Packing Essentials For Volunteering Abroad in Costa Rica

If you are planning to volunteer abroad on a Service Learning Trip in Costa Rica, it’s essential to pack wisely to ensure you have everything you need for your trip. Here’s a list of essential items you should consider including in your packing:

1. Passport and travel documents:

Ensure you have a valid passport with at least six months of validity remaining. Carry copies of your passport, visa, and other important documents in a separate location.


2. Clothing:

Lightweight clothing is best since the humidity makes a very hot environment. We recommend bringing extra shirts or planning to have your laundry done since you will sweat through your clothes. If you plan on going to the beach, a bathing suit, lightweight towel, flip flops, and a tote bag to carry your things will all come in handy.

3. Bug repellent:

Costa Rica has lots of mosquitos so we recommend bringing bug spray, afterbite, and maybe even a bug net to go over your bed while you are sleeping.

4. Rain attire:

Be prepared to get rained on. A rain jacket and umbrella are recommended to protect you from getting wet. We suggest considering a waterproof case for your phone. It also may come in handy to have extra plastic bags on you to put wet clothing into to separate from the rest of your clothing.

5. Comfortable shoes:

You will be doing a lot of walking and standing, so it is vital to bring comfortable walking shoes and/or hiking/rain boots. You will want your feet to be comfortable and clean.


6. Cash:

It’s a good idea before you come to take out some cash in colones to have for travel expenses or in case of emergency. You may want to buy some food, a souvenir, or need to take a taxi if you are stuck or lost somewhere. $200 in colones is our recommended amount.

If you are interested in joining an upcoming MEDLIFE Service Learning Trip in Costa Rica, visit our website to learn more.


Hear it From MEDLIFErs

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Reya Seby
Western University

This trip motivated me more to pursue a career in the healthcare field so that I can use my resources to help those who need it the most, similar to MEDLIFE’s mission.

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Victoria DiCanio
University of Connecticut

It was most enjoyable to finish the hard work and see how big a difference a group of individuals can make. It was such an amazing experience.

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Anita Woo
University of Toronto

I enjoyed the mobile clinics the most, especially the dental and triage portions. I would definitely recommend a MEDLIFE trip, it was a great experience.

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David Saff
Maclay High School

The most enjoyable part of my trip was hanging out with the amazing group of kids I was with. I would highly recommend a MEDLIFE volunteer trip to others.

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Sydney Sansone
Nova Southeastern University

This trip made everything that I was learning in my public health courses come to life and immersed me in a new culture while also learning about medicine.

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Abygail Youmans
College of Charleston

Being involved with MEDLIFE is not like joining another club - its bigger than that. It is about joining a movement that seeks to help change people’s quality of life for forever.

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Emi Hofmann
University of Central Florida

Not only was I able to participate in a week long Mobile Clinic, shadowing doctors of all types of specialties including pharmacy, dentistry, gynecology, and more, but I was also able to learn about the culture and visit incredible places.

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Julian Takagi-Stewart
University of Toronto

One thing that I really loved about this trip was that MEDLIFE made sure that the volunteers got an understanding of the complexity of issues that lead to underprivileged people in communities outside of the main city

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Hannah Van Hofwegen
University of Ottawa

Whether it was basketball with the local kids, assisting the doctors, talking with families, building washrooms, holding babies, or spending time with the people who were on the SLT with me, this was an amazing opportunity that I would do over and over again.

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Isabelle Holt
Cornell University

I loved learning about the patients MEDLIFE has followed and how they offer real help to people with chronic/urgent conditions. It is amazing how the organization formed real connections with the communities.

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Valerie Lindeborg

Our family had the privilege of participating in multiple trips with Nick [founder] and his amazing staff. Their expertise made the trips unforgettable while instilling in my boys the fundamentals of good character: selflessness, compassion, and empathy.

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Harry Vildibill
University of Georgia

As an aspiring physician, MEDLIFE motivated me to further continue my goal of becoming a doctor. In fact, I enjoyed the Tanzania Service Learning Trip so much that I decided to go on another trip to Cusco, Peru.