What to Bring/Buy When Moving to Brazil

By 21:31 , , ,

One of my lovely readers, Simone, is making her way back to Brazil this week, and will be coming to São Paulo! In giving her advice as to what she should be prepared for, I completely forgot about telling her what to buy until I asked her to bring me mascara (L'Oreal Double Extend - don't know how I survived before discovering it) :-)

So I decided to write a post on what I think are important things to bring when you're saying goodbye to the US for an extended period of time, listed per category! And please let me know if you have anything to add - if there are enough comments, I'll give you all credit (just don't forget to post links to your blogs in the comment) and write up a part 2!

1. Food - A Recipe for Feeding Industrialized Foods Cravings:

- 2 boxes of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese
- 1 box of pancakes + 1 tube of maple syrup
- Movie Candy (i.e., Raisinets, Swedish Fish, & Sour Patch Kids)
- 1 box of double fudge brownie mix - There are brownies here, but they're not the same...
- 1 jar of peanut butter (jelly won't be necessary)
- Dubl Stuff Oreos & Any package of Keebler cookies
- Willy Wonka brand candies (i.e. Nerds & Laffy Taffy)
- A bottle of jack and a 6 pack of Blue Moon
- Cranberry Juice

2. Toiletries & Beauty Supplies - The Epic "CVS Run"

- Makeup Favorites - especially if you can't find them at CVS and only at Nordstrom or Sephora. This includes any and all blush, mascara, cover-up, lipstick/gloss, & facial creams.
Your favorite brands are bound to be super expensive here in Brazil, and until you figure
out which Brazilian brands you like, you'll have spent tons of $$ on the stuff you're used to if you don't bring it.
- That expensive perfume you like - Diesel, Armani, Ralph Lauren, Chanel, etc. Bring one for yourself and one for you to sell on MercadoLivre!
- Toothbrushes & Dental floss - This might be not because we never paid for dental floss in my house in the US since one of my mom's clients is a dentist, but I paid R$5 for a box the other day!
- Sunblock - but get the strong stuff because the sun here is stronger - no matter where you go.

3. Electronics - Bring as much as you can without looking like a peddler.

- Anything made by Apple - it's just not worth buying here...
- An unblocked cell phone - but first research plans here - some give you deep discounts on phones. And if you're going to bring a phone, make it a smart phone, will ya? - data plans are becoming more and more accessible (as expensive as they'll seem when you get here).
- A Laptop & Laptop Case. The laptop's a given, but I'm serious about the case. The one I paid US$20 2 years ago is R$150 here. You might want to bring a couple of those to sell too.
- If you can, ship Television sets, phones & kitchen stuff here. If money's not that much of an issue for you, don't stress it.
- Real fancy cameras & overall photo equipment.

4. Clothing & Accessories - Raid the Sales Racks

- Jeans! - I still have my parents send me Express jeans. It's tough finding a favorite brand of jeans, and if you're as "lucky," as me, they'll run you R$200 in Brazil.
- Sneakers & Athletic Gear - Get your Nike sneakers, Adidas sportswear, and North Face all in the US (and yes, if you come to São Paulo or any further south, you'll need that North Face) because the quality to price ratio here doesn't cut it!
- Stuff on Sale!! - Hit up the Forever 21, Express, H&M, Gap, Marshalls, & Outlet sales to stock up on good cheap clothes. The regular priced stuff just isn't worth your time, energy, or money. Brazil has lots of cute clothes that are fairly priced if you look for them, so if you bring clothing, make sure you paid dirt cheap for it. This counts for shoes & jewelry too.
- Kids' Clothing - If you have children, buy their clothing in the US - for some reason, baby clothes/toys, etc. is super expensive here.

5. Randoms

- Musical Instruments & Equipment
- Home decorations - Placemats, Curtains, photo frames, small vases
- Batteries (Duracell's a frickin fortune here!)
- Notebooks & folders (I saw a Staples notebook "on sale" for R$3!!! What do they cost, like, 10 cents?)
- DVDs & CDs - You know the $5 DVDs at Blockbuster & the bins at WalMart? Those...
So I know that sounds like... everything? But you'll thank me in the end :-) And if you per chance forget to bring some of this stuff, don't stress it, you'll find great substitutes (fresh fruit juice & deep fried goodness instead of cookies & mac & cheese), or find deep discounts randomly (TVs are apparently dropping 50% after the World Cup - only in Brazil...). So buy as much as you can from the list above, but don't decide to not move here if you can't, haha.

Hope this checklist helps and DO let me know if you have any input!


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