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Tips for flying with cooler of food to Haborside?

Forum: Harborside Resort at Atlantis

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Tips for flying with cooler of food to Haborside?

Tips for flying with cooler of food?
Anyone have any hints and tips on the best way to fly with food? Heading to Atlantis in the Bahamas, which is infamous for huge food prices. From what I understand it will be much smarter for us to pay $25 luggage fee to fly the cooler filled with food there rather than pay their prices for beef, cheese, chicken, etc. They charge up to $4 for a loaf of bread, $10 for a box of Frosted Flakes, etc... so you can imagine what meat and cheese costs! We have a Harborside condo room with kitchen, and a 1 year old in tow as well, so we plan to cook ourselves often. Anyone have any insights on what is the best to pack that is light yet tasty? Anyone ever travel with a cooler... how did you keep it closed and keep it cool? Any issues with customs to bring in food? FYI, I have a 2 hour direct flight plus any transportation time to get to the resort.

Avatar for johnc1143 johnc1143

5 years ago
Jul 03, 2009

Take as much as you can out of their original boxes and put in plastic bags with the directions written on the bag. Cereal, to avoid getting crushed in the suitcase could go in a plastic container. I have an oblong plastic container that fits exactly a loaf of bread. Mac & cheese boxes - into the plastic bag. Couple small plastic snack bags for spices. Liption soup mixes for spicing up foods. We fed 5 adults. 5 dinners, bagels, butter, cheeses, smoked saugages (vac packed stuff) for snacks in our rolling cooler. Everything was still fozen at check in. Left home at 5 AM and checked in about 1 PM. You can wrap your meats in newspaper as an additional safeguard to keep things frozen. We had no problem with customs. They just wave you thru. BE SURE to weight your suitcase when its fully packed because if your over, you pay dearly....or have to take things out and put in your carry on.

Avatar for lindaw lindaw

5 years ago
Jul 03, 2009

Great info. I was worried about customs a bit. No issues with that, huh?

What did you do to keep cooler closed? Is packing tape ok, or should I buy straps or something?

You took a full-sized cooler and cooler and checked it, correct?

When was it that you traveled?

Last edit by johnc1143 on Jul 04, 2009 06:51 AM.

Avatar for johnc1143 johnc1143

5 years ago
Jul 04, 2009

My last trip was the first week of December 08. No, I don't take a full size cooler. I take a rolling cooler with the pull up handle like a suitcase and bring it as a carry on. There's enough room in it, and yet small enough to fit in an overhead compartment. We had 5 adults this last trip.

I would not recommend tape as they will probably cut it for security inspection. Straps would be my suggestion.

Avatar for lindaw lindaw

5 years ago
Jul 04, 2009

Thanks. I will hav eto head to WalMart to look for such an item -- rolling cooler as a carry-on.

Avatar for johnc1143 johnc1143

5 years ago
Jul 05, 2009

I have gotten a small cooler to use as a carry on. Will fill with Dream-Dinners ... complete diners that are frozen. Sound good. www.dreamdinners.com What else should I pack? I've heard I need laundry soap and dish soap, and Pam spray.

Avatar for johnc1143 johnc1143

5 years ago
Jul 06, 2009

Yes for both the laundry soap and dish soap. Don't forget the Pam needs to go in your checked luggage and put it in a plastic bag - just in case. Breakfast stuff and think about what you may want for lunch. Drink mixes - Countrytime has Lemonaide in single size packets you can dump into a bottle of water as does Crystal Light, freeze at night and then have cold drinks at the pools. Sounds like your going to have all your bases covered. Take plenty of sunscreen as it is very expensive there.....The pavements get very hot so be sure to have water tolerant flip flops or water shoes...

Avatar for lindaw lindaw

5 years ago
Jul 06, 2009

Thanks so much. Depart Sat at 8 AM, can't wait. IF you think of anything else my ears are open.

Last edit by johnc1143 on Jul 06, 2009 07:30 PM.

Avatar for johnc1143 johnc1143

5 years ago
Jul 06, 2009

Have a wonderful time. I don't go again until September - can't wait too..... I look forward to my times in the Bahamas even more than Christmas I think...

Avatar for lindaw lindaw

5 years ago
Jul 07, 2009

Hi Linda. We are fascinated by the fact that you took a
cooler as a carryon. We have used a huge suitcase. My
husband would like to know what size carryon, who is
the manufacturer and where did you get it? Great idea!

Thanks.
patricia gayle

Avatar for patriciagayle patriciagayle

4 years ago
Aug 01, 2009

The one I have is called TCL Cool Carry. Its 13" W x 16" H x 9" D. It has 2 mesh side pockets and a large front pocket. I don't recall where I bought it but some department stores have them as does Walmart and maybe Walgreens I think. Has a pull up handle and wheels like a suitcase. I've seem them advertised for $24.99 or so which is what I paid for it about 5 years ago. It holds quite a bit. Pack it tight and everything stays frozen for quite a long time. We had 5 adults on one of our trips and had food for 5 dinners and lunch stuff, etc. Packed it around 4-5 AM and didn't unpack at the resort until after 1 PM and everything was still frozen solid.

Avatar for lindaw lindaw

4 years ago
Aug 01, 2009

We did the same sort of bad as Linda. Packed it when we left the house at 4AM, unpacked it at check-in time at 4PM. Items still frozen through. Pack it tight with all frozen stuff and it works to keep itself cool. We put that carry on in the larger luggage, though. It got SO heavy with all teh food we did not want to carry it plus the baby and stroller and baby stuff.

Avatar for johnc1143 johnc1143

4 years ago
Sep 02, 2009

From my Harborside review on TripAdvisor:
Detailed Food Info:
We checked two suitcases and took a rolling cooler on board the plane. The rolling cooler (bought from Wal-Mart) had all our frozen items (bacon, ham steaks, turkey burgers, chicken sausages, sliced swiss cheese butter and cream cheese - note-cream cheese did not thaw well so don't bother!) In the two suitcases (about 50lbs each) we took a scrubber sponge, 2 rolls paper towels, ziploc bags (gallon and quart) dish soap, dishwasher soap, laundry soap, softener sheets, 2 jars of peanut butter and 2 jars of jelly, salt and pepper, Mrs, Dash, mustard, spray can of Pam, powdered coffee creamer, sugar, 1 can of ground coffee, coffee filters, powdered lemonade, tea bags, hot cocoa mix, cheezits, instant oatmeal (we ate it every morning as a quick breakfast so we could leave for the pools/beach by 9am) instant mashed potatoes, tuna in the foil pouches, 3 boxes of Ghiradelli dark chocolate brownie mix and 3 disposable foil 9x9 baking pans, individual packages of cookies and some protein bars. I put a box inside one of the suitcases with our frozen bread so it wouldn't get mashed as it thawed (2 loaves of bread, hamburger buns, hot dog buns and bagels)

Once we got to the Bahamas we bought the following at the City Market: milk, orange juice, fruit and veggies for side dishes based on what was on sale or cheap, tomato for burgers, eggs, cooking oil (to make brownies, i'm a chocolate fiend), 2 cases of water and glass cleaner (the units have a glass table and I am a clean freak so I used it for all the cleanup that week-floors, counters ect.). Don't go to the market without a plan or you will buy too much food or be overwhelmed by choices. I saw so many people in the store from the Harborside shuttle buying so much stuff and panicking over fitting it on the shuttle!

We spent about $110.00 at the City Market and ate one meal out at Mosaic which was about $240.00 for 3 adults and 2 kids. The meal at Mosaic was outstanding and so was the service. I did buy the occasional latte at Starbucks, and several drinks at the pools, but didn't care because I saved so much on meals. Drinks were strong and really good throughout the resort. The rest of the meals we ate in and took lunch to the pool each day in our rolling cooler (frozen pb & j's, cheeze-its, cookies and frozen bottled water) Everything thawed by lunch and was cool and refreshing on the hot days :) I baked brownies three of the nights and found the convection oven worked well.

Avatar for tricia28 tricia28

4 years ago
Sep 11, 2009

lindaw
Take as much as you can out of their original boxes and put in plastic bags with the directions written on the bag. Cereal, to avoid getting crushed in the suitcase could go in a plastic container. I have an oblong plastic container that fits exactly a loaf of bread. Mac & cheese boxes - into the plastic bag. Couple small plastic snack bags for spices. Liption soup mixes for spicing up foods. We fed 5 adults. 5 dinners, bagels, butter, cheeses, smoked saugages (vac packed stuff) for snacks in our rolling cooler. Everything was still fozen at check in. Left home at 5 AM and checked in about 1 PM. You can wrap your meats in newspaper as an additional safeguard to keep things frozen. We had no problem with customs. They just wave you thru. BE SURE to weight your suitcase when its fully packed because if your over, you pay dearly....or have to take things out and put in your carry on.

Last edit by dbre75 on Sep 23, 2009 03:58 PM.

Avatar for dbre75 dbre75

4 years ago
Sep 23, 2009

Totally crazy to bring your on food, you can purchase anything you want right there at the local grocery store not to mention the prices are just like shopping in New York. If you tell me you only shop at the hotel that would be another story.
Hop on the shuttle if you didn't rent a car or take a cab, The grocery store is right over the bridge and,it is wonderful....just like the people working in it.
Liquor store is in the same location with anything you could ever want.I never,ever bring my own food and, i do cook always in the villa.As far as a cooler,great idea for bring snacks etc to the beach. In that case the cooler is used as carry on or in my luggage,i use it to pack clothing in.
Works out great.

Avatar for dbre75 dbre75

4 years ago
Sep 23, 2009

Prices must be WAY high in NY, then Dbre. I suggst just the opposite as you, as I previously posted. Buy all of your food favorites at home, and max out your suitcase weight limits on all food. The rates at my local grocery stores were much, much lower than there, plus I like my quailty much better. With a washer/dryer in the condo, I plan to take every few clothes and TONS of food on our next trip at Thanksgiving. The grocery store bills are bad, and the rest bills are VERY high at the resort.

Avatar for johnc1143 johnc1143

4 years ago
Oct 20, 2009

Hi-
I am so thankful that I found this post--- however, can someone tell me how it works at the airport- like say Philadelphia.... when you have food in a cooler as a carry-on? They let you on the plane with it as long as it's closed and in original packaging?
We leave Saturday morning and I would love to take as much with me as possible.....
thanks for all of the hints!

Avatar for theresac74 theresac74

4 years ago
Oct 28, 2009

I've never had even the slightest problem. It goes thru security like everything else, so as long as there are no liquids your good to go. Some people have reported problems with cheese and butter cause when it melts its liquid, but thankfully, I've never had that problem. In Nassau, customs just waves you thru.

Avatar for lindaw lindaw

4 years ago
Oct 29, 2009

Hello - I did read about bring in a cooler - Dreamdinners.com food to Nassau.. Can you bring any frozen food ? Or does it have to be wrapped with the USDA label on it? Thanks

Avatar for willf18 willf18

3 years ago
May 31, 2011

Dream dinners is fine.

Avatar for johnc1143 johnc1143

2 years ago
Sep 28, 2011

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