This is a personal decision – and one which may deserve deeper thought than is at first obvious. Certainly everyone has some items with which they “cannot live without” and bringing them is a given. But the selection of what other items are to be shipped, and what are not, deserves a practical, unemotional examination of what those items are. Some important considerations are:
1) Costa Rica is a semi-tropical country. How will your furniture and other household items stand up to the heat, humidity, and potential insects? Mold and fungus can also be a problem.
2) If your list of “can’t live withouts” includes family heirlooms, what will happen to them? If you are unavailable, will there be someone who can pack and ship them home to family member if the time comes?
3) “Priceless” antiques also need a second thought. North American and European antiques are not widely prized (or affordable) by Ticos in general. How will those items ultimately be disposed of, if necessary; will they be sold, shipped – or thrown in the trash?
4) Most common household items are easily replaced here. Is the expense of packing, shipping, and importing the ones you already have worth it? Does starting a new life mean you should bring all the things from your old life with you?
5) Typical housing in Costa Rica is generally much smaller than the size home to which North Americans are accustomed. Will there be enough room in your new home for everything you might bring?
If you decide to bring some or all of your household goods with you, there are numerous international shipping companies who will pack and ship your household goods for you, no questions asked. The question to ask yourself first is, “Should I bring them?”
Information on shipping household goods can be found in FAQ #30.