Go or come to the DR. This post will tell you how to get here and what you may need to bring with you.
What to Bring with You:
You don’t really need more than clothes on your back to come in. You can find clothes here. I don’t recommend it. Bathing suits are extremely expensive maybe because they think that only foreigners buy bathing suits. Clothes are really expensive at the mall (plaza – I think they are designer clothes only in the malls) and the cheapest clothes come in pacas (second-hand clothes packed real tightly) but it may take you a second or two to find it. Another thing that I would recommend bringing is a light jack for the winter nights they are breezy and I have been cold. Most people here don’t own big closets full of clothes (when you do laundry you may find out why) plus you really don’t want to bring everything. The last thing I really recommend is a couple moisture wicking clothes – these are wonderful at keeping you cool and keeping the moisture away. You can find these in any athletic section especially men’s section (even at Wal-Mart). You can find basic T-shirts and underwear that is moisture wicking and a lot of golf polo shirts are also moisture wicking. Didn’t know that, did you?
One thing that I don’t recommend bringing any winter items and more than one or two pairs of jeans. The US jeans are usually thick and almost intolerable here (my opinion and at least during the day). The majority of ‘jeans’ here are of almost a thin cloth. Read my post on Dominican dress.
So what do you really need for work or home? How will you spend your days in the house? At work? Take in mind it’s sunny and hot during the day every day of the year. Think light colors. Bye Bye NY black wardrobe. White is the new black. Not all public transportation has AC and sometimes electricity may go so, you gotta be able to roll.
So bring shorts (if you wear them), work clothes (if you work in an office it may be cold because they have the AC on but remember you may lose electricity and you still continue like nothing has changed. I think it better to have a light jacket. Remember it’s okay to dress casually anywhere in the DR. Read my work article.) underwear, t-shirts (light fabric), socks, and anything else you think you may need. There are plenty clothes here to buy and I wish someone would let me take a photo of their closet to help you feel better. I know a family of 4 with clothes that fit just a closet (not walk in) and a dresser (not filled).
Sandals are used everywhere including flip flops. They are easy to find all year round at decent prices but they may not last you as much as sandals you bring from the states.
Work shoes and a pair of sneakers – I really don’t need to say why.
FEMALES – I love heels and I see women a lot of women using them but they are accustomed to walking a long distance in them. Miles. Some of my heels were for sitting down so, I don’t recommend bringing them all or most of them. Another thing to consider it is not only will you wear them faster by walking, you may be walking in things you don’t want to walk on with your pretty or expensive heels. Anyway, there are a million sexy heels here. I think the DR may just be heel heaven. So think about it. Another female note: if you need to have a designer purse bring just one.
For the House
Bring blackout curtains (found some for less than $20 USD per panel in Wal-mart). These- are somewhat hard to find unless you go to IKEA here where you find really long blackout curtains. Blackout curtains not only block out sunlight but also a little bit of sound. It is a big city – if you forgot.
If you have OCD like me bring a small or expandable utensil organizer. Those are hard to find here especially if you prefer wood or metal ones.
I bought a Contigo thermos that is the best investment ever. It keeps drinks cold for 18 hours no matter what the weather is outside. It keeps ice for very long periods of time especially if I don’t add any other liquid in it. I usually have a separate water bottle in the car. They can be found even in Wal-mart.
If you are going to spend time outside buy some yellow light bulbs (don’t know why I couldn’t find them here) they don’t attract bugs like the white ones.
Big padlock or two especially if you have a couple to spare. You would want to secure your home. Most have bars at the doors that require locks. Although you can buy these in any hardware store (ferreteria most close at 5 pm) you don’t want to leave your bags or stuff as you go shopping without at least one of your own locks. Every Dominican knows this.
If you have room and already have it and don’t mind losing it or ever having it again I would recommend also – can opener, bottle opener (but can found in every colmado), utensils, & cutting knife (in checked bag of course).
Go read my post on what you will need on your first day. You may you want to bring some of that stuff too.
Don’t forget the other stuff we talked about in the Set post – working cell phone with or without service, ChatSim sim card, Magic Jack, home phone, & surge protector. While bringing bathing suits – don’t forget to buy sun protector/sunscreen. I just find it expensive here.