All you light packers- How do you do it? Snorkel gear?

Travel discussion for St. John

All you light packers- How do you do it? Snorkel gear?

Post by obsessedmuch »

First, thanks to all for the good info and the fun on this forum!

I tried a search on "packing" but nothing really gave me what I was looking for.

I confess, I've never packed lightly. I like having 4 or 5 pairs of shorts, probably 8 or so shirts and three or four pairs of shoes (one pair is always running shoes). So, this year I'll also have snorkel gear with me (have always rented before) and I'm sitting here wondering how I can possibly pack everything?! Between beach stuff, bathroom stuff, clothes, some non-perishable food, snorkel gear, camera gear and still trying to leave room for the stuff I'm sure to bring home, is there any hope for me?

With all the talk of lost or late luggage lately, I'm just getting nervous to check a bag. What does everyone think? How do you pack so lightly and still bring what you need?
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Post by liamsaunt »

I just can't get by with a carryon only. We go for a couple of weeks, for one thing. Also, we read a lot, so bring down bunches of books (most of which we leave behind). I've been lucky so far in never having my luggage get lost, but I pack my carry on expecting the possibility of it happening: Mask and snorkel into the carry on (fins checked--too big!), along with a change of clothes and a bathing suit, the camera and a couple of books, plus the fish guides and our journal. I used to pack sunscreen and other necessary toiletries into the carry on too, but the liquid restriction prevents that now.
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Post by mbw1024 »

confession: over packer here! Just went to Key West and totally over packed and as it was it was cold there so my warm weather clothes were a waste of space! Should have packed a sweatshirt! ;)

However, having already been to STJ once and knowing more of how things will go, I think I will be able to greatly reduce next time around.
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Post by augie »

If your villa has a washer and dryer, consider reducing the number of say, pairs of shorts that you will bring (maybe tshirts and other things as well).

I'm a notorious overpacker, but I'm bound and determined that for this trip, while everything won't be carry on, to leave the "big" suitcases at home...
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Post by AnyTing »

We used to take bags and bags. Now we each have a carry-on suitcase, a carry-on personal bag (him-laptop bag, me-beach tote), and one checked bag (dive bag).

All our clothes fit in our carry-on suitcase. In our carry-on personal bag we put our books, my camera, cds, stuff like that. We have a small mesh dive bag that we check that has our toiletries (small bag with travel-size toiletries and make-up now that you can't carry them on), fins, masks, snorkels, bug spray, and sunscreen.

I used to take a suitcase of dry foods and a small soft cooler. I did that for 6 trips. On our last trip, we decided to try buying our food there and I preferred it. That's probably what I'll do from here on out.

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Post by lark22 »

it can be done! :)

We did carryon only -- by minimizing clothing (not hard to do!), opting to buy stuff on the island instead of trying to lug it (food, sunscreen, etc.). We wore sneakers on the plane (because they're one of the bulkiest things to pack) and only packed one or two pairs of sandals.

My husband packed the snorkel stuff in his carryon, plus some of his clothes, and I had the rest in my carryon.

Keep in mind I'm *SUPER* low-maintenance, and can get by for a week with just sunscreen, contact lens solution, a pair of sandals, two bathing suits and a couple of pairs of shorts and tees.

I just *hate* waiting at the baggage carousel!
Last edited by lark22 on Fri Mar 09, 2007 11:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by lark22 »

oh, and don't forget about your one 'personal item' allowed in addition to the carryon....we make full use of this allowance (you can bring a smallish backpack in addition to your carryon).
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Post by jmq »

Recently came across the “Tropical Traveler” bag from DeepOutdoors. Seems a bit pricey at $250-295 but looks pretty cool and will accommodate your snorkel gear plus and will probably last a long time.

The description reads like this:
"The Tropical Traveler by DeepOutdoors is one fantastic bag! Redesigned to meet the new airline size requirements, this bag will carry all your gear and make your travels worry-free. The materials used are chosen for their strength and ability to endure wet conditions.

The Tropical Traveler has three front internal expanding pockets with mesh drainage on side fin pockets, a fully padded main compartment with drainage grommets to allow your wet gear to dry, telescoping tow arm with rubberized grip, rollerblade wheels with ballistic enforcement and rub rails, concealed backpack straps and an attached tarpolin changing mat (with it's own compartment to keep your gear clean)! Zippers feature Hypalon pulls and the bag has colored bartacks and rub rails.”


If you google it, seems like its only sold thru scuba sites or shops. Did not try ebay.
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Post by savvy »

We try to minimize the cotton clothing. Synthetics are lighter weight and dry quickly when washed. We always take a small bottle of Tide and wash swimsuits, shorts and t-shirts in the sink, then hang on the patio to dry. We throw a few clothes pins into our bag. So even if you don't have a washer/dryer, you can get by with fewer clothes.
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Post by sea-nile »

I have a real hard time not bringing too much also. I pack too early (like a week ahead of time) and then I start adding things. I brought way too much when I went to STJ. I spent all day in a swim suit and put the clothes on only for a few hours in the evening. I was usually asleep by 9-10 at night so I did not wear the clothes too long, hence they could be worn again. I wore 1/4 of what I brought!
This time, I will make myself remember this. We also will have access to a washer/dryer so I will try to remember that too. :)

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Post by Chickadee »

I pack in one rolling carry-on sized bag and put a small overnight sized bag under my seat.

For one week I take 3 pair shorts (wear light pants on the plane), 4 or 5 shirts (wear a light long sleeved shirt on the plane), 2 pair sandals - one dressy, the other Tevas (wear tennies on the plane), and one sundress. I also take toiletries (no hairdryer or curling iron or anything), a silk robe as it takes up little room, a hat, swim suites, a couple of books, my snorkel gear (snorkel, mask, fins, booties and a snorkel gear bag) and my fanny pack (in lieu of purse when on-island).

Consider space bags too, they help a lot.


Post by obsessedmuch »

Hmmm, some of you are pretty impressive! I hardly ever have too many clothes, I think it's all the other stuff bogging me down (camera stuff, food, etc.).
Though I won't bring the huge suitcase, I'm still not sure I can get by on just a carry on for 11 days. I'll just remember to SIMPLIFY!

Thanks, all!
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Post by Steve S »

We're strict carry-on close to what lark22 does. We have a wheeled Eddie Bauer duffel that fits perfectly in the overheated when stuffed full. Snorkels, fins and my stuff will fill that bag. My wife uses a standard 22" wheeled carry-on. For "personal item" we each bring a backpack that will fit under the seat on the plane. These backpacks serve to carry our stuff around to the beaches on island. Plan on a mid trip laundry cleaning, either at your villa or one of the drop off laundries. This way you can get away with 2 swim suits, two shorts, 3 or 4 shirts, socks, and underwear (if you're not into commando). Wear your walking/hiking footwear down and pack a pair of flip flops or sandals. Don't pack food. If you're not sure and it can be bought on island, leave it home. I often hear "Why did I bring so much?" and rarely if ever hear "Boy, I should have brought more!"
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Post by robncindi »

I don't mind checking luggage and the best part of waiting at the baggage carosel in STT is the Rum punch and bushwacker you can suck down at the bar while you are waiting 8)

I just found this bag at orivs that will fit snorkle fins and enough clothes for two weeks: ... ture_id=17
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