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  1. #1

    Default Traveling Light ???

    I am trying to get Sue to buy into my idea of being able to spend a week at CN with just two carry-ons for luggage. With the post about long lines for Saturday arrivals, I thought the lighter we are the better. When we were there last it seemed like there always was plenty of shampoo and conditioner, plenty for me ( flat top) and Sue. Is this still the case ? Anyone else try to just have carry on luggage ? Thank you . 30 days.....

  2. #2


    Weíve been to Jamaica 19 times (always to a Couples resort) 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
    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

    Other Stuff:
    Pens (for Immigration and Customs forms)
    Books Ė we both have Kindles, which save a lot of room
    Ipods & earphones
    Cell phones
    Phone and iPod chargers
    Hairbrush & comb
    Travel size water pick
    Travel size sound machine
    Electric shaver
    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.

    I know everything, and I'm always right (just ask my husband).

  3. #3


    Our first time there we only had carry ons. We just packed everything in tight and didn't take more than we needed. Also, wear shoes while you travel instead of sandals since they would take up more room. All our liquids were travel size and we had plenty but you can always buy more at the resort. One more suggestion would be for her as the extra "personal bag" would be to carry a tote and put dress shoes, meds and any other bulky items in it. Good luck and have fun!

  4. #4


    First you have to ask yourself what are you trying to save? Not time on arrival to Jamaica because you will still have to wait on line through customs and then wait for the same shuttle bus to take you to the resort as the other guest with checked bags. You also have to have the proper clothes to get into the better restaurants as slacks, collared shirts, and closed shoes are required for men.Then don't forget Jamaica is hot and humid. You will sweat a lot, slather on sun screen (which costs a lot at the resort if you don't bring it in checked bags), and clothes that get wet take longer to dry. Other than that good luck. I don't pack to prove a point but to be comfortable at my destination and to enjoy my stay. A little more time waiting for a bag is nothing compared to being uncofortable for days if you didn't pack right.

  5. #5



    We always travel light with just a carryon each. That includes our snorkel gear. Since it's warm there we bring light clothes that pack efficiently. We have never run out of clothes, but do need to wear things one than once. We were just there in January and it worked great. Couples supplies all the shampoo, body wash and body lotion we need (since we can't carry it on) and we buy suntan lotion with our resort credits. This makes for a much faster time thru the airports, especially on the return trip thru customs.


  6. #6


    We have been to CTI 74 times with nothing more than a 22" carry on each. Our stays have been anywhere from 7 to 21 days. It has always worked!

  7. #7


    I was able to get all my clothes and shoes in a carry on. I think the main thing was not wanting to purchase sun screen and aloe once there. My hubby packed a checked bag and that is where we put that. There was plenty of shampoo and lotion in the room, so that was not an issue. Next time, I think we will just do carry on.

  8. #8


    Hi JimandSue,
    After reading the post about long lines at MoBay on Saturdays, it may be better to check your bags---then you won't have to lug them around while you are waiting to get through immigration. If you have a long wait at least you won't be dragging suitcases--they'll be waiting for you on the carousel once you've made it through!!!

    Have a wonderful trip!

  9. #9


    We are going to try the samething. We have a lay over and think it will be to much trouble dealing with luggage. This is our 1st visit, so a little scared about only taking 2 carry ons. Would be interested to see what everybody thinks is a must and what we could just leave at home.

  10. #10


    Odd you should post that. We came to the same decision this year. I always end up repacking things I never wore and the hubby is ever so tolerant, but I think we can do it, we're going for it. SR 15 days.

  11. #11


    7 trips and we always use carry-on only. One roller bag each (goes in the overhead) and one backpack each (goes under the seat in frount of us). Works just fine and we still OVER PACK.....

  12. #12


    It is completely doable! The last three visits to Swept Away, Ken and I have packed our clothing in carry-ons. We use a backpack as our personal item and you can put quite a lot in there. We also have one large suitcase each for our scuba gear, but if you are not taking scuba gear, you will have plenty of room in your carry-on and personal item (backpack).

    I didn't think that was possible at first, but after watching Ken pack his clothes in the carry-0n, I decided to try it too. I still didn't wear everything i took.

  13. #13


    My wife and I have done only carry-on many times, but the lines are not really the issue for us. The longer line on arrival is at immigration and you don't have your luggage yet for that line anyway.

    Saturdays can be bad, but there is often no certain pattern to it. We have arrive on Saturdays when there were no lines at all and on Wednesdays when it was crazy.

  14. #14


    The problem with the long lines at customs happens before you even get your luggage, so if that's your main reason, you're actually better off carrying on as little as possible because you have to keep it with you the whole time you're on line. I plan on checking as much as possible for this reason!

  15. #15


    Checked bags don't present a problem upon arrival because you have to get through long immigration lines
    before claiming them. They're always waiting for you when you arrive at baggage claim. Checked bags are a
    problem during departure, however. We waited in line for 1 1/2 hours in the baggage check line last November.
    There was barely enough time to buy coffee, etc., at the airport before boarding our flight.
    Not sure if we can make carry on work - but we'll definitely arrive at the airport a lot earlier next time.
    Jan and Mark
    CN 2009
    CSA 2011, 2013
    CSS 2014

  16. #16


    We always buy a lot of souvenirs, including Rum, jerk seasonings and hot sauces. If you plan on purchasing anything like this you will not be able to bring them home in your carry-on. We bring two checked bags and one hardly has anything in it on the way there but is usually full for the way home. Something to consider.

  17. #17


    Went to CN 4 years ago and we all brought huge checked bags..and on the way home the airline said plane was overweight and pulled bags.My friends bag was pulled..she got it 3 or 4 days later..those wet bathing suits did not ripen well..gross.We are taking only carry ons this time.We have to transfer, I overpacked last time, and I don't want to pay for an xtra bag.Pretty confident we will be just fine!

  18. #18


    I am notorious for over packing but I'm reeeaallly trying to be better this year. And I think it's totally do-able to just do carry-on. Even if it doesn't save all that much time overall - it's just less stressful and efficient. No worries about lost baggage, things stolen, trying to maneuver around an airport with a ton of stuff...

    I found this article which was pretty impressive. It's about a flight attendant who can get 10 days worth of clothes in a carry on:

    My husband and I are contemplating just checking one bag to save a little money and force me to keep it simple... we'll see if we succeed hehe

  19. #19


    While I doubt we can get by with only carry on, my compliments to those that can, we have reduded our load considerably over the years. We now only check one bag between us which contains mostly clothes, liquids, shoes and odds & ends. We have room left over for packing rum cream and the carvings or other art objects that mrs. dirtleg collects for the trip back home. This also allows us to pack our carry on lighter or again with only one bag between us. Perhaps not the most economical way to approach packing, but it works out well for us.

  20. #20


    I could probably get away with my hubby and I each bringing a carry-on plus you can take a tote or backpack on in addition to your carry-on but we wouldn't have room on return trip for gifts and souvenirs for family- members. Remember to save space for those kinds of things if you plan on shopping.

  21. #21


    Resort has plenty of shampoo and body lotion for you. While all the advice offered is good, it really is to each their own when packing. We could get away with just carry on's, but I have bad shoulders and pulling/lugging anything around is problematic so we check bags. Don't like to, but in the end it is ok. The only thing I would think about is the purchase of sun block while there, it is expensive, but if that is ok with you, and you obvious know the liquid so no liquor to take home, then go for it and just enjoy the place.

  22. #22


    I copied Pamela's packing list (above) tailored it slightly for us of course, packed, and I'm having trouble with the second carry-on, barely need it at all!!! So, I'm going to split the weight evenly, 75% in the one my husband will be carrying and 25% in mine (hehe) and watch closely for what I don't use and aim for one carry on someday!!! Woo Hoo, we are on our way in 66 hours.

  23. #23


    some time it don't matter they made us check carry on at gate no room in overhead they said but never had that bad time getting though customs

  24. #24


    We Travel light.....thru the airport! We check EVERYTHING! I carry on my kindle, antibacterial juice, lip balm, passport & pack of gum. That way we can relax at the airport without stiff sore shoulders when we get there! If the luggage doesn't arrive then off to SSB we go! It will not save anytime getting there to only bring a carryon...possibly on the way home would be a time savings though! To each his own....def not for me, though I have gotten much lighter thru the years...Hubby & I share one case for our clothes & other has our snorkle/dive stuff, toiletries and shoes... and room for Rum, jerk spices & coffee!

  25. #25


    We are planning to bring one checked bag into Jamaica and do only carry-on going home. Having the checked bag will give us a place for suntan lotion (which I will need lots of), face wash, shampoo and other specialty items that we each need.

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