When moving to a new place, always remember to carry all your important papers personally with you, including medical records, passports, license, your resume (CV) and photographs for applications. Also, if you expect to mail gifts home, bring a supply of padded envelopes.
Imported items can cost more in the Dominican Republic, so if you already have the essentials for setting up a home, bring them with you.
If you are limited by space or cost, bring only what you feel is most important to your lifestyle. Keep in mind that although it may cost a little more, you can buy, have made, or have sent, almost anything you need.
The electric current in the Dominican Republic is the same as in the United States, 110-120 volts. Though you should bring surge protectors or a UPS (uninterrupted power supply) unit to protect your electronic equipment from sudden changes in the power supply. If you’re coming from Europe you will need converters to be able to use your electrical equipment here.
Unless you have a tax exemption, or your employer is paying for the customs charges, seriously consider buying your home appliances here.
Keep in mind that the guarantee on items purchased abroad will probably not be honored by a local distributor. Also, consider a gas range to an electrical one, so that you can use it during power outages. And avoid state-of-the-art electronic devices that may be difficult to repair here. Electrical tools can be important, so bring them, especially if they are rechargeable, since they are expensive in the DR.
Air-conditioners will make you more comfortable, and will protect your clothes, furniture, and books from mildew or other damage. This appliance can be expensive here so if possible, have yours sent. Standing or ceiling fans keep the air circulating, and they might be an economic alternative to air conditioners. A dehumidifier may also be helpful, particularly for people with sinus trouble.
Food is an important variable when moving, but don’t expect to bring much with you. City supermarkets stock a large variety of imports, and these days almost everything can be found in the Dominican Republic. Even gourmet and ethnic foods are becoming readily available.
It is a good idea to stock up on any medicines or pharmaceutical supplies that you use regularly, since they may not be available here. At a later point you may consult with a local physician, and you may find a locally-sold substitute. If you are traveling with pets, bring a supply of any medications they take regularly, until you find a local vet.
An automobile is an important thing to consider when moving, but they can be troublesome and expensive to import. Only consider bringing your automobile if you have exoneration through your employer, or are on a diplomatic mission. Also, only considering bringing your automobile if your car has been in your possession for at least three years, and you have already obtained your residency papers. If not, the hassle at customs, and the high taxes you pay do not make any savings you get worth it.
If you do bring a vehicle, the best choice is an SUV/Pick up that rides high above the ground. Streets flood during heavy rains, and there are often large holes and bumps that can do serious damage to a small car. Four wheel drive will also give you access to hard to reach areas in the countryside. Also, these vehicles have a high resale value.
If you do not have exoneration, or cannot afford to buy a new car, consider buying your car here, it is a buyer’s market for used cars.
Clothes are also very important. The clothes you bring should be lightweight and made of natural fabrics that breathe. Don’t forget your jeans, a quality pair of sandals, and a hat. However, you should also pack light jackets, light sweaters, and a strong umbrella, just in case. You will also need a light blanket/comforter during the winter months. The Dominican Republic, in particular Santo Domingo and Santiago has a very good nightlife so bring dressy clothes for going out.
Don’t bother bringing any athletic gear, unless it’s really important to you. Tennis shoes or basketball shoes are readily available, and all sporting materials can be found at sporting goods stores.
If you are moving here with children bring some of the things that will make the move for them easier, other than that you’ll be able to find things for them here.
It is impossible to anticipate all your needs when moving to a new country. What you bring or leave behind depends on your current lifestyle, and on whether you’re planning to continue that lifestyle here.