Carry on or check luggage?

Old Apr 10th, 2007, 04:44 PM
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Carry on or check luggage?

We will be going to CR in May with our 3 children who are great travelers. They carry their own bag/backpack or whatever .My question is should we plan on just a carry-on or make it easy and check it in? We will be in CR 2 weeks: MA, Arenal, SJ so I don't really know how much to pack. I'm one of those that likes to have "something" just in case. I don't mean clothes but medicines ( tums, Pepto, bactine, antibiotics etc) . I'm more so when our children are with us and in the past it has paid off. My son got strep throat 2 days into our trip and guess who had remembered antibiotics? Yep, Mom! Anyway, I'm not sure if I should do as always or hope nothing is needed and leave it at home. I am hoping someone who has been recently can help me decide. Are carry-ons the way to go ?

Oh, did I mention that we will also have my DH surfboard? Can't leave home without that! I know we have to check it so I'm thinking why not all of it?
bamababe is offline  
Old Apr 10th, 2007, 05:04 PM
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It doesn't really matter, which ever you prefer. If you want to carry all those meds, then check your bags and let everyone else, if they want, carry on. Checking luggage on past trips has only cost me 5 minutes max extra time, so it's a toss up either way.
tully is offline  
Old Apr 10th, 2007, 05:12 PM
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I normally go carry on all the way. However, if as you say you are already going to have to check the surfboard anyway, you might as well do checked baggage. Especially if you have to change planes, its alot easier navigating the airports without bags. The only thing is - if you know you are checking, you will have the tendency to overpack.

raquel_z is offline  
Old Apr 10th, 2007, 05:15 PM
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I pack light, but I do check my one small suitcase. I hate dragging stuff around the airport, onto the plane, into the overhead, etc.

I pack my small carry-on so I could make it for a couple days should the larger bag be delayed. (Knock wood) that has never happened.
suze is offline  
Old Apr 10th, 2007, 05:54 PM
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I haven't been to CR, but it can add hours at some airports if you have to get luggage and wait in customs lines. Packing my things through the airport is a small price to pay. Statistically 5-10% of checked bags are delayed or misplaced, so I still carry-on my personal belongings even when my husband has a flyfishing rod case to check. For a month in Honduras last summer we checked the rod case and a wheeled bag with fishing and diving gear, and carried on the rest. Since you'll have the board to check, you could just decide what you couldn't live without for the first week and carry that on. Happy trails!
hopefulist is offline  
Old Apr 10th, 2007, 08:07 PM
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I can't seem to make it without a check-in. What I ended up doing was getting a cheap duffle from Target, packing all the clothes/shoes I couldn't bear to lose, and that was my carryon. The expendables, medicines, more lose-able clothes I packed in the checkin bag. (But a carry-on size bag). It worked out well, I could carry the duffle on my shoulder and roll the bag. If you do lose the check-in, they say you can get what you need at the farmacia.
emmajm is offline  
Old Apr 10th, 2007, 08:19 PM
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I'm glad to read most of you feel the same way I do--check it! I usually do carry essentials on board with me in case of lost bags and I also hate dragging a bag around airports. At least now everyone is in charge of his/her own carry-on. The rule is : if you take it you carry it! So far it has worked well. Thanks everyone. i've gotten lots of info and tips from this site.
bamababe is offline  
Old Apr 11th, 2007, 07:43 AM
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If it is a prescription medication I would keep it in the carry-on right with me. If you just mean normal meds like aspirin, etc. I guess in checked is OK.

I used to be a die-hard carry-on only person until maybe 10 years back when I was forced to check going to Europe one time. Never looked back! Especially as a solo traveler, having the one bag checked thru is the way to go IMO. I have never felt I was held up by more than a couple minutes, over the hassle of trying to do carry-on only. Plus you can pack a little more "luxuriously" so to speak. I still never use more than one single 22 or 24" roller.
suze is offline  
Old Apr 11th, 2007, 08:10 AM
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We much prefer to carry on but on the odd trip that we decide to take our extra camera equipment etc or are bringing stuff down to people there and can't carry it all on, it doesn't save that much time with carry on when arriving IMHO. I usually hate standing in airports waiting for luggage but immigration time will eat up some of the time you would be doing that so more often than not your luggage is going to show up soon, if it isn't already there by the time you get through that line. Unless you run and get there first of course. One big reason for carry on for us was always the horrendous time it took to get through the line when leaving the country because they hand checked almost every bag that was being checked in. They now have scanners for that thank goodness.

Like Raquel mentioned though, you will tend to overpack if you aren't thinking about hauling everything around the airport. Even when I am bringing stuff down for other people I tuck a few extra items in for us.

One other thing, I would carry all meds with you on the plane. Most things can be gotten in CR but not necessarily all. Antibiotics are pretty easy to get ahold of if you need them unexpectedly. There are small pharmacies everywhere and the pharmacists can prescribe some stuff for you. I had my hand torn up by a young dog that I couldn't resist playing with. Hubby thought I should take something just in case and wouldn't you know, it was probably the only time we didn't bother to bring antibiotics. Do know the actual name of the drug(s) that you use rather than the common name. We were able to get them easily, if not cheaply, at a pharmacy down the road.
Suzie2 is offline  
Old Apr 11th, 2007, 06:47 PM
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Glad to see this thread as it has me rethinking for our upcoming trip in May. (Less than a month! Yea!)

I had planned to do it all as carry-on. But since we too, have surfboards to check, I'm thinking I'll just keep my camera stuff, meds, and enough to get me by - should something happen to my bag. And check the rest.

I'm a light packer so I'm not worried about overdoing. Also, I hope to have some books to take for the new library in Pavones, so I'd have to check those anyway.

I'll also have my Salomon TechAmphibians in my carry-on, if they're not on my feet. I love them. Thanks to all who recommended these great, multi-purpose shoes.

Counting down the days.

Floridafran is offline  
Old Apr 12th, 2007, 09:29 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
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I'll go against the grain here as far as traveling into Liberia airport with check-in bags. Unless they have improved drastically in the last month, the DIS-order of picking up your bags is pure chaos! Of course the whole airport needs to be revamped but the carousel is tucked into a corner where in and out is a traffic jam. Carry on if you can at least coming into Liberia.
joeschmo is offline  
Old Apr 12th, 2007, 02:58 PM
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joeschmo, You aren't really going against the grain. I think most of us were talking about SJO airport and elsewhere. Your input is good for people who are entering through Liberia.
Suzie2 is offline  
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