The first thing I do to prepare for travel, after choosing a destination, is start researching the culture and environment/ecosystem. I want to be sure that I am comfortable while prepared and respectful.
Picking A Destination & Travel Style: Mexico & Adventure Travel
First things first – picking the destination. I had bounced back and forth between a secluded scuba and snorkel oasis in the Caribbean or a rainforest retreat in Mexico. Knowing the heart of my husband and considering that we will be celebrating our anniversary, I chose a Mexican location surrounded with surf spots and tropical wildlife.
You might think that being our anniversary, we would want to stay at an all-inclusive resort. While this sounds great, it’s not exactly our style. It is truly important to understand your travel style. We are spending a week in an eco-lodge one-hour north of Puerto Vallarta. The mellow town of San Pancho (aka San Francisco) has everything we need to enjoy a week of peace with daily adventures mixed in.
Study the Culture & Environment/Ecosystem: Laid-Back & Tropical Jungle
The culture of San Pancho is very simple and green. The primary language is Spanish and the currency is the Peso. Locally owned shops and restaurants, lodging and ocean recreation support the town’s economy. The environment is tropical with a combination of lively jungle and ocean ecosystems. The weather is expected to be sunny and in the 80s, but with the humidity factor, it is likely to feel much warmer during the day and cooler during the night.
Prepare for Activities/Excursions: Ocean & Rainforest
The primary activity on our travel radar is surfing. Our host has promised to show us great surf spots as well as offer options for paddle boarding, kayaking and fishing. Because we are staying in an eco-lodge, we are surrounded by lush jungle trails and opportunities for tropical hikes and other on-foot exploring. One tour/excursion I have my heart set on is taking a boat to the Marieta Islands.
Create Packing List: Less Is More!
Given the location, travel style, environment and activities in mind, the final step is creating a packing list.
- Clothes – Swimsuits (3), shorts (3), tops (3), sundresses (2) rompers (1).
- Shoes – Flip flops, tennis shoes & espadrilles (anniversary dinner).
- Toiletries – Soaps, dry shampoo, SPF 30+, bug spray & moisturizer.
- Equipment – Camera, GoPro, phone, computer and chargers.
- Books – Travel books and bedtime reading (no TVs in the jungle).
- Accessories – Sunglasses, hat and watch (water-resistant or waterproof).
- Paperwork – Passport + copy, foreign currency and booking documents.