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  1. #1

    Default Packing Secrets?

    My husband and I will be arriving back "home" in April. I get disappointed just thinking about how far away it is. But I also know from experience that it will be here and gone before I know it.

    Anyway, we have been to Couples TI three times, but this will be our first trip to CN. I was just wondering if anyone has any "packing secrets" they'd like to share? I find it difficult to pack due to the fact that we are always doing something different. I tend to pack two/three bathing suits, because they don't dry due to the humidity. I also pack 4-5 different daytime/nigh time outfits. For me, that means shoes to match each outfit. I always start off with the best intentions, but get so worried that I'll "need" something. Ugh! Any thoughts/ideas would be greatly appreciated!!!

    Counting the days until we're "home" again!!!
    Last edited by Pamed; February 17th, 2016 at 07:40 PM.

  2. #2

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    I limit myself to only packing 3 pairs of footwear - 1 pair of flops for the beach/pool, 1 flat sandal in a neutral, 1 wedge sandal in a neutral (metallic leather is a neutral in my book). I wear Keen "active wear" shoes or sandals on the plane. You can save tons of space by limiting shoes.

    Also think about how many "daytime" outfits you really wear. I bring one pair of shorts and a top for an excursion. The rest of my day outfits are swimsuits with cover ups - you can get a lot of versatility by bringing a range of coverups from casual to dressier. I usually bring 4 swimsuits and five coverups - these don't take up much packing space.

    I bring at least five dresses for dinner/evening just coordinate all to the 2 pairs of dressy sandals.

    I'm able to completely pack all of my clothing and my husbands clothing as well as our personal items into one checked bag and one carry on (total, not apiece). I also pack a flat canvas beach bag into our checked bag that becomes our second carry on for the return home if we've purchased gifts, etc.

  3. #3

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    We are also "what if" packers so I certainly understand. First don't worry so much about the shoes. Go for comfort and I don't suggest bringing heels. Walkways are not that even and there are many areas you will catch them in. I would make a couple basic suggestions. First divide half of you clothes in each other's bag. Heaven forbid a bag is lost but at least your vacation is not as you will each have some clothes to wear. Secondly pack shorts, t-shirts, sunglasses, and flip flops in your carry on bag. When you get to the Couples Lounge in the airport change into them using the bathroom for a comfortable trip to the resort as it will be about an hour and a half. If you are arriving early your room may not be ready (check in is 3:00). We put bathing suits, cover up, and sun screen on the top of our checked bag. When we arrive at the resort we check in and change into swimwear using the lobby bathroom to relax and start enjoying our stay while waiting for the room to be ready. You will spend most of each day in a bathing suit and flip flops. Remember that stressing is not allowed in Jamaica. Especially at Couples. Enjoy.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by OkieJam View Post
    I limit myself to only packing 3 pairs of footwear - 1 pair of flops for the beach/pool, 1 flat sandal in a neutral, 1 wedge sandal in a neutral (metallic leather is a neutral in my book). I wear Keen "active wear" shoes or sandals on the plane. You can save tons of space by limiting shoes.

    Also think about how many "daytime" outfits you really wear. I bring one pair of shorts and a top for an excursion. The rest of my day outfits are swimsuits with cover ups - you can get a lot of versatility by bringing a range of coverups from casual to dressier. I usually bring 4 swimsuits and five coverups - these don't take up much packing space.

    I bring at least five dresses for dinner/evening just coordinate all to the 2 pairs of dressy sandals.

    I'm able to completely pack all of my clothing and my husbands clothing as well as our personal items into one checked bag and one carry on (total, not apiece). I also pack a flat canvas beach bag into our checked bag that becomes our second carry on for the return home if we've purchased gifts, etc.

    OkieJam, you listed everything I intend to do for this next trip, right down to the packed beach bag to double as a second carry on for the way home. I think it's some good advice. For me, my 3 pairs of packed shoes will be one brown pair of flip flops, one black pair of flip flops, and one pair of black dress sandals that will go with all my dresses. I will wear my sneakers. I've limited myself to 3 outfits for day time or casual dinner, and 4 dresses. If you can do it, I'm more confident that I can do it too! How nice it would be to have just two suitcases, one big and one carry on!?

  5. #5

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    As long as you don't exceed the 50lb weight limit what's the problem? I love all my sandals - I probably bring 6-8 pairs!

  6. #6

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    Pack the minimum you think you'll need......then ruthlessly take half of it out.

  7. #7

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    I roll my clothes. My wife thinks this is stupid.

    Life is good

  8. #8

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    Great advice! I love the idea of the cover-ups!!! I only have one, but I could definitely buy a few more cute ones. Like you said, that don't take up much packing space at all!!! Also, the idea of the canvas beach bag becoming a second carry on for the trip home. . . genius!!! I knew if I put the question out there, I get some great ideas!!

    Thanks!!

  9. #9

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    Here's what had been working for me- from one over packer to another
    I definitely agree with limiting shoes, they just take up so much room. I love higher shoes but try to limit myself to one pair of neutral or black wedges that will go with multiple dresses. I then have a pair of dressy flip flops that will go with the rest, and a pair of flip flops for the beach.
    I try to be realistic about what I'm actually going to do on the resort. As good as my intentions might be I have never worked out, so I don't need to bring tennis shoes. We also don't do any excursions so I really don't need anything besides flip flops for shoes for the day.
    I always make a list of everything I might want to bring and then try to cut it down from there. Even when I'm packing, I'll pull out all of the dresses I want to bring and then start one by one putting them back in my closet until I'm down to just one dress per night. I do the same with coverups, but I bring as many swimsuits as I can...they don't take up much room anyway.
    I also plan pretty far in advance (can you tell I love packing for vacation!) so I have plenty of time to think over my lists and be realistic about the clothes and things I don't need. If you're like me you tend to want to wear your favorites more than once and ignore the other stuff you brought.
    Sorry so long, our trip is in just a few short months and I've been getting so excited thinking about packing and what I want to bring!

  10. #10

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    We split half of our clothes in each other's suitcase. Always have done this just in case a bag gets lost. Also for our swimsuits, I bought some 2 gallon zip lock back and put suits in there. It keeps them contained and by removing the air out it flattens the bag out. We roll all of our clothes, saves room and leaves space for any souvenirs to come back home. We each pack an outfit and swimsuit in our carry on for the flight to Jamaica and the way home in case we get delayed. I took several hair products last trip but with the humidity, those will probably stay home.

  11. #11

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    Packing the minimum and THEN taking out half. . . I'm going to try that for sure. Also, rolling clothes vs. regular folding? Hum, I've done both and I have to say I like rolling. The only problem is they tend to get wrinkles just the same.

    I've heard of people packing a change of clothes in their carry-on. I'm definitely going to do that this year!

    What about the packing cubes? Anyone like those? I don't really see the benefit, but then again, I've never tried them.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beach-bum View Post
    I roll my clothes. My wife thinks this is stupid.

    Life is good
    Agreed 100%... If you roll, you can fill the entire suitcase... no empty air pockets. The clothes will wrinkle less.
    CTI - 07, 10, 13, 15, 16, 18, 21

  13. #13

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    We use the vacuum bags and the clothes don't wrinkle. You don't have to worry about clothes falling out of the suitcase if they get opened accidentally and they certainly save a lot of space in your suitcase. You don't need vacuum to get the air out. Just press it down with your hands or your body on top of it to get the air out.

  14. #14

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    I bought some packing cubes because they sounded like a good idea. I used them once and now they sit in a closet. I just couldn't see how they were helping me.

  15. #15

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    I'm with luvbeaches - as long as I'm under the 50# I'm good I never know what I feel like wearing at night and change 3-5 times, so yes I over pack but don't care as long as I'm under the weight limit and have room for some rum cream.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by sweetlastname View Post
    I'm with luvbeaches - as long as I'm under the 50# I'm good I never know what I feel like wearing at night and change 3-5 times, so yes I over pack but don't care as long as I'm under the weight limit and have room for some rum cream.
    Same here. I read about people who avoid checking luggage by squeezing a few shirts and a couple pair of pants in their carry-on, and talk about how much time and money they save, and then doing laundry in the bathroom sink in their room. I'm like hmmmm.... when I'm on vacation, I'd rather overpack and be prepared for anything on my vacations than have to wear the same clothes every other day. I'm also thinking, I'd rather have way too much clothes that I may not even wear than spend my time on vacation doing laundry. After spending around $4,000 on your AI resort vacation, is that worth saving the $50 in checked baggage fees? I know there is that tiny chance your luggage may get lost, but there is also a chance that the plane may crash too, and neither of those stop me. But to each their own.

  17. #17

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    We check 3 bags (1 just for shoes) and have a carry on with clothes for a couple of days in case the checked luggage get lost. It only cost us $90 each way (+porter tips) for the luggage. Why would we not want to pack all we might need when we have paid 6000+ for a vacation and want to look nice each day. Overpack and have fun..................
    Terry & Lynne

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamaican_junkie View Post
    Same here. I read about people who avoid checking luggage by squeezing a few shirts and a couple pair of pants in their carry-on, and talk about how much time and money they save, and then doing laundry in the bathroom sink in their room. I'm like hmmmm.... when I'm on vacation, I'd rather overpack and be prepared for anything on my vacations than have to wear the same clothes every other day. I'm also thinking, I'd rather have way too much clothes that I may not even wear than spend my time on vacation doing laundry. After spending around $4,000 on your AI resort vacation, is that worth saving the $50 in checked baggage fees? I know there is that tiny chance your luggage may get lost, but there is also a chance that the plane may crash too, and neither of those stop me. But to each their own.
    Agreed, I'm never doing laundry in the sink again or paying couple to do it Again!

  19. #19

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    Space bags. Pack everything in the roll up space bags, you will get so much more in your case. Cut back on shoes. There is no need to be matchy matchy with shoes. Buy neutral colours or just go with a couple of bold and bright colours. No-one matches shoes anymore.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by dandj View Post
    No-one matches shoes anymore.
    And I thought I was being original wearing one black shoe and one white shoe.

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by dandj View Post
    No-one matches shoes anymore.
    These don't match, but they still need to go together....

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  22. #22

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    " How sweet it is"....Beer Happy!!!!

  23. #23

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    We've yet to visit CSA (first trip on the books for May) but have taken 12 all inclusive beach vacations and I am definitely an over packer but I have my method down to near perfection...for me at least. Some of my tips:
    -Do as mentioned and separate some outfits into each bag.
    -Put the pricier stuff in carry-on’s (for us that would be our nicer shoes, my flat iron/blowdryer, electronics, chargers)
    -Put liquids in a latching Rubbermaid type of box for the checked bag, transfer unused liquids to a Ziploc for the ride home and use the latching plastic box for breakable items you may have purchased.
    -This is probably unnecessary for most but I use the smaller/front pockets of our checked bags for extra coat hangers as I like to fully unpack as soon as we get to the room.
    -My personal carry-on is a “weekender” bag that has my beach bag inside of it, then an insulated cooler that houses my nicer DSLR camera as well as a cross body purse with my passport/insulin/cash in so I can just take that out at the airport and run to the bathroom or store. I also make sure there is a pocket filing folder with pens and paperclips to keep all of our travel documents in.
    -I use several rolling toiletry bags (one for each of us, one for first aid/meds, and one for my travel jewelry which is all separated by outfit in snack sized Ziploc bags)
    -I love my vacation shoes so I bring several pairs of sandals but nothing with heels, they’re just not resort friendly or needed.

  24. #24

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    We always over pack. For him it is best intentions of getting to gym and therefore work out cloths are needed. For her, 10+ swimsuits for an 8 night stay. Also, at least 10 dresses to chose from for the nights. A girl has to have options, right? Just always try to stay under 50 pounds each.

    Kurt and Angela
    CN 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017
    CSS 2014, 2016, 2017

  25. #25

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    Yea! I finally found others who are happy over packers! Good thing that as I've gotten older that suitcases are easier to manage with better and more wheels. My first suitcases didn't even have wheels - you had to carry them! Leaving next Saturday and have my long packing list almost done - I keep tweaking and adding to it!

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