8 Essential Items to Take on a Trip to Panama

2014 July Panama Relocation Tour

Are you wondering what clothes to pack and what items to bring on your trip to Panama? Packing can be worrisome for some people but it shouldn’t be a problem if you know what items to bring. The first thing that you need to consider is the Panama city or town that you are going to visit. Will you be traveling to the beach, or going to the mountain highlands of Panama? Or will you be just staying in the city?

Are you thinking about moving to Panama? Check out our guide to living in Panama and learn more about our relocation tours.

Since Panama Relocation Tours includes the city, beach areas, and mountain towns, it is best to be prepared and wear appropriate and comfortable clothing.  Temperatures will range from the low to mid-90s in Panama City and the beach areas to the mid-70s to lower 80s in the mountain towns.  So think layers and casual!    Here are 8 essential items that you should have in your luggage so you travel in comfort and in style:

♦ Light and airy clothing – It is usually hot and humid in Panama City, so make sure to bring shorts, leggings, capri pants, cotton shirts, and cotton pants, or a sundress for ladies when you’re visiting Panama. These clothes are very comfortable and will allow you to move quickly and easily. Choose light colors that you can easily match together. Whites, khakis, and blues don’t only look good but they can be paired easily with each other.  If you will be visiting mountain towns like Volcan or Boquete you will need long pants or jeans and a t-shirt with a light sweater or jacket.  Ideally, you bring clothes that do not need to be ironed.  No one wants to waste time ironing when you could be enjoying the beach or mountains.  Remember – CASUAL!  It’s not a fashion show ladies.

♦ Rain Jacket – Check the weather in each town or city that you’re going to visit, and see if there’s a chance of rainfall. However, it is best to be prepared and bring a lightweight rain jacket with you on your trip to Panama. Bring a small umbrella too.  Between late April and mid-December, there could be rain in the late afternoon.  In January through March, it is windier which can put a chill in the air.   Even if there is no rain, the light jacket will come in handy in the evenings.

♦ Comfortable shoes – A pair of comfortable and sturdy shoes like tennis shoes or Keens.  Panama sidewalks are not level so you need sturdy flat shoes to avoid twisting your ankle.   Bring an extra pair just in case one pair gets wet. No high heels are needed, ladies.   And those bling sandals may look cute and match your outfit, but they are not appropriate for Panama’s sidewalks.  Think safety first!  If you plan a trip to Panama’s beautiful beaches, then you should definitely bring comfy flip flips too.


♦ Bathing Suit, shades, toiletries, and a hat – During the Panama Relocation Tours, two of our hotel stops have beaches and/or pools so bring your swimsuit, sunglasses, and a hat.  You can bring your own sunblock or buy sunblock and other toiletries in Panama to avoid the 3 ounce TSA rules.  Ladies, a sarong will also be wonderful lightweight addition with multiple uses.  The UV rays from the Panama sun can be very strong so it is advisable to wear a hat when outside.  It is a good idea to carry a small package of baby wipes with you.  Don’t worry, if you forget anything, you can buy it in Panama.

♦ A dress for women and a shirt and pants for men –  You will not need any dress-up clothes during the Panama Relocation Tours.  But you may decide to go to a fine dining restaurant before or after the tour.  It is best to be prepared for evening outs. Women should bring a dress or nice top to wear with slacks, while men should have a nice shirt paired with pants. The dress shouldn’t be too formal, but rather something nice and casual. The air conditioning in some restaurants can be a bit cold, so complete your look with a sweater or wrap.  If you will be going into a bank or any government office know that you cannot wear short, sleeveless tops, or open toe shoes. Leave your expensive jewelry at home.

♦ Gadgets of your choice – Most hotels have a business office where you can use computers to check emails or print out boarding passes.  So you don’t need to bring your computer.  To travel as light as possible, bring gadgets with multiple functions. A smartphone can be a wise choice since you can use it to take photos, check emails, listen to music and play games. You can call your loved ones back home with it as well and post messages on social media, so your friends are updated about your trip to Panama. If you like taking pictures, Panama won’t disappoint you in that area, so be sure to bring a camera to capture the country’s magnificent views.

♦ Medications –  If you take any medications you can bring them in the original container or in a daily pill dispenser.  If you have a prescription for your meds, you may want to bring that too so you can see what it would cost in Panama and check availability.  Be sure you know the generic name too.

Other Items – You can include other items on your trip such as a book or a tablet computer with a Kindle app or any other item that you think you will need. These things will keep you company while waiting at the airport and in buses.


PACK LIGHT!  Only bring a carry on size suitcase.  This will help you get through immigration and customs much faster.  You can get laundry done at most of the hotels.  It only cost about $4 – $5 to get a small suitcase full of clothes washed, dried, folded then delivered to your room.  There are also laundry mats all over Panama that will wash your clothes for you for less than $5 a bag full of clothes.   You’ll find that your trip is much more enjoyable if you are not lugging around a large heavy suitcase everywhere you go.

Be sure to check with your airline for their carry on size bag restrictions.

Think of casual comfort and versatility when you’re packing for your trip to Panama. Pack light!

Jackie Lange

Jackie Lange is the founder of Panama Relocation Tours and lives in the highlands of Boquete Panama. She has helped thousands of people relocate to Panama.

Reader Interactions


  1. Joe Devermann says

    I need help in finding an English speaking lawyer in Santiago to help me with the cedula process and later with other business affairs.
    Do you know of any that you would recommend?

    • Panama Relocation Tours says

      Sorry, I do not know any lawyers in Santiago

  2. Mary Brown says

    Hello. What is the best bug spray to bring for a mission trip to Panama?

    • Jackie Lange says

      the bug spray made is Panama is better for Panama bugs. Get Jungle Oil

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