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What to pack for America and what to buy there

(15 Posts)
SoYo Sat 29-Jun-19 20:41:02

Going to California (SF to LA) in a couple of weeks. Does anyone have any tips of things to take with vs things to buy there? Thinking generally suncream, toiletries, anything we might need for the driving but my brain isn't engaged enough to think of etc. Need to get some new sandals for the little one and caps and sunglasses but thought buying those there was probably a safe bet. Anyone have any key tips?

Villanellesproudmum Sat 29-Jun-19 20:46:52

Just make sure you have lots of water for drinking. Can’t think of anything specific I’ve taken on this trip over other holidays.

keiratwiceknightly Sat 29-Jun-19 20:50:09

Get a cheap sat nav when you get there. Same with car seat - can have them delivered to your hotel by amazon.

Converse WAY cheaper out there

SoYo Sat 29-Jun-19 20:56:55

Ooh thanks. Love some converse! Great tip for car seat too.

dreichuplands Sat 29-Jun-19 21:03:12

Make sure your phone can roam, you can buy a sim over here if you have certain networks then you can just use google maps to navigate.

ChippyMinton Sat 29-Jun-19 21:11:22

Three Feel At Home is a good SIM - check out Money Saving Expert.

The exchange rate is poor, you will find prices for sunscreen don’t compare favourably with here.

I would take everything just to avoid the faff of shopping for basics on arrival.

dreichuplands Sat 29-Jun-19 22:09:15

Yes exchange rate for Brits is poor and medication etc can be pricey anyway. I try and stock in in boots for the year when back in the UK for stuff like suncream.

babysharkah Sat 29-Jun-19 22:25:36

I go to the US a lot, tbh there's not a lot worth buying, similar prices to here.

chemenger Sun 30-Jun-19 14:18:32

I would bring toiletries, they are usually more expensive in the US, unless you want to track down a discount store. You’ll get a much better deal on Boots or Sainsbury’s own brands in the UK than anything here.

ryanreynolds Sun 30-Jun-19 14:20:51

Slightly off topic but you can download offline google maps so you don't need to to buy/rent sat nav when you're out there...makes road trips so easy!

BritWifeinUSA Sun 30-Jun-19 14:42:12

Pretty much everything here is more expensive than the UK and California us the list expensive state of all. I wouldn’t wait until you get here to buy things for the sun, you will need them as soon as you land and you don’t want to go straight from long flight to shopping trip looking for sun cream, hats and glasses. I’d also say you should buy it in the UK so that you know it’s a brand you trust and suits your skin type if you have allergies/sensitivities.

Don’t call them “Converse” here, we call them Chuck Taylors but I don’t think they are that much cheaper unless somewhere is having a sale. If you are buying something expensive note that the sales tax varies by zip code in California from 6.5% in parts of LA to over 10% in other places.

SoYo Sun 30-Jun-19 18:12:52

Thanks for the advice everyone!

BubblesBuddy Sun 30-Jun-19 21:48:02

Do you honestly want to go shopping the minute you arrive for your child? Go prepared. It really is easier. Nothing is very cheap there any more but you might enjoy the sales but you would be missing out on other things to do with your time.

MrsWilkinsonAthome Tue 09-Jul-19 21:41:36

You can buy a us SIM card from an AT&T store for around $50 for one month only. Gives you unlimited internet and US Calls.

Have done it several times.

Buy your bug spray there as you need to make sure it protects you from local diseases and please use it. The bugs can carry some very nasty illnesses.

Satsuma1234 Sat 13-Jul-19 17:57:51

We used SIM cards from 3. Set it up before you go. The £20 one lasted us the three weeks we were in the states. Calls, text and data.

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