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You got the job in Grand Cayman! Congratulations! You’ve left your old job, found a tenant for your apartment and are all packed up to start your new life in paradise. But have you packed right?

Because the Cayman Islands lay so close to the equator, the difference, weather-wise, between summer and winter isn’t much. The winter months are warm and dry and the summer months bring rain and humidity, but the temperature generally stays between 75F and 87F (24C and 31C) all year round. Because the year-round temperatures are so high, this should be taken into consideration when packing clothes to bring. Sundresses, shorts and tank tops for girls, shorts and t-shirts for guys and swimwear & flip flops for both are worn all the time outside of work. What you should bring as office-wear is different though. Most offices have their air-conditioning on pretty high so the work place would be one of the only places you will see people wearing sweaters, suit jackets and cardigans! It is recommended you bring a couple of light jackets or cardigans for when you’re in the office, but other than that, they won’t really be worn.

Something else to consider is how much can you buy once you’re here? We recommend packing as much as you can bring in the way of clothing, footwear and cosmetics if you have favourites. If you find yourself in a position where you need (whether that’s a ‘need’ or a ‘want’ doesn’t make a difference, does it ladies) to go shopping, there are a few shops in Grand Cayman that offer women’s and men’s clothing and footwear, however the prices are sometimes three times what you would pay for the same item in the USA. Cosmetics aren’t too much more expensive, however the range here on island is a lot smaller. If you have a favourite brand of make-up, hair products or cosmetics it might pay to stock up before you leave home, just in case there are no retailers of that brand on island.

There are a few electronics stores on island for laptops, cameras, tablets etc, but again the range is smaller than you’ll find in the big cities. There is word a Mac store is opening in Camana Bay in the near future, though!

A lot of Cayman Islands residents wait until they have a large enough shopping list including clothes, electronics, make-up and so on, to make it worth their while to take a shopping trip to Miami (about US$350 return with Cayman Airway), another major US city or even Panama City now that there are direct flights with Cayman Airway! Cayman Airways offers one of the most generous baggage policies of any airline with two pieces of checked luggage at 55lbs per piece for free on all flights, so you don’t have to worry about those additional airline costs after having bought a whole new suitcase to fit all your new shoes! I should warn you that coming back into Grand Cayman after a successful shopping trip you may be required to pay duty (between 5% and 22% of the item value) on some of these products, excluding books, cameras and camera equipment.

But even if you didn’t need any of this advice and packed right the first time (or you’re craving Starbucks or a Big Mac), every now and then a trip ‘off the rock’ and into a bigger city is just what the doctor ordered.

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