Ever wondered what our seasoned, Guatemala-trotting staff make sure to always pack when they head to the Land of Eternal Spring? This month we took a survey to find out. Check out our favorite travel items and get excited for your next (or first!) Guatemalan adventure.
(Psst—We’ve got some exciting summer tours for you, but they’re filling up fast! Better sign up quick.)
The Right Shoes
Number one on everybody’s list was the right pair of shoes for hiking around rural Guatemala. Our tours don’t stop just at tourist destinations—we take you far out and high up to see the beauty and meet the people of Guatemala. So make sure you’ve got shoes that will treat you right! Jenn, our Senior Marketing Coordinator, recommends a pair of hiking shoes and sturdy sandals like Tevas, Keens, or Chacos.
Courtney, one of our extraordinary Development Associates, recommends The Walking Company if you need super-duper orthotic support.
When you’re delivering textbooks, sailing across shining volcanic lakes, and giggling with adorable children, it’s essential to stay well hydrated (or caffeinated, or relaxed, as the case may be).
Jenn loves her Klean Canteen insulated water bottle that doubles as a travel mug when you change out the lid.
Garrett, our Outbound Donor Relations Coordinator, opts for the Hydro Flask, which “never accidently opens,” and “keeps my hot coffee hot in the morning and my cold coffee cold in the afternoon.” (Obviously, the man runs on coffee.)
Bottles are great, but no one can argue with Leslie, our Tours & Scholarships Coordinator, who always packs a corkscrew so she can unwind with a bottle of wine after a long day on the bumpy, Guatemalan roads.
Bags, Bags, Bags
One of the hardest parts of travelling is figuring out how to store and carry all of that stuff you have to take with you.
Jess, our Senior Projects Coordinator, and Howard, our Director of Partner Development, recommend packing cubes. They can help you pack more and organize better (because having to dig through a pile of clothes to find your pants in the morning is a real pain). Jess has come to love Eagle Creek packing cubes and also recommends their garment folder to keep nicer clothes less wrinkled.
Ann, our Director of Philanthropy, recommends a small cross-body bag to store those items you need on your person at all times. Caroline, another extraordinary Development Associate, can’t say enough about the Baggallini Synergy Flap Crossbody.
Guatemala is at turns hot, cold, sunny, AND rainy, so what’s a person to do!? Pack like a pro.
Jenn and Courtney both recommend taking a rain jacket with a mesh lining to prevent that awkward clinging-plastic feeling. This will keep you warm in high altitude and dry when you inevitably get caught in a rainy season downpour. And why not choose a bright color to blend with the outrageously vibrant hues of the indigenous Mayan dress?
Our Executive Director Joe wouldn’t be caught in Guatemala without his Tilley hat, which has travelled with him to more places than he can count.
Not only are Tilleys “the finest outdoor hats in the world,” they also make you look like quite the intrepid explorer.
A Few More Handy Items
Don’t worry, we’ve got a few more items to make your Guatemalan adventure smooth and comfortable.
Garrett recommends packing a portable battery, because you never know when you’ll need to charge a device and be without access to an outlet. He suggests purchasing one with at least 10,000mAh of power, and recommends you check out Anker brand.
Howard adds that 3-prong to 2-prong adapters can be essential for those 2-prong outlets in Guatemala.
Howard and Jess also recommend earplugs, because (as much as we all love local culture) barking dogs, roosters, and bus horns may not be the symphony you were hoping to wake up to.
Ann suggests Febreeze To-Go Fabric Refresher so that you can freshen and re-wear your clothes multiple times! (And maybe even pack a smaller suitcase!?)
Finally, Caroline and Elizabeth (our last marvelous Development Associate) emphasize the importance of a travel journal so that you’ll never forget how you felt when you were greeted by a sea of cheering students for the first time.
Shopping on Amazon? Make sure to use our Amazon Affiliates link and 6-10% of your purchase price will go to students in Guatemala, with no additional cost to you! (Hellooo, guilt-free shopping spree.)
Ready to go to Guatemala!?