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You're opening an inn in another country - what to put in your suitcase?

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CafeMae

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I'm flying down to visit my DH and see how construction is going for our inn ( Panama - focuses on ecotourism). We're planning on buying most items in country and not ship goods, but when I fly down for my upcoming visit, I'd like to be able to shuttle a couple of things with me that may be harder to purchase there or not of the same quality. What's your vote for what I should bring in my checked baggage in my next trip (tried to do a poll here, but guess I'm too wordy). For those with a critical mind, I'm OK bringing stuff in for customs, as long as the total value is under 2K.
A) Bring some stuff that will help with ecotourism that may be expensive to buy in country: Night vision binoculars; river innertubes
B) Buy some sheets that are the thread count you want.
C) Get one of those handy steamer things that people have been raving about
D) Take your Ukeleles that you don't know how to play. It will remind you of family and maybe guests will like that when the power goes out...
E) Your choice
 

seashanty

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Beautiful!
I vote for A and B and D mostly sheets,but just a few of item A ... I labeled my binoculars and things with plain old sticker labels and Never lost them to guests taking them home ... they shared quite nicely, I was so pleased.
plus a great DIGITAL CAMERA so you can take and post videos. My guests LOVED LOVED LOVED the goofy day to day videos I used to post. Oh, look, a great boat in the harbor ... took a one minute video and posted it ... hey! an impromptu banjo player on our porch ... video. I perfected the spectacular jumbo waffle ... video in the kitchen and into the dining room for guest reaction. Past guests were anxious to come back, potential guests became engaged and interested and asked me questions. With all that lush scenery, there will be a lot to showcase.
If you bring appliances, is the current/plugintothing different? Sorry that I don't know.
I bought a steamer and shamefully NEVER used it. Slacker that I am. I hate to iron, too.
Best of luck with this!
 

toddburme

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Not sure if you will run into thus but we can't get high quality dishware, silverware, cooking utinsels at a decent price in Brazil. Lack of demand is the commonly quoted reason. So I would highly recommend that your DH take a peak around and see if this is true also there. I know it seems crazy but we have furnished the kitchen with stuff from my suitcase over the years.
I think a Brazilian house always looks odd when it is furnished from the states but I do like a nice fork when I am eating.
 

Weaver

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Who will your guests be?
If American's take along the things they will miss the most, SHEETS!
Binoculars - I would think most guests coming to one of these types of places will have them.
If innertubes are hard to come by and or expensive that is the thing guests won't travel with, take those, they are great fun and hard to pack and something the average guest won't think about.
Some kitchen gadgets that you can't find down there, if you can get the converters for the electricity. Anything you can think of that makes your life simpler here that you won't be able to go to the store and buy easily there.
 

Madeleine

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I'd bring the ukeleles as that will be something different. You can always have friends and family who come to visit bring the sheets. You won't need the steamer in the rainforest.
I would have a list handy for anyone who plans to come to 'see you' and get a free vacation. 'Sure, we can fit you in on this weekend, we'll be happy to host you but, as this is our livelihood, you need to bring this item we cannot buy in country.'
Anyone who refuses wasn't really a good friend anyway.
 

CafeMae

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I'd bring the ukeleles as that will be something different. You can always have friends and family who come to visit bring the sheets. You won't need the steamer in the rainforest.
I would have a list handy for anyone who plans to come to 'see you' and get a free vacation. 'Sure, we can fit you in on this weekend, we'll be happy to host you but, as this is our livelihood, you need to bring this item we cannot buy in country.'
Anyone who refuses wasn't really a good friend anyway..
Ahh...the list is a handy thought- and I think you're right, most people would love to feel that they're helping me out.
 

CafeMae

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Who will your guests be?
If American's take along the things they will miss the most, SHEETS!
Binoculars - I would think most guests coming to one of these types of places will have them.
If innertubes are hard to come by and or expensive that is the thing guests won't travel with, take those, they are great fun and hard to pack and something the average guest won't think about.
Some kitchen gadgets that you can't find down there, if you can get the converters for the electricity. Anything you can think of that makes your life simpler here that you won't be able to go to the store and buy easily there..
Most tourists who visit the area currently are "outdoor" travelers that go to visit the waterfalls or go backpacking, there are a lot of people from the states and europe with fewer latin american travelers, and some from Japan too.
Kitchen gadgets....yeah, good thought, and no converter necessary
 

CafeMae

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Not sure if you will run into thus but we can't get high quality dishware, silverware, cooking utinsels at a decent price in Brazil. Lack of demand is the commonly quoted reason. So I would highly recommend that your DH take a peak around and see if this is true also there. I know it seems crazy but we have furnished the kitchen with stuff from my suitcase over the years.
I think a Brazilian house always looks odd when it is furnished from the states but I do like a nice fork when I am eating..
Hadn't even thought about dishware quality...
 

Weaver

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Not sure if you will run into thus but we can't get high quality dishware, silverware, cooking utinsels at a decent price in Brazil. Lack of demand is the commonly quoted reason. So I would highly recommend that your DH take a peak around and see if this is true also there. I know it seems crazy but we have furnished the kitchen with stuff from my suitcase over the years.
I think a Brazilian house always looks odd when it is furnished from the states but I do like a nice fork when I am eating..
Hadn't even thought about dishware quality...
.
CafeMae said:
Hadn't even thought about dishware quality...
Pick a pattern that is open stock and when friends and family come to visit they can bring a place setting or two.
Pick a fairly new release so it won't be phazed out too soon so your family will have plenty of chances to visit and bring you goodies. Also something that you can mix and match with local pottery to keep the rainforrest feel but still have a nice place setting that is easy to maintain.
 

CafeMae

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Beautiful!
I vote for A and B and D mostly sheets,but just a few of item A ... I labeled my binoculars and things with plain old sticker labels and Never lost them to guests taking them home ... they shared quite nicely, I was so pleased.
plus a great DIGITAL CAMERA so you can take and post videos. My guests LOVED LOVED LOVED the goofy day to day videos I used to post. Oh, look, a great boat in the harbor ... took a one minute video and posted it ... hey! an impromptu banjo player on our porch ... video. I perfected the spectacular jumbo waffle ... video in the kitchen and into the dining room for guest reaction. Past guests were anxious to come back, potential guests became engaged and interested and asked me questions. With all that lush scenery, there will be a lot to showcase.
If you bring appliances, is the current/plugintothing different? Sorry that I don't know.
I bought a steamer and shamefully NEVER used it. Slacker that I am. I hate to iron, too.
Best of luck with this!.
Thanks for the vote. And tips about the camera and labeling- things like labels on the binnoculars, simple, but really needed.
 

Arks

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You'll be fine. Right next door in Costa Rica they have 170 Walmarts (a good Arkansas company you may have heard of). Just make an occasional day trip to stock up. Lots of Americans have retired to Costa Rica, so the Walmarts there probably stock a lot of the things you're used to, just as the Walmarts here are stocking more and more wonderful things from Costa Rica now that more of them are now our neighbors here.
http://www.walmartstores.com/sites/annualreport/2010/worldwide_locations.aspx
 

Joey Camb

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sounds daft but before you buy a ton of sheets are the beds the same size? UK beds and US beds are not the same size so Id make sure the beds youve got will fit the sheets before you spend a ton of money on them!
 

Copperhead

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OK open already, I'm on my way!!!
I am sure you could get some stuff in trade! People always need room in their luggage for the stuff they bring back.
 

CafeMae

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You'll be fine. Right next door in Costa Rica they have 170 Walmarts (a good Arkansas company you may have heard of). Just make an occasional day trip to stock up. Lots of Americans have retired to Costa Rica, so the Walmarts there probably stock a lot of the things you're used to, just as the Walmarts here are stocking more and more wonderful things from Costa Rica now that more of them are now our neighbors here.
http://www.walmartstores.com/sites/annualreport/2010/worldwide_locations.aspx.
Very neat, though a bit far, definitely worth keeping my eyes on...
 

Generic

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Things that I might find difficult to get there in proper sizes, mini silicone molds, crepe pan, flavourings (I find that they can be difficult as some countries don't stock the same flavour extracts.)
 
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