Belize & Guatemala: A Packing List

I’m going backpacking for 8 days in Belize & Guatemala. I leave on Saturday. I’m really excited, this is my first international trip, etc.

I’ve been working on this packing list for a while. I’ve been tweaking it and trying to eliminate as much superfluity as possible, with the goal of fitting everything into one carry-on bag. I’ll link at the end to some other bloggers’ packing lists that inspired me.

Here’s what I’ve come up with:


  • 2 tank tops
  • 1 ExOfficio bug repellent shirt – the shirt is made of a very soft mesh-like material, so it’s lightweight and a bit see-through. I plan on wearing it over the tank tops on most days. Firstly, to keep off the bugs (I hate getting mosquito bites – also, the CDC recommends avoiding bug bites because of Zika/malaria concerns), and secondly, for modesty, as I’ve read that Central America tends to run more conservative in clothing.
  • 1 long sleeve shirt
  • 2 pairs of pants – 1 pair of jeans, 1 pair of cotton hippie pants – I know a lot of people counsel against wearing denim in places like Central America or SE Asia, but I pretty much only own those two pants, so my options were limited.
  • 1 pair of shorts – I’m bringing athletic shorts in case the denim-plan backfires on me
  • 1 skirt – it’s a mid-length A-line skirt
  • Socks and 1 pair of compression socks – I’m a compression sock fanatic
  • 3 pairs of unders – one to wash, one to dry, and one to wear
  • 3 bras – two regular bras, one sports bra
  • 1 hat
  • 2 swimsuits – 1 two-piece and 1 one-piece
  • 2 pairs of shoes – 1 pair of running shoes and 1 pair of flip-flops
  • 1 sweatshirt

All of the clothes (minus the sweatshirt) fit into 1 packing cube. I would like to note that I plan to wash my clothes before re-wearing them while on the road.


  • Toothbrush & toothpaste & floss
  • Deodorant
  • 2 oz. bottle of peppermint Dr. Bronner’s – to be used as shampoo, laundry soap, body soap, and shaving cream
  • Conditioner and face wash – decanted into travel bottles
  • Sunscreen, tinted moisturizer w/ SPF, lip balm, and bug spray
  • A travel-sized tube of coconut oil – for lotion & oil pulling
  • Razor, hairbrush, hand sanitzer
  • Eyeliner

I don’t really wear make-up. I’d like to, but I’m pretty lazy. My everyday routine is just tinted moisturizer w/ SPF on my face and a purple eyeliner pencil. Additionally, I use tinted lip balm. I recommend multi-use products in general, but particularly while traveling – why bring face lotion and foundation when you can have one product do both? Also, a good tip is to try and pare down your make-up to the three products that you either use the most or find most important. Cosmetics tend to eat up a lot of space very quickly.


  • Passport, travel documents, phone, phone charger, wallet – the important stuff
  • Sunglasses
  • Notebook & pen
  • 3 books – Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides, Please Kill Me, by Legs McNeil & Gillian McCain, and The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
  • Light weight, quick drying towel
  • Packable 20 liter daypack
  • Flashlight
  • First-aid kit & some electrolyte salt tabs
  • Non-drowsy allergy medicine & Benadryl – in addition to having seasonal allergies, I’m also allergic to dairy products and I occasionally have panic attacks (particularly on airplanes), hence the two types of allergy medicine
  • Advil
  • My prescription meds
  • Rain poncho & umbrella
  • One bed sheet – I was going to get one of those fancy sleeping bag liner/travel sheet things that people use in hostels, but I ran out of time and money, so I’ll just use a regular sheet
  • Diva cup
  • Regular metal water bottle & my Grayl purifier water bottle – I got the Grayl as an early birthday present, and I’m very excited to not have to buy bottled water – I can just purify my own!
  • TSA-approved combination lock
  • Eyemask and earplugs – I never use these but I always bring them
  • Personal safety alarm – for security
  • Instant iced coffee – having morning coffee is extremely important to me, so I always bring my own
  • Snacks! – I’m bringing 8 protein cookies. Always good to have snacks on hand

And all of this fits into a 45 liter, carry-on compliant backpack. The whole thing, when packed, weights about 20 lbs. But the bag will even get more spacious as I eat through my snacks 😉

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Sorry about the terrible photo quality. There is a reason for the super-minimalist design of the blog: I lack both a camera and the skills to use it.

Helpful packing lists:

Lonely Planet – the main inspiration for my list

Her Packing List Central America Packing List– as you may have noticed, I read Her Packing List a lot

See you soon! I’m off to Belize!


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