How Should I Pack For Puerto Rico?

Beba SchlottmannFAQ'S, Parent Info, Puerto Rico

Abante International Puerto Rico Segment Packing Instructions

• Luggage: In addition to your main piece of luggage, a day-pack (a small backpack or courier bag) is useful for sightseeing and/or hiking (this could also be your carry on-keep in mind, you need to bring your lap top as well).

• Casual Clothing: A rain jacket is optional, sneakers or sturdy shoes for hiking, running, and intense walking. Flip-flops or waterproof sandals are must-haves, and socks. In Puerto Rico’s mild climate, jeans paired with a tank top/light shirt (women) or light button-down shirt (men) are everyday dress for casual outings. A couple of pairs of shorts (respectable length) and t-shirts will do, and a light hoodie may come in handy for cooler nights. Bring a bathing suit/swimming shorts, and a light pair pajamas or sleeping shorts. Add a workout outfit or two because we will have morning workouts.

• Special Events Clothing: For visiting religious and special events, you will need modest and semi-casual attire (either a couple of skirts & dress blouses, or two dress for women, and one pair of dress slacks and one pair of khakis, as well as 3 dress shirts for men). Bring at least 1 nice pair of dress shoes for church services or special events. Our advice on jewelry is simple, if it is something you won’t be broken-hearted if it brakes, or is stolen, then bring it, but keep it simple.

• Converters and Adapters: In Puerto Rico, as in the rest of the US, electricity is 110 volts AC. 220/240V electrical appliances will likely self-destruct when plugged into 110V current. Visit a hardware store for an adapter (which changes the shape of the plug) and a converter (which changes the voltage; about $20). Don’t make the mistake of using only an adapter, unless appliance instructions explicitly state otherwise.

• Toiletries: Deodorant, razors, tampons/feminine napkins, and toothbrushes, toothpaste, make up, and hair products are available in the island (Unless you have a specific brand you prefer to use from a specific store, for example, if you use MAC for your make up, there are only two stores in the whole island, and they are far away from the Abante location, therefore, come prepared). Contact lenses are likely to be expensive in the island, so bring extra pairs.  Solution can be purchased in the island. Also bring your prescription glasses, and a copy of your prescription if you need emergency replacements.

• First-Aid Kit: For a basic first-aid kit, pack bandages, a pain reliever, a thermometer, motion-sickness remedy (optional and only if you suffer from motion sickness), diarrhea or upset-stomach medication (Pepto Bismol® or Imodium®), sunscreen, and insect repellent (suggestion: Deet). These items can also be purchased upon arrival.

• Camera: If you are bringing a digital camera, be sure to bring along a large enough memory card and extra (or rechargeable) batteries.

• Other Useful Items: Basic outdoors items (water bottle, compass, flashlight, pocketknife, sunglasses, sunscreen, and lots of bug repellant), which can be purchased upon arrival. You may also want an alarm clock (you can use your phone or iPad for this), a shower towel, hand towel, facial towel, beach towel (water shoes are optional, and can be purchased in the island), and an unlocked cell phone (US Cell phones work fine in PR).

• Study Items: You will need a lap top (a must have!), paper bible, journal (unless you use your iPad/laptop for journaling), and a couple of pens/pencils.

• Medication & Insurance: If you take medication, you will need to bring it in its proper container with a copy of the prescription in case of an emergency. Also, make sure to bring enough for three months. Be sure to have your insurance card and contact information from your primary provider. If you are asthmatic, be sure to bring your inhaler, also if you are a diabetic, be sure to bring your testing kit, meds, prescriptions, and always carry a snack with you (it is important you notify the Abante staff of your condition before departure). It would be a good idea to bring a prescription order with you in case you run out of meds, or if you lose your meds. It is important you come prepared to pay for any co-payments attached to your health insurance.

• Important Documents: Don’t forget your passport (be sure it is current), ATM and/or credit cards, adequate ID, driver’s license, Health insurance forms and photocopies of all the aforementioned, should these documents get lost or stolen.

~Note: Keep in mind that you will be staying in PR for 3 months, and are only allowed one large suitcase and a carry on for this trip. Most of your “hang out” clothes you can repeat regularly, so don’t over-pack, and try to purchase the items you can in the island once you arrive, so you do not have to use the room in your luggage for those items.