What to pack for a 4 month trip to Costa Rica as a digital nomad family?

Every year we spend about 6 months abroad and 6 months in The Netherlands. After exploring the beautiful island of Tenerife in Spain for three months from september to december 2018, the time has come to go back to our beloved Central America for another few months. We will spend two weeks in Mexico and fly to Costa Rica from there. Our Volkswagen van has been sitting in a garage for the past two years and is waiting for us to pick her up! We left her there in februari 2017 with the intention to return the same year in the fall. And then life happened because I turned out to be pregnant and due in November of that same year. No way we could pick up the van that year. So, now with another year behind us getting the hang of life as a family of four, we feel ready to pick up the roadtrip trail where we left off early 2017. This blog is about the outline of the trip and what to pack as a family of four, traveling with handluggage only.

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, a laidback little village at the southern caribbean coast of Costa Rica will be our base until may 2019. We intend to rent a small house in Puerto Viejo and make trips with the van from there, exploring the Southern coast and Panama. We travel in the dry season which makes it a lot easier to skip the whole raincoat part of the packinglist. Yes it will rain, but it won’t poor down for weeks with no end. There will be mosquitos and a lot of sun. It will be hot. We can do all kinds of things in Puerto Viejo: run, bike, swim in the ocean, surf, yoga and hike in the jungle. So the big question is: what to bring?! Steven and I both have 10 kilos available. Both kids share a pack and have 5 kilos each. We bring one big bag as checked luggage which holds our two travel cots for the kids to sleep in while camping and traveling. During our trip to Tenerife we practiced with the handluggage thing. As always we used way less that we actually packed and I, Diana, made a list of things we could leave out of the bags. That really helped in packing for a more complex trip to Costa Rica. Below you will find the list of things we actually packed, if it interest you at all. The most curious items in our luggage? A french press, a coffee grinder, a boombox, two teddybears and two pillows!

As you know, we run a remote company and therefore some electronics sits in our luggage. It is not the extensive office gear you might expect, but we love to travel light! Maybe you are light-packing for your family as well and can use some inspiration. Let’s start with the kids:

Baby Vesper (14 months)
6x sleeveless shirt
4x t-shirt short sleeve
2x shirt long sleeve
4x shorts
1x swimming shorts
1x summer sweater
2x flip flops (Teva / Hawaianas)
1x soft baby shoes
1x drinkcup
1x hat
1x toothbrush
2x baby reading book (1 Dutch, 1 Spanish)
2x bed cover for baby cot
1x cotton sheet for baby cot
a few small baby toys
His teddybear Koos Konijn

Toddler Isa (3 years 2 months)
5x summer dress
2x shorts
2x skirts
2x sleeveless top
2x shirt short sleeve
2x shirt long sleeve
1x bikini
1x bathing suit
1x UV shirt longsleeve
1x panama hat
1x flip flops (Reef)
1x plastic boots to dance in the rain
4x socks
1x summer sweater
1x pair of trousers
1x legging
1x legging short
1x pyjamas short sleeve
1x grandad’s shirt
8x underwear
2x sleeping shirt sleeveless
1x drinkcup
1x toothbrush
1x magic hairbrush
2x toddler reading book (1 Dutch, 1 Spanish)
2x bed cover for baby cot
1x cotton sheet for baby cot
a few small toys
Her teddybear Bram

Mama Diana (38 years)
1x yoga pants
1x longsleeve shirt
1x summer sweater
2x shorts
1x jersey skirt
1x beachdress
1x little black dress
2x sleeveless shirts
4x tops
8x panties
2x bra’s
1x bikini
1x birkenstock flip flops
1x sneakers
4x socks

1x Thule sleeve macbook
1x coffee grinder 😉
1x French press
1x kitchen towel
1x wallet
her pillow 🙂
Digital Nomad Diana
1x macbook 12 inch
1x charger
1x iPhone
1x charger iPhone
1x headset iPhone

Papa Steven (36 years)
8x t-shirt
2x shorts
2x swimming shorts
1x surfshirt
1x UV shirt longsleeve
1x running shirt
1x running short
1x running shoes
2x running socks
8x boxershorts
2x flip flops
1x wallet
his pillow 🙂

Digital Nomad Steven
1x macbook pro
1x charger
1x iPhone
1x charger iPhone
1x headset iPhone
1x DSLR camera
2x camera lens
1x memory card
1x external hard drive
1x sports watch and charger
1x tripod DSLR
1x boombox
1x iPad
We just weighed our luggage and this is the result:
Joint bag of Vesper and Isa (8 kilos), small diaper bag (3 kilos)
Bag of Diana (8 kilos), small cabin bag (5 kilos)
Bag of Steven (10 kilos), small cabin bag (6 kilos)
In total our luggage weighs 40 kilos, just 10 kilos per person! We also carry two baby cots and a stroller. All and all it looks like a small caravane all together, but hey: we can at least carry it all ourselves haha! We will add a picture of us leaving for the airport on January 11th! Let’s wait and see if this is enough to keep us happy and going strong during our roadtrip and stay in Costa Rica. If you are wondering if we keep anything in the van: two baby seats and camping gear for two adults.



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