Packing List – Mexico

Space is tight on the bus we’re taking to Mexico. We’ll be traveling on our sleeper bus, with bunk beds, kitchen, onboard showers and toilets. We recommend you use a medium sized duffel bag as your main “checked” bag (it can fit into tight spaces), which will be stored in the luggage bays underneath the bus. Bring a medium sized (scholastic) backpack as your “carry-on” to keep with you on the bus, on your bunk bed, with one change of clothes, towel (“gamsha” preferred as they dry faster), toiletries, bead bag and whatever valuables. Bring a sleeping bag and / or warm blanket, along with a comfortable pillow and bed sheet.

We’ll be doing laundry once a week. Pack 8 days worth of clothes, both devotional (for when we’re at temples, Harinamas, and presenting Krishna Culture Festivals of India almost every evening), and casual. Most days we’ll likely wear both casual and devotional clothing, depending on time of day and activities. Some days we’ll play sports, or go swimming at a beach, so bring sports and beach wear. Conversely, bring a warm winter jacket, hat, scarf and warm socks for cold days and night-time chills. Bring a pair of solid closed-toed walking shoes (tennis / running shoes) for hiking and Harinamas, and sandals or flip-flops for everyday use and beach wear.

Pack for both cold and warm weather. As we drive from Florida to Texas and to the Mexican border (and back on the return leg), we’ll encounter the coldest temperatures of the tour, with daytime highs around 60F (15C) and nighttime lows around 39F (4C). As we drive south into Mexico it will get progressively warmer, from 72F (22C) days / 50F (10C) nights in Monterrey and Mexico City, to 75F (24C) day / 61F (16C) nights on the Gulf Coast in Tampico and Papantla, to 80F (27C) days / 62F (17C) nights on the Pacific Coast beaches near Colima.

While you may want to wear shorts and t-shirt at the beaches, we recommend you bring layered clothing such as comfortable jogging pants, hooded sweatshirts for when the wind picks up, and for chilly mornings, evenings, and cold nights. Bring full-length pants, socks, a hat and scarf for really cold times. Bring a warm sleeping bag. When the bus is parked and the engine is off, there’ll be no heating at night, nor in any of the buildings in Mexico. You’ll be nice and snuggly in a warm sleeping bag (or a couple of warm blankets). Without it, you may wake up with a nasty cold the next morning.

Often we may start the day wearing casual clothes, perhaps go shopping at a market, hiking around ancient pyramids and ruins, or go swimming at a beach, and then change into devotional clothes in the evening for a festival program.

Bring ten sets of undergarments, in addition to swim wear. Don’t over-pack. For example, you can wear a pair of pants, a dhoti or sari, for two days in a row. Less is more when space is tight.

Luggage Overview:

One medium sized duffel bag (“checked” luggage)
One medium (scholastic) backpack “carry-on” with essentials.
One warm sleeping bag with pillow.
One toiletries “suchi” kit
One pair of sandals or flip-flops
One pair of closed-toed shoes (Harinama / hiking shoes)

Recommended Contents for your Duffel Bag:

Photocopies of all of your important documents
(passport, visas, permanent resident card, airplane tickets)
5 sets of devotional clothes
Men: dhotis and kurtas
Women: saris or gopi skirts with chaste tops
4 sets of cold-day casual wear. Example: Full-length jeans,
slacks, pants, jogging pants, yogi pants, with chaste plain or
devotional shirts or tops. Long sleeves preferred for cold days.
1 scarf or shawl.
3 pairs of shorts and 3 t-shirts (beach wear, warm weather wear)
10 sets of underwear, undergarments
8 pairs of socks (for cold days and nights)
2 pairs of pajamas
1 pillow cover
1 pillow case or empty draw-string bag for dirty laundry
1 dish set of (non-breakable) plate, bowl, cup, fork and spoon.
1 pair of sneakers / running shoes (for cold days and harinamas).

Now that you have all that lying there in front of you, roll it up tight into “rolls” military-packing style, so you can fit more in less space. Does it all fit nicely into your medium-sized duffel bag?  If not, trim down. You will survive with 8 sets of under garments, 3 sets of cold-day casual wear, 4 sets of devotional clothes… Stuff socks into your shoes.

Recommended Contents for Carry-on Backpack:

Wallet or Purse with:
– Passport (valid six months past the date you’ll enter Mexico), with valid visas for USA and Mexico (if needed). **
– Photo ID card
– Photocopy of your birth certificate.
– US Permanent resident card (“Greencard”, if applicable).
– laundry cash (US $10 per week)
– cash for snacks and emergencies
– debit card with VISA or MasterCard logo (best way to get cash from ATMs anywhere in Mexico)
– chap stick / lip balm with SPF
– (for ladies:) Hair clips, bands, safety-pins for saris, etc.
– essential medicines (if needed… Tylenol, Ibuprofen, epi-pen, inhaler, etc.)

Small Toilet “Suchi” Kit with:
– Toothbrush and toothpaste
– Small bottle of biodegradable soap (travel size)
– Small bottle of 2-in-1 Shampoo & Conditioner (travel size)
NOTE: Store above items in Ziploc (sealable) plastic bags to
prevent accidental leaking all over your belongings.
– Razor with spare blades and shaving cream. (travel size)
– DEODORANT, even if you don’t usually need it.
(Please bring deodorant. You will sweat. Traveling in Mexico on a bus with limited opportunities to fill up the shower water tanks, means you will have to make do with one shower a day.)
– Nail clipper
– Tilak with small mirror
– Ear plugs (to drown out your snoring neighbors)
– Band-aids (plasters)
– small first-aid antiseptic cream
– hair brush/comb

(for ladies)
– Female hygiene needs
– gopi-dot paint and kajal eyeliner

Japa beads and bead bag
– a Krishna conscious book you’d like to read on the tour
– a plate, cup, bowl, spoon and fork (we will rarely be using disposable dishes on the tour)
– sweatshirt (hooded is ideal) or “chaddar”
– swimming attire. Ladies: swimsuit-tankini top or one-piece with shorts
or your regular swimsuit top with a t-shirt over it. Gents: Lined swimming shorts or board shorts
– towel or “gamsha” (gamsha style cloth dries faster)
– sunscreen / sunblock in ziploc plastic bag (small, travel size)
– sun hat, cap, or headband / bandana
– flashlight with spare batteries
– mosquito repellent
– travel sized pack of tissue
– special medical or dietary needs
– travel journal or diary, and ballpoint pen(s)
– camera
– sports water bottle with carrying strap
– change of clothes for the next day
– any other important little stuff you can’t live without

NOTE:  If you are flying to meet up with us, you will need to pack your liquids, gels, aerosol, sprays and any sharp objects into your checked luggage.

Recommended Sleeping Gear:
– sleeping bag (warm enough for cold nights). If you don’t own a sleeping bag, bring two warm blankets. It will be near freezing some nights of the tour… Consider bringing one of those smurf hats to cover your head and ears on cold nights 🙂
– washable sleeping bag liner or bed sheet. (On warm nights you can lay on top of your sleeping bag and cover yourself with the sheet. On cold nights, it will act as an extra layer to trap your body heat.)
– comfy pillow with pillow cover (If you’re flying to meet up with us, you may want to buy such a pillow at a supermarket when you get here. Walmart sells pillows from $5 to $10. Bring your own pillow cover from home.)

NOTE: If you are flying to meet up with us, consider bringing a larger duffel bag which contains your sleeping gear and your medium sized duffel bag contents from above, since almost all airlines charge you per checked bag (approx. $30 for the first, $40 for the second checked bag).

Other:  Your favorite portable musical instrument… kartals, flutes, harmonicas, ukuleles…  (Talk to us if it’s bigger than a pair of kartals or a flute. We have limited space for larger instruments.)

NO-NOs:

DO NOT bring any intoxicants or illegal drugs.
No torn or mini shorts.
No revealing tops, halter tops, spaghetti straps, tube tops, bikini tops or triangle tops.

Please do not bring non-devotional games (video games, card games or other), non-devotional books, non-devotional music, non-devotional movies.

Why?

You’ve heard that we are what we eat. It makes sense. What about the other stuff we feed our senses? On this tour we encourage you to follow a Krishna diet. Let’s feast on Krishna prasadam for mind, body and spirit… Let’s read, listen, watch and otherwise feed our senses with spiritual subject matters that make us more conscious of the most beautiful, most amazing couple Sri Sri Radha-Krishna, and Their equally amazing devotees.

We encourage you to bring all things favorable to help you remember Krishna, and to leave behind all those things that distract you and others.

Smart Phones?

Keep your smart phones in “airplane” mode in Mexico, turn cellular data off, using WIFI when possible to communicate with friends and family back home. Rates are $14 per megabyte for data. Just to check a few messages will cost you about $14 per day. Text messages are 50 cents a piece, incoming AND outgoing. Phone calls, with a $10/month Mexico plan activated, are 60 cents a minute, incoming and outgoing. Receiving a voicemail message counts and costs you 60 cents per minute. It’s basically VERY expensive to operate a US smart phone in Mexico. (You can buy a local Mexican SIM card if necessary.)

Most Important Items Checklist

1) Valid Passport (With visas, if needed, for Mexico, the USA)

2) Valid Permanent Resident Card (greencard, if applicable)

3) Valid state / province Picture ID or driver’s license

4) Certified Copy Of Your Birth Certificate

5) Valid Student ID

6) Photocopies of all of the above, including photocopies of visas

7) Notarized Registration Form for the bus tour. If you are under 18,
both of your parents must sign this registration form before a notary
public. If you’re 18 and older, sign the form in front of a notary who
witnesses your signature.

There are probably things we forgot to mention on this packing list.
Please use your common sense.

If you have questions, just ask.

Contact us.

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