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what to bring/leave behind?

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maxtmill
4/6/2012 18:19 EST

I am just curious- for those of you who have made the move to Costa Rica, either short or long term - will you name 3 things you brought that you wish you had left behind, & 3 things you wish you had brought, but did not? Thanks!

BOBJCR
4/6/2012 19:07 EST

THE ONLY THING I SHOULD HAVE BROUGHT MORE OF IS BOOKS. THEY ARE DAMN SCARCE HERE, ESPECIALLY SINCE MORA BOOKS WENT BUST.

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damonre
4/6/2012 20:05 EST

I have been trying to figure out the same thing Max. I know a guy who's wife says they brought 9 bags and two dogs but I don't know if that was 9 carry ons or 9 huge bags. He mentioned that they brought some kitchen stuff but I don't know which. Here's my list of what must go:
- Clothes that I love. Good by old stuff I haven't worn in 6 months. I'll get more when I need to in costa rica.
- iPhone, DLP projector and my apple tv. I think the receiver is staying for now. It's too big. I'll either buy speakers there or buy small ones to take. How much tv will I watch in paradise??
- Hiking, camping and outdoor gear.

From what I hear furniture can be bought affordable, but mattresses are never the same outside the USA. Electronics and batteries are expensive so I'm bringing rechargeable supplies. But kitchen stuff?? I'm so lost on what if any of it to bring. My favorite spatula?? Pots and stupid pans?? I find it hard to believe machining decent cookware isn't universal. Not worth dragging my old beat up stuff down.

Please share what you know. There's a lot on the forum but this is more specific. Thanks.
D

damonre
4/6/2012 20:05 EST

Oops. Double post.

NewGringa1964
4/8/2012 20:52 EST

Ooooops, just realized: I wrote this from the perspective of me, who moved here to work at a school for 6 mos in a resort area in the NW.

In a nutshell: no matter where or why you're coming, pack as if you're going to sort of "camp out", bring sunscreen, bugspray, shoes/sandals that you can walk miles in comfortably. Bathing suit.
If you NEED a lot of convenience of familiar things, Costa Rica may not be the place for you.
IT IS BEAUTIFUL, BUT IT IS A 3RD WORLD COUNTRY.
If you are coming to CR for the hostel/backpacker experience delete the rest of this reply. It will not apply to you. You will need as LITTLE as you can possibly get away with carrying on you. Photo copies of ALL important documents, available in your pocket, wallet or purse at all times. Keep the REAL thing secure, money pouch, interior pocket, wear an over the body pouch.





3 things I brought but do not use in MY SPECIFIC CLIMATE ZONE OF CR: TOO MANY CLOSED TOED SHOES. One pair of sneakers, unless you run every day (then bring 3, if staying 6 mos). One pair of clogs (only semi casual).

3 things I wish I had brought:
AGAIN IN MY CLIMATE ZONE:
MORE different bathing suits, 3 would have been a good number of bathing suits. 2-3 more 2" above the knee light cotton sundress style dresses that can be dresses up or dressed down.
Queen Sized Sheets.

OH, extra spending money.
And my car (only kidding)



This is an EASY and hard question to answer for many reasons.
Here is the #1 factor to consider: if you are coming on a tourist visa to "try Costa Rica" out. YOU WILL HAVE A WEIGHT LIMIT controlled by the airline and by the Costa Rican Government. If your bag exceeds the maximum size allowed. OR the maximum weight you will be fined. The fine is pretty hefty. $150 for the first bag over, $250 for the second, I think something ridiculous like $500-700 for the third. They are dead serious about this, and you will have to pay the fine on the spot or you don't get entry. The weight is for the full weight of bag and contents, so if you buy luggage that is sturdy and large it weighs more by itself. Weight is the primary factor. EVERYONE RECOMMENDS BEING AT LEAST 8 LBS UNDER, THE LIMIT WAS 50LBS PER BAG WHEN I CAME IN JANUARY.
Here are some questions to ask yourself as you make your packing list:
1.) what activities will you do while in Costa Rica? The more activities you do, in the more different climate zones (Costa Rica has at least 28 distinct climate zones, example:
The more different activities, the more gear or stuff you'll need. Specialty gear is either exorbitantly expensive or non-existent.

Example of Climate Extremes:
Guanacaste Region in the NW is VERY HOT, windy, dry during the "summer" which is January-May approximately. During the same time frame, the OSA peninsula far to our south in the SW is still lush and green, but a bit "dry" which means there are a few yellow leaves visible in the tropical, humid, no wind, peninsula. Monte Verde, Arenal, other locations with altitude can get COLD, like in the 30's, with snow on the top if your hiking.

So the question of what to bring, completely depends on what you're going to be doing, and where you will spend most of your time.

If you are in the NW in Guanacaste, you will need only casual clothing, beach attire mostly, I live in my flip flops and where them EVERYWHERE, except my job, where I have ONE pair of clogs. I have never had occasion to wear dress shoes or dress sandals.

If you are in the city, or will be living on a all inclusive North American styled resort, then you will need "country club and beach attire".
The only city probably large enough to have such dress needs is San Jose/Escazu.
There you will need a few light sweaters for evenings, think San Francisco, beautiful and sunny, but everyone travels with both T-shirts and polar fleece in their cars, San Jose and the higher elevation regions can be the same, maybe even colder. The ocean/beaches are HOT, sunny.

Personal hygiene and health items can be tricky to get, some there will be an abundance of, some none.
USA brands & European brands are ALL imported, so they are ALL more expensive, a lot more expensive.

DO BRING VERY HIGH SPF SUNSCREEN AND USE IT, EVERY DAY, YOU WILL TAN MORE (I used 50 on my face, and 30 on my body for 2 mos, don't forget to reapply) GRADUALLY, BUT NOT GET SKIN CANCER. BRING ABOUT 1 MED. SIZE BOTTLE FOR EACH 2.5 MONTHS.

Do absolutely bring:
ALL MEDICATIONS YOU MUST HAVE.
My doctor at home wrote me a prescription in the States with zero refills, but for 250 tablets enough for my full dose/1x per day, for the 6 months I'm here plus another month.
IF YOU NEED convenience medications, cold medicine, tylonol, aspirin, diarehha medicine, vitamins, herbal suppliments. BRING THEM. IN QUANTITY. Unless you live in San Jose, literally, these things can be gotten, but a gringo friend recently went to buy plain old aspirin, 150mg, 30 pills, the Farmacia (pharmacy) wanted $35 for this small quanitity. In Walmart he would have paid $3.00 for 150 tablets.
Herbal suppliments are virtually unavailable, even though some are produced here, they are NOT for sale here.
Many prescription medications are available in the Farmacia for little cost, they give you exactly the quantity of pistelles (pills) you need, but there is NO guarantee at any particular time whether they will HAVE what you NEED when you NEED it.

Do you expect ANY of the conveniences you are used to in the States or Europe?
They might be here, but then again they may not. Unless you are staying in an all inclusive, closed resort or self contained gated Gringo community, you are likely to miss somethings.

DO GO ONLINE AND READ, READ, READ every article you can find. There's one called "The Real Costa Rica". EVERYTHING that I've read has been true, not specifically to me, but I've met others who have had ALL of those experiences.

If you write me back specifically with your reason for coming and extend of stay, I can make some better suggestions.

BOBJCR
4/9/2012 09:04 EST

PILLS ARE "PASTILLAS", NOT "PISTELLES". OTHER THAN THAT, MOST OF WHAT YOU SAY IS ACCURATE.

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NewGringa1964
4/9/2012 11:08 EST

thanks Bob. I almost looked the spelling up, still learning Spanish (never spoke before arrival in January).
Thanks for catching that!

BOBJCR
4/9/2012 12:52 EST

ANYTIME. MOVE TO THE CENTRAL VALLEY AND COOL OFF. AND YOU WON'T NEED BUG SPRAY.

Shawn34
4/9/2012 21:43 EST

if you plan on moving long term you should rent a trailer and stuff it full of your things. you can get a container ship pretty reasonable. they have everything you would need here but allot of stuff is move expensive. The electronics itself are really expensive. So bring everything you can, you will be glad you did.

NewGringa1964
4/10/2012 09:21 EST

ehehehehhe or jajajajaj
That's well said, very funny, I like it Shawn. Much better then the book I wrote. No one who hasn't lived here will believe that both can be true. Funny. Thanks.

GoingLikeSixty
4/10/2012 13:48 EST

If you're talking about shipping a container and setting up a house, here are my thoughts.

We moved to near Atenas in July.

Bring tools. Expensive here and not of good quality (you will hear that a LOT - and it's true.) And garden hoses. Intense sun is very hard on plastic stuff.

Small examples: Somehow we ended up here without toenail clippers ( ! ) I bot some and they broke! Electrical tape is not sticky. Spray nozzle for garden hose was expensive for plastic. Same with garden sprinklers.

Bring a shop vac. It's dirty during the windy season. Not dust - dirt. Bring Sham-wows (or equivalent.)

Consumables: bring 'em. Coffee filters, Swiffer refills, cleaning supplies, bug spray, printer cartridges, antibiotic cream, your brand of toothpaste (Colgate has the monopoly here.) Eventually you will run out, but hopefully you will have visitors that will mule stuff.

I brought an extra ceiling fan. Seems silly since it's taking up storage space, but when a fan dies, I'll feel real smart. Wish I would have brought box fans and stand fans for the same reason.

Bring a U.S. washer and dryer. Again: better quality will last longer. Even if you only use dryer during rainy season to give things the final dry, you will appreciate having it. We didn't bring a dryer and are kicking ourselves. Hanging stuff in the house with a fan blowing damp air just doesn't work.

Bring kitchen stuff. The low quality high price (LQHP) gotcha again. Yes you can find a spatula (other poster) but it will break in six months.

Bring your favorite chair. (LQHP) Furniture in Costa Rica is amazing uncomfortable. (except for the Costa Rica rockers that are everywhere.) But if you are a recliner-type like me, get a good one and move it down here.

Metal outdoor furniture. Bring it. You can always sand and paint it. Plastic stuff breaks and becomes useless.

If you have an arts and crafts hobby, bring lots of supplies.

As far as clothes, that depends on your location and lifestyle of course. I wear flip flops, shorts and tees all the time (except into town - then I slip on casual shoes/sandals.) I loaded up on tee shirts, but made the mistake of buying quality shirts which are heavy weight tees. Just had some cheap light weight tees muled down. The 4/$10 type tees.

Rain gear! Bring it. Slickers, boots, rubbers, umbrellas, whatev. You *will* be going out in the rain.

Read Arden's book for good advice on container shipping.
http://www.mainersincostarica.com/

Good luck.

maxtmill
4/10/2012 18:28 EST

Hello GoingLikeSixty! Thank you for your input! I have nbeen getting some excellent ideas, which I am sure will benefit any of us hoping to move to Costa Rica! We have recently decided to move there for one year, traveling as light as possible. Then, if we stay, wewill have our items shipped to us. I am finding as I progress in this process, I am more & more willing to give up more & more stuff - it is very liberating! Keep the ideas flowing everyone!!

elfinlady29
4/12/2012 12:11 EST

It depends on where you are at really and your family situation.
Batteries die quickly here, but you can buy new ones. Good flashlights are EXPENSIVE.
Don't bring DVD's with you if you are shipping a container. Actually, just don't bring anything of value if you are shipping a container. It will be gone.
Tools are very important, especially if you have an American car. You can get American products down here, but they are more expensive. Just don't expect to live your "American life" in CR. It won't happen. Bring cookware. Trust me, the pots and pans might seem stupid back home, but you will miss them down here. Baking dishes, same thing. If you are bringing a container....US washer, dryer, and fridge/freezer.
Do not bring leather with you, it rots. Do not bring nice wood with you, it rots, molds, or the termites eat it.
If you are big, bring clothes and be prepared to buy yours from the US and have them sent to you. The internet is your friend, customs and duty are not....unfortunately. Bring good shoes with you, but be prepared to buy new ones every 6 months or so because they will be ruined.
If you like spicy food, bring chili powder. Make sure you sign up with PriceSmart once you are here, it is like Costco and has a lot of the American food in bulk....just not chili powder. If you like good salad dressing....bring it with you. American food is expensive, so learn to like rice, beans, and chicken. The milk here is weird (all dairy is), so if you are lactose intolerant, plan on going without. And regardless, bring whatever lactose pills you take.

Basically, prepare to live like a Tico. If that idea does not appeal to you, don't come down here because you will not be happy. If you want hot water and have an electric stove....your electric bill will be through the roof. I cringe at the idea of the people who have AC.

Bring padlocks with keys and good ones. Bring a leatherman and an extra one to replace the other one when it gets stolen.

Wow. This ended up long. Sorry about that.

BOBJCR
4/12/2012 13:24 EST

I HAVE TO TAKE EXCEPTION WITH SEVERAL ITEMS LISTED. i.e. SHOES, CLOTHES, COOKWARE AND DAIRY PRODUCTS. I AM 6'2" TALL AND WEIGH 200 LBS AND HAVE HAD LITTLE DIFFICULTY FINDING SHOES OR CLOTHES HERE IN CR. SHOES LAST ABOUT AS LONG AS THEY DID IN U.S COOKWARE IS AVAILABLE HERE AT SPECIALTY STORES AND IS ABOUT THIRTY PERCENT HIGHER THAN U.S. AND MILK AND DAIRY, EXCEPT COTTAGE CHEESE, TASTE FINE HERE. LACTOSE FREE MILK IS READILY AVAILABLE IN THE G.A.M. I DON'T WHERE IN THE COUNTRY YOU LIVE, BUT IT MUST BE OUT IN THE STICKS.

maxtmill
4/12/2012 14:14 EST

Hello elfinlady29! I see that you are moving from Costa Rica, is that right? I have been making a list of what to bring. I am hoping to avoid shipping a container. If possible, we hope to come home after a year & fly back with our most essentials in as many boxes as is allowed. Of course, a US made washer/dryer & frige would have to be shipped somehow. Are you saying that people go through the containers & steal everything? What type of chairs & sofas are good for CR? They say leather rots & fabric stays damp- do you have to use an outdoor cushion type of thing?

elfinlady29
4/12/2012 14:37 EST

Hi Maxtmill :)

Yes, I am moving. You can get US made washers/dryers/fridge here...but be prepared to have them fixed as they are generally factory seconds (they dont tell you this when you buy them). Yes, the customs people go through and "inspect" the contents of the containers. We brought 120 DVDs with us and ended up with all 120 cases and 20 of the DVD's. All of the rest were empty cases. We had climbing gear, tools, books, and an antique watch go missing as well. If you don't keep your stuff locked up, it will grow legs. Its just how it works down here. You have more than they do so they "help you share". After we got here, we have had clothes, tools, and a few misc. items grow legs. Now we just keep everything locked up (hence the need for good padlocks). We live in a more rural area that is considered better than most for thefts and things, but I don't really know.

Most people here have wood sofas and chairs all heavily varnished (the only way to keep the termites from eating it) that they pad with light cushions that can be washed to keep the mold off of them. Everything stays damp or gets eaten by ants or termites. Nylon is great, provided the threads are also nylon. If the thread is cotton, the thread will rot and the rest of the item will be perfect. :-) It is very annoying when it is your clothes.

elfinlady29
4/12/2012 15:01 EST

BobJCR--

I am sure how long things last depend where you live down here. My husband has had huge difficulty finding both shoes and clothes, but again, I am sure it depends on where you live.

Cookware IS available down here, however, unless you pay more for the US brands...the quality is less than. But, then again, I am big on cooking and picky about my pots and pans. :-)

The cottage cheese really isn't that bad (Dos Pinos) it is just not creamy like the stuff in the States. The milk tastes normal, but the fact that they keep it on the shelves in the heat and it doesn't go bad is weird (they deep pasteurize it to make this possible). The fact that the local dairy farmers feed their cows some rather unmentionable things is also weird. Dos Pinos grows their own feed for their cows though, so that is good quality. The our local rep for them brings our horse feed as well and has been great with getting me a custom mix of feed for the horses to keep them from starving (they are not Tico horses and so they need more calories).

Shawn34
4/12/2012 22:06 EST

ok, dont listen to elfinlady. I dont believe anything of what she said is true. First they might or they might not inspect your container. They certainly wont go through everything and steal your things. Sure if you have inviting container they might see something they like. But just keep a lock on everything. They dont steal stuff from everyone. I dont know where she is getting her information.
As far as the stoves and things they are brand new name brand items and are not factory seconds.
I have never seen any ticos that have a wooden sofa or chair. I have never even heard of that. I have been in allot of homes here and never once sat in a wooden chair.
Your cloths wont rot or your chairs and it is not always wet.You could also build a house with many different types of wood and will be safe from termites.
I dont know why she is telling you these insane stories but dont let this discourage you or give you a bad feeling about costa rica.

Shawn34
4/12/2012 22:20 EST

Elfinlady. Why are you moving here if all the things you say are negative. Not one thing you said about anything is true. Electric is cheap here. They have like 3 different brackets to charge you for the amount you use. If you use way more than what you should then yes they will add on a charge. But just using your stove and dryer will not leave you broke. Please do not post here if all you say is negative. You dont even live here and you have all these bad things to say.

bman08
4/12/2012 23:04 EST

This. You couldn't have said it any better.

NewGringa1964
4/12/2012 23:35 EST

hmmm. Maybe some balance is due here. Costa Rica is like a blind man describing an elephant, what he tells you will depend on what part he's touching at the time.
There are many different climates here.
It is incredibly beautiful, and there are two seasons, "dry", and rainy, both of these seasons can include heat, so factor humid into most of them.
I love Costa Rica, its an adventure. The people are SO nice, Tico's and most Gringos are too. The beautiful views (Buena Vistas) are everywhere you look. Fresh delicious food, prepared while you wait, along with delicious Naturales (fruit smoothies, w/ or w/o sugar, w/ or w/o milk).
But rain is rain. And when someone tells me that its gonna rain, all day, for maybe a week or a month, I'm sure that no matter what I do, there's gonna be some mildew, mold. I can live w/ it, and appreciate that I am privileged to live in one of the most beautiful and naturally diverse places on the planet or I can go home.
I like it here, for now.
Well I live in Guanacaste. I am also in a rural area, but an area very close (less then a 1/2 mile) has some of the most expensive and beautiful Pacific Coastline. 70% of the furniture I have seen Tico's use has been 100% wood, with thin cushions for easy cleaning as the elf lady mentioned. Although I have not YET lived through rainy season, both my Tico and my Gringo friend's say that mold and mildew is a constant battle in rainy season, and that things never really do get dry, so bring 'quick dry' things.

So come to Costa Rica. See it as an adventure. EVERYTHING WILL BE NEW. You will learn and grow in ways you never imagined.

Good Luck Packing.

Pura Vida.

BTW, I do also weigh in on some of the cook ware, especially if you REALLY like to be in the kitchen. Unless of course your budget allows for eating out all the time or buy all new.

BOBJCR
4/13/2012 05:39 EST

LOOKS LIKE YOU WEREN'T PAYING ATTENTION. ELFIN SAID SHE HAD BEEN HERE IN CR FIVE YEARS AND IS NOW MOVING TO SOME OTHER COUNTRY. IF SHE HADN'T BEEN HERE FOR THAT LENGTH OF TIME, HOW COULD SHE GO INTO ALL THAT DETAIL ABOUT CONDITIONS HERE????

elfinlady29
4/13/2012 08:40 EST

Shawn34

Actually, I do live here and have lived here for 5 years. What I am saying is not negative. It is simply things I have found to be fact. Stuff does get stolen, I am saying this because I had stuff stolen at customs. A lot of it. A lot of stuff was also broken from being thrown (literally) back in the box without its protective paper. If someone had warned me that it happens, I would have packed differently and sold more stuff before I left.

There are many positives about Costa Rica, but as with any place there are bad things as well. These "bad" things may not be bad for everyone as is proven by the fact that some people truly love it here. It is, however, important that people looking to move here understand facts of life in this country. If the negatives (and they are here) are something they can live with....wonderful! :-) It is important to be happy where you live.

Costa Rica varies a lot in dampness, but it also varies a lot in heat. I don't deal with high heat real well so I moved to one of the cooler areas, which happens to get a lot of rain and it is damp here. It is a fact of life. It doesn't really bother me. It is annoying when clothes rot and my books mold, but hey....that happens other places as well.

The positives I have found personally in Costa Rica:
The butterflies and flowers are beautiful
The parrots who drop nut/seed things on my head when I walk my dog are seriously cool
The Toucans in the trees are beautiful and they sound cool
The monkeys that run over my roof and cute and despite what people say, have not destroyed anything :-)
The lifestyle is very laid back
A lot of the people are very friendly
My neighbor and her family are completely awesome
They have really nice cats down here (house cats)
Having Jaguars go through my back yard is a once in a lifetime experience
The local food is actually pretty good once you get use to it. Arroz con pollo is great good :-)
A lot of the local culture and customs are really nice
Overall, I have not found the cost of living to be a whole lot cheaper...but that is probably me and the fact that I lived in low cost of living locations before.

The negatives I have personally found in Costa Rica:
It is damp and it rains---a lot (the first year I was here we got 6 mtrs of rain in 5 months)
Some of the people here truly hate white people (don't get my wrong, I understand why and am ok with that....it is just hard when you are a nice white person and get crap because of the not so nice ones)
There are a lot of drugs & violence here
Stuff gets stolen
Gringo prices
Bugs
Dishonest people--yes I know dishonesty is everywhere, I have just found it to be more....targeted....here.
Teenagers having sex in the alleys and parks
Unreliable electricity/water/internet connection
It is dirty here (grey water running down gutters, dirty diapers tossed in the streets, trash everywhere)
The air is not clean which is why asthma is a huge problem--even the Ticos complain about this.

Emergency medical care is scary--I have not seen this as a race/nationality problem, but more of a class problem with the poor Ticos getting very little care. Fortunately, I have not needed medical care here, but I have seen things that honestly make me cry (like the Tico I was holding hands with and talking to after he fell out of a moving truck being buried the next day because no one supported his neck/head when they tossed him in the ambulance. He was ok, seriously hurt,but ok. Father of three little kids).

The reasons I am moving really have nothing to do with these negatives, except for the last three. I am moving because I am from the north and I miss the cold, the snow, and clean mountain air and the smell of pine trees. My husband and I want to have kids, I don't want to have them where the medical care is scary (my family has a history of problem pregnancies and early babies) and the air is not clean. I miss celebrating non catholic holidays. I am not catholic. I miss Halloween, Christmas my way, dyeing Easter eggs, etc. I appreciate the culture here, but it is not MY culture....and I miss my culture. These things are nothing negative on Costa Rica, it is me. I understand and accept this.

I am not trying to discourage people from coming here. I know gringos who love it and never want to live anywhere else and I know people who can't wait to leave. That is the same anywhere you go. It is just important for people to realize that this is not paradise for everyone. It may be paradise for them and it may not.

Oh and the appliances where new, but they WERE factory seconds. I don't think the store knew that and it is not their fault. It is the fault of the US and European companies who send their crap products down here to get rid of them. The repair guy who came out to fix the washer and dryer explained all of this to us and said he runs into it a lot. He was very efficient, nice, and cheap. We bought a Tico brand fridge, it has lasted fine....but it is small compared to what we like and we have not been able to find a bigger one.

MaxtMill--sorry I stole your thread here for a minute. Everyone else, sorry this was so long, I hope it explains things a bit more clearly.

maxtmill
4/13/2012 17:15 EST

Dear elfinlady29, I APPRECIATE your honest assessment of Costa Rica! I, too, cannot tolerate high heat, & will seek out a cooler altitude to live. Where exactly did you live? I agree that everyone has to evaluate CR for themselves, & I am hoping & praying that we will love it & stay! we are "easy keepers", with somewhat simple needs compared to most folks from the US. I am learning so much from everyone's viewpoints. Thanks to all!

Lelia
4/21/2012 15:59 EST

I am pleased to get information from people who have actually done what the rest of us are exploring. I think one of the reasons some posts may seem negative is that some responders make statements and don't explain what they mean, or they generalize. For example elfinlady29 said, "A lot of stuff was also broken from being thrown (literally) back in the box without its protective paper. If someone had warned me that it happens, I would have packed differently."

So I have an idea: It would be very helpful to those of us still planning a move to know HOW to pack that could prevent some of the problems you had. I don't know what you mean by "I would have packed differently." Do you mean we need to put our goods in locked containers inside a locked shipping container? Is there a way to prevent the shipping container from being opened unless we are present? How else can we prevent theft at customs or while in transit from the port to our new homes? I would appreciate some detailed directions to avoid the heartbreak of losing things I love. I'm sorry for your own losses.

Could you do that for us who are still struggling to learn? When you write something, think, "Will they know EXACTLY what I mean or should I explain in detail? How can I advise others in a way that will help them avoid the same pitfalls?"

Thanks to all of you who give so freely of your time to help us who dream of joining you in CR. We know you'd rather be out enjoying the beauty you tell us about, so I really appreciate your assistance.

maxtmill
4/21/2012 16:54 EST

Hello Lelia! I also appreciate the good advice here! I am modifying my packing list each day, it seems. We are planning to take less & less. But I agree that if others have any very specific advice about how to pack or whatever, it is so helpful if you share the details with us. I have already started a "hope chest" of sorts for our move to CR in about 3 1/2 years - high end towels, bed sheets, pots & pans, select small kitchen appliances, my husband's woodworking tools, etc. - all the things I have read that are either poor quality or vey expensive/not available in CR. Haha-I even have most of the light-weight clothing I will need! I also have high quality walking poles, some binoculars, etc. We plan to bring our bicycles when we make the permanent move. For the year we visit, we will probably just buy some used bikes. One huge question I have had is WHAT TYPE OF FURNITURE DO PEOP:LE HAVE? They say leather rots, fabric gets wet & moldy - several people have told me to buy really good recliners here in the states, & have them upholstered in 100% polyester microfiber cloth. One couple said they brought their mattress, which mildewed. What do folks do about mattresses? So many questions!

maxtmill
4/21/2012 17:13 EST

I forgot to mention 2 more things that many people have advised me to take - a small powerful fan, & a room size dehumidifier, believe it or not. Most places are not air conditioned, & just a simple fan & room size dehumidifier can make a tremendous difference in comfort level. I have found many excellent examples of smaller size ones that could be packed. Sounded crazy to me at first, but it makes sense!

sherylbow
4/26/2012 02:02 EST

My husband wants to only bring what we can on the plane when we move
Is that wise? We plan to rent until we decide where we feel most comfortable in CR

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Our Living in Costa Rica Guide is a primer on everything about living in Costa Rica: best places to live, cost of living, pros and cons, healthcare and insurance, and more. (more)

Moving to Costa RicaMoving to Costa Rica Guide

Moving to Costa Rica has become more popular among expats. Making this choice requires a lot of research to ensure the expat experience you hope for will be realized. (more)

Best Places to Live in Costa Rica Best Places to Live in Costa Rica

Costa Rica has a lot to offer expats with its tropical climate, eco-friendly culture, beautiful beaches, welcoming people, good healthcare system and relative safety. (more)

Healthcare in Costa RicaHealthcare in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is has both public and private healthcare systems. When you become a resident, you must enroll in the public healthcare system (CAJA). Many expats use the public system for routine healthcare and have private expat health insurance for specialists, surgeries and emergencies. (more)

Real Estate Costa RicaReal Estate in Costa Rica

Real estate listings in popular cities and towns in Costa Rica.

Cost of Living in Costa RicaCost of Living in Costa Rica

If you're moving to Costa Rica, you'll want to understand the cost of living in Costa Rica. Lifestyle, location and health insurance are part of the formula. (more)

Pros Cons of Living in Costa RicaPros & Cons of Living in Costa Rica

Take off your rose-colored glasses and learn what expats have to say about the biggest challenges and the greatest rewards of living in Costa Rica.

Visa and Residency Costa RicaCosta Rica Visa & Residency Guide

Applying for residency in Costa Rica can be a daunting process. Which type of residency is right for me? Do I need an attorney? Do I have to leave the country every 90 days? What is a cedula? This article answers these and many other questions. (more)

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