When moving - what do you pack??
Sorry - it's my new thread day, I'll try and keep it to a minimum - or my version of the essentials.
When packing what do you bring? The intent is now that I'll be renting a furnished apartment (as that seems to be the norm). Also because of the high food costs (i.e. the Bread & Butter thread) do you recommend a certain non-perishable item should be packed as well?
I know I'm bringing my summer clothes (I live where you can see -60 w/o the wind chill), sunglasses, shoes, dive gear, and road bike...
What do you all advise? In a furnished apartment are there dishes? Wine glasses?
I really should change my name to "endlessly appreciative!"
It really depends on the apartment that you are renting. We rented a furnished apartment, but that just meant Furniture, not dishes etc. Usually an apartment that states fully furnished means it includes everything you might need. As for moving non perishable goods that's up to you. We moved our laundry detergent, spices, and some other dry goods. I'm not sure it's worth to go and purchase these things, just to have them moved, but if you already have them no use in getting rid of them. As for clothing, once you get acclimatized you might want a sweatshirt for evenings, or a pair of jeans. Don't leave them all behind, but don't bring them all. I'm not sure about the road road bike, the roads here can be pretty treacherous for bikes, but if you are experienced it could work out. Good luck!
Yes, it really depends on the place you are renting as to what it will have. If you already have a place rented, you can just ask if it has things like pots and pans, dishes, glasses, etc.
One thing that I brought, that I new I'd need no matter where I rented was linens. Sheets, towels, that sort of thing. I have come across a place or two that actually has these items, but I prefer my own stuff when it comes to these items. Another thing I always finding myself picking up when I am in the states is plastic shower curtains from the dollar store. I clean my shower 🙂 but the shower curtains are a real pain! So I usually just throw them out when they get bad. I know, wasteful...but so is using a bottle of Tilex on them.
If you cook, I'd say bring down any kitchen gadget you have. I haven't had much luck finding them here (St. John for sure, St. Thomas is limited). And a good set of knives too. Even if the place you move into has them, you can expect them to be dull, so if you already have them, just bring them.
Sorry, which island are you going to? That makes a big difference! On St. John, we have very limited options and one would pack a lot more I would think if they are coming here since you can't run out and pick something up so easily.
We sold our desk-top comouter and bought a new laptop and printer.
Bring your own electronics, cameras, tvs, computers, etc... Electronics are a bit tricky to get shipped here and the quality here is poor and very overpriced usually. Bring your hobbies with you. As someone else said if you love to cook. or if you love to quilt, etc... Whatever you like to do bring it and back up supplies. My experience is everything else can be bought here, done without (and usually not missed) or bought on the internet. It's not another world. You don't want to over pack because airline luggage is getting expensive and two the odds are in your favor that you are just going to be taking things back.
Also I've seen many units that said they were partially furnished here and that just meant they had a stove and fridge. So make a list of what you want in a furnished place and ask whats included. Some places will say furnished and it means a bed and a couch but nothing else. It's a very subjective term down here. So always ask questions, don't be shy or sorry for asking. 🙂
I moved down here in 2 suitcases. Therefore- what I brought was limited.
On the other hand, I was moving in with someone who already had a fully stocked kitchen, linens, etc.
But, I would reccomend bringing anything that you feel you "need". I don't mean really need, our basic needs as humans are actually very limited. But, there are a couple of brand name items that I happen to use that I can't find here. For example, my toothpaste & lotion. Kmart has a decent selection, but nothing like you would find at a stateside Walmart or Target. (Oh how I miss Target!)
As for non-perishable food items, if you have the room, pack them. Everytime I go back stateside, I bring some "specialty items" with me. That usually means I go to Trader Joes and grab their brown rice (the best ever) and other random items (basalmic vinegar). As for condiments/ethnic food items- you can find them in abundance here!
I made the mistake of getting rid of my winter coat & warm boots. Not that you will need it here, but if/when you go back home to visit, you may find yourself missing those warm objects you thought you didn't need in the Carribbean.
I second the dollar store shower curtain item! The same cheap curtains cost 5-10 dollars here!
I would be willing to bet that your furnished rental does not include wine glasses, bottle opener/corkscrew, or even basic kitchen items. I would ask specifically as mentioned above. You can always purchase those things once you get here, but they may be a little pricier.
Other than that, I've found that you make adjustments once you get here!
I also moved to St. Croix with two suitcases and a carry-on. If I had known then what I know now, I could have left one suitcase in Europe.
Fantastic all! Thanks!
I always try to bring food that has a high $ to low # ratio.
These items cost 2-3x more here:
Rack of lamb
Maine Lobster tails
Soft shell Crab
There are more I'm forgetting...and, always have a list for visitors!
Quite honestly-every time I leave island and return I do get a little smarter about what to bring My abs essentials include candle, batteries, a good nylon insulated lunch bag with cool packs, an umbrella!! And a beach chair!!!
More or less-go to your local dollar store and pick up all cheap useful items that pack easily. Trust me you will be glad u did.
Good luck with your travels 🙂
I had a delicious lamb chop dinner at Breezez on New Year's Eve. Wonder where they got the chops?
You can get lamb on island.
Merchants Market (that's where Breezez got them) and Quality Food (which I work for) both sell racks, legs, loins, gyro meat etc etc.
Worldwide lamb prices are rising rapidly due to several factors (weak dollar, weather, floods, decreased yields), so it's not just StX where they'll be expensive. Ok, enough of that 🙂
I sent way too much stuff down. I used some quilts to line my boxes of fragile objects, thinking that someday I'd need the quilts. Well, almost 4 years later, I've only ever used a sheet on my bed.
I've heard people say pack what you think you need, then leave half of it behind.
I may be contradicting myself. This topic comes up fairly often, and my answers may vary with my mood of the day...but you can get all the essentials of life and a lot of the extras here just by normal shopping. You can probably get ANYTHING you want, one way or another, if you don't mind spending money on shipping and fees, etc.
When traveling back to the states, I often look at the inexpensive stuff, like health and beauty aids, in the Dollar Stores or even in regular drugstores and discount stores, and I always talk myself out of bothering. I mean that type of stuff (shampoo, liquid soap, etc.) has to be packed just right, and what if something bursts in your suitcase??
There are still some things I buy, but it's impossible for us to suggest to you what to bring because what I want may not be of interest to YOU. For me, it's just not that big of a deal. Friends going to the states often ask me what they can pick up for me, and truly, most of the time I can't think of a thing. We get by with what is available, have people send stuff or shop on line (but MOSTLY we buy locally). Simple.
Now, having said all that, here's a helpful hint...3 oz toothpaste. Can't find it here, only regular 4+ or larger or the .75 oz little travel tube. Keep them stashed for when you travel and only plan to use carry on. And that's not a big deal either because the .75 is usually fine.
My post is way longer than it should have been just to say "don't sweat the small stuff".:-)