Ecuador 

2020 Packing List

Main Luggage: Backpack or Suitcase​

Most of your flights come with a free checked bag. We recommend bringing just a carry on size backpack or suitcase and then a personal size backpack or purse as a day bag. Even if you have a free checked bag, it’s much easier to travel with just a carry on size bag. Jess and I always travel with the same size bags, no matter how long we’re traveling. We each have a 45-liter backpack and a 20-liter laptop bag/day backpack.

Reminder: buildings in Quito's historical center often do not have elevators (the hostel in Quito has 5 floors!), and the roads are cobblestone. Bring a big suitcase at your own "risk." ;) 

 

I personally love backpacks as opposed to of suitcases because they are easy to lug around. I love the brands Gregory and Osprey, but they are more expensive. They last several years, so, if you plan on taking a trips in the future, I recommend making the investment! Here are my recommendations:

  • Great combination bag (has a detachable day bag - saves you from buying 2 separate ones) for 1 week - 6 week trip length. I have a few friends who use this and love it! The day bag attaches and detaches with a zippers and the backpack also opens like a suitcase, so it's very accessible. 

  • If you’re looking for an intro backpack, I recommend this Mountaintop on Amazon. I used it for around a year, and it never failed. It even held up well during a 4 day 30 mile trek!

  • If you’re looking for an intro backpack, I recommend this Mountaintop on Amazon. I used it for around a year, and it never failed. It even held up well during a 4 day 30 mile trek!

  • If you plan on taking a trip over 6-weeks then I recommend you buying a bigger bag. I currently have an 60L Osprey that is very similar to this one.

Day Packs

 

Day Packs are a must! Usually on trips like these, you leave all of your stuff in your main backpack or suitcase at the hostel but use a smaller bag to carry around your phone, money, jacket, camera, water, and everything else for the day. You can use anything for this including your school backpack, purse, string gym bag, or, if you want something to not hurt your shoulders while exploring all day, here's what I use:

 

  • This bag is a little pricey, but is incredible. I can't stress how nice it is to have a good day bag over everything else. You are doing everything with it and I believe it is 100% worth the cost. It can fit so much and feels really nice on your shoulders. It also has a netted back that helps you keep the sweat away! 

Other Bags

 

Here are a few other bags that I think bringing are very necessary and shouldn't cost any money.

  • Dirty clothes bag (can be any bag from a trash bag to a HEB bag​) - needed to separate the clean from dirty clothes while traveling between places.

  • Ziplock bags help immensely when organizing everything. You could also make the switch from plastic and use small reusable bags to hold your things. Jess uses a cloth Kendra Scott bag from a past gift to hold any jewelry she travels with. 

 Clothes

 

This is a very hard thing to recommend, but I will do my best! I want to point that it is very easy to over pack. The trip is only 10 days, and there are laundry services at the 1st and 3rd hostel. It's smarter to pack less and pay a little to do laundry if you ever need to.

  • One hoodie or jacket

    • I love fleeces! 

    • If you haven't noticed yet, I really do like Columbia gear. ​​

    • This is a "can't forget" item! You'll see the climate change with each place we go, so use layers to be able to adapt. 

  • Raincoat or Waterproof Shell 

    • This depends on time of year:

      • In January, this is a "must." 

      • In August and June, this is not a "must." However, you will be spending a lot of time outside, you might choose to take a day trip to the jungle, and the weather is unpredictable in the mountains! We recommend that you have something to cover yourself and your day bag.

    • For those budget hunters, ponchos can work great and is smaller to pack than a rain jacket. 

  •  One pair of jeans

    •  Good for if you want something nicer at night

  • Two-three pairs of comfortable pants (for example: hiking pants and/or leggings)

    • I prefer hiking pants, but this can be any pant that you don't mind walking all day in! 

    • These convertible pants are the best in my opinion. I have used these exact ones.

    • Jess recommends and often uses leggings for hiking. Hers are Under Armor and Nike, but any brand works. I don't recommend using super fancy leggings, though, because you could fall or get them dirty.

  •  Two pairs of shorts 

    • ​Mix of nicer shorts, like jean shorts, and athletic shorts

    • Shorts are also nice for sleeping in.

  • One hat 

    • ​I just use baseball hats now, but the best investment  are these waterproof ones. I know it's pricey, but I love this hat and used it for years!

  • Six shirts

    • Any mix of colors and styles work, but I recommend ones that won't take days to dry in case you get rained on.

  • One dry-fit shirt or tank top

    • ​This is in case you decide to go hiking or want something you can sweat in.

 

 

  • Underwear

    • ​The number of pairs depends on if you want to do laundry​​​ or not.

 

  • Jess recommends sports bras over other kinds. She suggests three to four sports bras and one to two regular bras.

 

 

 

  • One swimsuit

    • ​You'll need it for the hot springs!

 

 

  • Five pairs of socks (+/- a couple of pairs)

    • ​I wore my Chacos almost everyday, so I didn't wear socks often. 

 

 

  • Optional: one-two "nicer" outfits (such as a light dress)

    • Good for the photo days or going out at night if you want!

Shoes

  • Trail Runners, hiking boots, or running shoes

    • I live in my Trail Runners. I've owned and used many hiking boots and different kinds of shoes for traveling, but these are by far the most comfy and useful.

    • If you don't want to invest in new hiking shoes, any running shoes will be perfectly fine for this trip!

  • Sandals or Flip Flops

    • ​This is needed for whenever you go to the hot tubs or hot springs or if you want shower shoes.

    • ​​​I'm a huge Chaco advocate! I think they are the best all around shoe you can own. I hike, swim, and use them for normal daily use. 

    • Jess highly recommends bringing a pair of sandals because she always wants shower shoes. 

  • One pair of night time shoes or sandals

    • ​Not a necessity, but some people like to bring them.

    • Jess packs a light pair of sandals that are more stylish than her Chacos as her third pair of shoes.

Toiletries 

 

Here is a short list of toiletries that are a must! I recommend bringing the travel size of everything to save yourself some room!

 

 

  • Sunblock 

    • ​Ecuador is on the equator, so be prepared!

  • Bug Spray

 

  • Chapstick

 

  • Soap/Shampoo/Conditioner

    • ​I'm a fan of the three in one, but I understand most people prefer all three.​

    • This is an example of where the travel sizes and ziploc bags come in clutch.

 

  • Deodorant 

 

  • Toothbrush/Toothpaste/Floss

    • ​They make covers that help keep them clean while traveling. We get ours from Walmart in the travel section.

 

  • Razor

 

 

  • Lotion

    • ​Travel size only!

 

 

 

Optional toiletries based on what you need:

 

 

  • Contacts/Contact Solution

 

  • Small bottle of Advil or Ibuprofen 

 

  • Q-tips and tissues

 

  • Brush or comb 

    • ​Jess brings a mini brush. 

 

  • Makeup 

    • ​Jess recommends travel or compact sizes whatever makeup you want. She uses one travel compact that has brows, shadow, and face all in one. 

    • A lot of activities are active, so she also recommends waterproof mascara. 

    • There are small packs of makeup wipes in the travel size section. 

 

  • Headbands and hair ties 

    • ​Jess puts these in a little bag. 

 

  • Hair tools 

    • ​Jess doesn't recommend bringing these, as they take up a lot of space. 

    • If you do want a blow dryer, there are very small compact ones that fold up. These are a better option, but the best option is using/borrowing one at the hostel. 

 

  • It's also recommended to always pack feminine products rather than relying on buying them there. 

other

  • Reusable Water Bottle

    • You can't drink the tap water in Ecuador, but the hostels provide free drinking water that you can fill a reusable water bottle up with each day. 

  • A Pen

    • Handy for filling out forms at customs.

  • Quick dry towel

    • ​Quick dry towels are perfect for when you go swimming, but are used mainly for showering when the hostel doesn't provide towels. They are very compact and will dry much faster than the ones you use at home. 

 

  • Sunglasses

    • ​Don't forget your favorite pair of sunglasses :)

  • Ear plugs

    • ​These can come in handy when you are sleeping in hostels, and people are snoring or come in late.

 

 

  • Eye mask for sleeping

    • ​This is great for sleeping on bus rides or when you want pitch black in your hostel room

  • Ear plugs

    • ​These can come in handy when you are sleeping in hostels, and people are snoring or come in late.

 

 

  • Eye mask for sleeping

    • ​This is great for sleeping on bus rides or when you want pitch black in your hostel room.

  • Padlock

    • ​There will be lockers for valuable at each hostel, so, if you want to lock those up, then this is needed.

  • Padlock

    • ​There will be lockers for valuable at each hostel, so, if you want to lock those up, then this is needed.

electronics

  • No outlet converter is needed in Ecuador. 

  • ​Phone + Charger

 

 

  • Headphones

 

  • Camera + Charger

    • ​If you're looking at buying one, let me know and I'll connect you with Jess. She knows a lot about them!

  • Optional: Go-Pro

    • ​Not gonna lie, this is a great place for any action cam.

    • I personally use an older version of the Sony Action Cam.

  • Power Bank (Portable Charger)

    • ​This is great, so you don't have to worry about being somewhere with a dead camera or phone.

documents

  • Passport! 

    • Check right now and make sure your passport isn't expired!! 

    • I also like passport covers because you can keep other important information in them. sport covers because you can keep other important information in them.​

  • Cash

    • ​Most places in South America don't take credit or debit cards. Cash is something you must have for everything.

    • Ecuador uses US Dollars as their currency, so there is no need to get a different currency!

    • Although you don't want to carry a lot of cash around, it's a hassle and costly to  pull money out of an ATM. I recommend bringing more cash than you probably need to be on the safe side.

  • Cash

    • ​Most places in South America don't take credit or debit cards. Cash is something you must have for everything.

    • Ecuador uses US Dollars as their currency, so there is no need to get a different currency!

    • Although you don't want to carry a lot of cash around, it's a hassle and costly to  pull money out of an ATM. I recommend bringing more cash than you probably need to be on the safe side.

  • Drivers Licence 

    • ​If you go out, you might need an ID, and I don't recommend bringing your passport out drinking.

 

 

 

  • Travel Insurance

    • ​As stated in the contact, you should either buy travel insurance or make sure that you health insurance covers you abroad.

  • Money Belt

    • ​These  are great to assure that no one is going to take your valuables.

    • Jess uses them, and you can wear them under your shirt. She says it helps her keep track of her IDs, phone, and money. 

follow along with our life on the road
  • Grey Facebook Icon
  • Grey Instagram Icon
  • YouTube - Grey Circle
  • Twitter - Grey Circle
want a free and detailed guide on how to get the
best flight deals? 
sign up here: