What to Leave and What to Bring When Moving to a Different Country? - Expat Community

What to Leave and What to Bring When Moving to a Different Country?

Oct 16, 2023 | Costa Rica, Knowledge Base, Mexico, Panama, Portugal, Spain | 1 comment

When relocating to a different country, one of the major decisions to make during this transition is understanding what items are essential to bring and which ones can be left behind. After all, packing up an entire life into suitcases and boxes isn’t a simple nor straightforward task.


It’s worth noting that deciding what to bring to this new place is a very personal choice. Nonetheless, we’ll explore several key points to choose what to bring to Costa Rica, underscored by relocation expert Pablo Arias, from International Relocation Partner.



Understanding the Market


Deciding what to bring and what to leave behind will ultimately depend on where you choose to move. Depending on the country, certain goods or products will or will not be available.


Costa Rica heavily depends on imported goods. This means that many items found in the local market might not be produced domestically but are brought in from other nations.


Despite the influx of imports, there are still some products that are hard to find in the country. Major retailers, such as Walmart, serve as an excellent gauge for what’s readily available. If a product isn’t found in such stores, it likely has limited presence in the country. And if you do manage to find it elsewhere, be prepared for a steeper price. This could be because the item is considered a luxury or due to high import taxes that inflate its cost. Appliances like high-end refrigerators serve as a perfect example.


The salaries and purchasing power in Costa Rica are not as high as in some other countries, meaning many products and services are tailored to meet the needs and purchasing power of this demographic. This also implies that the range and quality of products might differ from what foreigners, especially those from affluent countries, are accustomed to. Many items considered standard or easily accessible in wealthier nations might be deemed premium or luxury in Costa Rica.



What Should You Bring?


Given this understanding of the market, foreigners relocating to Costa Rica should carefully consider the quality and brand of products they rely on. If you have particular brand loyalties or need specific high-quality goods, it might be wiser to bring them along.


Most people who relocate prefer to bring along their appliances, high-quality furniture, and specialized equipment. Sports equipment, especially for games like golf and tennis, is a top priority for many. Such sports aren’t as popular in Costa Rica, which means that if equipment is available, it’s likely to be expensive and might not be of the best brands or quality.


It’s also worth bringing along personal items such as academic degrees, photographs, and other things of sentimental value. These items can provide comfort and a sense of familiarity in a new setting. For families with children, it’s especially crucial to bring kids’ toys. Relocation can be hard on children, and having familiar toys can offer them a semblance of normality in their changing world.



What’s Best to Leave Behind?


Costa Rica levies high taxes on imported vehicles. Before deciding to ship a car, it’s essential to weigh the costs of importing against purchasing one locally. With the high import taxes and potential differences in road conditions, many expatriates find it more practical to buy a vehicle once they arrive in Costa Rica.


Importing tires to Costa Rica can be a complicated affair. Given the complexities, it might be more feasible to buy them locally.

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1 Comment

  1. Abraham TDN Developer

    great concept


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