What to pack for the rainy season

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Are you traveling during the rainy season in Central America? Then you will be wondering what clothes in the rainy season you should pack? If you are thinking of traveling during the rainy season you will need to adapt your packing and add in a few extra things because of the weather.

Although many people may be put off traveling during the rainy season in Central America, it is actually a great time to travel you just need to know what to pack!

Central America has two seasons: Dry season (around November to April) and Wet (The Rainy) season (around May to October). This differs slightly depending on the country. Many people avoid traveling to Central America during the rainy season but if you don’t mind getting a bit wet it is a great time to visit.

I wrote a whole article on why you should travel to Central America in the rainy season that you can read here.

What To Wear in The rainy season

clothes in rainy season

Synthetic Clothes

Cotton may be cooler but synthetic material dries quickly. Leave your jeans at home and pack some quick-drying pants and tops. That way when it does rain you will be dryer much quicker.

Fleece Jacket

This will keep you warm at night and not take up too much room.

Rainy season jacket – Rainproof Shell/ Poncho

I would advise getting a slightly longer one so that it covers almost to your knees, this will save you having to bother with waterproof pants. Make sure it’s lightweight and compact. Keep it on you at all times so you can put it on quickly if it does rain

Rainy Season Travel essentials

Backpacking In Guatemala Packing List

Travel Insurance

First things first, you are going to need some solid insurance. If you don’t believe me then read this. I personally use SafetyWing Digital Nomads Insurance which is an ongoing policy that just renews each month. But before that, I used World Nomads who are the company I would highly recommend if you are backpacking. Both also cover COVID 19 now which is great news for safe travel during the pandemic!

If you just need basic insurance for a shorter vacation then I’d recommend doing a search on Travel Insurance Master.

Sunglasses

Does anyone actually leave home without sunglasses? I personally always travel with 2 pairs. One for day to day use that I normally just throw in my bag. Then a second pair that are a bit nicer which I wear when I want to take some nice pics for the gram. I always get my sunglasses from Blenders, Glassesshop, or Knockaround as they are good quality, have UV protection, and are really reasonably priced.

Reusable Water Bottle

Don’t always assume you can drink the water especially when somewhere off the beaten path like Guatemala. However, most places have big water filters that will filter the tap water so you can drink it. So having. a good reusable water bottle is essential. If you are still a little worried then get a water bottle with a filter like this for peace of mind. For a bottle with extra tech this one is self cleaning via UVC light, is USB rechargeable and turns any water into drinkable fresh water. It is also vacuum insulated to keep your water cold for up to 12 hours.

Hand Sanitizer

Let’s face it, 2020 changed the way we travel, and there is no going back. Hand sanitizer is something you can no longer travel without and I’m obsessed with this hand sanitizer holder my friend designed. You can buy them in a pack of 2 and the bottles come with it so you can top them up. Not only are they super practical so they clip on o your purse, or luggage but you can also clip your mask on there too, save throwing it into your backpack! It’s vegan leather and you can choose the cute florals (which I have) or a brown and black combo.

Bug Spray

I suggest getting an eco-friendly one for your body and then getting something a little more aggressive like this to spray on your clothing. 

Vaccines

You may need to prove you have had any specific vaccines and for some places, you may need malaria pills. There are many vaccines that are strongly advised for travel depending on your location. So a few months before you travel to speak to a medical professional and make sure you were immunized with all of the suggested vaccines.

Please never take medical advice like this from a blogger! Go see a medical professional…

Luggage for Central America

If you plan on covering a lot of ground then I would personally suggest a 60L backpack and a small daypack that can easily be packed when traveling. 

I’ve added images and links for the luggage I have tried and tested in Central America below. 

If security is a concern for you then I highly recommend getting in Pacsafe backpack for added security and peace of mind. I also wrote this blog post on the best digital nomad backpacks and this one about carry on luggage, just in case they are useful to you. The KnackPack is great for digital nomads with specific space for your tech and all your essentials.

You are also going to need some packing cubes to help keep all of your things organized (and squeeze in a few extra items of clothing). Plus a good laundry bag, toiletry bag, and of course a shopping bag. Alternatively, get a backpack with built-in packing sections like this one. It hangs like a mini wardrobe too which can be helpful instead of using hotel storage. It’s what I’m personally traveling with these days.

folding shopping bag

Large shopping bag

Packing bags

Hanging toiletry bag

Drawstring makeup bag

Pack away large bag

Other Useful Things to Pack for The Rainy season

Over the years backpacking the world I’ve got packing down to a fine art and I have some essential items in my backpack that you might not think of. So here are some things you are going to need that you might not think of!

Laundry Soap and a Nail Brush – Unless you want to be doing laundry every few days, it’s best to just wash out your underwater in the shower each night. To do this I always travel with a bar of laundry soap and a nail brush. It also comes in handy to clean off marks and stains from clothes you are washing.

A Travel Washing Line – I love mine, it’s so handy and takes up no room at all.

A Sewing Kit – When you are traveling sometimes you need to make-do-and-mend.

Mini First Aid Kit – Goes without saying really! I also add in some extras like activated charcoal and other useful pharmaceuticals. 

Carabiner clips –  So useful for attaching things to your backpack!

Head torch – Equally as useful for camping as it is for reading in bed, or trying to find your way home in the dark.

Ear Plugs – If you are planning on staying in hostels you are going to need these!

A Whistle – I know many people worry about safety and want to protect themselves. I like to carry a whistle just in case I need to pull attention. It might not be as effective as pepper spray, but as that is illegal to fly with too many countries, this is a good alternative.

A Door Stop – Worried about safety in your room at night? Use the doorstop to block the door from the inside and make it harder for someone to enter the room.

Silk Sleeping Bag Liner – Another thing that doesn’t take up so much room, but will give you a lot of peace of mind if you need it. Sometimes you might either find yourself chilly or just not wanting to sleep in the bedsheets. So hopping inside a sleeping bag liner helps you get a good night’s sleep, wherever you are…

Umbrella – If you are traveling somewhere tropical it’s likely to rain, but still be hot. Having an umbrella in your bag will keep you dry without making you feel like you will collapse from heat exhaustion!

A padlock – I recommend getting one of these locks so you don’t need to worry about keys. They are TSA approved so you can use them to lock your luggage when flying as well as using it to lock your locker at the hostel.

USD – I always keep an emergency $50 USD hidden somewhere, just in case. USD is the most widely accepted currency, but you will need to ensure the notes are clean and crisp. Many places won’t accept them if they are marked at all.

Quick-dry towel – I have 2, a large one and a small hand size one that I keep clipped to my backpack.

A sarong – I never travel anywhere without at lease 2 sarongs. I use them to replace my towel, hang over my bed in a hostel for privacy. Wrap around my hair when it’s wet, sunbathe on… I could go on and on. I even make a dress out of mine when I’m at the beach.

A scarf – Another multi-use item that doesn’t take up much room. Scarfs are great for covering shoulders from the sun, or when entering churches. It will also help keep you warm, and they look cute!

Yoga Mat – I never travel without my yoga mat. I wrote a whole post to help you choose the best travel yoga mat here.

Spice Bag – If you are planning to do some cooking then I recommend making a spice bag so you don’t end up wasting lots of money or herbs and spices, or eating bland food for the whole of your trip. I put my spices into ziplock bags and then keep them in one of these clear bags

Ziplock Bags – I know, I know, more plastic. But they do come in really handy when traveling and you can wash and reuse them so you aren’t throwing them away.

Coffee Flask – Great for keeping hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold. It also saves you having to use disposable cups when you buy a takeaway coffee.

Aeropress – I do love my coffee, so traveling without my Aeropress is not an option haha. This is also another great portable coffeemaker/ mug if you aren’t a fan of the Aeropress. 

Power breaker plug

Bing bags to keep things dry – 

A dry bag – 

Waterproof cover for your backpack

clothes in rainy season

Clothing to Pack for The rainy season

The golden rule is to plan for the worst, hope for the best! Central America has a lot of cities at high elevation.

This means that when the sun goes down it’s is going to be cool. For that reason, you are going to need some warmer clothes especially if you are thinking of hiking any volcanos!

 

Toiletries to Pack for Central America

You can very all of the travel toiletries I recommend here on this Amazon list. Many things you can actually buy in Mexico easily, so I wouldn’t stress too much about buying a lot of toiletries to travel with. But there are some things that are harder to get hold of and expensive in Mexico, so I always try and travel with my own.

Technology to take to Central America

If you are stressing about taking your smartphone to Central America, don’t. Most people do have smartphones, so you aren’t going to stand out having one too. 

Here are some digital things I’d recommend packing for Central America.

Smart Phone – If you don’t want to take your fancy iPhone traveling, then this is a great phone with a very good camera for under $300. It’s what I personally have and shoot a lot of my vlogs on.

Kindle – Save space by investing in a kindle and kindle unlimited. You will find most of the lonely planet travel guides are available to read for free with the plan. 

Lightweight laptop and external hard drive – I have a MacAir which is perfect for traveling. After losing all of my photos a few years ago I also always travel with a heavy-duty external harddrive.

Camera and Tripod – I travel with this DSLR but I also have this mirrorless camera which I often take if I want to use something more discreet. I also love this tripod as I can use it with all of my cameras (even my phone), plus it’s small and light enough to fit in my daypack.

Backup charger – I have these two and always keep one in my bag.

Travel adaptor – Get a worldwide one like this so you can use it wherever you travel to.

Portable WiFi – I never travel without my TEP wireless device. If you can’t live without WiFi I recommend buying or renting one.

Tripod

Check out My travel books

clothes in rainy season

The Solo Girls Guide to Traveling Without Fear

clothes in rainy season

The solo girls guide to becoming a digital nomad

Andrea Lawless

Tuesday 26th of February 2019

Is the mosquito net necessary? Are there not nets in the rooms of accommodation?

Stephanie Grace Elkins

Monday 23rd of October 2017

Mosquito Repellant bracelet is a STRICT NO people. Sorry to disappoint but as somebody who has studied these, they simply aren't effective enough for mosquitos. Unfortunately, the bug spray is the only thing that will really guarantee no bites. Levels of DEET can differ in these but typically the ones that smell strong and bad are the best. Personally, I prefer the smell to catching a nasty virus or worse. I use a tropical strength bug pump bottle so its not as potent on the nose that is %40 DEET and it does the job.

As for everything else, spot on! I cant wait for my trip in the next week!

Paige W

Wednesday 19th of July 2017

These are great tips! My husband and I will be in SE Asia at the end of their rainy season, so I'm going to have to check out some of those synthetic tanks. Also, mosquito repellent bracelets?! I didn't even know those existed!

Candy

Wednesday 19th of July 2017

I have never seen a mosquito repellent bracelet! I need to get those because I hate wearing bug spray. I don't like the smell or the way it feels on my skin. I also love the advice on wearing synthetic material. This is probably great for the high humidity as well :)

Vibeke

Wednesday 19th of July 2017

This is a great list. I haven't been to Central America but I would need a lot of these items in my home country Norway or my Current Ecuador. I really want that dry bag.

Guatemalan Textiles at Lake Atitlan

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