What are some hard-to-get items on the islands
My wife and I are moving to the islands in January, 2008. We had our pmv and didn't check to see what are the hard-to-get items or the must-bring items for island life. Is it seasonal? Or just general hard to find things.
Any advice would be appreciated.
Most you will be able to get through catalogs or online shopping. If you're difficult to fit with clothes or shoes you might want to stock up but any more there isn't a whole lot that isn't "gettable" one way or the other. Since you're coming in January, hit the end of summer sales for summer clothing.
You will probably be able to get better quality clothing cheaper in the States since you might have access to TJ Maxx, Marshall's, etc. Also, if you know what size bed you'll have, sheets & towels will be better buys up there than down here for better quality.
Thanks for the response - actually my size 14 feet were in question!
Welcome to the board and the Islands :)!
Trade is a 26 year resident, and as you can see, very helpful so you got some great advice straight from the top!!!
I second her opinion about linens. I stock up on them every chance I get when I travel to the states. You simply cannot find quality linens here.
If you will be working a job that requires suits, by all means stock up on suits and shirts in the states. Men's dress wear is challenging to find here and quite expensive when you do manage to find it. Men's shoes absolutely -- especially in a difficult size like yours.
Quality pots and pans are another thing that's hard to find here.
I will probably think of a few more things to add to the list and when I do I will post again.
Have a great day!!!
Depends which island you are living on. On stx you can find good sheets and pots. If you are coming here I would ship only what is important. You can always get it online later if you find there is something you cant live without. I think most who ship down all of their belongings regret it in the long run. Bring the memories leave the stuff.
my husband is on island and told me they get most things there ,just not a lot of choices.
After you've been here a while you loose the need for the big selection or you go back stateside. Its a simpler life here, the ones that can't cope with that do leave. I know it may sound silly to some that people would leave of it but we are brought up to be good little consumers as Americans. Many families spend every weekend at the mall, movies, etc... You do have to learn to live a simpler life here and its not a good fit for everyone. Alot of people just make do and order the stuff that can't live without online.
Sounds like you are already bringing the hardest item to find on the island and that is a spouse.
I like cooking so I always hit Williams & Sonoma or similar stores when in the states or Puerto Rico.
I purchased most of my bedding in the states. The wife and I both take care of our clothes shopping with stateside trips once a quarter.
I am a runner so while there are some supplies here I usually order stuff on line.
We stock up on the things we would normally purchase at CVS while in the states just to save a few $$
Most of the things you use day to day you will find here just not always in good supply. Anything I can't find I usually order on line. If they do not deliever to the V.I. then I simply ship it to my mom's house and she turns around and ships it to me.
The hardest things to find in the USVI are things most people don't need. The important stuff is generally available.
Which island are you on? Thinking about whether or not to buy linens here. Moving to St.Croix.
When I mentioned linens & towels, you can get them here (STT) but you can get much better quality for MUCH cheaper prices in the States. I, personally like really high thread count all cotton sheets because they're cooler, more comfortable & last longer so if that's important to you, hit TJ Maxx or Tuesday Morning for items like that.
Ditto for hard to fit feet. I've never bought a pair of shoes down here because they don't carry any to fit me. I do buy those & sheets/towels through catalogs & online but you still can save & see what you're getting if you buy it in person. And like someone else mentioned, cookware is another biggy for me.
You'll have lots of unexpected expenses when you first move here so it can't hurt to be stocked with the basics when you arrive. Best of luck!
Whenever I visit in the states I always bring back 4-6 big bottles of sun screen. My personal favorite is NoAds that I buy at Meijers. The bottles are 20 or so ounces and cost $5 or $6. On STX tiny bottles of sun screen can run near $10.
I try to remember to use a light coating of sunscreen on my face, neck and arms every day. Even when going about your daily business, the sun is a consideration.
On stx you can get 600 to 1000 thread count sheets at samson house...they range from about $80 to $120 for a king size which was the same as stateside for me.
Samson House and Brass Key are my "go to"places on STX to browse. Great, unusual stuff. I also like Gallow Bay hardware.
Love love samson house (reasonable priced and cute stuff) and love brass key for kitchen stuff and don't for get travelers tree (I always get overwhelmed in there....in a good way). Gallow's bay hardware does get really cute stuff in but they tend to gouge you.
Dunkin' Donuts coffee and Krispy Creme donuts.
Is $80-$120 for a set? If so, tell them to open a branch on STT!
If I couldn't find everything that needed on STX then a quick trip to PR solved all my problems (and gave me a jolly good trip to Nordstroms and Macy's, some great restaurants and beaches!!!!). They would certainly have quality suits and shoes etc - pots and pans too!!!
Even building supplies are easy to get on PR and ship to the VI.
I would certainly not burden my self with carting down a load of stuff that you could probably get on island or by Mail Order if you really needed it. Sorry to contradict the earlier advice, lol! Makes it hard to know what to do , eh?
how do you know where to go and where to ship in PR? And how do prices compare with on linr ordering from mainland companies when all costs are totalled?
I'm about to change my stance and advise everybody relocating here to bring everything they own and/or think they might hanker for. That way, us scroungers will have LOADS more stuff to pick over at house sales. Cheers!
You must be a guy and not married. Those type of questions don't register with women. They have a sense when it comes to Nordstrom's and Macy's. Call it a sixth sense, call it whatever you want.......some kind of gene.
Plaza de Las Americas is the hugest mall on PR - most maps of PR will show it. It is on the main highway from SanJuan to the NW corner of the island. (about 40 minutes from San Juan. Prices compare well to the mainland - all the mainland stores are there. JC Penney, Sears, Macy, Target etc.
I believe the Ferreterias (hardware/building supply stores) on the West End of PR advertise in the VI. I do know that they are in the VI Yellow Pages..they speak English even if they answer the phone in Spanish - just ask if they speak English. They have all the prices/shipping details etc.
Wal mart, Wal mart, glorious Walmart is in every major town on PR. The cost of living on PR is low so prices are like US - choice is good.
And add in your air fare.
The ad in the paper says if you buy $10K in building materials they will pay your air fare.
Puerto Rico is definitely another great option for shopping. However, another poster mentioned that there is a Nordstrom Puerto Rico, and unfortunately there is not.
Oh, that I wish it were so........................
The goods news is that Nordstrom will ship to the USVI at no extra charge -- even when they are running specials like free shipping, $5 shipping, etc. etc.!