Let me start off by saying I never thought it would happen to me and to be honest I’m a little disappointed in myself for giving in.
But first, let’s take a step back.
Earlier this year, I spent a fair amount of money on the new Allpa 35L backpack from Cotopaxi with the thought “this will be my under 2 weeks and under trip bag.” In the most travel nerd way I was beyond excited. I was actually counting down the days (ordered on their Indiegogo project) until it got shipped. Embarrassingly, I even emailed Cotopaxi (multiple times) to get a timeframe on when it would arrive. Yes I was that excited. The bag is small enough to be a carry on and has enough pockets and room carry basically everything you need (if you know how to pack effectively). At the time, I had a few weekend trips coming up and I wanted to try the new bag out, but alas it wasn’t meant to be and I never got to try it out.
By the the time I got the bag it was clear that Costa Rica was going to be its first trip (for those wondering the bag is awesome and well worth the price/wait). I was excited about the challenge of 11 days and only 35L of space. I’ve always considered myself a pretty minimalist low maintenance traveler but this was a chance to take it to another level. No carry on roller bag for me.
I’ve spent countless hours complaining about people with roller bags and even used the phrase “roller bag people are everything wrong with the world” The mindset between someone with a roller bag and someone with a backpack is similar to the difference in the travel community between a tourist and a traveler. Fair or not, I’ve always considered myself to be in the latter category. So now I finally have a backpack to replace any need of ever using a roller bag again. Happy days are here.
Normally when I travel I rely heavily on public transport. I take trains, planes, and buses whenever possible But after speaking with Jordan. who’d been to Costa Rica twice, he recommended renting a car and driving from place to place. The biggest reason this was appealing is because of the freedom it gives me. It plays right into my “not having a real plan” goal for this trip. I could stay as long in a place as I want and wouldn’t have to worry about missing a train or a bus running late. After weighing both the pros and cons I decided to take his advice and rent a car.
Renting a car may prove to be the best or worst decision of my entire trip. Driving by myself in a foreign country is really the only thing that’s given me any sort of anxiety about this trip. I don’t have anyone to rely on if the car breaks down (I’m not handy), if I get in a wreck, or if I get lost. But a secondary result of renting a car is it allows me extra space- to bring a second bag. Ironically, instead of going the minimalist route on the trip and really utilizing my new Allpa I’m bringing more luggage than I took to spend a month in Southeast Asia- hence the disappointment I feel in myself.
With that said, it would be foolish to not take advantage of the extra room I have; especially since I rarely “bring things just in case” when I travel.
Below you’ll find a list of everything I am bringing with me to Costa Rica for my 11-day trip and which bag I put it in. For the record, I could have gotten by with just the Allpa (at least that’s what I’m telling myself).
Cotopaxi Allpa 35 L (carry on)
- Global Entry and Priority Pass Cards
- Glasses & Case
- Travel Towel
- Travel Pillow
- Sleep Mask
- The Rum Diaries by Hunter S. Thompson
- Toothbrush & toothpaste
- Contact solution and container
- Razor and trimmer
- Body wash
- DJI Spark Drone
- GoPro Hero 5 and 3-way stick
- Macbook Pro & Charger
- Apple Earbuds
- Hard Drive
- Battery Pack
- Portable Speaker
- Sennheiser HD 380 Pro headphones
- 2 Swim Trunks
- 2 Tank Tops
- Longsleeve Tee
- 5 T-shirts
- 5 pair of boxers
- Surfing Rash Guard Longsleeve Shirt
- 1 gym short
- 2 pair of shorts
- Cotopaxi Rain Jacket
- Long pants (for jungle hiking)
- 4 pairs of socks
Deuter 65 L (Checked Bag)
- Drone controller
- Bug Spray
- 2 Spray Sunscreen
- GoPro Accessories
- 2 extra batteries and charger
- Clamp mount
- Additional holders
Because “What If”
- 1 L of Seagram’s whiskey
- Hiking Boots
- 1 pair of socks
- Day Pack
- 2 L Hydration Pack
- Camping Tent
- Sleeping bag
- Beach Towel
- Water shoes
- Nebraska Flag
I truly believe if I wanted to make the one bag work I could have, but I didn’t. Certain things, bug spray, sunscreen, whiskey, etc, I could have bought when I landed, but I know those things are cheaper in the states. With no plan, I have no idea what opportunities may present themselves over the next 11 days so I’m okay giving in to overpacking.
Whether I end up sleeping on the beach beneath the stars, hiking through the Costa Rican jungle, or hammocking on a mountain overlooking a volcano I want to be prepared. Now I have all the stuff I need. If worse comes to worse and I don’t need something I can leave it in the car and not worry about it. I don’t have to carry it around or cram my two bags on a bus or train.
This was a rare chance for me to be over prepared and give into the “what if I need it” urge that I always fight when packing.
I may not even open my 2nd bag, but hey, at least I have it.
The best way to keep up with my adventures is to follow me on Instagram- Todds_Tales.