Vanlife Essentials For Costa Rica: What You Need To Know Before Hitting The Road

Heading to Costa Rica, that too on a 4×4 campervan? You must be over the moon! And you have every reason to feel so – the very prospect of exploring a tropical haven as beautiful as Costa Rica is enough to make anyone bounce off the wall.
However, to make your trip truly as enjoyable as you want, it’s important to have all your vanlife essentials sorted. We know that packing for trips (especially a road trip) can be pretty challenging – you’re constantly confused about what to pack and what to leave behind. Keeping this in mind, we have curated a comprehensive list of all the necessary stuff you need to pack to help make your journey enjoyable and stress-free:

people packing clothing

1. Clothing And Footwear

Let’s start with the very basics – clothing and footwear.
Apart from the clothing and footwear, you need to pack some items for personal use too. Considering the diversity of the Costa Rican region, it’s important to keep your personal care products to keep your body in the best shape. For instance, you should keep a mosquito repellent lotion or an anti-mosquito spray to protect yourself from uncomfortable mosquito bites while you’re camping in the lush gardens of Costa Rica. Similarly, keep sunscreen with you (preferably with high SPF content) to protect your skin from the intense rays of the topical sun.

Tip: While we do have an ecological soap in our shower if you or your family members use specific shower products, then make sure to pack them with you as well.

2. Personal Care Items

Vanlife is all about minimalism and simplicity, allowing you to immerse in the experiences rather than focusing on the possessions. Hence, the rule of thumb is to only pack stuff that is absolutely necessary, and it applies to clothing and footwear too. Essential clothing and footwear include shorts and t-shirts (of breathable fabric, considering the tropical Costa Rican climate); a bathing suit for your day at the beach or for spontaneous dips; a pair of flip-flops for casual walks; a rain jacket for unexpected showers; a wool sweater for the chilly mountain tops and volcanoes; and, finally, a pair of sneakers to help you with hiking in national parks and exploring trails.

Tip: Don’t pack too many sets of the same clothing item. Laundry facilities are very easily accessible in all the big cities, so you can freshen up your clothes as needed. Also, we offer 3 bath towels for only 2$ per day, so no need to bulk up your suitcase with towels either. Simply take them from us and declutter your baggage for good!

people playing card games

3. Entertainment Essentials

Costa Rica has all kinds of places – some spots make you want to turn into a full-fledged explorer and move around endlessly; while others have the ability to calm your nervous system, making you want to just wind down and chill without physical activity. When you find yourself relaxing at the latter spots, a good game of cards or a good book (preferably of your favorite genre) would double up your relaxation while simultaneously keeping you entertained. You can also keep other things for entertainment such as a pair of badminton/tennis rackets or a throw ball.

Tip: Instead of bringing your own cards and tennis/badminton rackets you may simply buy our sports pack (for 3$ per day only!) to have them (along with other sports stuff) in your campervan already, without experiencing the hassle of carrying them with you! We also offer a diving pack (containing a mask and a snorkel) and an adventure pack (containing a machete, hammock, and sand shovel) for only 2$ per day.

4. Electronic Essentials

Your trip to Costa Rica will be the best opportunity for you to unleash the photographer and videographer in yourself. All the beautiful Costa Rican landscapes, beaches and mountains will make you want to capture every bit of their beauty! For this, you’d need your phone (for never-ending random selfies), a good camera (for those classic portrait and landscape shots) and a drone (if you have one, to capture the breathtaking aerial views of the tropical beauty).
Tip: Don’t bring extra power backup devices for your electronic gadgets, as we offer energy converter to recharge all your gadgets!

5. Safety And Emergency Essentials

Your trip to the diverse lands of Costa Rica will be full of happy moments and joyous adventures, but you need to be prepared for any unforeseen circumstances too. You need to keep an emergency first aid kit to help in case of any unforeseen accidents. This kit must include bandages, antiseptics, and your personal medication (for example anti-allergic medications if you’re prone to allergies, and a breathing pump in case anyone is asthma-prone in your family). You’d also need flashlights and headlamps (you need it, we have it! We already have portable lamps in every van!) to help you navigate places during nighttime.
Tip: Make sure you have all the necessary vaccinations done before hitting the road with Vanlife and Costa Rica. Hepatitis A and B, typhoid, and Rabies vaccinations are generally recommended before getting yourself out on the roads. You’ll be exposed to Costa Rica’s rich biodiversity so also make sure to use insect repellents, and wear long-sleeved shirts and pants while exploring vegetation. Also, needless to mention, be cautious around wildlife.


Exploring Costa Rica in a campervan is no less than a dream come true for vanlife enthusiasts. Our campervan service is dedicated to making your road trip super smooth, enjoyable, and comfortable in every way possible. However, it’s necessary for you to pack all your road trip essentials to make your trip truly remarkable. By following our list of vanlife essentials for Costa Rica – including clothing and footwear, personal care items, entertainment essentials, cooking essentials, and safety and emergency essentials – you’re set for an incredible journey to the tropical paradise of Costa Rica.

Remember that our 4×4 vehicles are available for rent if you want to discover Costa Rica in a unique way.