Packing for Panama: Preparing for Rainforest vs. the Beach

Happy Mother’s Day everyone! For me, brunch on the couch is the new breakfast in bed (that happens when you get to sleep in until 10:30!), but we’re not going all out today because we have enough to look forward to this week because….(drumroll)… we leave for Panama in two days!

Pilferers and squatters need not attempt to track down our home. It will be occupied in our absence, and of course there’s the moat with the alligator that we keep just hungry enough.

So now I’m doing something that before child I’d always saved until the morning of, even the hour of departure… packing. Packing for Panama is not like packing for any beach. It’s a rainforest climate, which means SERIOUS humidity. You think we have it here in the South? Well, my friend who lives down there says she tries not to spend more than $10 on a dress, because unfortunately they don’t last very long down there. Everything is wet all the time. So with that in mind, she recommended swimsuits, quick-drying, moisture-wicking clothes, and well, that’s about it!

We’re staying at an amazing eco resort called Casa Cayuco, which is (at post time) the number two spot on TripAdvisor’s list of B&Bs and Inns on Panama’s Isla Bastimentos.

So packing clothing was a no-brainer:

  • 3 swim suits (two-pieces that I can mix and match)
  • 1 gauzy sundress
  • 1 gauzy, hangy tank top
  • 1 quick-dry skirt
  • 1 moisture-wicking short-sleeve shirt with UV protection
  • 1 moisture-wicking, quick dry hoodie with UV protection
  • 1 pair of running shorts (more for lounging or hiking than running, but they’re that quick-dry material)
  • 1 rain jacket (essential!)
  • 1 pair of thin cropped PJ pants
  • 1 cotton tank to sleep in (no quick-dry PJs in my arsenal)
  • 1 cute, short nightie (this is our first trip as a couple without Jed since he was born!)
  • 1 pair of flip flops
  • 1 pair of Chacos for hiking, more active endeavors

And it all fits into half the space of my LeSportsac Weekender duffel:

Mine’s a paisley pattern from several years back that you can’t find online anymore, but I love this fun owl print! These suckers are super durable and hold EVERYTHING. And mine’s complied with every airline’s carry-on rules so far.

Now the question is, will my skin and sun care regimen fit into the other half of my duffel? My skin is riddled with “beauty marks” that range from pre-pre-cancerous to pre-cancerous, so I am extra careful in the sun. So besides my straw fedora, which I think I can pull off (no matter what Dave says), I also bought a slew of different products to take down there. My friend Sue swears by coconut oil for a lot of uses, and I’m excited to try out any natural, local alternative to what I bring, but we are at least a 45 minute boat ride to any store, so I need to come prepared.

Skin Care and Sun Care for Panama

Avon beauty product
$7.99 – avon.com. I’m not a huge Avon person, but when it comes to bug spray, their SkinSoSoft is my first stop. And this one has SPF 30. Win, win!

Baby Bee SPF 30 Suncreen Stick – NEW- Burt’s Bees
$10 – burtsbees.com. I have sensitive skin, so when it comes to my face I use baby products. If it’s sensitive enough for baby, it’s gentle enough for me.

Buy Natrapel 8-Hour Deet Free Insect Repellent & More | drugstore.com
$4.99 – drugstore.com. Found this at Amazing Savings, picked it up as a back-up. If you’re not from Asheville, then you don’t know how amazing the savings truly are:)

Lip care SPF 25 – Sun Protection – Lip
$2.99 – albabotanica.com. Once on a Bahamas boat trip I forgot my SPF lip balm for one day and looked like Mick Jagger for the next four. Never again.

All Natural Spray On Oil Sun Screen Spf 30 from Kiss My Face
$13 – kissmyface.com. Another Amazing purchase. Skeptical about using oil, but it is SPF 30, so we shall see.
My sister knows me too well and bought me the Ahava after sun lotion for my birthday. I fell in love with their stuff when I visited the Dead Sea in Israel back in high school. My skin will love it after a day in the sun, burned or not.
Travel shampoo, conditioner and shave lotion were purchased based on what was available at Whole Foods in travel size (my hair Phyto regime is not travel-friendly). I don’t dislike Kiss My Face by any means (this is what I have for our guests at my house), but if you were to look at my packing list, you’d think I was obsessed!
I don’t know if I’ll post much of anything… at all… this week while I’m gone. If I’m proactive enough, I’ll put one in the works to be scheduled out, or post a few gorgeous pics of us swimming with the dolphins or something to make you jealous:)
This is definitely the most far-out, remote, tropical locale I’ll have traveled to. What’s yours? 
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