Pre-trip Planning

Trip Start Apr 08, 2012
Trip End Apr 13, 2012

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Flag of United States  , New York
Thursday, April 5, 2012

We really do have impossible goals as travelers-we want to see the best things to see, get off the beaten track, and not be stereotypical American tourists. As Bob and I discovered on our short trip to Costa Rica 5 years ago, this is harder in downtown San Jose than on a public bus to Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui. It wasn't hard to decide to go back there, and we contacted the La Selva Biological Research Institute where we stayed last time. It seemed a lot more expensive this time, so I looked at some guidebooks at Barnes and Noble to see if there were other options, and I'm optimistic that it was a great move. The highlight of our trip should be our visit to the Chilamate Rainforest. Reserve, run, owned, and built by a community-oriented family. The more we look into it, the better it looks! This article was especially interesting

In the meantime, we are trying to pack lightly enough to carry all of our things on the public bus. We have also realized that arriving on Easter Sunday and planning to get out early the next day via public bus doesn't give us much opportunity to exchange dollars for colones except at the airport for a lousy exchange rate. Bob dug around to discover a debit card that we have never used and will check out charges, etc. at the bank tomorrow to see if using an ATM is a better option. It is the little details that can make or break a trip, especially a short one!

Another trick has been trying to figure out bus schedules and station locations. There are many stations and bus companies in San Jose, and you go to different ones depending on your destination. Knowing at least some Spanish helps, and the fact that the bus schedules use military time makes it more reassuring that you'll get the right timing. I believe in being over-prepared, so our travel folder is full of Internet maps, suggested places to eat inexpensive vegetarian food, bus times, every trAvel confirmation we have, and even a colones/dollar conversion chart. I really should be a travel advisor.

So, we're emptying the memory cards, charging up the camera batteries, pulling out raingear, sunscreen and binoculars. One of my goals is to get better at thumb typing on the iPad; this blog is my practice, so if you see odd capitalizations or strange word placement, it is from the auto-complete function.
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Carol Cedarholm on

Hi belles! Have a fabulous trip!!!!

wendy on

this is probably obvious, but worth mentioning. have bob ask if the charge is per transaction or a percentage of the amount taken out. when using the a.t.m. make one large withdrawal if it's a per transaction cost, rather than on an as needed basis. that will add up to a lot of fees.

And have an awesome time!!

wendy on

passports, insurance cards, copies of passports and alternate I.D., call your credit card companies to let them know you're on the move, first aid kit: pepto bismal tablets, anti-diarrheals, ibuprofen, bandaids, antibacterial ointment. did i forget anything?

betty on

sure do enjoy these, ccarolyn, keep them coming m and d

ithacabelle on

Thanks for the tips, Wendy.
Makes me feel confident that we've been fairly thorough.

Ken on

Glad one of us got away. Mom will come over for Easter Dinner. Hope your Spanish speaking daughter is a plus. You are way more organized than we would be. Have fun, can't wait to see the pictures!

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