What to Pack for Uruguay: The 5-Step Solution

What to Pack for Uruguay: The 5-Step Solution

Written by Shannon O’Donnell on

Shannon O'Donnell is a long-term traveler who has been on the road since 2008 and has lived everywhere from Southeast Asia to Barcelona, where she now calls home. She travels slowly and supports responsible tourism along the way, winning numerous awards for her work advocating for the communities impacted by travel and tourism.


What to Pack for Uruguay: The 5-Step Solution

What to Pack for Uruguay: The 5-Step Solution

Whether you are going for the amazing trekking, the nightclubbing in Montevideo, or an authentic gaucho experience, follow these five easy steps to pack for a trip to Uruguay.

So, you’re headed to Uruguay! The path through South America is a well-traveled one, and Uruguay ranks with Chile and Argentina as a popular, exciting destination. Although it is geographically small, Uruguay is rich in culture, often being referred to as the Switzerland of the continent. You’ll discover fascinating gaucho traditions, sun yourself on gorgeous beaches, and explore the historic Old Town of Montevideo, the country’s capital city. But first, you need to pack. Consider this your guide to getting ready for Uruguay, broken down into five simple steps.

1. Pick the Right Bag!

If you consult the travel bloggers of the Internet, you will find that they disagree widely over exactly what is considered the right bag for a trip to Uruguay. There are diehards who insist that a backpack—and only a modest-sized one at that—is all you need, combined with some compression bags (and personal restraint). Others choose a roomier backpack that allows for a few more souvenirs and luxuries (or necessities, depending on your level of personal maintenance). Then there are those who maintain that a wheeled suitcase is easiest on the back.

A few things can help you determine which bag is right for your personal trip to Uruguay. This includes your length of stay, how many different destinations and activities you're planning (read more on that below), and how much “stuff” you need to feel comfortable. Choose a bag too small and you’ll never fit all your things. Choose one too big and you’ll face overweight charges on the plane and a hassle stowing it on public transportation. So make a list before you pack, and choose the smallest bag that will fit whatever you define as essentials.

2. Wear Layers Upon Layers

The most popular time of year to visit Uruguay is during the summer, which in the Southern Hemisphere is December through March. The days are warm, which means that both male and female travelers can get by comfortably in shorts and t-shirts. Here’s the thing, though: It cools down at nighttime, even after the hottest days. It’s worth it to pack a cozy sweater and at least one pair of jeans, because they will come in handy. The best way to handle varied weather, of course, is to layer your clothes so you can add or remove some as the temperature rises or falls.

3. Dress for Your Activities

Where are you going, and what are you doing there? Those are the two major questions to ask yourself when packing for Uruguay. Will you go trekking? Be sure to bring some quick-dry clothing items that can withstand a torrential downpour. Planning on hitting the nightclubs in trendy Montevideo? Bring your dancing shoes! If you are looking for the full-on gaucho experience and will spend time on a ranch, bring along your cowboy boots and jeans. No matter where your travels take you, bring at least one “nice” outfit for going out, whether that means chowing down on one of the region’s famous steaks or taking in some local music.

4. Use Organizers to Keep Everything Neat

Aside from clothes, there’s a lot of “stuff” that you need to pack for a trip to Uruguay. This includes standard toiletries (toothbrush and toothpaste, deodorant, body wash), the miscellany (chargers, adaptors, bathing suit, underwear, insect repellent, medicines), and all your electronics. That’s why you need a travel organizing system like the Pack It system. Using organizers allows you to find your items quickly and help keep them protected. (For instance, you don't want a wet bathing suit to ruin your iPhone charger.) A toiletry kit like the Pack-It Wallaby not only has plenty of pockets for all your smallest essentials, but it also has a hook that can easily hang over a door.

5. Choose Your Shoes Wisely

Shoes are always the bane of any traveler’s existence. They are bulky, they take up a lot of room in a suitcase, and you usually need to bring at least three pairs. Uruguay is no exception. You will want to bring sturdy hiking shoes that are high around the ankles if you plan on trekking, as well as comfy sneakers/trainers for long walks around town. You should also bring a pair of “nice” shoes for going out, especially if you will be staying in Montevideo for any length of time. Don’t forget a pair of flip-flops for the beach and for public showers. Ladies might also want to bring an additional pair of pretty sandals or ballerina flats for everyday wear. Shoe organizers will keep dirty soles from making a mess of your clean clothes.

For extra packing tips, take advantage of this ultimate packing guide.

Have your travels brought you to Uruguay? What essentials did you bring, and what souvenirs did you bring home? Share your two cents in the comments, below!

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