I travel on planes several weeks each month for work and I would NEVER check a bag voluntaily. And not because I dont trust airlines, it just a matter of saving every minute I can from standing around in an airport waiting.
That being said, my first trip to Couples last year I did check a bag becuase I thought I would need more stuff than I actually did. I now know I could fit everything I need in a carry on...but...my question is for you that carry on....what do you do about sunscreen???
I do need to bring a few skin/hair products so that will use up half of my allotted TSA liquid carry on - I cant see getting by with 8 or 12 oz of sunscreen. Do you just suck it up and buy it at the resort?
Going back to CSA in May and would love to be checked bag free!
The first time we went to CN we brought WAY too much. Now we always do a carry-on. Trust me, you'll need/wear much less than you think.
The one downside of a carry-on is that if you're there for more than a couple of days you will have to buy sunscreen at Couples and, honestly, it's expensive. Lotion is ~$15 and spray is ~$25. You need to weigh the cost of buying it on-site vs. the time spent waiting for your bag if you check one.
We opt to pay for the sunscreen but, it's your call.
We've been able to make it the last couple of years with 6 three ounce tubes of sunscreen between the two of us. Since we're repeaters, we can use our resort credit if we do ever run out of sunscreen. We love doing carry-on only! We only stay for one week though; any more than that and we probably wouldn't have enough.
This is the only time we do check a bag. It hasn't been much of a hassle. We need to be sure we have plenty of sunscreen at a high SPF. I also like to bring conditioner and scented lotion. The biggest thing last year was with the resort credit it was nice not to have to worry about fitting everything into two carry-on bags. Our checked bag and carry-on were stuffed and that was before the duty-free shop. I toy with carry-on only every year and year every I'm glad I checked that bag. That said we bring our our snorkels and masks so they take up some room.
Here is the perfect solution for my wife and I after 30 or so trips to Jamaica, but it is a compromise since security regulations have become more strict with liquids in carryon.
My wife and I used to only take carry on luggage. We just don't need all the much in Jamaca. Since we can't take our sunscreen and my wife's hair care products in carryon anymore here is what we do,
On the way TO Jamaica we check a small bag that contains all the sunscreen and other liquids we will need. We tend not be be in a 'total madness' situation when we are leaving to go to Jamaica and checking a bag is not a big deal. If we are taking a connecting flight to Jamaica we don't need to see it again until we claim it at Sangster. You don't need to claim it at your stop like you do flying back from Jamaica.
On the way home is when we REALLY hate having to check luggage! This is because Sangster is often a madhouse when we leave, and because if we are taking a connecting flight home them we have to claim our luggage at our first stop in the US and recheck it for our next flight and this is a pain in the butt that has made us miss connecting flights in the past. So on the way home we leave whatever sunscreen and other liquids we have left over behind in Jamaica for the staff to use (they do appreciate it!) and fly home with only carry-on luggage.
This works very well for us.
Respect and good travels!
We have never had to stand around and wait for luggage, it has always been waiting for us. So checked baggage is not an issue for us. Last year was the first time we had to wait more than 5 minutes in the lounge, but there was someone else on our flight and they were waiting for them. They do have some less expensive sunscreen, but most is $15-$20. We change spf throughout the day and the week, so this would be expensive for us.
If you are a member of Romance Rewards to a level to get the great credits, you can use that to buy sunscreen at the Gift Shop. I know it's a little more expensive, but the credit is like free money to use while you are there, so save the money you may have to pay to check a bag. That's what I would do!
We checked our carry-ons going to Jamaica so that we could have sunscreen! Even if you have to pay the baggage fee (? $25) it's still less than what you would pay at the resort for several days of sunscreen. We did not check our carry-on bag on the return. We take two carry-ons and a back pack each for 9 to 10 nights. We don't usually have a problem waiting on bags in Montego Bay. By the time we get through customs, the bags are usually on the bag carousel or short time waiting for them. If we have sunscreen left over; we just leave it in Jamaica! We then use our resort credit for other things.
You may save time for work with your carry on but with the customs line in Jamaica your baggage is usually waiting out there before you get to it. 11 times to Couples and not once did we get through customs and have to wait for our luggage. You're not going to save any time on this trip with a carry on and should just relax & enjoy being on Jamaica time.
You are going to have to go through customs when you arrive and then wait in the Couples Lounge while your transport bus arrives and loads up so take a checked bag. You will save no time at all by only using the carry on and sun screen alone will cost you a fortune at the resort if you don't bring it. You also have to figure on taking slacks and closed toe shoes for the Lemon Grass and Feathers Restaurants because of their dress code not to mention you will sweat during your days there and a few changes of clothes (yes, even bathing suits) are a good idea.
Last edited by rckbert; January 10th, 2012 at 02:18 PM.
Not sure about other locations, but UK airports have sunscreen in the duty free shops and in the after-security drugstore as well. So, can buy "in transit", and leave any remaining behind. (I usually get P20 in Duty Free anyhow as it's cheaper there than in the drugstore.)
Not sure if we have just been super lucky but..... we have traveled three times to Couples and have never checked luggage. We carry on all of our sunscreen? I just buy the spray kind in 4oz bottles or transfer to clear 4 oz spray bottles (dollar store). I just throw them in a large zip lock with my 4 oz bottles of perfume, lotion, etc. As long as the bottles can all fit in one Quart size zip lock you are good.
on our last 2 trips to MBJ we flew weekday mornings. We were able to land, deplane, get through all the airport stuff, pick up bags etc and be out of the airport in 15 minutes!
I really do not think I want to fly on a weekend ever again! What a difference it makes.
We have also started to upgrade at the ticket counter to first/business class for a pittance. This allows us 2 free bags along with priority baggage handling. Our bags have been the first off the plane and out onto the baggage wheel every time we upgrade. I dread the day when we will not be lucky enough to upgrade at the counter.
IF you can go carry on and IF you are doing an airline that has baggage fees just do the math. How much sunscreen can you purchase for the amount of funds you are saving.
Personally I don't think you are saving any time. On our list trip home through Houston from Honduras EVERYONE that was doing carry-on only was being pulled into secondary. IDK if this was normal for this airport or if they thought something was "up" that day.
Also, both my hubby and I did not like how the shampoo/conditioner from Couples left our hair. We have to pack our own in order to avoid dry straw like hair.
The time savings that we see in on the trip home. This is especially true for people have a connecting flight on the way home. When we fly home on a connecting flight (which we try to avoid for this very reason!) we have to go through immigration, then go the baggage carousel and claim the bags then we have to take our bags through customs. Then... we have to recheck out bags before going through TSA Security and on to the gate for our connection. We have been forced to miss our connecting flight home on several occasions over the past 30 or so trips to Jamaica due to this process, especially if our flight out of Sangster is not on time even by a few minutes.
When we fly home with carry -on and have a connection we still have to go through immigration ofcourse, but then when others are claiming their luggage we are going through Customs and on to TSA Security and on to our gate without having to recheck bags on the way. This saves a LOT of time on the way home.
But I agree, the time saving is minimal on the way to Jamaica and is not the same risky issue of your flight home is direct, nonstop since you don't need to recheck bags or go through TSA again in that case. We have missed enought connections due to having to deal with luggage that we always go carryon home from Jamaica when we have to deal with a connecting flights.