Tuesday, March 17, 2015

What Should I Pack?

This post is an answer to a question I received on the page So You Want To Preach In Nicaragua. 

What to pack can be a daunting thing for any traveller. Depending on your length of stay, gender and planned activities you want to have as many options as possible and at the same time not bring an overweight bag. 

Something to keep in mind about Nicaragua as a foreigner is that it gets quite hot. For example this is the small range of temperatures in the area where I live. 

There are areas where it gets hotter and cooler so please check your favorite weather app for more specifics on the location you may be visiting.

But let's say you're coming for a month or so and you don't want to bring an extra bag, what's the best way to pack?

Packing for two weeks or a month is the same. Outside of that time frame six months to a year for example you have to consider your activities and decide if it's worth it to you to pay to bring an extra bag. (The advantage of this is having a more varied selection of clothing, and items you 'just can't live without.' The disadvantage is that the more you bring the more you stand to lose if your luggage is lost or stolen.)

What the Experts Say

My favorite advice for packing light I learned from Rick Steves. Granted, he's focused on Europe and packs like a man but the same concepts apply no matter your gender or where you go. My favorite point from him that I still live by today is: 

"If you carry-on your luggage you never have to worry about it getting lost." - Rick Steves

I also follow Sonia Travels from YouTube. She has a great video below if you're looking for a ideas on what to pack from the female perspective, but that also apply to men.

Main Points

  • Pack light (plan to do laundry)
  • Mix and match skirts, shirts, and pants.
  • Bring cotton and cotton blends for service since they will be the most comfortable in the heat here.
  • Buy toiletries when you arrive instead of packing liquids (they can get heavy).

Service here can get pretty hot. Purchase a hat, umbrella or sunglasses when you arrive ($5 ea). The umbrellas that the sisters here use are double layered and have a curved handle for convenience. Brothers and sisters can both benefit from using a hat and sunglasses. 

Meetings are held in Kingdom Halls without AC. They are equipped with lots of fans and open windows. Brothers are not required to wear a jacket for meetings or service. Some brothers are known to use a jacket if they have a part on the meeting. If you have a talk on the assembly or something, you will definitely need a jacket. 

What to do with an extra bag?

Your friends down here in Nicaragua always need something that may or may not arrive by local postal service (i.e. electronics, food favorites etc). Consider being a 'mule' for them by volunteering to bring things when you come. (Most people are respectful of your luggage space but don't be afraid to lay down a few ground rules if you don't have an extra bag or space available.)

The situation here in Nicaragua is like most poor countries. You have brothers and sisters living in poverty just like the rest of the place. If you can find it in your heart to bring gifts (i.e. clothes, ties, toys, shoes, accessories) you'll put a smile on a lot of faces and you know your gift will be treasured.

Once you've emptied your bag you can always fill it again with more gifts from Nicaragua that you want to bring back home for friends and family!

Are you still stuck? Is there something in particular you're not sure if you should pack? Leave it in the comments section below or send me an email via the form to the right and I'll answer you to the best of my ability.



  1. Hi cus,
    Nice te read you ares sti enjoying nicaragua!
    I habe a friend who is coming to visit nicaragua. I was wondering if you both are staying near to each other if you would like to meet up with here? If so give me your postaladress and mailadres so she can reach you. She is fun. Kisses ans lots off love, sarah

    1. Hey cuz, I don't really have a postal address but I'll email you my phone number in case your friend needs help.

  2. I have one adjustment I'd like to make. If you're coming for more than a couple weeks and are on a budget, bring sunscreen and saline solution with you (for you contact wearers). The price is literally about 4 times more here and hard to find good quality especially if you have sensitive skin.

  3. I liked the video gave me some good pointers, but could you provide some packing tips specifically for need greaters? I am going to serve in Ecuador Sign Language for three months. Thanks in advance.

    1. Sorry I'm not sure what you mean but I'll try to answer. If you are serving as a need greater than you'll mostly be in service so pay close attention to the weather in the region where you will be serving for the kind of clothes you'll need. You'll still need many of the items that our travel experts recommend because you'll want to enjoy some recreational activities as well. Other than that, you'll need the same things you need for service in sign language anywhere. Something to play the videos on and a bag to carry it in along with your water. I recommend a reusable bottle since it saves on the use of plastic. I can't give you any specifics about Ecuador Sign Language but if you want to know more about what we do here in Nicaragua for service check out the "So You Want To Preach In Nicaragua" link/tab above. I've included some more specifics on shoes and things to bring there as well.