Clothing will probably occupy the most space in your luggage, and it can be tricky with a country like Argentina, which ranges from tropical up north to arctic in the south, with a bit of everything in-between. Pack for the activities you’ll be doing here, but unless money isn’t an issue, you really do want to make sure you bring everything that you’ll be needing:
– If you’ll be traveling way down South, you can easily rent cold-weather gear like boots, jackets, ski equipment, and so on. However, if you plan to purchase that sort of gear/equipment here, the prices will be higher than in North America and Europe. With imports as limited as they are right now, selection may be limited as well.
– You can definitely do some clothes shopping, but it won’t come cheap. US and European brands like Zara, Lacoste, and Nike, will be much more expensive than at home.
Electronics – No matter where you’re coming from, electronic devices are very expensive here, so buy everything you need at home:
– Plug Adapter – Argentina has both Australian and European type plugs, but you never know which you’ll wind up with, so bring an adapter! Visit this page for more information and a handy picture of what the plugs look like!
– Laptop, iPad, Digital Camera, etc. – If you need it, bring it, but don’t plan to buy it here since electronics are extremely expensive. Many things should already come with a power transformer, but double check each item if you aren’t sure.
– Travel Hair Dryer/Straightener/Curler – if you deem this necessary, get a travel-friendly one that is compatible to the voltage here, which is 220V-240V. I have seen quite a number of burned appliance and short circuit incidents!
– Unlocked GSM cell phone – even the most basic phone can be pricey here, but pre-paid SIM cards are most certainly not and are easy for anyone to get. Certain phone company offers data pay-as-you-go plan too.
And don’t forget, WiFi is easily accessible and free all over the city!
Medications – It probably goes without saying that you should bring your prescription medications, but don’t forget:
– Special vitamins or supplements – they do have some vitamins and supplements, but the selection is quite small.
Things you can buy at the pharmacy – almost everything you need is widely available, but here’s a few things you should keep in mind:
– Sensitive Skin Facewash and Moisturizer – This is a personal recommendation for anyone with specific facial skincare needs, as it can take too much time and money to find something suitable here.
– Razors (cartridge refills and disposables) are expensive here and they only sell male razor cartridges, not female (such as Venus).
– Feminine Hygiene: while you can get OB, pads, and pantiliners, but you can no longer get tampons with applicators. If you’re a fan of the applicator, know that you were warned.
– Cosmetics and fragrances are available from many of the major cosmetic brands, from Mac to Lancome to Maybelline, but keep an eye on prices because these can run up to 4 times more expensive!
– Sunscreen is more expensive here and it’s hard to get the spray kind.
Food – Buenos Aires has peanut butter and a few different kinds of hot sauce, but think about any particular diet staples you don’t want to go without, such as maple syrup. If there’s any obscure brand or flavor of something that you really like and that you can transport easily (like tea or coffee), then tuck it on in there. Even if it’s available down here, it will probably cost more.
Money – It is not necessary to get Argentine pesos in your home country before your arrival. You can easily get local currency here. If you plan to bring cash and exchange it here, bring US Dollars. You can also easily get cash using ATMs; ATM/bank fees may apply so do check with your own bank to see if it charges any for international withdrawal.
Miscellaneous – Photocopy of your passport/ID – it’s much safer to carry a photocopy than the real deal!
What NOT to pack – While the list above may makes it sound like you’ll be toting around everything but the kitchen sink, here’s a few things you don’t have to worry about:
– Spanish/English dictionary – easily found all over the city at reasonable prices
– Map – you can buy a Guia-T map book here which will cover the entire city and all the bus and subway routes
– Other personal hygiene products – Unless you have something special that you love and can’t live without, there’s a variety of everything down here at all of the pharmacies and large supermarkets
– Over-the-counter medications (for headaches, cold/flu, upset stomach) are all easily and readily available
– International calling card – Easily purchased at kioskos and often with better rates. Additionally, foreign international calling cards can sometimes be difficult to use here!
– Contact Lens solution – A few popular brands are carried at large pharmacies at reasonable prices, such as Opti-Free.