Expats moving to Jakarta: how to plan and what to pack

As expats, moving to a new place is daunting. Don’t worry, Jakarta is a big city and you’ll find almost anything you need. Here I share what you should pack as well and share some ideas on how to manage while your container arrives.

expat family moving jakarta

What you need to pack

Anything specific

Medicine, infant formula, and toiletries…

You will find anything you need in Jakarta, some of it may just be more expensive. Just bear in mind that anything imported can either be hard to find or significantly pricier.

For Kids

Popular brands such as HM, or Zara have kids clothes (winter clothes half of the year…) but are probably 20% more expensive than back home. I usually stock up on kids clothing once a year in France, quality shoes.

English books are also very expensive (although some cheap English books can be found here) and French books impossible to find.

Kids toys are also more expensive (especially Legos!) with a limited selection.

If you have small children, you are likely to spend quite some time at the pool and the beach so packing swimming gear is a good idea (some can be found in Decathlon but they often run out of stock): goggles, reusable swimming diapers, floats, water toys, rashguards, snorkeling gear, sunglasses, beach shoes…

A few warm clothes

Jakarta is hot and humid but don’t forget to pack some warm clothes, but you’ll need some warmer clothes to hike or go camping.

First aid kit

Pack a first aid kit for minor and common injuries just in case. You can also purchase ready-made kits here at SOS clinics (very pricey though, Rp2,5 million for the vehicle first aid kit)

Home furnishing

Ikea has a store in Jakarta, which makes settling down easier but I found it much more expensive than France. You can check their catalog and full price list online here.

There are also plenty of other great furniture options, you can read previous posts about shopping for furniture online, Cayenne, ordering custom furniture in Jakarta, and Elements Concept.


Do I need to mention that you should not pack alcohol?

Plan your move wisely

Obtaining your resident permit may take a long time, which in turn will delay the arrival of your container.

The whole process can take anywhere between 2 to 6 months so be prepared to live without most of your belongings for a few months.

Some companies offer furniture rental, Arbor and Troy is one of them.

Expats leaving Jakarta often sell things on this Facebook group as well as through the newsletter of Uppercrust.

For babies and small kids, check out Babyloania which lets families rent baby equipment and toys.

Are you moving to Jakarta soon? Read more tips for expat families moving to Jakarta here.

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