I'm with "mrs2cool" bring plenty of your OTC items. We always seem to overpack in the clothing area and then don't wear even half of it. I'm determined not to do so this next time. We did manage a 6 day trip away last month with only carry ons and had plenty. HUGE accomplishment considering it wasnt a beach vacation and we had to actually put on "real" clothes each day. At Couples I'm usually in a sundress or shorts and tank over my swimsuit (always have to be ready for the beach/water... ha!)
I can't remember who suggested the Tervis tumblers. Went to their website, had some tumblers custom made. They came in the mail yesterday and are awesome!!! Even my wife liked them, bought extra lids and bendable straws. Only 8 more months to go! Still debating the door screen, but luvin' all the great ideas so far!!!
You guys have hit on just about everything! Thanks!!
We love the fabric softener sheets and have been using them for years. I like to place them in the pillow cases if the pillow smell musty. Also place one or two in your dirty laundry bag. It makes a huge difference when you get home and open that bag!
This past year I wore a new pair of sandals that gave me horrible blisters when we went into town. Once we got back I could only find small band-aids in our first aid kit. Luckily our friends had some of that liquid skin/NU Skin stuff. It helped a lot.
We also love the Downey Wrinkle Free spray. It does work! Saves a lot of time!
I have used the travel space saver bags for years. You can pack a lot more efficiently with these and it makes putting 1/2 of your clothes in your spouses bag a lot easier also. No having to dig around trying to your stuff out of his bag. Just grab your space saver bag out of his suitcase!
We also buy those small kiddie split ring DUCKIE/FROG/horse/tiger etc floatie toys. We have a BLAST with them out in the ocean. Everyone is laughing at us while at the same time asking where we got them. Yes you can use the ones from the resort but for $2.00 these are just a lot more FUN!
I also just purchased a prescription snorkel mask and LOVE it!! It was only $60.00 at www.snorkel-mart.com. You can get a coupon code from www.retailmenot.com for free shipping most of the time.
If you love to snorkel and find your mask fogs up instead of buying the expensive NO FOG stuff just get any brand of No Tears Baby Shampoo. Place a small drop on each lens, rub it all around and rinse, you will be ready to go!
As for the insulated mugs we take ours to Couples all the time. We would never ask the bartenders to fill them though as it is against the policy. They are great thought for my ice water in the mornings and evenings. Hubby takes his separate mug for coffee also.
The best advice I ever received when getting ready to vacation was to pack, then take out 1/2 of it.
Someday I will get it right........
I brought bendy straws on the catameran cruise (can't drink w/o a straw!) and i think i was the most popular girl on the boat. I was soon after called the "straw lady" passing em out to everyone. Makes the rum punch go down soo much easier! gets everyone soo much "happier" soo much faster. Soon enough we got almost the whole boat up dancing!!! SOO MUCH FUN! ;-) All the bars on the resort of straws but definately needed em on the cruise!
When I came up with this idea for a thread two years ago, I thought it was a pretty good idea , but never dreamed it would stil be going after two years and have this much interest. Almost 68,000 views!!! How many views does it take to win a free trip??? LOL
We just wanted to add our vote for the Tervis cups. We wouldn't have even known what they were 2 months ago but know have 6 cups of different sizes. One of the best things about these cups is the double-wall insulation. They will keep your coffee hot and your cold drinks cold; and keeping your Red Stripe and rum punch cold in the Jamaica sun is a good thing!
Sandy & I leave _tonight_ for CSA - we're pretty psyched.
This will be our first trip to CSA (Jamaica actually) and wanted to thank everyone that contributed to this thread. We've taken a lot of the ideas that were in here and they're now sitting in a suitcase, or still in the drawer at home.
we take this in cash for tips and misc....
100 in 1s 100 in 5s 100in 10s and 100 in twenties
then you dont have to worry about getting change etc...
Randi & Sherri
Ok.... I have to post this because no one did yet (from what I remember) and I just returned from CTI with a disappointment...
We did not bring any pants with us... that meant no horseback riding We also didn't bring gym shoes. Fair warning if you want to go horseback riding.
Brian also did not bring close toed shoes or dress pants. We weren't able to go to the 'nice' restaurant because of that
I have to echo the sunscreen comment. Bring a lot, and make sure it's heavy duty stuff if someone's fair and burns easy.
Oh, about the door screen..... I would have been way too humid for us to use it even if we had it. The room would've been literally damp with the humidity we experienced in early June at CTI. I loved our balcony, though.
Sandy & I just got back from CSA and wanted to give back into this thread.
- Tanning first REALLY REALLY helps. Even if you're not a salon tanner, become one for the month before you go. The ONLY place that we burned was the top of our shoulders, and that's because our local salons don't like replacing the shoulder tanner lamps. We are pretty dark at this point, and used _no_ sunscreen except on our shoulders (after the burn - oops).
- Carry-on the swimsuit! Oh man, we got caught by this one. CSA has a 3pm checkin, which we knew going down, but we didn't pay real attention to it in terms of "what does this mean given that we'll be on-property at one pm?". We had woken up in Seattle at 5am local time, did a regular day's work, then got on property at about 1pm the next day. We were SHOT. The outcome of this for us is being able to truly understand just how exceptional the Couples staff is.
- ELVIS! As other folks say in this thread, you'll meet him if you're at CSA. For those that already have, I had a side thought of wondering what it would be like to have a look at the contacts in his phone. This guy is _hooked up_.
- Tipping... Lotso folks asking about tipping. This is where we tipped:
- Parasailing boat driver
- shuttle boat driver
- cat crew
- shuttle bus driver(s)
- Extension cord for outside lights. A couple of folks suggested bringing lights for your balcony/veranda. We did and loved it! The run from the outlet to the railing is about 10', so bring an extension cord.
- Power strip. between all the chargers we had in the room, we were glad we brought a 6 outlet power strip. Find one that has extra space in-between the outlets to deal with the bulky chargers.
- Aloe. Remember that aloe is there to cool a burn, not to help the skin repair. There's usually a lot of alcohol in commercial aloe products, which helps create the cooling sensation but will dry out your skin causing it to take longer to heal. As soon as the tingle of the burn goes away enough, stop using it and switch to most any lotion (that doesn't contain alcohol)
- WiFi vs. International calling plan. The WiFi support is fine, I wouldn't suggest springing for a month of an international calling plan. We used gmail and FB to keep in touch with our housesitter and post pics while we were still there. The network connection does get busy (slows down) in the evening and during rainstorms.
- Wednesday is market day, and only some vendors show up on Friday for the beach party. If you see something you want on Wednesday, don't wait - do the haggle and buy it now.
- Are you a smoker? Bring a LOT of your own, more than you'd usually smoke. Drinking and chilling and letting-go will no doubt increase your smoke quota, and the only brand that exists around (beach vendors or gift shop) are Marlboro reds and lights.
- A couple of folks talk about a door screen. We bought one and packed it, but we didn't use it. like avelezsolic said (above), you don't want the humidity in your room. It's a cool product though, we'll use it at home. ref: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00438SFLQ
- Yes, you can bring food from the grill(s) and drinks from the bars back to your room.
- Yes, the bartenders are really cool about ONE person walking up and asking for four drinks. We did this a couple of times in order to bring stuff to the room, or just to save time at the pool.
- Snorkeling... There are a couple of different reefs that the snorkeling trip dives on. We did "cuba" and while it was cool just to be there at all, it was a pretty drab reef in terms of color or action. Ask which reef the trip will be diving on when you sign up.
- Waterproof camera. Get an REI dive bag for your camera or this camera off of Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000P4YQR4. We used that one and are plenty satisfied with the investment!
- Think about bringing a Netbook or small laptop. We brought a netbook and used it to stay in touch with home by email/facebook and also to offload daily pictures from the cameras. This is not a suggestion to buy one for the trip! only to bring one if you have one.
Finally, fwiw, this is us... The parasailing pics and the reef pics were taken with the camera mentioned above.
Irie mon! We'll be back May 2012!
oop... One more thing:
- Mini bar service is a DAILY request. When you fill out the list, you're making a selection for JUST the next day, You need to fill it out again EACH day. If you don't, and you've noticed that you drank the wine "last night", then you will NOT be able top get another bottle until the next day. (yes, this was a learned experience!)
To everyone that has posted something on this tread! We would like to thank you all for being so helpful as a newbie going to Couples or Jamaica for the first time. This is a wonderful thread hope it can keep going and maybe we will figure something to add to it, all though if you go through this list it is pretty complete in any needs. But thank you all again
this thread is EPIC!! my wife and i will be going to CSS in a few days - Aug 4th through Aug 11th. i took SO MANY notes from everyone and it seems like i will be packing more misc items than i will clothes, lol.
thanks to the OP for starting this. cant wait to arrive at CSS.
For us eye glass people, we bring a small repair kit with the screwdriver and little screws, just in case a screw falls out. I keep one in my truck and car, just to be on the safe side.
This thread is awesome! Glad I found it since we are just 12 days out until our first time at CSS. It's always nice to have an idea of what to bring someplace for the first time. Thanks to all of you who have contributed hints, tips & tricks.
I have a travellers packing list if you are interested. Lots of extras on it that one might not think to pack. I can email it to you if you wish! Example: dryer sheets for luggage and dresser drawers to combat some mustiness, mini clothes line and pegs, etc.
This thread came in tremendously helpful on our stay in 2010. There is one thing that is obviously not a priority to most..BUT!!! If you are a cigar smoker, like I am, bring a sorted selection of your own. If you are from the US, like I am, I know that they have "Cubans" there. However, the quality and origin was somewhat questionable. I bought a few from vendors at the resort at an inflated price. I have my favorites and prefer to smoke those over the ones that I purchased. I also ended up giving one to a friend that we met. This will keep the cost down and you know where they actually came from. Just be sure to know how many you are allowed to claim at customs when entering the country.
Keep this thread going....We will be visiting it again upon our return trip in 2012, just to be sure that we didnt forget anything.
And for newbies, pack your stuff, and then unpack half of it... Take plenty of swim wear and not so much other stuff.
I was ticked the TSA took our lighters/matches.....jerks
As hubby said, it's like arguing w/ an umpire...lol
Last edited by wileeandrr; August 13th, 2011 at 06:41 PM.
Our must have are bendy straws! There's nothing better than being on your float with a cocktail and not having to sit up to take a sip of the yummy cocktails. They are a must!
We are going to be at CSA in March, and I loved the idea of hanging Xmas lights over the patio. Just wondering what is being used to hang them, so as not to damage the building. I intend to bring lights on our next trip!
what did yu use to hang the lights over your balcony?
I love this thread! I am coming to CSA next month and can't wait. These suggestions are so helpful...