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What newcomers need to bring to lakeside


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We are in the beginning process of selling off, donating and packing. What things would be most reasonable to ship rather than to buy at lakeside. I am told to bring electronics, but then I read not to bring a coffee pot as they are dirt cheap. I did not plan to bring dishes, as I thought those would be readily available from local craftspeople. Then I someone suggested to bring dishes. I plan to bring special things and my cookware, as I am particular about my cookware. I have a small induction cooking plate (in fact two) should those be sold or at least one shipped. We are two women, so I don't think we will try to load a car and drive down. We have a Mexican national here who says he will drive our car down later. What advice can you give? Tools?

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You will get as many answers to this question as people who answer. I'm one of those that got rid of EVERYTHING and we came down in our sedan with two dogs in crates in the back seat. Some things that are more difficult to get or pricier here than NOB? Decent linens, good cookware, electronics most especially computers. We did fine with what we brought, and every time I go back NOB for a visit I buy stuff and bring it down in my suitcase. If you are renting, many rentals are fully furnished including dinnerware, towels, microwaves, blenders, etc.

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A Mexican National CANNOT temporarily import your car, nor can he drive it in Mexico without you in the car. The rules are very specific and strict. Be careful. There are fees and import deposits involved, along with Mexican insurance. You, an only you, can temporarily import your car, so why not drive down?

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Tools, you can never go wrong particularly if you are handy and like to do stuff yourself. Cookwear - definitely. If you have nice quality linens bring them. Stovetops and ovens are propane and electricity can be expensive so you will have to decide if you can live with/without the induction plate. We brought UPS' to plug our computers and electronics into as power levels fluctuate and didn't want anything to get hit with surges.

Search the lakeside webboards and you will find threads of people who asked the same question.

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BRING YOUR MEDICAL RECORDS.

From a medical point of view, it makes continuity of care so much easier and I am able to upload

their records to their chart and give them back to my patients. So, if they ever move or see another

healthcare provider, those records can follow them and I keep an electronic copy.

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Drive down and bring what fits in car. This is a country of 120 million people and I can assure you we can find the items we need and all levels of quality and at comparable prices esp with today's exchange rates and waiting for sales.

As RV noted, MX national can not drive your car alone. And, some past posts will indicate the problem with shipping boxes and clearing Customs.

Welcome to Mexico

Sonia

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With the voltage fluctuation here, don't bring a TV--buy it here since it will be able to handle the voltage. Good linens and kitchen ware and pyrex. Don't need to bring glasses or dinnerware as they are readily available here. If you like electrical blankets, then bring one as they are difficult to find here. Bring only spring/summer clothing and very little cold weather wear unless you are cold-blooded. But you can buy cold weather stuff here since it seems that Mexicans and those of use who are acclimated get cold at 70 degrees and need a sweatshirt.

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I brought 3 armchairs; most upholstered furniture here is low and soft and hard to get in and out of, once you are a certain age! I wish I had brought heavy cut crystal glasses for my Jack Daniels--glasses here tend to be flimsy; the heavier stuff is available but quite expensive. I brought all my kitchenware and small appliances--if they sell electric can openers here, I have yet to find one. That being said, lots of good stuff can be acquired thru estate sales here, it just takes a while to build up your collection.

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Did it catch your attention that so many people mentioned linens? Towels, sheets, cottons in general, are very poor quality here. If you aren't a collector already, I'd suggest investing in very good sheets and perhaps a set of towels. They'll should last a long time. If you're starting a nice collection, white towels are easy to wash and bleach.

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We found really nice dishes in Tonala. I would not see a need to bring dishes down. And the set we bought included serving plates, coffee pot, etc., no lead, microwave, oven, and dishwasher safe, for a very reasonable price. Otherwise, I agree with the others. Something that I'm planning to buy on our trip up to see the kids this month? Mattress covers and pillow covers. While you can find them here, finding king size is difficult and much more expensive than NOB. Kitchen appliances that you cannot live without that are unusual, you should bring them. For me it was my bread machine. But most of your average kitchen appliances are readily available down here.

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Bring personal electronics: a laptop, an iPad or other tablet, an e-Reader. They are available here, but much pricier, and you are allowed one of each with no problem.

Something no one else has mentioned: old fashioned telephones. If you plan to have a landline, you will need a phone. We are rather old fashioned and wanted a corded, regular telephone with handset. Hard to find, and when found, they are unattractive and take up a lot of unecessary space. I dont need numbers that are 3 inches tall ( not yet, anyway) and I don't want a phone in the shape of a football, either. Finally found a plain, black ATT phone at Best Buy, I think and bought 3. Just my 2pesos worth of advice.

Bed linens, yes. Bring them. Many items of good quality can be found at CostCo and at sales in the GDL malls, but safest bet if you can is bring them ones down that YOU like.

Also bedspreads, comfortor sets, shams, etc. Again, they can be found, but are $$$. Pillows are easy to find here.

We moved from Asia, and one thing that was quite helpful to me was vacuum bags. You can put a LOT into those bags, vacumn out the air and then the space that the items take up is less than 1/3 of what they did before. It was a tip given to me and I pass it along.

Dishes and glasses are readily available, and WalMart has a surprising selection if you don't need fine china or crystal.

Bring your sewing machine if you have one.

Bring quality cookware if you have it.

Small appliances are easy to find here - I have an outstanding countertop oven I bought at WalMart and a slow cooker from CostCo. We did bring our Vita Mix. Too $$$ to leave behind !

Curtain rings are another thing almost impossible to find and when found, are very $$$. They aren't cheap in the US.

However, that being said, it is only useful to bring them if you know the size of the rods you have.

I am particularly fond of the ones from Bed, Bath and Beyond that have the little gripper clips so you can hang anything from tabbed cafe curtains to rod pocket curtains or even long pinch pleated drapes with the same rings. Makes life much easier.

High quality bath rugs are hard to find here, as well. You can buy cheap ones at Wal Mart, but they do not hold up well.

Good luck with your packing.

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In 2007, my wife and I loaded up our Toyota Corrola with what we could and headed down. We previously sold/gave away/threw out most of our stuff from 27 years of marriage. We did keep a storage locker in Oregon with enough basic stuff to outfit a 2 bedroom apartment, should we change our minds. We have never even visited the locker since we arrived 8 years ago. The things we did bring were our computer gear, clothing, and a couple of boxes of our favorite books. We did bring a tool box with basic stuff, all of which turned out to be easily available here. My wife had made a number of beautiful, warm quilts over the years. We used them to pack around our computer gear to protect it from jolting during the trip. The quilts turned out to be just the thing for those chilly winter evenings that we did not really expect. We didn't bring some of the other stuff that people have already mentioned but those are good ideas too.

As far as I can tell, no one has mentioned clothing or shoes. Much of the clothing sold here is not of good quality and many times is not color-fast. You will not need a wide selection of clothing. Things are pretty relaxed. Generally shorts and t-shirts will do nearly all the time and nearly everywhere. However, you do want them to fit well and not wear out quickly or bleed onto your other clothes in the wash. I have found pants with cargo pockets and zip-off lower legs to be very useful here. The zip-off lower legs mean that I can be comfortable when I go out on a cool morning and can zip off the legs when it warms up in the afternoon. The pockets are great because we walk nearly everywhere and we can carry lots of stuff in them. You can even carry the zip-off legs in your cargo pockets! You can find this sort of clothing in any good hiking/camping store.

Another must is good footwear, particularly if you or your spouse need a large size. Anything from size 10 and above for a man is large and can get increasingly difficult to find as the size increases. Ditto for the larger women's sizes. You are likely to do a lot of walking here, since it is great for the health and there is so much more to see when you are on foot. However, the cobblestone streets and sidewalks in poor repair mean that you need very good walking shoes or hiking boots, preferably with lug soles. Good quality footwear of this kind is difficult to find in Mexico, so stock up while you can easily find them in north-of-the-border hiking stores. While they can be more expensive than sneakers or other kinds of shoes, they should last for several years and you will never regret the extra support and traction you get with them on our streets and sidewalks.

I would suggest to minimize of winter clothing. You will very rarely need more than a sweater or light jacket, so one warm coat should be sufficient. I have lived here 8 years and have only worn my warm jacket once, and that was when I climbed the 14000 ft Colima Volcano. You might also want to minimize "dress" clothing. You will have few opportunities to wear it. A couple of nice outfits would be nice, and should last a long time since you will rarely wear them. I have never had occasion to wear a sport coat or necktie during my time here.

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"Bring personal electronics: a laptop, an iPad or other tablet, an e-Reader. They are available here, but much pricier, and you are allowed one of each with no problem."

I would recommend that you do an online price comparison for tablets - particularly iPads. There is not as much difference between prices here and NOB as you might think. Mexican sites to check for iPads are Telmex and Best Buy Mexico, as well as Apple Mexico. I just checked Best Buy US and their price on an iPad Air 2 16GB is $499.99. Best Buy Mexico is 8,299 Pesos (about US$494). Generally speaking (there are some exceptions), Apple keeps its prices consistent across various markets. But if you want to get a new laptop, definitely buy it before you come here as it is difficult to get a new laptop with an English keyboard.

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What to bring? Come here with an open mind, a sense of adventure, and a sense of humour. For me, a great deal of the adventure was/is discovering how other people, who basically have the same life problems as me, live. Mexicans are wonderfully inventive, and have many ingenious and refreshing simple solutions to problems. If you must pretend you are still in Canada, you will never quite fit in (if that is important to you). If you really must indulge in imported goods, Guadalajara is a huge and cultured city, and like other large cities of the world, what you are looking for is there, if you really look.

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We brought an electric mattress pad. It is a sufficient heat source to get you through the winter without a furnace. I have not seen them available here. Bed linens are rough here. So bring your sheets. Everything else you can find here.

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I have looked at Home Depot 2x and there were none to be had.

Also, I finally did see them at the drapery store by Farmacia Guadalajara. The selection of sizes was good, but the selection of styles was more limited. Not a bad thing, just a "what it is."

Did not find the $$ less than NOB, but you may well be right.

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Also keep in mind that you don't need to bring everything. You can now buy things off Amazon US and have it shipped here with no need to pay customs or duties. So far, I've bought a really nice router that I couldn't find anywhere in Guad, a standing tower fan with remote, and high-end linens, also some computer parts and electronics, all off Amazon US.

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