It's that time again. You are traveling for business or pleasure and already starting to worry about how to pack to ensure all your valuable items arrive in pristine condition.
Do you carry it on, or pack it inside your checked bag? How do you get that new expensive camera or laptop to your destination in one piece and without compromising any time? And on the return trip, what if you find an exceptional bottle of wine or the "must have" crystal vase? Occidental Vacation Club has tips to share with you.
First Things First
Start by checking with the airline you are flying on, or the official website of the airport you are flying into, or the TSA website. These sources should inform you about protocols for checked and carry-on items. They might even give you some pointers on the best way to pack and transport certain items, thus saving you time in lines and check points.
**The TSA states explicitly that you should NEVER pack cash, jewelry, computers, electronics or fragile items in your checked bags!
Next Try these Packing Tips:
Solve two issues at once by investing in a carry-on that stores your computer as well as your other carry-on items. That way you are not "pack-muling" it to your seat, with a computer bag, carry-on bag, and purse. There are several of these types of bags on the market. Some even have a double compartment with a security-friendly pullout computer sleeve, plus a separate section for clothing and other items.
2. Digital Cameras
There is no end to the types of camera bags that are available. You just need to decide what's best for you. Remember if you choose a full-size camera bag, it's going to count as your personal carry-on item. Do you really want to want to limit yourself this way? A better way may be to use a small camera case that you can put inside a carry-on.
Digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera bodies, lenses, and other parts, may be hand inspected. Each item will be removed and scanned separately by the TSA agent. Prepare ahead by dismantling the camera and storing each part for easy access. There are special bags for this too.
3. Clothing Items
Traveling for business is never easy, but you don't want to arrive at your meeting looking like you had a rough time. How do you get your business suit there looking like it just came from the cleaners? There are essentially two methods...folding and rolling. Lucky for you there are many on-line videos that will show you how to pack your suit to arrive in pristine condition. Check out the "Life Hacker" video on YouTube for eight steps to folding a suit in a plastic garment bag. There are also many other videos on the "rolling" technique. Some suitcases even have special "suit sleeves" that often work well. Try them all BEFORE your trip and see what works best for you!
Often bulky and unwieldy shoes can be perplexing to pack. Also, deciding what shoes to take and how many pairs stymies many of us. Planning ahead by making a list of the outfits you will need (even laying them out on your bed or floor for easy viewing) can help. It's always good to pick a neutral colored shoe that can be worn with many outfits. (Save the matching colors for when you are home.) Choose shoes that can serve many purposes and can go from day wear to evening wear. Wear your heavier shoes on the plane (also the ones that are most comfortable, easy to get on and off), and pack the lighter shoes. The TSA suggests packing all footwear on top of the other contents in your luggage.
* Bulky Coats and Jackets
Just because you are leaving from a place like Florida doesn't mean you won't need to pack a heavier coat or jacket for your ultimate destination. So what do you do with that down jacket? Here's an idea...you know how cold it can get on those planes right? Carry it with you, or wear it (always good to dress in layers when traveling) and it can be used as a cover to block that frigid airplane air. But, if you have to pack it, unzip it (folding only adds to the bulk) and put it at the bottom of your suitcase. Fold other items on top of it. Fold the arms over those items and then stash gloves, scarves, socks in the coat's sleeves and pockets. Voila! You've saved yourself some space.
4. Fragile Souvenirs
Whether you are at an OVC location or not, souvenirs are always a must. The best way to get your purchases home safely is to carry them on, so if possible save space in your carry-on for souvenirs. If what you've purchased is heavy, valuable, or both, have them shipped directly to your home. This will avoid damage by any heavy handed baggage handlers and having to pay extra for your overweight-luggage. If you decide to pack them in your checked luggage, make sure that items like glassware or ceramics, are protected. Ask the store where you purchased them to wrap them with appropriate protection, or you can wrap clothing items around them and snuggle them into your suitcase.
Wine is always a nice gift to bring home from a trip for friends, or yourself. The great thing about wineries is that they are always ready to help you out by packing and shipping the wine home for you, especially if you've bought multiple bottles. The winery also probably sells special products your can purchase to prevent bottle breakage and bring bottles safely home in your checked luggage. If you've only bought one bottle, or just a few bottles, you can't bring them onboard the plane unless you purchased them at the airport's duty-free shop.
**It may seem like a lot of extra effort, but when your suitcase is efficiently packed, your clothing looks good when you unpack, your valuables survive the trip intact, and your purchases arrive home in perfect condition, it will all be worth it!!
We just returned from the world’s largest convention for timeshare clubs and developments. I am pleased to report that the consensus is our industry has weathered some of the hardest economic storms and is beginning to grow once again. What that means to you as members is that your Club will benefit from this vibrancy as we continue to make improvements and expand options for vacation experiences and destinations around the world.
More good news: our OVC Rewards program is very close to launching. Watch your email, our Share the Joy blog and Facebook for more details on how you can save money, earn valuable points for referring family and friends and, in general, have more fun with your Occidental Vacation Club membership.
Hope you are all enjoying springtime no matter where you live and that we see you soon!
Spring is right around the corner, along with the celebrations of Easter, Passover, Holy Week and Spring Break come as stay with us. We want to make everything perfect for your vacation!
Remember as an Occidental Vacation Club member you have even more options to choose from. With the additional of Club La Costa we now have great resorts to visit in Spain. This might be more important to our European members, but we can certainly help U.S., Canadian, Mexican and South American members in their arrangements to visit another part of the world.
We are getting closer to announcing a terrific rewards points program for everyone. You’ll get more out of your membership and save money on your annual fees and upgrades. Watch your email inbox for these important reminders.
And, my friends please don’t hesitate to send me an email if there is anything I can do to improve your membership experience. I am always eager to hear from members like you. Especially if it will make our Club better.
Happy Spring to you all…
The last few years have been especially exciting, full changes, innovations and renovations. Now it was Grand Papagayo’s turn. After an investment of $US2.1 million, we are more than happy to present our brand new First Club units in Occidental Grand Papagayo!
You'll feel right a home in these spacious rooms. All rooms are outfitted in the latest in comfortable, contemporary furniture. The natural wood furnishings, tile floors, and neutral colors add to the total harmony of the room. And, our units still have the private balcony or terrace for you to view the spectacular scenery of Guanacaste!
For those of you unfamiliar with Guanacaste, or need a reminder of just what you may be missing...Guanacaste is Costa Rica's most beautiful and popular area accentuated by many diverse geographical features. Its stunning shoreline provides a multitude of activities...surfing, snorkeling, tropical bird watching, windsurfing and more. Its Eastern area is a naturalist's dream! There you'll find National Parks and Caldera volcanoes, lush dense forests with exotic plants and wildlife, and hiking trails featuring breathtaking views.
Situated on prime property in the expansive Gulf of Papagayo, the Occidental Grand Pagagayo merges perfectly with the environment of the area and its natural beauty. Just a 35-minute ride from Liberia International Airport, Grand Papagayo is easy to get to, but SO hard to leave!!
We will say no more! Scroll and see more photos of our brand new rooms!