While that it's safe to say that nearly all of the items on my ginormous packing list have come in handy, there are a few things that I am forever glad to have brought.
So in no particular order, here is our Must Pack Top Ten!
It is so nice to cozy up in your own sheets, with your own pillow and comfy mattress pad.
- Benadryl Cream
Some people aren't bothered by the mosquitoes here. Matt is one of them. I, on the other hand, must have some sweet blood because mosquitoes love me. And the Benadryl cream has been a lifesaver. That in correlation with bug spray, and I'm good to go.
- Organizational Supplies
In such a small space, things such as command hooks, over the door hangers and pop up boxes have helped us maximize our itty bitty space.
Matt and I each got a water resistant type backpack. So important!
I get carsick easily. Some people don't get carsick easily and still get carsick here. And Bonine doesn't make you drowsy. Seriously thinking about investing in this stuff.
The sun here is intense. Good sweat-proof sunscreen is key. If you forget the sunscreen, you're going to need aloe for sure.
- Water Filters
We brought a Pur filter for the kitchen sink and camelbak water bottle filters. We use those like nobody's business.
- Gustbuster Umbrella
I know we haven't hit rainy season yet, but it's been abnormally rainy here these past few months. So I am very thankful for a large, sturdy umbrella. Or two.
- Surge Protectors
The electricity here isn't as well grounded as it is in the states. These are a must.
Obviously. I believe the world would be a better place if there was a daily recommended dose of Nutella.
Those are pretty much the essentials. The random things I'm glad we brought? Well here's a whole separate list for that as they aren't essential, but do make you more comfortable here.
- Flashlights Galore
We brought several flashlights down here and they've come in handy as some paths here aren't that well lit.
We brought a lightweight fan in our suitcase, so we had it on our first night here. So glad we did that as the first night was more tolerable when you're adjusting to the heat.
It's better than using my shoe.
- Mosquito Net
We don't have a major problem here. It's more for piece of mind than anything else.
- Deep Conditioner
The water here is rather rough on my hair. You'd think it'd be great not ever blow drying or styling it, but it was looking pretty gnarly after a few showers. We actually brought all of our toiletries here in bulk and very glad for that!
Same with the water. I thought with the humidity I wouldn't get dry skin. But I've really needed it here.
- Kitchen Supplies
We brought a crock pot, foreman and food processor along with a variety of other supplies and utensils. It's nice to have those so you aren't limited in cooking.
It just doesn't taste the same here. We love our Maxwell House.
We pretty much brought a stocked medicine cabinet with everything from sinus meds, allergy meds, cough drops, Airborne, Neosporin and more.
- Woolite Travel Packets
I've gotten pretty good at washing a load of laundry in the sink. It's great to do that in between sending our laundry out as it helps with the cost. Plus, you are guaranteed to get all of your laundry back if you wash your own. We have a clothesline on the back porch to easily dry them.
That's basically it. There are several random items (scotch tape, dry fit everything, envelopes, gaterade mix) that I'm sure I've left off, and become ever so thankful for them when in need.
Every person may have a different top ten. It just depends on what is important to you, and what you can or cannot live without. And for me, Benadryl cream and Nutella are just those things.