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NC State Extension

What to Pack


Image by Homeless Hub

General Rule of Thumb :  Take twice the money and half the clothes

You are our Ambassador

As you embark on this opportunity to enhance cross-cultural attitudes


  • 2 checked bags (first bag = $25, 2nd = $40)
    • Maximum of 50 lbs each
    • Maximum L+W+H is 62 inches
    • Hefty fines if other weight ($100)
    • Do not lock – can use zip ties
  • 1 carry on (must fit overhead or under your seat)
  • 1 Personal Item (purse, briefcase, laptop Or camera)
  • Be sure to all bags (checked and carry-on) have your name/address/phone number both inside and out.

Clothes – Comfortable / Conservative

  • Layers
  • Polo Shirts
  • T-Shirts
  • Long sleeve shirt or jacket
  • Long Pants (4 pairs)
  • Conservative Shorts (2 pairs)
  • Rain Gear (Umbrella, Jacket)
  • Sun Hat
  • Shoes that can be worn in wet places
  • Hiking Boots
  • Rubber Boots
  • Bathing Suit (one piece or tankini)


  • 1 Credit Card (Master Card, or Visa)
  • 1 Debit Card
  • NO Travelers Checks
  • Notify your bank that you will be traveling in Costa Rica so they do not put a stop on your card when charges show up that are outside your normal range.
  • Save cash for the $40 export tax you will pay when you leave.


  • Passport
    • Leave a copy with a roommate or with family
    • Email a copy to Patricia Holoman, CALS International Programs Office (plholoma[at]ncsu[dot]edu)
    • Bring your passport and a xerox copy of your passport
  • Proof of Health Insurance
  • Consider Travel Insurance


  • Day Pack (to carry rain gear, water, snacks, camera, etc.)
  • Waterproof sleeve for phone and/or camera
  • Duplicates (eye glasses, contacts, prescription other essential items)
  • Flashlight or Headlamp
  • Refillable water bottle
  • Medicine (In original labeled container, know the generic name)
    • Prescription as well as medication
    • Over the county medicine for head ache, cold, diarrhea
  • Sunscreen
  • Mosquito Repellent
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Lip Balm
  • Women should pack monthly sanitary items if needed
  • Shammy Towel – small portable
  • Photos of home, family, pets, etc. to help you share your story.
  • Small gifts from North Carolina for hosts
  • Fabric scraps, yarn, ribbon, buttons etc. for People First Tourism Artists.

What to Leave Home

  • Jewelry
  • Valuables