Second in my KAUST packing list posts – what to pack in your air shipment for KAUST. Obviously once you are here you can take a trip to Jeddah and buy almost anything you want, but these are the things I was grateful for or wish I had included, when my first shipment arrived.
I have written a separate packing list discussing what to bring in your suitcase with you here and I will also cover the sea shipment (which takes around 12 weeks to arrive) in a later post.
Your air shipment tends to come between four and six weeks after your arrival at KAUST. KAUST will cover your first 300kg of shipment costs by air and 500kg by sea, they have specific shipping companies that they use and they will come to your home to collect your belongings, load them into a truck, and hopefully get them to Saudi Arabia for you in one piece!
There are some rules you have to follow for this shipment, your shipping company will communicate them all clearly to you and make sure you follow them to avoid having your stuff held up at customs. You cannot pack liquids/food stuffs/make up/cosmetics or battery operated items in your air shipment.
Adaptors – yes I know I said to put them in your suitcase. Put more in your air shipment.
The rest of your clothes that aren’t winter wear. You will be SO sick of wearing the same clothes since you arrived, it will be great to get to wear something different.
Golf clubs – if you’re into golf and can’t wait to get onto the course.
Framed pictures/ prints/decorative items – by this point you will be a bit fed up of living in an identikit house that looks exactly the same as every one elses house. It will make you feel really good to start making it a little more personalized and like a home.
Your goodbye cards from friends and family – now that you are a little settled it will be nice to read the nice stuff they said about you leaving. Having them up around the house can help ward off homesickness a bit.
Books – I’m a big reader so for me this is again part of making the house my own, but also I had definitely run out of the books I’d brought with me by this stage!
Playstation/speakers/entertainment stuff – things that were too big to put in your suitcase but that will be good for putting a bit of noise and life into your house
Basic kitchen stuff – pans, knives, chopping boards – stuff that you use on a regular basis
Bikes/helmets – if you are going to use a bike here. You can buy them on site but I have heard they don’t have a great selection. You can buy helmets for scooters here and they aren’t expensive you if plan to get a scooter.
Bedding – KAUST give you bedding for all the rooms in your home when you arrive but it’s nice to be able to put your own sheets on (or is that just me being a weirdo?)
Pet toys/beds/collars etc – if bringing a pet. Obviously. If you’re bringing these and you don’t have an animal then you are not okay.
Childrens stuff – I realise this is broad, but I don’t have kiddos so I can’t be much help here. I will link to a more family friendly packing list when I find one.
All of your cables – without a shadow of a doubt you will have packed stuff in your suitcase and not packed the relevant charger or whatever. At least if they are all in your air shipment you know there isn’t too long to wait until you have them.
Yoga mat/specialist sports equipment – they have the stuff at the gym but personally I prefer using my own things. Also it means you can do a home workout if that’s your thing.
Art/knitting/hobby stuff – If you do a hobby, pack the required stuff in your air shipment. Crafting supplies seem a little few and far between over here so I really wish I’d packed more yarn, glitter, paints etc.
Bobbles and hair grips – yeah you packed four packs of Kirby grips, but six weeks have gone by, you know those sneaky little guys will have all disappeared by now.
Work files/books – If you have handbooks or specific work supplies that you need to use pack them in your air shipment so that there isn’t a huge gap of time between you arriving and your work stuff coming.
Holiday/party things – if there is a holiday due shortly after you arrive then you will be depressed when you realise you can’t celebrate because there is nowhere to buy Halloween outfits or easter egg bunny ears here. Tamimi do allegedly sell a handful of Christmas decorations but I can’t say I’ve seen any thus far. We are going to Dubai for Christmas in a couple of weeks and I really regret not packing a couple of santa hats to take with us.
Bikini’s/swimming costumes – bikinis for the beach, cossies for the pool.
A fancy dress/smart suit – there have been a couple of events I’ve been invited to since arriving and I have had to borrow dresses. I advise you pack a couple of cocktail dresses and guys pack a dinner suit and bow tie. Through word of mouth you will often hear of do’s on at other compounds or in the city and it is a great experience to go.
A needle and thread – I REALLY wish I had packed this.
Hammer, nails, toolkit – you might want to put pictures up in the house, or buy electronics and need a screwdriver. Just a good thing to have with you in your first few weeks. Paul ended up putting our new TV together with a ballpoint pen because we didn’t have a screwdriver.
That’s all I can think of off the top of my head but I will add things as they come to me. As always, add me on Instagram for regular pictures (@livinginarabia) and let me know if there is anything in particular you would like me to post about.