PAcking FOR PALM TREES
Most of us have done our share of traveling for waves. You know, surf trips. But every trip is unique, and what we bring depends on how much travel we'll do at the destination, where we'll stay, what we'll be doing, how long we'll be there, and what we'll have access to while there.
Many people take off from work and take a week to ten days for a surf holiday, where the majority of my travels have been from 4-10 months in a foreign country, and my packing has ranged from a small carry-on and a guitar, to a huge longboard bag, a guitar, a ukulele, recording equipment, camera gear, etc.
Today, I'm just going to tell you a little bit about the next trip I'll take, and I'll make a list of everything in my suitcase so you can see exactly what I do.
THE TRIP I was invited down to Nicaragua to stay at Rapture Surf Camp, who also has locations in Costa Rica, Portugal and Bali. Luckily, I've lived in and traveled quite a bit in both Nicaragua and Costa Rica, so I'm familiar with the area, I've chosen an airport that is in Costa Rica, quite far away, because the flight was cheaper and I'm comfortable gettting from there to the camp in Nicaragua.
I'll basically take Tica Bus (air conditioned and $60 RT to Managua- but I wont go that far north) from San Jose, CR to Rivas, Nica, then get off and take a sweaty local "chicken bus" out to San Juan del Sur where I'll have a pick-up to take me to the camp over Maderas. With this being said, I know that I dont just have to get the heavy longboard bag with 4 boards in it out of the airport (thanks to CleanlineSurf.com we have a nice bag with wheels and lots of padding), but I also have to bring get from the airport to Tica Bus by taxi, then get it on Tica Bus, and worst of all, I have to get it INSIDE the chicken bus to San Juan Del Sur, which means I'm going to have to make them do it, offer them money and then haggle with them. They're not going to put it on top if I can help it. ...Ok, so let's be real, it'll probably end up on top.
There are two of us, so that's always handy because you can share bags instead of each person having a board bag and a suitcase, etc. In our case, we're carrying 4 boards in a large boardbag, and hopefully just one suitcase, and backpacks.
Surfboards- 4 boards, one large wheeled coffin from CleanlineSurf.com One thing to note about heavy board bags, just remember there's a weight limit, usually of 100 lbs, but always check. I've found that the heavier it is, the less damage you get because they can't throw it. But also, you have to lift and carry that bag so watch out. We'll go easy on packing the bag this trip.
Bikinis- These will be thrown in the board bag because they're light and I can put them all in a little tote and pack them under the nose of the shortboard (important!) so it doesnt snap against the flatter rocker of the longboards.
Towel- The place we're staying has towels but I still like to bring one or two, just in case, and they're great to pack around and between the boards.
Beach Blanket/Sarong- So versatile. I'll carry one king size and one small sarong. They can be used as beach blankets, towels, picnic blankets, bed spreads or curtains if your accomodation isn't that attractive, and if you take sticks and built a little beach fort on the beach, you can make a little sun block or roop by tieing the blanket to the sticks. Also, there are so many ways to wear them as skirts, dresses, pants, jumpsuits, etc. Google that, ladies.
THE "GOD FORBID" BAG
Let's begin with medicines. In rural areas, or even in some countries it can be hard to get your hands on everything you need. Here's my list.
AZO Yeast- Ladies! This is just maintenance because if you're spending all day in that bikini, you need to be aware that you're far more vulnerable to bacterial and yeast infections because your pH will not be normal in the heat in that wet bikini. Just take them.
Anti-Diarrhea Medication- Thank me later.
Dramamine - You never know.
Arnica- Not necessary, but I'm going to take it.
THE TOILETRY BAG
Razor and two blades
Hair ties- I'm loving those new rubber ones.
100% Organic Conditioner- I'll use the spirulina conditioner from LivingLibations.com that is totally ok to go into the ocean. This means that if I have a long drive from the surf spot back to where I'm staying, I can rinse off at a beach shower, or even in the ocean with this in my hair and be guilt-free and my hair will be salt-free, because letting salt sit in that long hair all day will destroy it quick! This conditioner isn't cheap, so I only use it on special occasions like that.
Deodorant- Usually I take a salt crystal, this time I'm taking Toms aluminum free.
Sunscreen- SunBum Baby Bum is safe for the ocean
Hemp Washcloth and Moroccan Hamman Scrub- The hammam scrub, I take on every trip. I literally take them everywhere since 2011. They're mega-exfoliating and when I'm getting a lot of sun, I feel like they're good to keep the dead skin off.
Jergens Natural Glow lotion- What!? Ok, so here's what I've learned over the last few years. I'm trying harder to protect my face with sunscreen, but sometimes my face doesnt look as healthy when it doesnt have as much sun and my complexion isn't always perfect. When I use this lotion maybe once a week, it adds a light healthy glow to my face which makes me not even think about wearing makeup. It's a GREAT substitute for make-up if you're in that habit. I pack the tiny travel size one because I don't need much.
Face serum- It's just nice to have something to slather onto your skin. Coconut oil is a great choice, but I'm jsut going to take this little bottle from Dr. Roebucks Australia.