WHAT TO PACK FOR YOUR NEXT TRIP TO GUATEMALA
If you have an upcoming trip to Guatemala and you’re struggling on what to pack + how to pack efficiently this blog is for you! I traveled to Antigua Guatemala, in October 2022 and I was pretty proud of how effectively I packed with just a carry-on bag for a 4 day trip. The duffel suitcase I have used since high school has been my saving grace for the past 10 years. A-mazing.
First things first, we gotta get y’all to start packing less without sacrificing fashion. Because we are fashion girlies over this way so we are gonna stay cute! Mastering how to pack your clothes in a carryon suitcase can save you checked baggage fees, limit the risk for your bags to get lost, and avoids you from lugging around a 50lb checked bag. I’ve experienced it all. I promise you, trying to roll a 50lb suitcase across heavy traffic with uneven cobblestone streets is just embarrassing in itself LOL. Not to mention a lot of the cars in Latin America are a lot smaller than cars in the United States.
Learning how to pack efficiently can save you a lot of hassle so check out my top travel tips below:
RAQHELLE’S TOP 8 PACKING TIPS
- Remember that the majority of non-budget airlines allow one personal item in addition to your carry-on suitcase. You can bring up to a 20'' carry-on suitcase or duffel suitcase. Your personal item can include a large backpack, duffel bag, tote purse, or weekender bag. This allows you to pack even more items for free.
- Save space by rolling up your clothes instead of folding them. You’ll be able to tightly roll any piece of clothing to allow for more space.
- Use packing cubes. The mystery behind how many outfits you can fit in just 3 packing cubes baffles me! Plus packing cubes help a ton with organization. The packing cube packs usually come with a small, medium, and large cube with additional laundry or cosmetic bags as well.
- Try to choose shoes and clothing pieces that are interchangeable between outfits or that can be worn twice. For example, a cardigan, pair of jeans, or bodysuit can all be worn, interchangeably between activities or a night out.
- Bring at least two back up outfits in case one of your primary outfits gets soiled, dirty, or rips! Because I do several activities on each day of my trip I usually try to pack two outfits per day.
- If you know you tend to overpack on your trips, reflect on your last trip that you took and be realistic. Ask yourself: what did I actually wear? What was more practical for my daily activities? What was more comfortable? Those stilettos may look like a great idea in your head, but in actuality after your first day you’ll quickly realize you’ll probably opt for a more comfortable pair.
- If you don’t already have a type A personality like me you may want to outline what outfits you would like to wear each day. Depending on your daily activities this will help you avoid over packing because you have specific outfits in mind for each day of the trip.
- Ready to pack? Lay every single piece of clothing, jewelry, bags, purses, gadgets, toiletries, hair items, etc. out onto your floor or on your bed. You’ll be able to see every item you are interested in packing and reflect on what you need the most. Then, separate out your necessities first. These are your absolute must haves that you need on your trip. Once you’ve chosen your necessities, you can start adding extra outfits or clothing items that you may deem practical, depending on your trip.
WHAT TO PACK FOR ANTIGUA, GUATEMALA
So what should you consider when packing for a fall Guatemala trip? The fall was actually a perfect time to visit. The weather was wonderful and not unbearably hot. There was also a good combination of light rain to alleviate the hot sun, but it would start really late in the afternoon and pretty much stop within a couple hours. We used any of the rainy times to relax at our Airbnb and sit back on the patio or deck! Watching our Airbnb backyard turn to a dewy mini rainforest was super relaxing after our adventurous day. Latin America is hot so choosing more comfortable and breathable outfits will help a ton!
Let's start with the basic clothing pieces first. Keep it simple but cute ;)
Flowy dresses and pants.
Loose midi or tie skirts and shorts.
Dusters, kimonos or lightweight cardigans for the brisk morning or evening breezes.
Basic short sleeve cotton shirts or tank tops that are interchangeable between outfits. The brown "top" in both photos was actually a mini cotton dress that I was able to wear as a top when I purchased a locally crafted skirt and embroidered belt!
Rain jacket or a rain poncho. Perfect for those light rainy days or pouring rain while hiking a volcano!
Can't forget the accessories.
Light jewelery. Simple necklaces. Or statement vacation accessories to spice up a cute functional outfit. Avoid flashy clothing or jewelery as you can be easily targeted for pick pocketers.
Visors or small sun hats.
Crossbody purses, or bags that are functional with lots of pockets to keep items organized and separated for easy access.
Let's talk footwear. The photo below was one of our first days in Antigua walking around. Needless to say heels + narrow cobblestone sidewalks=my feet were on fire. Better shoes to consider instead:
Comfortable walking shoes for the cobblestone streets and sidewalks.
Strappy sandals with thicker soles.
Sandals that fasten or tie and be secured to avoid slippery shoes on rocky streets and areas.
Sneaker sandals which are versatile for a variety of outfits and still comfortable for walking.
Grab some huaraches (colorful photo below!) from a local street vendor. Cute, simple, and comfortable to walk in.
Some people may wonder why people choose to wear long sleeves, jeans, or pants in super hot weather. Well the more your skin is exposed to direct sunlight the hotter you will feel. You can protect your skin from the sun by wearing longer sleeves or pants and by paying attention to the type of fabric and colors you wear. Breathable fabrics are cottons, linens, and rayon fabrics. Darker colors usually absorb the suns heat rays which can make your body temperature increase whereas lighter colors reflect sunlight and are more cooler to wear.
Save yourself from the heat by considering these kind of outfits:
Maxi dresses and maxi skirts.
3 quarter length cotton shirts and tops and pair it with a sleeveless cardigan.
Long sleeve flowy tops.
Capri length, skinny or mom jeans.
Lightweight long sleeve cardigans.
RAQHELLE’S 13 TRAVEL MUST HAVES
Take a look at some of the top items outside of clothing that I consider bringing on my international trips. A lot of these items I have used repeatedly that come in handy throughout my trip. Plus they don’t take up too much space in my carry-on bag or backpack!
- Clorox or Lysol wipes: helpful for the plane and using in public restrooms.
- Hand sanitizer
- Charmin mini toilet paper rolls
- Disposable toilet seat covers
- Mini Kleenex packets
- Tied stain remover pens
- Portable phone charger
- $10 Airplane phone holder mount to watch free entertainment on your phone
- $12 Airplane Footrest swing for extra leg stretching during your flight
- $13 Travel neck pillow
- $20 Inflatable travel pillow
- Travel size first aid kit
Are you an overpacker or pack just enough? Let me know in the comments!