Things to Bring

You will find my suggestions on what items you need to bring with you in USA however it completely depends on your own choice and preferences. I am writing my experience to give you an idea. You need to keep one thing in mind that you can get almost everything from USA whether easily or with some difficulty, the work to be done is to locate the name of the product and where you can find it.

Item Description
Shlwar Suits Traditional dresses of good quality
Traditional Chappals If in your area there are no chances of pleasant or hot weather then you might not be in need to chappals.
Basic Medicines You might need that in travelling as well, do not forget to keep the prescription of all medicine because these people might not know what type of medicines are these
Scarves / Stoll’s / Shawls Here you may not find it or find it really expensive, so you can bring your colorful collection of scarves with you.
Bed Sheets Only export quality full size bed sheets, here it cost $15 minimum
Webcam / Headphone You will need them to call you family using internet and here it cost high. You might find china made low cost webcam and headphone but they are not available everywhere.
Powered Glasses If you use them, bring 2 -3pairs

Concept of dollar Shop: in Dollar shops you can find every item for $1 only. You may easily find dollar shops at every city: with different names, like “Dollar Tree”, “Dollar General” etc. You can find very useful items for cheap like I bought some small items that were expensive on other places like Wal-Mart, Target etc I bought all cooking spoons, serving spoons, small trash baskets, rice strainers, fruit baskets, plastic bowls with lids, mugs, plates, decoration jars, artificial flowers, pencils, notepads, tools, dishwashing liquid, cleaning products, hangers and much more. Visit “Dollar tree” website www.dollartree.com for complete range of products.

Note: Dollar Tree sells bulk items online; however in store you can buy any quantity for $1 each item. Keep one thing in mind that some items are not of desirable quality and are made in china like they have medicines; hair and makeup products that seems very cheap and I have never tried them.

What people usually brings to USA

While packing for USA, I was really confused about what items should I bring to USA, took help from m friends/relatives in USA, I came across different opinions but still I managed to make a list. I paid extra money for extra luggage still I have brought the things mentioned in below list along with the complete details and availability in USA.

Item Details
Tawa The Tawa is available in USA in many international stores for $25 – $30. I brought the same Tawa for 600Rs from Pakistan so saved some money
Lota Very difficult to carry in luggage still I fitted it, you can get Lota from Desi store or as an alternate watering can for $5 – $10 from Wal-Mart etc in gardening section
Bed sheets I brought all my bed sheets but most of them did not fit to my bed. The Bed sheets that fitted on my Queen size bed (80” x 60”) was export quality bed sheet measuring around 90”x100”
Pateeliyan I brought some big sized cooking pots that really helped me making big amount of foods. Big pots are expensive in USA like $80 – $90 each & from Pakistan you may get one cooking pot for 1000Rs so it saves money but carrying it on luggage is not that easy. If you have extra space only then brings it.
Serving spoons Price starts from $5 easily available in USA.
Tray sets I brought a tray set but you will easily find many types of trays on all price range so no need to bring that.
Shalwar suits I bought all my old Shalwar suits and made some new as well, I did it right because you may never find anything that matches the quality and price of Pakistani Shalwar suits.
Chappals I love to wear Kolha Puri chappal and traditional / stylish Chappal so I brought them all.
Sweaters Easily available in USA for $20 and up however they might not be as stylish as the Pakistani sweaters. Carrying them is difficult as they take lots of space and weight.
Shoes / joggers The shoes/Joggers cost more than $30 (China made) and branded good quality shoes are $70 and up however they are best weather companion that saves you from snow, water etc.
Makeup I brought my used makeup collection only. In USA the average lipstick cost (L’Oreal, Maybelline, and good brands) around $5 – $10 that is almost the same in Pakistan, makeup on deals is lot cheaper so no need to buy new one before coming.
Scarves I bought lots of scarves, shawls and stoles because Pakistani shawls are hardly available here; Stolls and scarves are available for $10 – $20 price. I bought lots of stoles for 150 – 200Rs each so saved lot of money here.
Curtains You can easily get stitched curtains according to your window size so no need to carry lots of weight.
Electronics I carried my cell phone, webcam and a headphone. Electronics items like mobile phones, computer, digital cameras etc are lot cheaper in USA due to online competition however webcam and headphones are expensive and cost around $20 – $50 unless you buy them from Ebay for $10 (China made)
Rolling pin Bailana – you will find it on all department stores like Wal-Mart for almost $10, I brought that however you can skip that item.
Glass bowls Really heavy and fragile to bring all the way to USA, I will not suggest bringing them as you will find huge verity of glass bowls on reasonable prices.
Chimta (Tongs) Better grab one, easily available in USA for around $10 however my 20Rs Chimta has better grip than $10 one. Depends if you use it, you can bring it.
Vegetable Cutting board Easily available for $10 or more. No need to bring it with you.
Handi spoon (Utensils) Available easily in plastic and steel for very reasonable prices however Doee (wooden spoon) and Pawa (small doee used for oil or tea) is not available in the shape we are use to.
Poni (strainer) Steel tea strainers are easily available for lower price however nylon strainers like we use in Pakistan are not available. I brought 2 – 3 strainers and its far better than the steel one.
Karahi (Asian Wok) Easily available with the name of wok or Asian wok, might not have handles like traditional Karahi but works better as woks are mostly non stick.
Powered Glasses Must bring at-least 3 – 4 pairs as in USA average cost of a powered glass can start from $100. Better to get your eye-sight checked before coming to USA.
Sunglasses Easily available for $10 or more (Not powered)
Threads + needles Joann store has such stuff but you may not be able to get a single thread reel or a small pack of needles, visit www.joann.com for more details and decide yourself what you need to bring.
Medicines (Basic) I brought simple medicines like Disprin, Panadol, Ponston, Brufen, Ancid, Calpol, Amoxil, Parasitamol with prescription however you can easily get medicines for over the counter for normal illness and these medicines are more effective according to USA weather.

What People should really bring to USA:

Items picked from the above list that will either save your money or not easily available in USA.

Item Description
Shalwar suits You will never find the Pakistani quality of Shalwar suits in USA. You may find some India made Salwar suits however the fabric is low quality. If you want to stitch it then the cost for stiching is around $35 (3000 PKR). Check weather where  you are going, if the place has hot temperature then Lawn suits will needed badly in summers. Bring Fancy dresses as well for occasions like Pakistani or desi dinners, festivals like Eid etc as it can cost you more than $200 for a fancy suit.
Chappals / Shoes Bring the Kolha-Puri’s or fancy Chappals if you wear it. In USA Even the fancy shoes are not stylish like Pakistani shoes and you might not like spending $30 or more on shoes you do not like much. You can bring all your shoes however weather shoes like snow boots etc if needed can be bought from USA.
Powered Glasses Test your eye-sight and order 2 – 3 pairs before coming to USA.
Medicines Basic medicines for journey or immediately after reaching USA. Keep the doctor’s prescription for all the medicines just in case.
Bed sheets The bed sheets we normally use in Pakistan are called “Flat sheets” in USA. In USA people mostly use bed sheet comforter sets that cost around $40 – $50 each. If you want to bring flat sheets you can however the bed sheet dimensions should be around 100” x 100” for queen size bed.
Sweaters Bring your expensive or stylish sweaters as in winter mostly people use jackets however sweaters can also be used in certain weather conditions. They take lots of space and weight so do not carry lot of them
Scarves / Stolls Save money and bring Stolls as they are best with Jeans and Kurtas and cost you $10 – $15 in USA still not as colorful as in Pakistan.
Electronics Bring your cell phone, webcam, headphone + mic. It will help you to connect your family as soon you reach USA as mobile / fixed line can be expensive.
Wooden Doee Only if you cannot cook without it, otherwise you can use steel or plastic spoons for cooking.
Poni (strainer) If you use loose tea then nylon strainers is a must have.
Powered Glasses Test your eye-sight and order 2 – 3 pairs before coming to USA.
Medicines Basic medicines for journey or immediately after reaching USA. Keep the doctor’s prescription for all the medicines just in case.

There are 16 comments left Go To Comment

  1. Zill Ahmed /

    Hi assalamoalaikum

    I heard that cellphones of Pakistan dont work there in usa…???i was planning to buy apple iphone 4gs but someone told me that cellphones are alot cheaper there..May i know if its true…???

    1. admin / Post Author

      All Pakistani phones work in United States but either with AT&T or T-Mobile because other networks in USA does not work with GSM (SIM card). Otherwise Almost all pakistani cell phones are unlocked. If you want to buy iphone buy it from United States as it will be cheaper. All cell phones in United States are cheaper however they are usually locked with a network. If you want to buy a new phone that in unlocked its cheaper in Pakistan. To check prices of phones in United States visit this page
      http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2Fb%3Fie%3DUTF8%26node%3D2407749011%26ref_%3Damb_link_354903522_17&tag=httpwwwhoopea-20&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=390957

  2. Zill Ahmed /

    Where can i find jobs in Newyork City…???And one silly question that comes in my mind..I want to bring Pakistani team trouser in Newyork..Can i wear it or locals there find it weird…???kindly tell me

    1. admin / Post Author

      To check the local jobs in New York visit this page, http://newyork.craigslist.org/jjj/

      You can wear anything, mostly people don’t even bother to look what you are wearing, I have seen all sort of people wearing lots of weird dresses and no one even care. So do not worry about it. Be comfortable they way you want to be.

  3. faheem /

    Was wondering if there was anything legal that one could bring from Pakistan that could be sold for a profit besides ladies shalwar suits if one was visiting the US and who would be the potential buyers i.e Desis or Non-desis?

  4. Nadia /

    You are doing well Job i really appreciate!

    1. admin / Post Author

      @Nadia – Thank you, Thank you and Thank you :) that is what I can say in response, I am overwhelmed with the appreciation. JazakAllah

  5. Tom Morrisey /

    This is a fantastic article! Many of my international friends have had similar complaints about things they couldn’t get in the US or that were much cheaper back home. Also, many of the items you recommend are also wonderful things for visiting foreigners to buy in and bring home from Pakistan! I brought back shalvar-kameez, all kinds of scarves and shawls, and as someone mentioned in the comments, Team Pakistan gear! (Although in my case, it was everything EXCEPT the trousers — I just don’t like that kind of pants.)

  6. Miran /

    Hi,
    I’ve seen that you’ve mentioned Shalwar Kameez and chappals to be brought from home. I’m based in Pakistan and have been working on an Online Store. Basically we are offering Pakistani apparel, shoes and accessories at the retail price you’d get in Pakistan.
    All the stuff that we have is branded and provided to us by the designers themselves, also we’re using a very secure payment system. I think, all of you who are settled abroad know better and would be able to give me the right feedback.
    If you could just visit the site and give me feedback I’ll be highly obliged :)
    Thanks
    The link is http://www.hawtshop.com
    fb page: http://www.facebook.com/hawtshop

  7. Asif /

    Hi ,
    I am planning to visit usa to see my mother and sister there , i want to ask that on airport they tend to take the form i94 , in which visitor have to mention the gifts or other items that are to be left in usa along with their cost. I do not have the invoice or receipt for the items/gifts that i have purchased so should i mention any tentative price ? will it be accepted at checkin counter ?
    please guide

    Regards

    1. admin / Post Author

      i94 form is different, you need to keep it till you exit United States otherwise you will have problem. They airport staff with staple it to your passport and you should not remove it unless an officer do so at the exit. The form you are talking about is custom declaration form. On custom declaration form, just mention the approximate price for any gifts that will remain in USA. It will be accepted. They do not ask for the receipts. If your gifts are too expensive then they might ask you pay duty.

      1. Asif /

        Jazak’Allah !

      2. Asif /

        Please let me know about the following : (and what can i say God bless you for your help and guidance ).

        1. I am coming to USA on B1/B2 visa . Beside Ticket itenary and Passport with Visa Stamp , do i need any other document to carry e.g Travel Medical Insurance or any other letter or something ?

        2. How Taxi/Cab fare works in USA , like Meter Basis and amount of Tip etc ?

        3. How can i see NewYork City famous places by any trip/bus or something , should i book online well in advance or i can manage this after arriving there?

        4. One other question , what should i expect :) at immigration counter as now a days things between Pakistan and USA are some how tense so how they will treat a Pakistani visitor there ? :)

        Best Regards

        Asif

        1. admin / Post Author

          No problem,

          1. Are you talking about carrying these things while you are already inside USA? because if yes, you just need to carry the photocopy of your passport as original passport can get lost and it would create big trouble then. No one asks to see your ID unless you do some offence :). You can always invite a cop to your hotel if he wishes to see your original ID.
          2. Taxi works differently in different places however in NY it works on meter system, its not that cheap though. You have to tip the driver too which is usually from 10% to 20%.
          3. No need to book anything before you enter in States. There are plenty of tourist bus services always looking for tourists. You can easily get it. For town bus and metro tickets can be purchased from any metro train station.
          4. It would not effect anything as you have a valid visa however be careful while answering any question. They usually ask if you have visited northern areas before coming to United States etc. Do not get disappointed because they would take you to the special checking area where you might have to wait around 2 hours before getting out of the airport. Your luggage might get searched thoroughly in special checking area. New York (JFK) is very busy airport so expect delays.
          Thanks

          1. Asif /

            1. Actually i am talking about while entering in USA , means at the airport counter , other than passport , should i be carrying/showing any document/travel insurance .Or Passport is the only thing to present ?

            Best Regards

            1. admin / Post Author

              Oh, ok, you just need to present your passport. If you have any old passport take it with you. Not sure about travel insurance because non of my friends and family carried it. Keep the address handy where you are staying even if its a hotel. They might also ask how much money you are carrying, you can mention the amount and if you carry credit card mention that too. Hope it helps

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