Argentina’s diverse weather and varied terrain make it tough to squeeze your travel essentials into a single bag. After spending three months backpacking through the country, travel blogger Stephanie Yoder finally perfected how to pack light for Argentina and she’s sharing her expert tips right here!
I wasn’t exactly planning to move to Argentina for three months. But considering that my job as a writer allows me to work from anywhere (and I had a part-Argentinean boyfriend willing to make the trip with me!) I decided to go with the flow and not argue with serendipity.
Because I was a total Argentinian newbie when I arrived, a lot of local “quirks” caught me off guard: The party-all-night culture. Their unique style of the Spanish language. The extreme obsession with red meat in all of its grilled glory. But what surprised (and impressed) me most during my time in the country was the incredible diversity of things to do and see throughout Argentina.
I found packing for Argentina to be a real challenge, primarily because of its geography the country packs in a tremendous variety of terrains, climates and cultures. I found myself swept up in the sophistication of Buenos Aires one minute, and the next I was headed south toward the rugged cliffs and glaciers of Patagonia.
A few things I learned to keep in mind when packing:
- The seasons are reversed in the Southern Hemisphere (winter lasts June through September and summer is December through March)
- Any lengthy trip to Argentina will involve packing for at least two or three, if not all four different seasons.
- You’d better bring both stylish city clothing and rugged sportswear—or you’ll be incredibly uncomfortable when you’re caught under prepared.
I definitely wasn’t feeling prepared when I landed smack in the middle of sweltering Argentinean summer from a freezing cold northern winter. I ended up spending a small fortune on sundresses, sandals and sunscreen (which are absurdly expensive in South America). Looking back, I wished I’d packed more thoroughly for all the contingencies of traveling the country.
To help you avoid some of the same mistakes, I’ve put together an abridged packing list for Argentina (I left off some of the obvious stuff like a toothbrush and underwear!), and made notes on the items that are either a little unusual or downright essential. Please feel free to share your ideas for making the list even better in the comment section below!
A light jacket — With such unpredictable weather you could be sweating all afternoon and freezing by nightfall! In these situations I always try to dress in thin layers.
Sleep mask and ear plugs- The best way to travel in Argentina is by bus, so you’ll want some sensory deprivation tools for long overnight rides.
Undercover security for your passport, money, and important documents
Handbag/shoulder bag (with a zipper closure to deter pickpockets)
Quick dry socks
Spanish Phrasebook- Remember, Argentinean vocabulary and pronunciation is just a little bit different than the rest of South America.
Motion Sickness Medicine
Feminine Products- Trust this female travelers: it is extremely difficult to find feminine products in South America, so stock up!
Vitamins (to supplement your meat and potato diet)
Tablet or Kindle — My most prized possession. An e-reader is a must for serious bookworm on the go. You’ll save a fortune in used book prices.
Chargers for all your electronics
Inflatable head rest – compacts down when not in-use.
Compression sacs (for dirty or wet clothing)
Corkscrew — For all those delicious Malbecs! You never know when you’ll be without a way to open your wine!
For a more complete list, check out the Eagle Creek packing lists. The CitySightseeingChecklist is perfect for visitors to the big cities, while the Multi-ActivityChecklist will set you up for the rest of the country.
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