5 Days in Guatemala, is it Enough Time… Part 4: 5 days and only a backpack

*This is Part 4 of 4 posts of my trip to Guatemala. Here are the links to the other posts

Part 1: Guatemala City,

Part 2: Lake Atitlan,

Part 3: Antigua

The more I’ve traveled the smaller my bag has gotten. This time I wanted to challenge myself. Could I be comfortable and prepared, for a 5 day international trip, with literally only the clothes on my back? The quick answer is, yes, I was comfortable and prepared. So what did I fit into this little bag? Let me first share my mindset behind it all.

First of all, Guatemala wasn’t my final destination. After Guatemala, I would be traveling home to Philadelphia, where it is winter and cold. However, I have a home in Philadelphia where I have plenty of toiletries and winter clothes so I didn’t need to pack for Philly. Neither of my flights included free baggage so I would save money by not carrying any. Also, I hate checking my luggage. It’s such a waste of time. Between waiting in line to check your bags, even after checking in online, to waiting for your baggage to come off the plane, to check it in again to your connecting flights. Let’s not even talk about loss luggage. And what about carry-ons, sometimes they make you check them too. Finally, lugging around baggage from place to place is frustrating. To put it plainly, having luggage slows you down and is a huge inconvenience.

So how did I decide what to pack. I thought about versatile clothing and an easy color palette. I chose black and blue with a touch of color and 2 bikini’s that could become 4 by mixing and matching the tops and bottoms. In Central America, whether it’s the dry or rainy season, rain is unpredictable, so I packed a light rain jacket and tiny umbrella. All of my toiletries were packed in disposal bottles. My backpack came with a USB charging port which was very convenient so all I needed was a portable charger and cord. I wore my bulkier items on the plane, hiking sneakers, and denim jacket. I wore a pair of black Palazzo pants, a baseball cap and a t-shirt on the plane for comfort. I also took my coach crossbody bag along for my passport, credit cards, phone and money, things I wanted to keep close.

I packed my IPAD, a pair of sandals, sunglasses and eyeliner (that was all the makeup I took). I latched my Beats headphones to the outside of my backpack along with my plane pillow. For clothes, I packed 2 sleeveless tank top shorts romper (1 black, 1 orange). Both of these can me worn alone, with a cover-up, or as a tank top under bottoms. How convenient are these? I also packed, a colorful cover-up, a short black t-shirt dress that can be worn either alone or with a pair of bottoms, underwear, sports bras, a workout outfit and something to sleep in. All of these items fit in my little backpack and would you believe, I didn’t even wear everything.

I should also mention, the more I travel, the less souvenirs I purchase. I usually purchase a magnet and a treat. However this time, I really wanted to purchase some artwork but I didn’t have space for it. Carrying only a backpack does indeed save you money. I was able to fit in some coffee though.

Here are some pictures for reference and links to where I purchased some of my conveniences:

I purchased my backpack from Amazon and my Rompers.

Mismatched bathing suit at Lake Atitlan
T-shirt dress and sandals at Lake Atitlan
Black Romper and cover-up Lake Atitlan
Black romper worn underneath jeans,
denim jacket, hiking sneakers, coach crossbody
in Antigua
Flight Ready

Well if you have been with me since the journey began, thank you for sticking in there. I hope you enjoyed reading about my Guatemala trip. Here are some final thoughts.

Wishing for More Time in Guatemala

The title of this blog is, 5 days in Guatemala, is it enough time. My answer is NO. I would have spent more time in all three cities that I visited. I think 1-3 full days in Guatemala city is sufficient. Three-Five days minimum is needed for Antigua and you could easily spend a month in Lake Atitlan exploring the cities that surround it or 5 minimum to just relax an unwind. I would love to return and spend more time in these three cities but there are other cities I’d like to visit as well. Semuc Champey in the department of Alta Verapaz, Guatemala, near the Q’eqchi’ Maya town of Lanquín is one of those places. I’d also like to tour the Tikal National Park located in the municipality of Flores with the Mayan ruins. I hope to return but first, there are other Central American countries I need to visit.

Have you ever been to Guatemala? If so, what did you think of it?

I’ve already been to Panama, Costa Rica of course and now Guatemala. Which Central American country should I visit next, Nicaragua, Honduras, Belize or El Salvador?

Leave your thoughts and comments.

Author: phillygirl77

I've lived my whole life in Philadelphia. Daughter of a teacher, I later became one myself. When I heard about teaching overseas, I jumped feet first. Finally told yes, my two boys and I prepared for our new life abroad. Join us on our journey in Qatar!

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