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What Do You Cart Back from the States?

Headed to the States for the summer? What do you plan to bring back with you?

When I first moved here, I'd cart four giant empty suitcases to the States and stuff them full. The longer I live here, however, the less stuff I drag across the globe. I've gotten used to what's here and less dependent on my products from my youth. Still, Singapore is a foreign country and things are not the same as back home. So here is a list compiled with lots and lots of input from folks on Facebook.

What to Bring

Keep in mind that Amazon, Lazada and Shopee deliver almost everything here, but at a premium. I just ordered a baby gift that was going to cost me $62 to deliver here. It was free to ship to my relative in the States. Needless to say, I'll be carting that back with me!

Below is a list of items people have suggested to AAS to bring over the years.


As anybody who lives here knows, sizes here are for tiny Asian frames so if you are wear larger sizes, stock up on clothes – especially bras. And if you have big feet, buy your shoes at home!!

I usually bring lots of casual clothes, flats, dresses when I'm back home - but don't forget a few winter items, too. If you decide to go skiing in Japan, home at Christmas or to visit Australia in the winter, you'll need sweaters and jeans. These items are pricey and hard to find in Singapore.


Food is delicious in Singapore. Cold Storage and Little Farms has almost everything you want and they even bring in special items for holidays like Thanksgiving. Spices are much better here, too! But there are some things you just get can't here yet and some things are here, then they aren't here due to shipping issues, then they're back again.


Cornbread mix

Costco nuts

Diet Dr Pepper

Dried chilis such as ancho, chipotle et al

Everything but the Bagel seasoning

Everything you love from Trader Joe’s


Frosted Poptarts (they only have unfrosted in Singapore)

Gravy mix packets

Jolly Rancher candies

Jones breakfast sausage patties

Heinz 57

Kraft Mayonaise

Pumpkin spice

Ranch dressing (powdered)

Shelf stable coffee creamer


Here's a tip:

If you have a Yeti cooler, you can bring frozen food all the way to Singapore without it thawing! I love being able to wake up and have some Jmmy Dean sausage.

Medications & Toiletries

Singapore has many over-the-counter meds, but may not have your favorite. This is true for lots of things like tampons, deodorants and more.


Antibiotic cream


Children's Medicine (pain relievers and cold medicines)

Cortisone Cream

Crest toothpaste



Over-the-Counter meds if you have favorites


Pepto BIsmol

Q tips



Vitamins (pricey here!)

Other Items

All of these items are available in Singapore, but at a premium so it may be best to bring your own from home:

Baby swag

BBQ grills (tho note that some condos only allow electric)


Cards for birthdays and other occasions

Coleman or Yeti cooler (I checked mine as luggage)

Sheets to fit your mattress (mattress sizes are different here)

Wrapping paper

Closing Thoughts

For a more complete list, purchase Living in Singapore 16th Edition Reference Guide. This book is the bible for life in Singapore. Written by expats for expats, it covers everything from the move to shopping to hiring helpers to where to travel. And there are a lot of good suggestions in the book, too, for what you might want to schlep back to Singapore.

Did we leave something off the list you wish you'd known before? Email us at so we an update this list!

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