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Thread: Carry-on only?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    10

    Default Carry-on only?

    I'm trying to decide if it's realistic for my husband and I to bring only carry-on bags next months when we revisit CN. I mean, mostly you're wearing bathing suits, right? How many 3 o. containers of liquids and gels can one realistically fit into a quart Ziploc bag? Enough for a week for an (ahem) not-so-low-maintenance kind of girl? It just seems easier (and cheaper!) to bypass checking bags. Anyone do this?

  2. #2

    Default

    We always carry on, remember you can both have the quart sized bags of 3 oz. liquids. This usually allows for all the wife needs, sunscreen, and what I take along. We don't want to wait to fetch bags, there's too much fun to be having in Jamaica and besides you will spend 75-90% of the time in your swimsuits anyways!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    496

    Default

    There are some that have managed to do this but....
    Couples resorts are very nice,elegant places. You are not going to live in a bathing suit the entire time. Yes, if you are beach/pool people then the majority of your days will be spent in them but you will find that most people dress well for dinner and the evening. You have many excursions included in your trip that you will want shorts and t shirts for. He will need long pants and a collared shirt with closed toed shoes for the nicer restaurants. You will need dresses or skirts and nice tops for dinner. I have read many posts where people were really mad at themselves for not taking appropriate clothing and missing out on the nicer dining options.
    You will love Couples, don't sell yourselves short by not bringing the right stuff. The baggage and customs at the airport don't take much time to get through and the shuttle will wait for you. I have trouble staying under my 50lb weight restriction!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,417

    Default

    Weíve been to Jamaica 17 times (always to a Couples resortóand we leave for Jamaican tomorrow for our 18th trip to Couples and 14th trip to CN!!) and have NEVER checked luggage. We prefer to stay at the resort and spend most of our time on the beach, so we spend most of our time in our swimsuits.

    Roll your clothes when you pack; you can fit more into your luggage. We each take a carry-on bag, and I carry a tote bag as well that I use instead of a purse. Once at the resort, Iíll use the tote bag to carry our stuff (books, iPods, sunblock) to the beach.

    When we traveled in the winter, we each wear a pair of convertible pants (converts from long pants into shorts) from LLBean, a lightweight top , and a down jacket from LLBean that compresses into a small size and stows into its own self-contained pocket. Before we purchased the jackets, we would wear a sweater or heavier top over the lightweight top. We also wear running shoes, which is important. They take up a lot of room in your luggage if you pack them, and weíve had to run through airports before.

    Before the plane lands, we remove the lower leg portion from the pants and remove the jacket or heavier shirt, and weíre in shorts and a lightweight top without having left our seats, and we have little to stuff into our luggage. When we travel in the summer, we just wear shorts and a top and running shoes.


    Hereís what we pack for a week (tweak as necessary):

    For me:
    2 pairs of shorts
    2 tops that can be worn with either shorts
    3 sundresses
    4 swimsuits
    1 sarong
    1 or 2 dress-style cover-ups
    Running shorts
    Sports bra
    Yoga pants & top
    Socks
    Underwear
    1 pair of sandals with heels
    1 pair of flat sandals
    One pair pajamas
    Makeup (blush, eyeshadow, mascara, lipstick Ė Skip eyeliner unless you have waterproof makeup b/c it will run, and skip foundation b/c itís too heavy in the heat)
    Vacation jewelry

    For Kev:
    2 pairs of shorts
    1 pair long pants
    2 polo shirts
    2 Hawaiian-style shirts
    4 swimsuits
    1 pair running shorts
    2 t-shirts
    Socks & underwear
    1 pair of sandals
    1 pair of shoes appropriate for Otaheite
    Pajamas

    Other Stuff:
    Pens (for Immigration and Customs forms)
    Books Ė we both have Kindles, which save a lot of room
    Ipods & earphones
    Camera
    Cell phones
    Phone and iPod chargers
    Hairbrush & comb
    Toothbrushes
    Travel size water pick
    Travel size sound machine
    Electric shaver
    Sunglasses
    Reading glasses (new this year Ė it sucks getting old)
    2 1-gallon Ziplock bags (for wet swimsuits when you pack up to return home) (they also have 2-gallon bags if you prefer)

    2 1-quart baggies of liquids:
    1 - Sunblock (six tubes of 3-ounce sunblock fit in one one-quart baggie)
    2 - Makeup remover, moisturizer, top coat nail polish, toothpaste, hair conditioner.

    We buy things like shampoo & conditioner, after-sun lotion, additional sunblock, and any other things we might need from the sundries store. Itís more expensive to buy it at the resort than at home (although with some airlines now charging for checked bags, maybe not), but itís worth it to us. Always make sure you bring a few tubes of sunblock and at least a little hair conditioner with you. One year CN was out of all sunblock with an SPF higher than 8, and at CSS in August, 209, they had NO hair conditioner.

    We pack very little but have never needed more than this. We spend most of our time in our swimsuits, so we only wear an outfit for an hour or two at a time and donít mind wearing shorts, tops, sundresses, etc., more than once.

    Most people tend to overpack and donít wear half of what they bring. One woman on the MB packed an entire suitcase just with shoes. I bring flat sandals that will go with the daytime outfits Iíve packed and sandals for the evening that I can wear with all three sundresses. Sometimes itís difficult to select exactly what to bring b/c Iím always buying things thinking, ďOh, this would be so great to wear in Jamaica,Ē but youíll be glad if youíre able to pack only what you need.
    Pamela
    I know everything, and I'm always right (just ask my husband).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    325

    Default

    Perhaps it's changed but isn't the baggage allowance for international flights 2 checked bags

  6. #6

    Default

    It's possible, and we've talked about doing it. For us, the challenge is sunscreen - we go through a half bottle+ of Bullfrog per day, and for 8 or 9 days that's a lot of Bullfrog. It's our preferred sunscreen, and we can't buy it at the resort.

    Also, you don't save time going into Jamaica unless you take TimAir or your own transportation to the resort. At Mobay, by the time you get through immigration (which isn't long) they generally have the bags coming down the carousel within 5 or 10 minutes. And if you get to the Couples Lounge first, you are just going to wait for people who did have their bags checked.

    On the way home, you do save time, because at most US airports, it takes some time to get your bags at the port of entry, and then you generally have to re-check them.

    I'll agree with the other posters too - we dress nicely for dinner, and it's good to have enough clothes not to worry.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    313

    Default

    Personally I can pack for a 10 day business trip to Europe in a carry on. I am only 5' tall (DH says it helps because my clothes are small). Just returned for a week at CSS in a carry on - no problem (took 6 swim suits and cover ups, 4 sun dresses, one pair of shorts, 2 t shirts, 1 set of work out clothes, beach shoes, running shoes, one pair of PJs, undies and 8 books). I did by sunscreen at the resort. You have to be flexible on your hair and skin care products. I wear mineral makeup so that does not have to go in the qt bag. I also carry singles of makeup removing towelettes and daily facials that also don't have to qt bag. I use a Veenus razor with build in shave strips so that does not go in the bag either. Then I take sample sizes or travel sizes of everything else - not the products I use at home just whatever I can find small.

    Personally I have not checked a bag in over 10 years and I have status so it would not cost me any more - I just hate waiting for the bags to come and having to get to the airport early to check them in.

    Amy

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    398

    Default

    I wish I was able to do that. I have thought about it because I am in a bathing suit all day every day until dinner but I could not manage for 10 night with on a few 3 oz. bottles. I am a little too high maintenance fot that. But for those that can go for it if you can fit everything you will need. Marnies had some good point about dinner and excursions. So you don't want to go all that way and not be able to do something you really want to do because of that. Plus some of the fun of the whole trip is the journey getting there!

  9. #9

    Default

    We always travel carry on only. One carry on each, plus one personal item (a generous size purse or a backpack). Realistically, how much room do a couple of sundresses (for night time dining)take? Throw in some dress shoes, a coverup, and the rest is swim wear or underwear...no problems!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    128

    Default

    It is very realistic. We only travel with carry-ons and we are able to fit in enough clothes for fine dining AND small gifts for staff. Mix-n-match. You don't need nearly as much as you think.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    257

    Default

    It should also be noted that if you have a connecting flight home, you won't be able to take any booze home with you, as that has to be checked after you land in the States.

  12. #12

    Default

    Forgot the most important aspect of checking bags - school supplies. For the past several years, we have loaded up on school supplies, generally in duffel bags that we leave behind (in JA). One trip, my wife packed about 20 pairs of kids' shoes. We have also brought in two complete computers for the school with monitors, cables, power supplies, etc., all in checked bags.

    So if you like to "travel light", that's great, but the kids could really use the supplies!

  13. #13

    Default

    ok.........so just how big are your carry-ons? On our charter airlines we're only allowed a small tote bag weighing at most 10lbs. I sure couldn't get everything I need for a week in that.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    496

    Default

    Wow! I have just discovered I am HIGH MAINTENANCE!!!

    I could not go to Couples with just a carry on. No way, no how.
    I shop all year long and buy stuff just for Jamaica. Who can pass up the sale racks at the end of the season? Last trip, we went for 14 days and I took 12 bikinis. The we found the nude beach and I didn't wear them lol. I just wouldn't enjoy myself if I didn't look my best for dinner and that means coctail dresses with the right pair of shoes. (and the right earrings, bracelet, ring and necklace) I think I took 6 pair of shoes last trip and they had to go in my golf bag. I even took a pair of pantyhose and wore them! Some dresses just need the "super suck-it-ins")
    I could fill a carry on just with the hair essentials. You just have to have all the goop for that humidity!
    When we go, we play golf so that wardrobe has to be packed, then the tennis clothes too. Honestly, I don't know how I stay under the weight restrictions.

  15. #15

    Default Bags vs carryons

    Well - we did the first two trips with checked heavy bags - last year we were able to do it with only one carryon type suitcase for both of us and two totebags (One each). It worked very well and we had everything we needed for the entire week. This time we are staying a little longer so we are doing one carryon suite case type each and a tote bag each. We are also renewing our vows so have a little extra. We are going to do a practice run this weekend and see if that will work. we also usually throw in an extra empty large tote - in case we need to check coming home there is no problem.

    I am low maintenance in the makeup/hair dept - don't need too much and use alot of my mini-tupperware containers for face/hair products that will fit in the baggies for those items not supplied at the resort.

    Try to think about how many mix and match items you need and I plan to wear almost everything at least twice since they are only worn for a couple of hours - that is half the amount of clothing. This trip coming up we are staying a total of 11 nights (13 nights total including travel time) and I am bringing the following:

    3 swim suits
    one skirt/tank for a cover up
    2 dresses
    1 linen pant
    2 capri
    2 short - maybe 3 if they will fit
    2 fancy tops
    4 tanks
    2 casual tops
    undies
    NO PJ's as they have robes and who needs them at couples anyway)
    my dress for renewal
    three pairs of shoes - two nice/dressy sandals and a flip/flop

    that is about it and yes rolling them really helps....

    Good luck!

  16. #16

    Default

    We tried it last year and we loved it. It is somewhat difficult because of the silly liquid limitation, but whatever doesn't fit you can usually buy at the resort or maybe even in town. If you're a repeater, you'll probably have resort credits anyway, so you can use them to buy sunscreen at the gift shop.

    The "not-so-low-maintenance" might be your stumbling block. If you need special stuff, you might not be able to do it. Maybe you could try being a little lower maintenance for a week. Consider it a vacation!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    16

    Default

    I will tell you all a tip. I always do carryon luggage and my way around it is Sephora. All my makeup/face products/hair products I order from Sephora. When you order online you get to pick three small samples to be included in your order and if you sign up for their rewards program you get to pick a deluxe sample. I watch their site for samples of things I like and use. You get free shipping, usually. So I place my orders and add the stuff I will use on my trips as samples. I never run out of 'liquid' beauty items and the sample sizes are so small I can fit multiples in my carryon luggage.

  18. #18

    Default

    I think we could maybe get away with it but the liquids restriction is what really holds me back. We will be staying for 10 nights on our next trip and I'm not sure I could squeeze in enough sunscreen, and still have room for the other liquids I would want to bring. Plus my husband is pretty tall so his clothing and shoes are bulkier.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    2,324

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    Marnies, my dear, you didn't realize you are high maintenance and you take all of that stuff with you? My brother thinks I high maintenance because I like to use a special hair towel that actually covers all of my long hair without any of it hanging out. He has no clue. I have a wall hanging that says, "if the crown fits...", perhaps I should send it to you. LOL!

    FYI ~ Most airlines are not charging for international bags so checking bags is still not an additional cost.

    We did pack carry-on last time, but once we got to the airport and discovered we wouldn't have to pay to check the bags, we checked them. We've been to Jamaica 5 times and we have never had to wait for luggage. It has always been on the ground waiting for us.
    Juliann & Jeff
    Jamaica Soon Come

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    10

    Default

    Thanks everyone for the feedback! I think I might pack one checked bag and try to go for carry-on with everything else. We got married at CN in 2005, so just carry-on definitely wasn't an option back then. Carry-on, checked bags... I just wanna go!

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    792

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Pamela View Post

    Hereís what we pack for a week (tweak as necessary):

    .....Good check list.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    1

    Default

    A carry on would have been fine to get us there, but getting all of our treasures home after the vacation would have been impossible. The first checked bag for international flights is free if it is under 50 pounds. I was glad we had a checked bag when we flew home...there was not much we had to turn down because we wouldn't have had a way to get it home!

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    270

    Default

    Carry on only would work for us if only I could carry on my MANDATORY 6-7 cans of aerosol sunblock
    The sun & the sand & a drink in my hand, with no bottom

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,953

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    Our luggage is always waiting for us or there minutes after we clear immigration. I tried to pack more this time in my carry on and it was heavy. Also, some airlines are becoming more strict with carry on. Check their site. One I just flew, you could put one bag in the overhead and the other under the seat in front of you--and they measured my carry on.
    Vicky

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    772

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marnies View Post
    Wow! I have just discovered I am HIGH MAINTENANCE!!!

    I could not go to Couples with just a carry on. No way, no how.
    I shop all year long and buy stuff just for Jamaica. Who can pass up the sale racks at the end of the season? Last trip, we went for 14 days and I took 12 bikinis. The we found the nude beach and I didn't wear them lol. I just wouldn't enjoy myself if I didn't look my best for dinner and that means coctail dresses with the right pair of shoes. (and the right earrings, bracelet, ring and necklace) I think I took 6 pair of shoes last trip and they had to go in my golf bag. I even took a pair of pantyhose and wore them! Some dresses just need the "super suck-it-ins")
    I could fill a carry on just with the hair essentials. You just have to have all the goop for that humidity!
    When we go, we play golf so that wardrobe has to be packed, then the tennis clothes too. Honestly, I don't know how I stay under the weight restrictions.
    Here here!! I too am high maintenance, and personally, (although I am admiring of those who can go with just carry-ons) I LIKE all my stuff. I like having a different dress for each of the 8 nights and I like having all my own shampoo and conditioner. I work out every day and like having fresh shorts and socks to wear. (and sports bras do NOT dry well in Jamaica after you wash them -- learned THAT one the hard way. )

    We get one free checked bag, and I have to work very very very hard to keep it under 50 lbs.
    Ragnar Relay 2014 - MIAMI to KEY WEST!
    Marine Corp Marathon: 10/12 4:09
    NYC Marathon 11/6/11 - 4:21
    Chicago Marathon 10/10/10 - 4:19
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