Things I wish I had packed and things that I wish I hadn’t
I have a virtual closet, if you don’t have one I seriously recommend it from making it easier to pack to knowing what you have and what you need to ger rid of, so I played with what I wanted to pack. Making sure I could wear them several ways and worked with what I was going to be doing. Oh yeah being the manager I am, I have this habit of writing a “motto” before every project so for packing its about what my plans and goals are going to be. That way I don’t pack things I won’t use so actually I packed my clothes and shoes almost perfectly but that is after years of mistakes. Yes, again like the manager I am, I keep files of every trip that has notes on what I wish I did and did not pack. Ah yeah, I’m a little crazy but it works for me. With that said I’d never been here in December or January before so there are a few things I wish I had packed.
First. I tried to pack for 5 months in just 2 suitcases, knowing that I wouldn’t be able to get products I am accustomed to I took up a lot of space for that and didn’t pack my good camera. I really wish I had it for the 12 Days of Christmas because even my IPhone XS wasn’t good enough and I missed some great shots but my daughter is coming down on the 26th so I will have it for the rest of my trip and there is always something amazing happening here. I also booked a small private boat tour to go whale watching with my daughter, if you do a big tour you can’t take your own pictures but we are giving up some amenities like drinks and a bathroom but its half the price and well I don’t have to worry about getting stuck with people I don’t like.
Second, it gets a bit chilly at night and early in the morning, so I wish I packed a few lightweight sweaters, oh my god as I write this, I forgot I did pack a jean jacket. Sometimes I’m a little slow, that would have come in handy last night when I walked the dog. Still a sweater would have been nice too. This morning it was 65 when Kaiya needed to go out and I was freezing, give me a break its been high 80’s every day so 65 was cold. I know boohoo, I know it's freezing in the Midwest right now and I’m definitely not complaining! I like to take Kaiya down to the beach early in the morning and let her run so yes I was cold and yes I forgot I did pack my jean jacket but there is something comforting about an oversized sweater with the sleeves too long that just feels like a giant hug.
Third, I really, really, really wish I packed a shampoo that removes hard water build up because it is a killer on my hair but again my daughter is coming soon and I ordered Bumble and Bumble Sunday shampoo from Sephora for her to bring me. I have found doing a vinegar rinse once a week is really good too. I have coarse curly hair, so I have found putting a small amount of a hair mask in my hair when its wet and leaving it in helps too. I’m telling you my hair was looking fried!! So, pack good quality shampoo, conditioners, a shampoo that removes minerals from hard water and a good hair mask. I also rinse all my whites in vinegar water to remove the dingy look that the hard water leaves. I use natural oils for skin care and there are several places to find excellent quality oils and essential oils so don’t bother packing that stuff.
Fourth, only pack comfortable shoes! The sidewalks are uneven and at times you are on cobblestone, Puerto Vallarta is a walking city. Seriously, you will get in a minimum of 10,000 steps a day before you know it. I did pack some espadrilles that are a lower wedge and they work great as well as a pair of nice black sandals with a chunky 2-inch heel for nicer events. I also brought one evening gown, I did go to a charity event, and a cocktail dress just in case there is something that comes up that you want to attend that is a bit dressier.
Finally, fifth, pack a Bluetooth speaker and maybe 2 external portable chargers. I use my Airpods on the beach a lot and it really runs the battery down on my devices. Oh, and it doesn’t really fit into this topic but if you don’t have a VPN on your devices you should get one so you can protect your info when you log into WIFI at different places. It’s too easy to hack your devices over WIFI and you don’t want to wake up and find that your identity has been stolen and your bank accounts drained. I set up alerts on all of my cards for any purchase 20 cents or more, here is why. I had my card stolen once and what they do is several small transactions first like 35 cents before they do something bigger. Luckily, I caught it and was able to turn the card off before they got any other money. This year I opened a second bank account with a debit card so I can transfer my money to that card if it happens again. I highly recommend doing that whenever you travel it just makes everything less stressful.
What I Wish I Hadn’t Packed
*Too much makeup, seriously I don’t need half of it and between the humidity and the more relaxed feeling here it just isn’t something I even want to bother with.
*My natural oils.
*Beach bag, it’s so cheap to pick up a great bag on the beach.
*This is a kind of, because I really love my hats, but you can easily buy cheap hats here and trust me you want a wide brimmed hat when you are walking around town or to the beach. The sun is brutal here, especially for this fair skinned Irish girl.
What I Wish I Had Packed
*Haircare remember a shampoo to remove mineral build up!
*A good surge protector, the electricity isn’t as ‘even’ here and they have brown outs which well say goodbye to that computer and phone. Obviously, you can get that here but why spend the money when you can just bring the one you have at home.
*A good backpack, the kind you use for hiking because so many amazing places to venture off too like secluded beaches and waterfalls. It’s been hard to find what I want here, oh and buy a water bladder too for those hikes.
*A better pair of sneakers for hiking.
*A linen sweater and a zip up sweat jacket.