What is the best way to bring back alcohol from Jamaica? I thought we could purchase it in the airport before we leave, then carry it on to the plane. But I read in one of the posts that once we get to Charlotte, NC that we have to check it (not carry it on) and there could be trouble getting through customs once back on the Sates?
Can we purchase it at the airport before we leave and then put it in our checked bags before we leave Jamaica? What are the chances it will be OK and not break or leak?
You can purchase it at the airport where the store will box it for you. You can carry this box onto the plane. Once at your connecting airport you will carry it through Customs and Immigration and then you will have to put the box in your checked bag before you re-check it onto the connecting flight. In our experience it has always traveled safely in the box amongst our clothes. Some people take bubble wrap and re-wrap the bottles as a further precaution but we have yet to find that necessary. Note that if you have a tight connection it can be a pain to take the time to re-pack your checked suitcase. Enjoy!
That might be hard at the airport since you check your bags once you get there. You could buy some in Negril or Ocho and wrap tight with your clothes. Just so you know we've had or luggage "inspected" and stuff is just crammed back in. We've even come up missing some items once. I would buy the liquor at the airport and place it in your checked luggage in the states.
you can purchase it at the Sangster airport and carry it onto your flight from there, but if you have a connecting flight, you will have to stash your alcohol into the luggage you will be re-checking after going through customs. We had to do this on our trip this April as we flew United from Sangster to Miami then Miami to Chicago. It isn't that big of a deal, as long as you make sure to plan accordingly when packing (i.e. leave room in your luggage). We also brought down bubble wrap in our luggage with us to use to wrap our bottles up with as we knew from this MB that we would have to put it into our checked bags once we reached Miami.
If you wanted to check it at Jamaica, you would need to purchase it prior to getting to the airport (i.e., your resort, or a local shop). The duty free shops at the airport are past security, after you've checked in.
The duty free shops pack and box up your bottles nicely. You can then carry them on to the plane for your Jamaica departure. Yes, if you have a layover in the states, you will need to get your bags at your first US destination, pack your bottles into them, and then re-check them for the next leg. The bottles are pretty well-packed by the Duty Free shops. We haven't had an issue with their breaking (though I'm sure it's happened). However, you do need to allot for space and weight in your bags.
Well we had the same issue in January but our stop over was in Atlanta. My suggestion is to wait until you get to duty free to purchase. When you get to NC, you will get your luggage before going to customs then you will need to re check your luggage before going thru security just like normal. They didn't re weigh our bags when we got to Atlanta so that was a good thing. Plus we figured the chances of anything breaking was less if we waited to put the booze in the bags in Atlanta. We brought back 6or 7 bottles of Rum Cream with no problems!
My husband and I bought rum at the duty free in Montego Bay and once we realized in Houston, we had to go through customs-we stuffed it in our bag as best as we could. It made it until the luggage export in St. Louis when our bottle of Overproofed rum, burst and soaked all of our luggage. The smell was so nauseating!!! LOL. I felt sick to my stomach for the rest of the night. And we had lots to clean right away. So don't do that!!!
Since the new 3:1:1 rules have gone into place, we have avoided buying any liquor and bringing it back with us since we always have connecting flights. However, this past summer we were in Belize and the duty free prices at the airport there were outrageously low. I simply could not pass on 1 liter of Drambuie for $20, and Makers Mark for $15. Bob waited at the gate for our purchases while I boarded the plane. He then stuffed them into the overhead bin. Well, I didn't realize where he stuffed them. We were in a bulkhead seat, and when I went to retrieve my purse from the overhead in order to get a pen to fill out the customs form, the Makers Mark went flying. Luckily, I didn't hit anyone and miraculously, it didn't break (they had wrapped it in newspaper at Duty Free). The guy across the aisle said, "that's OK, it didn't hit me." I was thinking, "I'm not worried about you, I'm worried about the Maker's Mark breaking."
Anyway, when we reclaimed our luggage in Charlotte, we just wrapped the bottles in tshirts and pareos and tried to bury them in the middle of our luggage. Everything made it back OK, but it is definitely a risk packing any bottles into your checked luggage. I was watching them load luggage at O'Hare yesterday, and they were definitely using the "tossing" method. You can lessen your risk for breakage if you pack bubble wrap.