To Check or not to Check (luggage that is)

Sep 13th, 2004, 01:25 PM
  #1  
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To Check or not to Check (luggage that is)

My husband and I will be taking our first trip to CR in '05 (7 days). Although we're not flying on one of the little airlines with the 25 lb weight limit, I'm still wondering if not checking luggage will make the process any easier. I'm not the greatest of light packers, however, many on this forum have indicated that people always overpack for CR. Any advice here would be appreciated.
Lauralis is offline  
Sep 13th, 2004, 02:29 PM
  #2  
Sunnyboy
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For a 7 day trip you should have no problems packing what you need in one standard size roll-on for each person. It will save you time and there will be no waiting at the carrosel to collect your luggage. Here's some hints - put out the clothes you think you'll need, then put half of them back in the drawer or closet. Pack the rest. Concentrate on packing only what you'll actually need not what you think you might need. You are only going away for a week so you can do without the extraneous items like flashlights, three pocketbooks, 7 dresses, etc. (you get the idea). Consider doing laundy halfway through your stay. This will allow you to pack less. Most hotels offer this service. Yes, it's a little pricy but your only doing it once so it should have too much effect on your overall budget and you'll save space. Pack travel size toiletries to save more space. Leave the hair dryers, big mirrors, etc. at home - most hotels have these in the rooms. CR is a relatively casual environment so you won't need a different outfit for dinner each night since you most likely will be eating at a different place. No one will notice what you are wearing. Keep shoes to a minimum. For me, if I can't fit it in one roll-on I figure I don't really need it. Follow the old adage - take less clothes and bring more money!
 
Sep 13th, 2004, 02:32 PM
  #3  
 
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To check or not to check. . . .it's a good question! We don't have any problem getting our clothes for the week (the times we've been for a week) in a carry on bag. You really don't need all that much, it's true, but we always seem to end up checking our luggage because of other things we take (video camera, etc).

You CAN do it, though, and it DOES make arrival much easier and quicker. You do not have to take a week's worth of clothing and underwear--some things you can wear twice and some things you can wash! Shorts, t-shirt, tank tops, a pair of capris, etc. Swimsuit, light jacket (if you are going to be in the Central Valley, nights can be cool), flip flops, and wear your tennies to avoid packing them. Several of the hotels have blow driers if that is important to you--definitely saves space not to have to take one. Sunscreen, small containers of toiletries, and repellant.

I usually carry on a backpack (with a small purse inside). We found this summer that we can manage quite well with a back pack each for about a week! We stored our luggage (we were there for 4 weeks) and took the public bus and our backpacks for a week. Got along just fine--with all the things mentioned above plus flash lights and umbrellas!

You can do it. AND, if you find you didn't take enough, you can always pick up something you might need down there. On the way home, check your luggage so you can carry on things you've bought! It's a good idea to pack an empty bag of some type inside your luggage as well as a few ziplocs.
shillmac is offline  
Sep 13th, 2004, 02:39 PM
  #4  
 
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I loved arriving in SJO with my carry-on, strolling out to where all the cars/taxis gather (and being ignored as I was by myself with no throng behind me), grabbing an Imperial at the little stand, satisfying my nicotine fix and after a while seeing all the other people on my plane wander out.
tully is offline  
Sep 13th, 2004, 02:57 PM
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Tully, I gotta say--what a way to arrive in Costa Rica. . .all relaxed, already on Tico time! There can't be a better way to start up a few days of vacation! I have no idea what you look like, but I could clearly see your description playing in my head! Thanks for making me smile!
shillmac is offline  
Sep 13th, 2004, 04:12 PM
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We took only carry-on for a three week trip. It was admittedly a challenge! We even had room for trail food and souveniers! Zip-off pants and those plastic space-saving bags were a big help. We wore our bulky hiking shoes and jackets, which we stuffed with umbrellas, etc. We found that we really needed flashlights. We flew American Airlines; I don't know if airlines have uniform baggage restrictions.

tully, I'd love to be as calm, cool, and collected as you!
Molly2 is offline  
Sep 13th, 2004, 05:47 PM
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shillmac - your welcome!

Molly - I wasn't too c,c & c later when my hotel pick-up didn't show but the beer helped with that 'oh well' feeling!
tully is offline  
Sep 13th, 2004, 05:52 PM
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Lauralis -
TACA airlines limits check in baggage weight to 70 pounds per bag, and carry-on is 25. If you exceed that, start unpacking and wear the extra weight.
TripleSecDelay is offline  
Sep 14th, 2004, 09:56 AM
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You all must stay in much nicer hotels that I do...as I have never stayed in a hotel in CR that has blow dryers! That is one thing I always bring! It's silly, but my hair is real curly if I don't blow dry it and I hate it curly, so although I don't use the blow dryer every single day, after two or three days I'm sick of being 'curly' and will break out the dryer! LOL!
That being said, I will being 3 or 4 pair of shorts for an 8 day trip but I also bring a clean shirt for every day. I also bring a couple of very casual skirts. As for shoes, my last two trips I have brought no shoes except the flip-flops I wear on the plane, but I was not planning on any hiking the last two trips so I could get away with it. I also DO bring a very small travel mirror and this last trip I WISHED I'd brought a small flashlight and umbrella as it was very rainy so I could have used both. I also always bring a light sweater which I always wear on the plane.
I have always been able to get by with one roll on bag.
Ally is offline  
Sep 14th, 2004, 10:22 AM
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Ally :
I know what you mean about the Italian curly hair my ancestors gave me. Borrowing a hair dryer has been a way to make friends on the road.

Keying on your comment, I'm suggesting that you bring sandals that have more straps than flip-flops. We did. We met some nice people that wore flip-flops and were forced to "MacGyver" or "Rube Goldberg" some straps around their ankles as they found they needed more support.

Regarding flashlight : I can't travel w/o one + a few other things like safety pins, rubber bands, crazy glue, air freshener. (the bathroom air freshener the maids attached to the toilet at Los Lagos last week had to be ziplocked because they made a great bathroom smell like a portapotty).
TripleSecDelay is offline  
Sep 14th, 2004, 12:57 PM
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Do take a small, powerful flashlight--the magnalite type. In January, we were in CR for only 6 days, but the little flashlights came in handy several times--a couple of times extremely handy. And they fit in your shirt pocket.

Just a carryon for 3 weeks--what a clothes hog. Any real traveler, as opposed to the hated and pathetic "tourist," doesn't need anything except his/her pockets and a freezer size baggy to carry all that they need for any trip up to 3 months in length. Do take several rolls of local coins taped to your inner thighs so you can do laundry twice a day.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
Sep 14th, 2004, 03:42 PM
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RufusTFirefly, you put me to shame! Let me guess - you're male, right? LOL!
Molly2 is offline  
Sep 15th, 2004, 05:43 AM
  #13  
 
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TripleSec,
I didn't mean to suggest that anyone else bring nothing more than flip-flops, only that it worked for me on my last two trips! As stated I was not planing on doing any hiking of any sort. The most walking I did was along the beach, where it's easy to take them off and go bare-foot. Most of my days were spent in meetings sitting on my butt!
If doing any serious walking or hiking, sandles with straps, tennis shoes or even hiking boots would be better depending on the activity.
Ally is offline  
Sep 16th, 2004, 09:22 AM
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Ally :
In my short time on this blue marble we call Earth, I've found that people have a style of speaking and a style of writing. Sorry if I misinterpreted your intended meaning.

Did you travel to CR for work? Job envy brewing over here...

I'm submitting a job transfer toDAY! I've been sitting in meetings in the same familiar downtown building every grey workday for 27 years. My boss is sure to hear about this ... Hey, Boss, where's my gold watch, anyway?
TripleSecDelay is offline  
Sep 16th, 2004, 10:23 AM
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So far, 8 or 9 of my trips have been for vacation, but the last 2 have been for business. My family (me, husband, brother and sister) are building a hotel there. I know what you mean about this 'corporate beast' some of us have to work in/at. I've been a Radio/TV Producer for 23 years and I'm sick of it. Can't wait to move to Costa Rica and try something different!

Good luck with getting that gold watch! HA! For my 15th anniversary with the company I work for, they gave me a bottle of wine and a card. The wine was a local wine, Austin Texas! Texas is not the best place to make wine, so the 'gift' was lost on me! LOL!
Ally is offline  
Sep 16th, 2004, 02:32 PM
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They could've at least thrown in a new pair of flip-flops. Sorry for the poor humor. . . .couldn't resist. Such a smart-a**
shillmac is offline  
Sep 17th, 2004, 06:05 AM
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That's funny shillmac. I would have prefered new flip flops over that bottle of cheap wine ! LOL!
Ally is offline  
Sep 17th, 2004, 01:36 PM
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So, Ally, we're all wondering. . .are you going to have hair dryers in that new hotel of yours?

We'd really like to not have to pack them when we all come to visit!
shillmac is offline  
Sep 24th, 2004, 11:53 AM
  #19  
 
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Ally,
I am based in Panama and would love to talk to you about your hotel project - you can private message me through the Thorntree.Lonelyplanet forum under the same screen name....
Cheers,
Andrew
AndrewGW is offline  
Sep 24th, 2004, 03:36 PM
  #20  
 
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A couple quick tips from my experiences in travel:
Always bring a flashlight, such as a small maglite. The power in C.R. can go off at any time and often does. We needed our flashlight several times. It's also good for getting up at night to go potty without turning on the light and waking up anyone else in the room. I always wanted to check the floor for bugs before stepping down in the dark.

Also, check with your airline before bringing a carry-on umbrella. Some don't allow them or have restrictions because you might try to club the pilot
LA_FadeAway is offline  

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