Here’s What You Should Bring if Moving to Panama

What you should bring if moving to PanamaYou will probably wonder what you should bring if moving to Panama, so I’ve compiled a list, although many of these items yould have to be able to afford to ship. Keep in mind this was a list compiled as of 2014.

I’ll probably add to this list, but here’s the start:

  1. I recommend bringing a cooler. If you are going to get a car in Panama, then get the ones you can plug into your cigarette lighter. They don’t have them here as far as I can see, & the regular coolers are very expensive here. I can get the electric cooler for the same price as the nonelectric one here.

    Continuing on with What you should bring if moving to Panama

  2. Patio sets. They have a poor selection here & they are very expensive.

    I don’t get why there aren’t more patio sets for cheap, but there isn’t & I rarely see a local Panamanian with one, not unless they are very well off.

  3. If you have a favorite bed, I’d bring it. I had a great Obus form bed, box spring, of course, head & foot board that cost $1,300. In Panama, it took me forever to find a place that has good mattresses & that ran me for JUST the mattress & the bed frame close to $700-800.They don’t have box springs here like back home, & so far I can’t find a good head/footboard because here they are either too expensive or too ugly in my opinion.Yes, you can find someone to make one for you, but that will take time to find the right person for the right price. If you already have a head/footboard you love & you are already shipping a lot of things here, then you don’t have to worry about that.
  4. I would have said bring the BBQ because they are expensive here, but if you need a converter, maybe don’t bring it. The gas situation is nuts here. I’ll blog about the problems with propane gas in Panama later on.

    The cheapest BBQ I’ve seen that isn’t tiny was around $400. Because most of the BBQ units in Panama are Weber, they run well over $1,000 up to $3,000-4,000 or thereabouts.

  5. Get rid of the books & get a Kindle if you don’t already have one. I brought some books with me only because I still had tons I hadn’t read & I needed them for work, but now that I have a Kindle, I wish I would have had it before.
  6. Clothes – I find the clothes here to be of cheap quality, but I haven’t gone searching for high-end items. I’m not looking for high end, I just want casual comfortable cotton & that’s VERY hard to find here, at least for me so far.
    Yes, you can shop at Multi Plaza in Panama City & go to high-end stores, but their prices are even more expensive than back home (I think). If you have the money & don’t care, go for it, otherwise, stock up on clothes.Also, the sizing here is TERRIBLE. While the odd person is overweight here, most aren’t.

    Unless you are a size 0-6, whatever you buy may be cut too small for you as they don’t know how to buy North American sizes & they ALL buy from China where the Chinese cut everything to fit their body type. I lost money buying underwear that ended up being too small.

    Alot of my clothes are now ruined because of the dryers here in laundry mats. The heat it soooo hot, they have ruined at least 4 shirts & 1-2 pairs of pants.

    A lot of locals do their laundry at laundry mats because they can’t afford a washer & dryer.

    I also heard from someone in Costa Rica that he has lost a lot of his clothes because of the sun (he walks a lot).

  7. If you have a favorite fridge & gas stove (almost all stoves here are gas) & you are bringing a container, I recommend you bring them. Yes, you can find appliances here if you are in Panama City, but it will cost you more & supposedly they are all made in China & some are of cheaper quality.

Hope this list what you should bring if moving to Panama helps for now.



2 thoughts on “What you should bring if moving to Panama”

  1. I completely forgot to mention UPSs.

    You HAVE to have at least one UPS while living in Panama. If you can swing 2, even better.

    The electricity here is TERRIBLE!! Since moving to Arriajan, I’ve had electricity problems in every house I’ve lived in. Sometimes no electricity for hours (7-10 hours being the record so far).

    You also need voltage protectors for your fridge & other electronics because they have a habit of shutting down the electricity & then turning it right back on within a second. This damages electrical items.

    I’ve already lost:

    1. Cordless phones
    2. A shelf stereo
    3. A UPS

    I’m sure there’s something else, but I can’t remember right now.

    Also trying to get APC here is very very difficult. If you want to trekk all over Panama city looking be my guest. I tried to get APC to be my go between, but they failed. That’s how bad things are here in Panama or even in Central America, the US location even get them to give me information.

    I did get one response back for close to $300 & I laughed.

    I ended up going with Triplite from Price Smart.


  2. One thing I highly recommend since the IT industry here is terrible, is making sure you upgrade your computer before you move to Panama.

    If you’ve had your computer for years, change the motherboard, memory & hard drive if it’s almost full.

    You should have a computer technician test all the components to make sure they are working properly.

    Trust me, the LAST thing you want to do, is find yourself running around looking for parts here.

    My motherboard just crashed, so I now can’t work & I have to ship a motherboard from the US & then wait for it to arrive. I will be offline for a week, maybe longer & only have access to a laptop.

    For me that’s a HUGE stressor.

    Here in Panama, their parts can not only be old, but most of the time they have to bring the parts in from the US themselves & so it’s cheaper if you do it.

    And just so you know, I had to hire someone from the US to help me over the phone. He’s the one who told me which motherboard to purchase. The computer store here in Panama wanted me to replace EVERYTHING & stated I wouldn’t be able to replace JUST the motherboard. Had I listened to them, they would have cost me tons of money & stressed me out even more.

    I will post the name of this place if they at least do a good job getting the motherboard installed & the computer working properly. I’m still nervous they didn’t test the memory & video cards like I asked, but we’ll see what happens.



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