are most people willing to share their lives and customs with tourists, they’re also curious about the lives of tourists! Many people can’t afford to travel, and really appreciate a glimpse into our lives. This photo tip for packing for an all inclusive resort vacation is definitely one of the “extras” that makes connecting with people much easier.

I also shared this tip in Moving to Africa? 10 Things You Need to Know.

Nail polish and manicure set. The Allegro Papagayo has a spa, but the manicure, pedicure, and massage prices are a little too rich for my blood. Whenever I go on a resort vacation, I always bring my own spa supplies. I love painting my nails by the pool, and then I don’t have to take the time to do it before I leave on vacation (there are so many other things to take care of!). This is a easy, light packing tip.

Old clothes. I always bring old clothes on my vacations – especially the rougher ones, when I carry my backpack for miles. After I wear the clothes (getting them all sweaty and dirty), I leave them in the hotel room for the cleaning staff to use however they like…and I have space in my backpack for new clothes and souvenirs! This tip for packing for an all inclusive resort vacation may not work if you’re into how you look on your holidays…but I’d prefer to look a little shabbier and have more room in my luggage to bring great stuff home.

If you’re interested in travelling somewhere other than a beach resort, read What Introverts Need to Know About Going On Mission Trips.


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2 thoughts on “My 5 Essential Items When I Go on Vacation”

  1. I’d have to agree with the above comment on hand sanitizer.

    Also, deoderant.. Alot of people forget that! I know I did!! LOL

    Also, if you can find re-useable ice. Some are little plastic bags or stones. Use this in conjunction with your travel mugs and you’ve got your own ice and cup! Most bars won’t mind putting the mixed drink in your cup for you and your not drinking the water!

  2. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Wash your hands or use a hand sanitizer after playing in the sand – because children and adults who build castles and dig in the sand at the beach are at greater risk of developing gastrointestinal diseases and diarrhea than people who only walk on the shore or swim in the surf, according to researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Environmental Protection Agency.

    People who playfully bury their bodies in the sand are at even greater risk, according to the study published online recently in the American Journal of Epidemiology. It also shows children, who are more likely than adults to play with and possibly get sand in their mouths, stand the greatest chance of becoming ill after a day at the beach.

    “Beach sand can contain indicators of fecal contamination, but we haven’t understood what that means for people playing in the sand,” said Chris Heaney, Ph.D., a postdoctoral epidemiology student at UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health and lead author of the study.

    “A lot of people spend time at the beach, especially in the summer,” Heaney said. “And while we found that only a small percentage of people who played at the beach became ill later – less than 10 percent in any age group, for any amount of exposure – it’s important to look at the situation more closely. If we find evidence that shows exposure to sand really does lead to illness, then we can look for the sources of contamination and minimize it. That will make a day at the beach a little less risky.”

    For the full press release, go to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.