Making the Move: 6 Items to Pack in Your Suitcase
“What should I pack in my suitcase?” is a question we often get asked by soon-to-be Nicaraguan expats. With some extra legwork and a willingness to pay premium prices you can almost always get what you need here.
And although it’s not at all like the super Walmart stores found in the US and Canada, there is also a Walmart that recently opened in Managua.
If you’re moving to Nicaragua, our guess is your chosen destination is probably not Managua.
In towns and cities like Granada, Leon, Matagalpa and San Juan del Sur small Ma and Pa shops, that specialize in one type of product or service, are the norm. It can be very difficult to find quality inexpensive household and personal items in these places.
So, if you’d like to avoid paying premium prices — and save yourself the time and extra expense of traveling to Managua when you first get here — we recommend adding the six items listed below to your packing list.
New and used English books are sometimes hard to come by, especially if you’re looking for newer releases. And when you do find them, they aren’t cheap. If you enjoy reading and don’t already have an e-reader you’ll probably want to invest in one. We love our Kindles!
QUALITY KITCHEN KNIFE
Sharpening stones are easy to find outside of Managua, but inexpensive good quality chef knives are not. With more time to enjoy cooking and a bounty of vine ripened fruits and vegetables available a good knife will be a welcomed companion.
With technology outdated by at least two years and items priced 30% to 100% higher than in Canada and the United States you’ll definitely want to bring your laptop, iPad and any other electronic devices you can’t live without. It’s also a good idea to make sure everything is working well. Repairs can usually be done in Managua, but don’t come cheap.
Although the selection is better than what it was when we first moved to Nicaragua the variety of spices available here is somewhat limited. For example oregano, garlic powder, crushed red pepper flakes and cinnamon can be found in almost every grocery store, however cardomom, allspice and sage cannot. If you have some not so common favorite spices you can’t live without you may want to stash them in your suitcase.
BEDSHEETS & PILLOWS
We’re people who appreciate nice linens. You can find them here but, like many other quality items, they are sold at a higher price than what you can buy them for in North America. Keep comfy and save yourself some cash by bringing a couple of sets of sheets with you. For added comfort you may want to bring your favorite pillow and a quilted mattress cover. Worried about space in your suitcase? Space saver bags like these ones work great!
Here in Nicaragua roosters, barking dogs and fire crackers are common sounds we hear all hours of the day and night. To avoid sleep disruption you may want to pick up a multi-pack of ear plugs. You’ll be happy to know, that just like those individuals living near an airport or a railway crossing, you too, will eventually desensitize to these sounds.
Have you recently made the move to Nicaragua? Is there an item not on our list that you wish you would’ve packed in your suitcase?
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