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What to Bring to Singapore from the US

People always ask Americans Living in Singapore, "I'm moving to Singapore. What should I bring from the US?" Truth is, you can find most everything in Singapore that you can get back home, just at a premium.

Cold Storage has a really wide selection of expat-friendly foods and you can always order from iHerb. Amazon ships to Singapore and you can even order Prime Shipping on many items. If it's something you really have to have that you can't ship directly here, you send stuff using a reshipper such as ComGateway. So don't panic that you'll move here and not be able to get something you really need. You might even discover a replacement for something you've always used an love it more!

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 Not to Bring

Let's start with what you don't need to bring from Singapore: appliances. The voltage in the United States of America (120 V) which is less than in Singapore (230 V). So if you do bring appliances, you'll need a voltage converter. Even then, it's much easier to just buy new appliances.

Do you plan to live without the air con on? If so, then you might want to leave your leather couches and scrapbooks at home.

Some important documents to consider carrying include:

  • Passports with at least six months’ validity and two blank pages. If your passport is nearing its renewal date, apply for a new one early to avoid needing to do so on arrival.

  • Visa or pass for entering Singapore. This is likely to be handled by your employer. If it is in process, bring all related documents or a letter from your employer proving your relocation appointment. If you don’t have them, you can enter Singapore on a tourist visa.

  • Employment contract

  • Home country identification card and/or driver’s license

  • Original (or certified true copies) academic certificates, transcripts and professional diplomas. (You will need these if you apply for a job.)

  • Marriage certificate, divorce and settlement documents Birth certificates or guardianship affidavits

  • Any other legal documents, such as wills and trusts, real estate contracts and lease agreements, car contracts

  • Financial documents, such as recent bank statements, investment, pension and insurance documents

  • Income and tax slips for the last three years

  • Medical and dental records, including vaccine records and prescriptions (some doctors will helpfully email you electronic copies)

  • Pet quarantine documents Moving/shipment documents Note: Ensure all official documents are translated into English to avoid any difficulties on arrival. This includes any diplomas that are in Latin.

What to Bring

Sizes here are for tiny Asian frames so if you are wear larger sizes, bring clothes with you – especially bras.. And if you have big feet, buy your shoes at home!!

Below is a list of items people have suggested bringing.



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

Jones breakfast sausage patties


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!.

Medications & Toiletries



Children's Medicine (pain relievers and cold medicines)

Cortisone Cream

Crest toothpaste


Pepto BIsmol

Q tips (500 huge pack)

Sunscreen (pricey in Singapore)


Other Items

Always pantiliners

Baby cribs & strollers

Bicycles (they are very pricey in Singapore!)

Cards for birthdays and other occasions (very expensive in Singapore!)


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

Wrapping paper (very pricey in Singapore)

Tips for Buying

Many expats leave Singapore in May and June and then again in December. If they're repatriating, they'll be selling those appliances, furniture and even plants. So bring your basic necessities and then top up when you get here. But the way, lamps can easily be upgraded by changing the plug so if you have a favorite lamp, bring it.

Truth is, you can find amazing and unique items for your home in Asia. Bespoke furniture can be made at reasonable costs. If you open up your mind, you can create a special dream home that you won't find back in Kansas.

Closing Thoughts

I've now been here ten years. When I first moved, I'd come back from visits home with massive suitcases loaded with precious cargo. But every year I go, I bring back less and less stuff. I have let go to my emotional ties to things and found other items I just like as much if not more.

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.

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