Checked bag to HI, worth cost and trouble?

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fortfun
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Checked bag to HI, worth cost and trouble?

Post by fortfun » Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:49 am

We can fit all the stuff we need into free carry ons (United and Hawaiian). For $75 (all flights), I can check a large suitcase. Is stuff so expensive on the Big Island that I should pay for the checked bag and load it with sunscreen, snacks, etc? Is it worth the cost and trouble, or should I just buy that stuff at Walmart when we arrive? I do not have a Costco membership. Thanks.

Traveling with wife and two kids (10 and 12). We are good travelers. Don't need much stuff.
Last edited by fortfun on Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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unclescrooge
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Re: Checked bag to HI, worth cost and trouble?

Post by unclescrooge » Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:50 am

If it's just you, then no. But if traveling with family and small kids, it might be worth it.

mega317
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Re: Checked bag to HI, worth cost and trouble?

Post by mega317 » Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:52 am

Why don't you call Walmart in Hawaii and ask them to price a few things for you

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fortfun
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Re: Checked bag to HI, worth cost and trouble?

Post by fortfun » Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:52 am

unclescrooge wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:50 am
If it's just you, then no. But if traveling with family and small kids, it might be worth it.
With wife and kids (10 and 12).

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fortfun
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Re: Checked bag to HI, worth cost and trouble?

Post by fortfun » Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:53 am

mega317 wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:52 am
Why don't you call Walmart in Hawaii and ask them to price a few things for you
I thought about that. Maybe I'll go online and see if I can find some pricing. Thanks.

livesoft
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Re: Checked bag to HI, worth cost and trouble?

Post by livesoft » Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:59 am

We also go by the Walmart on Maui on the way to the condo. There is also a big-box sporting goods store nearby.

It is cheaper to buy snorkeling stuff at Walmart than it is to rent it and just leave it in the condo.

Since the condo has a washer/dryer we bring virtually nothing with us: Sunglasses, hat, swim trunks, sandals, and T-shirt. Buy the Hawaiian shirt on the island. Get another souvenir hat and T-shirt.

What crap were you thinking of bringing anyways?
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unclescrooge
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Re: Checked bag to HI, worth cost and trouble?

Post by unclescrooge » Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:00 am

fortfun wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:52 am
unclescrooge wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:50 am
If it's just you, then no. But if traveling with family and small kids, it might be worth it.
With wife and kids (10 and 12).
Probably not then.

I meant really small kids, where you're carrying diapers, baby food, car seats, pack n play, etc.

If you're planning on renting a car, the local Wal-Mart should carry everything.

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fortfun
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Re: Checked bag to HI, worth cost and trouble?

Post by fortfun » Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:01 am

unclescrooge wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:00 am
fortfun wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:52 am
unclescrooge wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:50 am
If it's just you, then no. But if traveling with family and small kids, it might be worth it.
With wife and kids (10 and 12).
Probably not then.

I meant really small kids, where you're carrying diapers, baby food, car seats, pack n play, etc.

If you're planning on renting a car, the local Wal-Mart should carry everything.
Thanks Uncle-scrooge. That's what we are thinking too.

livesoft
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Re: Checked bag to HI, worth cost and trouble?

Post by livesoft » Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:02 am

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quantAndHold
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Re: Checked bag to HI, worth cost and trouble?

Post by quantAndHold » Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:18 am

You’re certainly not going to save $75 by buying stuff on the mainland and bringing it with you.

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Sandtrap
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Re: Checked bag to HI, worth cost and trouble?

Post by Sandtrap » Sat Dec 30, 2017 12:11 pm

Flights to Hawaii, if not many airlines, have been clamping down on the size of carry on luggage due to limited storage in the overhead and underseat compartments.
Hawaiian airlines will have an informal check of all carry on luggage prior to boarding and I have seen a great percentage of the passengers having to "gate check" the bags.
Airlines are not only getting strict with having to fit the "carry on" into the "test bin" at the gate but will have the discretion to strongly insist that the bags need to be gate checked. Over the past few years I have downsized my carry on to be far below the "allowed dimensions" to ensure I don't get hassled.
IMHO buy disposables and consumables when you get there. Travel light.
Enjoy your trip to the islands.
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heartwood
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Re: Checked bag to HI, worth cost and trouble?

Post by heartwood » Sat Dec 30, 2017 12:17 pm

fortfun wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:49 am
We can fit all the stuff we need into free carry ons (United and Hawaiian). For $75 (all flights), I can check a large suitcase. Is stuff so expensive on the Big Island that I should pay for the checked bag and load it with sunscreen, snacks, etc? Is it worth the cost and trouble, or should I just buy that stuff at Walmart when we arrive? I do not have a Costco membership. Thanks.

Traveling with wife and two kids (10 and 12). We are good travelers. Don't need much stuff.
Not worth it to have to lug another bag both ways, even if it was free. In general costs are plus 20% in the islands.

Walmart is a good suggestion. I'll add Target. For less than the $75 you'd spend you can join Costco.

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Re: Checked bag to HI, worth cost and trouble?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Sat Dec 30, 2017 12:20 pm

I always assume that anything I check will be lost forever. The only time in the last few years that we checked a bag was on Spirit going to Florida with the family. We made sure that the things we REALLY needed went into the carry on bags.

A really good way to figure out what to take is to assume you're going to do laundry there every 3 days. So lay out what you'll want to wear for 3 days. You don't need to choose between a bunch of outfits when you get there....just figure it out at home. You don't need things like shampoo and the hotel will give you small toothpaste and such.
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joeblow
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Re: Checked bag to HI, worth cost and trouble?

Post by joeblow » Sat Dec 30, 2017 1:05 pm

We go every year and find it easier to just buy what we need when we get there. It is more expensive, but not as bad as it used to be. Unless you have some special dietary needs that you might not be able to get there (unlikely), I'd only take on the plane what you need for travel.

Please buy reef safe sunscreen and not the garbage that most people lather themselves with.

DrGoogle2017
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Re: Checked bag to HI, worth cost and trouble?

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Sat Dec 30, 2017 1:23 pm

I never check any bag either. My kids who tend to use expensive shampoos also get to buy their stuff in Hawaii on my credit card. I rather spend money when I’m travelling to help the local economy. I’ve never been to Costco either in any island. Howeve, this year, I will make an exception to buy buggspray and water shoes at Walmart.

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fortfun
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Re: Checked bag to HI, worth cost and trouble?

Post by fortfun » Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:32 pm

Thanks everyone! We will do just carry on!

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Re: Checked bag to HI, worth cost and trouble?

Post by Mudpuppy » Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:48 pm

I'm planning to check one bag so I can take more than 3oz containers of toiletries. There's no way I could fit enough toiletries into a 3-1-1 carry-on container. But I have to use pretty specific brands of shampoo, conditioner, and sunscreen due to a skin problem, which I can only find at a couple of specialty health stores here in California (usually I just order them online). So I either bring enough toiletries with me or break out in a rash, because the likelihood of finding those brands in Kauai are pretty small.

I also plan to have a backpack for my carry-on. I will have my prescription skin cream and a back-up set of toiletries in my carry-on just in case my checked bag is lost. It won't be enough toiletries to get me through the whole trip, but at least it will minimize the time I'm using irritating toiletries. This is a very unique situation though. If you can buy your toiletries at Costco, Target, Walmart, or the like, it's probably not worth the checked bag fee.

takeshi
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Re: Checked bag to HI, worth cost and trouble?

Post by takeshi » Sat Dec 30, 2017 6:08 pm

Worth is always highly subjective and it's really your call make based on your preferences and priorities. It's rare that I don't check a bag when flying. My wife and I aren't charged for our first checked bags and it's rare that it has been a hassle for us. We also have priority boarding but hate playing the game of fighting for overhead baggage space with everyone else. Clearly, people differ on these matters and YMMV.

IMO
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Re: Checked bag to HI, worth cost and trouble?

Post by IMO » Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:31 pm

Hadn't been to HI for along time, so just very recently dealt with this dilemma of cost of checking bag vs. buying things in HI with it's reported huge difference in cost of living. So when we got there (as on Oahu this trip), went to Walmart and it was much more cost effective to buy things like body boards, masks/snorkels locally. In fact, many things were cheaper such as the body boards/fins. (Even gas was cheaper).

So its' better to buy things in HI (at least Oahu) and leave them in HI for another family to use.

Maybe I should have done a post like this one asking before we left.

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Re: Checked bag to HI, worth cost and trouble?

Post by Cunobelinus » Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:35 pm

heartwood wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 12:17 pm
fortfun wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:49 am
We can fit all the stuff we need into free carry ons (United and Hawaiian). For $75 (all flights), I can check a large suitcase. Is stuff so expensive on the Big Island that I should pay for the checked bag and load it with sunscreen, snacks, etc? Is it worth the cost and trouble, or should I just buy that stuff at Walmart when we arrive? I do not have a Costco membership. Thanks.

Traveling with wife and two kids (10 and 12). We are good travelers. Don't need much stuff.
Not worth it to have to lug another bag both ways, even if it was free. In general costs are plus 20% in the islands.

Walmart is a good suggestion. I'll add Target. For less than the $75 you'd spend you can join Costco.
Target does price-matching with the online price, and there's a Target in Hilo and one in Kona. You just show them the online price for each item at Customer Service and they honor it. It can save you a significant amount of money, but for small items like sunblock or a $10 hat, it might not be worth it to save $0.30.

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Re: Checked bag to HI, worth cost and trouble?

Post by Cunobelinus » Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:42 pm

joeblow wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 1:05 pm
We go every year and find it easier to just buy what we need when we get there. It is more expensive, but not as bad as it used to be. Unless you have some special dietary needs that you might not be able to get there (unlikely), I'd only take on the plane what you need for travel.

Please buy reef safe sunscreen and not the garbage that most people lather themselves with.
https://www.target.com/p/banana-boat-ki ... nk=sametab
$6.99 + tax. This will last your family for some time.

Steer clear of the -zone's and -oate's chemicals in sunblock for the sake of our reefs, which permit fishies to live there, and for the beasties that eat those fishies, and the humans that eat those..

There are plenty of folks who live in the islands who could use your snorkel gear, boogie boards, surf boards, sandals, towels, et cetera when you leave.

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MP123
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Re: Checked bag to HI, worth cost and trouble?

Post by MP123 » Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:17 am

You still have to buy all the stuff to put in the bag anyway. No way you'll save the $75 or is it $150 rt?

Enjoy your trip. Aloha!

squirm
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Re: Checked bag to HI, worth cost and trouble?

Post by squirm » Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:55 am

pay the $ for luggage, otherwise you'll just waste time at wallyworld trying on clothes and buying shampoo.

gd
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Re: Checked bag to HI, worth cost and trouble?

Post by gd » Sun Dec 31, 2017 8:56 am

What's going in that suitcase, and how much does it cost at home?
What percentage of the total trip costs is $75?
Do you like to travel light, or like to have stuff with you?
If moving around, how are you going to carry it there?
What is your time there worth to you?
Do you like to shop? Are you picky about your stuff? Will you have a car?
Doing routine stuff in a foreign country like shopping for everyday things is one of the most interesting things to do for me. Not sure going to Walmart in HI counts.

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Re: Checked bag to HI, worth cost and trouble?

Post by cherijoh » Sun Dec 31, 2017 9:33 am

fortfun wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:49 am
We can fit all the stuff we need into free carry ons (United and Hawaiian). For $75 (all flights), I can check a large suitcase. Is stuff so expensive on the Big Island that I should pay for the checked bag and load it with sunscreen, snacks, etc? Is it worth the cost and trouble, or should I just buy that stuff at Walmart when we arrive? I do not have a Costco membership. Thanks.

Traveling with wife and two kids (10 and 12). We are good travelers. Don't need much stuff.
Are you renting a car and which islands will you be visiting? If you have a car then you are probably okay, but I wouldn't want to depend on the hotel gift shop if my luggage were lost and/or delayed. Also unless you have a car, one big bag is harder to deal with in my opinion. In any case, I'd pack at least a change of clothes for everyone in carryon plus anything you couldn't easily replace - prescription meds, glasses, electronic devices, etc. The way airlines are gouging passengers for every little thing, I'd want to bring snacks for the flight itself and any layovers.

I tend to be a pessimist when I travel so I always worry about the bag getting "temporarily" delayed. I had a coworker who got his luggage the night before he was due to leave after having been sans luggage for 5 days! :shock: I did a trip to the Canadian Rockies in late May years ago and Air Canada failed to transfer the suitcase onto the plane after I went through immigrations and customs. :annoyed Our Itinerary was Vancouver (1 night), Victoria (1), Vancouver (1), Kamloops (1), Jasper (2), Lake Louise (1), Banff (1). The airline did get my bag sometime in the early hours of the morning and would have delivered it to the B&B by 4 pm - after we would have already been in Victoria no doubt. We detoured back to the airport on the way to the ferry and picked it up from the lost luggage office. But I admit I had visions of the bag lagging 1 day behind me the entire trip.

dekecarver
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Re: Checked bag to HI, worth cost and trouble?

Post by dekecarver » Sun Dec 31, 2017 9:38 am

I'd order on line through amazon and have shipped direct to where you are staying. Leave what you don't use.

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Re: Checked bag to HI, worth cost and trouble?

Post by Mudpuppy » Sun Dec 31, 2017 1:59 pm

cherijoh wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 9:33 am
I tend to be a pessimist when I travel so I always worry about the bag getting "temporarily" delayed. I had a coworker who got his luggage the night before he was due to leave after having been sans luggage for 5 days! :shock: I did a trip to the Canadian Rockies in late May years ago and Air Canada failed to transfer the suitcase onto the plane after I went through immigrations and customs. :annoyed Our Itinerary was Vancouver (1 night), Victoria (1), Vancouver (1), Kamloops (1), Jasper (2), Lake Louise (1), Banff (1). The airline did get my bag sometime in the early hours of the morning and would have delivered it to the B&B by 4 pm - after we would have already been in Victoria no doubt. We detoured back to the airport on the way to the ferry and picked it up from the lost luggage office. But I admit I had visions of the bag lagging 1 day behind me the entire trip.
My oddest luggage delay story was due to the counter at my departing airport trying to check too many people in at the same time. My luggage got the tag for the person in front of me and his luggage got my tag. So when I arrived at my destination and couldn't find my bag, they "found" it by the tag but it was his duffle bag. Fortunately, we had chatted while waiting in line so I knew enough information about him and where he was going for the airline to track down my bag, and hopefully reunite his bag with him. Now, I always check the tag after they put it on my luggage, just to be sure it's the right one.

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Re: Checked bag to HI, worth cost and trouble?

Post by jbuzolich » Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:07 pm

Our Hawaii trips are only to the Big Island since I feel like I grew up there. We would never be able to make it without checked baggage but I will definitely give a huge recommendation for Costco, Walmart, Target, and Ross on the Big Island. Easy access and very good prices where honestly we saw zero price difference or minimal within 5%. If you are short on space it would not be terrible at all to buy soon screen and other basics when you get there. We typically rent a condo for a few weeks so Walmart the first afternoon for any supplies not already in the place is just a standard trip for us. Also my opportunity to load up on all the fun Asian snacks and drinks.

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Re: Checked bag to HI, worth cost and trouble?

Post by multiham » Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:16 pm

The last thing I want to do when I go on vacation is to go shopping at Wally World. I would rather be relaxing at the beach, sightseeing, or any other pleasurable activity than shopping. You asked if the checked bag is worth the cost and trouble. I think it is the total opposite. Are you willing to go to the trouble of having to shop, dealing with the people in the store, to save the $75 and convenience of bringing exactly what you want in your checked bag. As others have said, make sure you pack a couple of days of clothes in your carry-on just in case your bag is lost.

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Re: Checked bag to HI, worth cost and trouble?

Post by oldcomputerguy » Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:21 pm

By the time you pay for plane tickets, lodging, meals, transportation, entertainment, etc for four people in Hawaii, the $75 cost for checking a bag will be a drop in the bucket. Go ahead and take the large bag. Life is too short.
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Re: Checked bag to HI, worth cost and trouble?

Post by fishandgolf » Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:22 pm

squirm wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:55 am
pay the $ for luggage, otherwise you'll just waste time at wallyworld trying on clothes and buying shampoo.
+1
I would never travel (which I despise in the first place) anywhere.....and I mean anywhere...for >5 days without enough "STUFF". DW says "just wash a few clothes in the sink it the bathroom at night"......ain't noway that's gonna happen...never. If DW's gonna drag my sorry ash on some extended trip to some gosh foresaken place............I gonna bring my "STUFF".........and plenty of it :sharebeer

Pay the $75.00..... :beer

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Re: Checked bag to HI, worth cost and trouble?

Post by letsgobobby » Mon Jan 01, 2018 12:22 am

fortfun wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:49 am
We can fit all the stuff we need into free carry ons (United and Hawaiian). For $75 (all flights), I can check a large suitcase. Is stuff so expensive on the Big Island that I should pay for the checked bag and load it with sunscreen, snacks, etc? Is it worth the cost and trouble, or should I just buy that stuff at Walmart when we arrive? I do not have a Costco membership. Thanks.

Traveling with wife and two kids (10 and 12). We are good travelers. Don't need much stuff.
It’s cheaper to buy a Costco membership.

It’s Hawaii. All you need is a bathing suit, sandals, a few t shirts, sunglasses, a kindle, a toothbrush. WalMart has ConsumerReports’ best rated sunscreen, buy it there. Costco has tons of local foods including usually pineapples, mangoes, macadamia chocolates, poke, sushi. Longs Drug or WalMart will have cheap beach toys, etc.

Maya1234
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Re: Checked bag to HI, worth cost and trouble?

Post by Maya1234 » Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:30 am

fishandgolf wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:22 pm
squirm wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:55 am
pay the $ for luggage, otherwise you'll just waste time at wallyworld trying on clothes and buying shampoo.
+1
I would never travel (which I despise in the first place) anywhere.....and I mean anywhere...for >5 days without enough "STUFF". DW says "just wash a few clothes in the sink it the bathroom at night"......ain't noway that's gonna happen...never. If DW's gonna drag my sorry ash on some extended trip to some gosh foresaken place............I gonna bring my "STUFF".........and plenty of it :sharebeer

Pay the $75.00..... :beer
+1. Except substitute DH. He’s the one who likes to travel. Of course I’ll only go business/ first so don’t have to pay fir the bag. Lol. If I’m gonna leave home it better be a great experience.

j0nnyg1984
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Re: Checked bag to HI, worth cost and trouble?

Post by j0nnyg1984 » Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:24 am

I would like to know how you're paying $75 for a checked bag? They're typically $25 each direction, so are you taking one way flights on separate airlines to get to your destination or something?

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fortfun
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Re: Checked bag to HI, worth cost and trouble?

Post by fortfun » Sat Jan 20, 2018 5:08 pm

fishandgolf wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:22 pm
squirm wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:55 am
pay the $ for luggage, otherwise you'll just waste time at wallyworld trying on clothes and buying shampoo.
+1
I would never travel (which I despise in the first place) anywhere.....and I mean anywhere...for >5 days without enough "STUFF". DW says "just wash a few clothes in the sink it the bathroom at night"......ain't noway that's gonna happen...never. If DW's gonna drag my sorry ash on some extended trip to some gosh foresaken place............I gonna bring my "STUFF".........and plenty of it :sharebeer

Pay the $75.00..... :beer
Too funny!

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fortfun
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Re: Checked bag to HI, worth cost and trouble?

Post by fortfun » Sat Jan 20, 2018 5:10 pm

j0nnyg1984 wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:24 am
I would like to know how you're paying $75 for a checked bag? They're typically $25 each direction, so are you taking one way flights on separate airlines to get to your destination or something?
+25 to hawaii. +25 to Big Is to Maui. +25 back to mainland.

We ended up just doing carry on. Worked pretty well. Hawaiin checked our carry on for free to Maui (full flight).

michaeljc70
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Re: Checked bag to HI, worth cost and trouble?

Post by michaeljc70 » Sat Jan 20, 2018 7:53 pm

Interesting thread. Sunscreen. I can buy it at certain places here very cheap ($2-$4 for spray stuff on sale/clearance). When I travel, it can be very expensive ($10 normally at Walgreens/CVS). I also find in other countries where sunscreen is less commonly used by the locals vs. tourists it is also expensive. If I can check a bag for free (outside US typically), I do so and bring it. If not, I buy it there. $50-$100 in checked bag fees will not makeup for any savings on stuff you can buy cheaper here.

Even at Walmart in Maui and in Cabo, the sunscreen wasn't really cheap. It is vacation and you deal with it.

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