Packing for Your Move To Belize

When moving to a new country (particularly the tropics), you have some tough decisions.  I came to Belize two times in my first few months…both times with two large over- packed suitcases…both suitcases dangerously teetering on the 50lbs limit.  Everything else was sold at a garage sale.
But now that I look back, there are things that I should have packed over four years ago and there are definitely things that I could have left behind. 
Things to know up front:
  • Shopping over the past 4 years has become much better.  San Pedro (Caye Supplies in particular), Belize City, Chetumal Mexico, you can find lots when it comes to houseware and some clothing.  Beware though:  clothing is usually really small and made up very unnatural fibers. 
  • Things get incredibly moldy and rusty down here.  Clothes that you don’t wear for a few months get moldy.  Anything metal gets rusty.  Be ready for it.
  • Often when you are renting or even buying a place, the basics are included.  Don’t bring glasses or silverware or plates…you can find them here.
Things I Took that I am Glad to Have:
  • Crucial kitchenware.  Specialty stuff that you love….my favorite frying pan.  I am always glad I have it.  And my William Sonoma muddler.
  • Sheets.  Good cotton sheets and bedding.  It is hard to find here.  If you need a down pillow, you should bring it.
  • Books.  I love to read…maybe 2 books a week.  They are expensive down here.  If you love certain books or authors, bring them.
  • Belts.  You can’t find them here.  Not sure why.
  • Pictures/artwork.  I’ve purchased a bunch of things down here…but it nice to make your new home homey.
  • Your camera/computer/any electronic equipment.  Smuggle in a DVD player and a small flat screen.  You are saving yourself TONS of money.
  • Your pets.  Duh.
  • Your cell phone.  You can easily get it unlocked and buy a Belize chip.  Phones are wicked expensive down here.
  • Things you just love.  LOVE.  Your favorite body wash.  The lotion that you love.  Little collectibles.  You’ll be glad that you have them.
  • Turbo sized Advil or similar pain killer.  1000 tablets minium.  Basic cold meds, Pepto.  If you are used to having it when you need it, bring it.  You don’t want to be sick shopping at 10 different stores  around town.
Things I brought that I didn’t need to:
  • Too many clothes.  You don’t need them down here. If you bring something that you never wear at home, it will just turn to mold.  Plus, they are easy to send down with friends that visit.  Use your suitcase for bigger items.  I way over packed.
  • Smaller electronics:  Alarm clock for example.  Totally not needed…you can buy it here.
  • A scale.  I like to weigh myself most of the time.  You can buy these down here.  Takes up too much room.
Things I Wish I had everyday:
  • Crystal Lite iced tea on a regular basis
  • Whole Foods
  • Good New York Bagels.  (Bagels & Cream Cheese are my Deserted Island Food, from Murray’s in NYC with Lox or Maple Walnut CC.  I’m guessing on a real deserted island you are probably eating coconuts and lizards…oh well.)
  • That’s it!  Everything else I love.

Hopefully that’s helpful.  As always, email me at:  Sanpedroscoop@hotmail.com if you have any suggestions, additions or questions.

Here are some morning pics….more pictures coming later in case you are sick of cloud pictures.



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  • We have really enjoyed getting to know San Pedro through your writing. This is a great post as we are getting ready to move there in November. I have a couple of questions. We have Verizon Phones here and I am assuming we would have to bring GSM phones to use there. I can probably pick up a used phone on Ebay,If so what does it cost to get them unlocked. I have a Telcel (Mexico)phone that we use when we travel to mexico, do you think I can get a SIM card for that? we are planning to buy bikes as soon as we get there. how comfortable are the seats? If they are not will bike seats from here fit the bikes you get there?

    Thanks
    Surendra and Carolyn

  • Me

    I’m pretty sure any phone can be unlocked and used here. Used phones on Ebay are a great idea. Unlocking is cheap and then the SIM card is about $50bzd. I have 3 phones down here…to lend, to use…they are cheapies and always come in handy. The bikes here are low-budget. I am not a bike rider (but will soon be!) and there is nothing comfortable about the bikes you buy at the hardware stores here.