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What's that one thing ?

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Wolverine888
(@wolverine888)
Advanced Member

My 20 ft container, even after loaded with my cookware, new beds, clothes, generator, BBQ grill, chain-saw, computer, fans, area rugs, exercise equipment, tools, etc. will still have a fair amount of space remaining.

What’s that one thing (or feel free to add as many as you wish), that after living in the USVI for a while now, you wish you would have brought from the States....perhaps because of the higher cost, lower quality, unavailability on-island, whatever. Am interested particularly with regard to being prepared for emergency situations and with regard to home furnishing items. Now’s the time to add it to the container.

And yes, I realiize that there have no doubt been many separate threads in this forum which probably address this, but thought this may be a good place to consolidate ideas as a running list and may help other newbies like myself who are on this forum as well.

Thanks, as always for your ideas, what a wonderful resource!

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Topic starter Posted : June 2, 2018 8:48 am
Gator's Mom
(@gators_mom)
Trusted Member

We are bringing extra tires for our cars.

Also two new generators. If you're in FL, you can purchase a small gas generator without sales tax now until next Friday (6/7).

We are packing into a 20 foot container as well.

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Posted : June 2, 2018 9:41 am
islandjoan
(@islandjoan)
Trusted Member

If you have pets and feed them specialty food or use unusual brands of cat litter (I love OKOCAT which is super expensive here) bring extra everything because PETCO stopped shipping to the VI and doctors foster and smith doesn't ship much here either. Also good coffee and spices are really expensive here. Good sheets are also expensive here.

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Posted : June 2, 2018 10:39 am
caribstx
(@caribstx)
Trusted Member

Everything you could ever need or want can be purchased online and shipped inexpensively to Paradise Freight or VI Cargo. You will also find that you will likely make trips to Puerto Rico where you will find abundant and inexpensive shopping choices. There is no need to do without.

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Posted : June 2, 2018 11:12 am
fdr
 fdr
(@fdr)
Trusted Member

Islandjoan, do you know about Amazon Subscribe and Save? I don't know if you have to be an Amazon Prime member, but it is free shipping on anything in their Subscribe and Save store (like really free, not like call-them-up free). This is where I get high-quality pet food and litter now.

Honestly, I would prefer to support a local merchant, but it is almost half the local price, and that is too much of a savings to pass up.

Wolverine: After being here for nearly 10 years, I have seen a change in how easy it is to get pretty much anything you need. Compared with a decade ago, there are more local options to buy a variety of things, at more reasonable prices (Walgreens' opening on STT cut my online and stateside stockup list way down). And there are more online merchants who will ship here, and more options for LCL shipping for the occasional item I just can't find. And I've found that often, eBay sellers will ship here USPS when another retailer won't.

I will say, definitely make sure you are prepared for hurricane season, since you are moving at the beginning of it. There are other threads on this topic -- just be ready.

If you have pets and feed them specialty food or use unusual brands of cat litter (I love OKOCAT which is super expensive here) bring extra everything because PETCO stopped shipping to the VI and doctors foster and smith doesn't ship much here either. Also good coffee and spices are really expensive here. Good sheets are also expensive here.

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Posted : June 2, 2018 7:26 pm
stjohnjulie
(@stjohnjulie)
Trusted Member

Tires are a good one! I'd bring two full sets if you have the room. Especially if you have an odd size. People on St. John have been blowing through them pretty quick due to extra debris and potholes.

In regards to Petco.... I had repeat ship on my dog food and they stopped sending it but just started to send it again?? I don't know what is up with that, but I'm happy to take it. I have repeat ship on Amazon as well and will keep them both for a minute until I see if Petco will continue to ship. I don't mind having extra as we are in hurricane season.

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Posted : June 3, 2018 9:07 am
Wolverine888
(@wolverine888)
Advanced Member

Thanks for the great ideas above, please keeping adding...one question, does anybody know if Amazon uses US Postal Service or FedEx, or someone else to deliver in STT? Here in the States Amazon uses both US Postal Service and FedEX so we never know which one’s gonna make the delivery. Reason I ask, is that when I opened my account at MailStop in Crown Bay Marina recently, they told me that packages are to be addressed one way if delivered by US Postal Service and another way if delivered by DHL, UPS and FedEx.

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Topic starter Posted : June 3, 2018 11:20 am
Scubadoo
(@Scubadoo)
Trusted Member

Amazon uses USPS to VI. FEDEX/UPS is considered international shipping to VI, more expensive and more paperwork for the shipper.

Best Buy shipped me a TV once by UPS. They broke it so Best Buy had to ship another one. They sent me a return label for the broken one for UPS ground. hah hah.

Later ordered almost the same TV from Amazon, they shipped USPS, no damage.

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Posted : June 3, 2018 2:56 pm
fdr
 fdr
(@fdr)
Trusted Member

Yeah, you will not want to use UPS or Fedex for any deliveries unless it’s extremely urgent. The cost is hundreds of dollars versus standard postal rates.

Also, be aware that some merchants will ship to your P.O. box using “FedEx SmartPost”. This method takes a month! It isn’t always possible to find out they are using SmartPost until after you’ve ordered.

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Posted : June 3, 2018 3:08 pm
Wolverine888
(@wolverine888)
Advanced Member

Thx for the info Scubado and fdr, good to know, and that’s fine for Amazon...my greater concern will be shipping some valuable stringed instruments there through the US Postal Service, as none of my fellow luthier buddies ever use them because they are so careless with the handling. We almost exclusively use UPS for shipping our guitars, banjos, etc. (still insured of course just in case).

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Topic starter Posted : June 3, 2018 3:37 pm
fdr
 fdr
(@fdr)
Trusted Member

Indeed -- I would NOT ship a valuable string instrument through the postal service (and their parcel size restrictions may prevent this depending on length). If you can't crate them yourself to load in your container, that's the kind of thing to take with you on board your flight. It is well worth buying an extra seat for them.

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Posted : June 3, 2018 5:51 pm
Wolverine888
(@wolverine888)
Advanced Member

Excellent idea fdr, buying the extra seat may be the best option...the standard guitar case won’t fit under the seat but would probably fit in the overhead compartment, then it’s just a matter of space availability and hoping there’s overhead compartment space remaining by time you get on the plane????????

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Topic starter Posted : June 3, 2018 6:10 pm
Gator's Mom
(@gators_mom)
Trusted Member

You can ship air cargo with American Airlines to the VI from Miami.

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Posted : June 3, 2018 6:30 pm
Wolverine888
(@wolverine888)
Advanced Member

Gator’sMom, how carefully is “air cargo” handled when nobody’s watching though?

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Topic starter Posted : June 3, 2018 6:36 pm
fdr
 fdr
(@fdr)
Trusted Member

Wolverine, you can pay for priority boarding to make sure you will have overhead or forward closet space. The forward closet is the best option for a guitar, depending on the aircraft design -- ask your flight attendant when boarding.

I have many professional musician friends and have heard all the horror stories of times when they have been forced to put an instrument in the cargo hold. If airline personnel tell you it must be checked for whatever reason, it's better to refuse to fly until you can be assured it will be in the cabin with you. The airline's coverage limits will not even come close to reimbursing you for the actual worth of a valuable instrument.

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Posted : June 3, 2018 6:56 pm
Gator's Mom
(@gators_mom)
Trusted Member

No different than any other shipping service I would suspect. Someone has to load your stuff on a plane no matter what. I would think that AA would have cargo reps to advise you on how to pack your instrument/s and label to send. You could then negotiate getting your instruments put into a climate controlled area of the plane too. It would be possible for you to hand deliver to the cargo facility in Miami and then go get on the same plane.

There are specialists that can help pack and forward your instruments as well - I'd ask at the local art museum to see what service they use.

Gator’sMom, how carefully is “air cargo” handled when nobody’s watching though?

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Posted : June 3, 2018 7:00 pm
Gator's Mom
(@gators_mom)
Trusted Member

Have you seen this article?

https://www.guitarworld.com/features/acoustic-nation-alert-you-can-carry-your-guitar-it-s-law

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Posted : June 3, 2018 7:11 pm
islandjoan
(@islandjoan)
Trusted Member

Fdr - thanks for the suggestion. I will check it out.

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Posted : June 3, 2018 8:59 pm
Wolverine888
(@wolverine888)
Advanced Member

Gator’sMom, thx, yes I’m aware...it still seems to come down to the airline’s discretion...even when you buy an extra seat for your instrument, it’s up to them whether or not they think the instrument is properly secured in the seat.

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Topic starter Posted : June 3, 2018 9:57 pm
Wolverine888
(@wolverine888)
Advanced Member

Following up on islandjoan’s suggestion above to bring spices and coffee, what are the restrictions regarding being allowed to include food items inside one’s shipping container...I’m assuming packaged dry and canned items for the most part? I’m thinking of buying some staple food items by the case at COSTCO to include in the container (for instance, I found steel cut oats to be about three times the price of what I pay here and I’ve eaten them for breakfast forever), and found good coffee in STT during my recent visit to be about $14.95/12 oz beans versus $12.95/lb here in the States...and can only imagine those prices sky-rocket after a hurricane (sorry, shouldn’t say the H word).

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Topic starter Posted : June 4, 2018 8:58 am
Gator's Mom
(@gators_mom)
Trusted Member

You might think about bringing a box freezer. Steel cut oats will go stale in humidity and/or get buggy. Freezers are pretty good humidity/bug proof bulk storage for certain items like flour, sugar, oats, rice, spices, herbs etc. But adding one will affect you WAPA bill. You can put food items in your container.

I would call AA cargo about the instrument BTW. Air cargo is different than checked baggage. You pay for the service you need.

Following up on islandjoan’s suggestion above to bring spices and coffee, what are the restrictions regarding being allowed to include food items inside one’s shipping container...I’m assuming packaged dry and canned items for the most part? I’m thinking of buying some staple food items by the case at COSTCO to include in the container (for instance, I found steel cut oats to be about three times the price of what I pay here and I’ve eaten them for breakfast forever), and found good coffee in STT during my recent visit to be about $14.95/12 oz beans versus $12.95/lb here in the States...and can only imagine those prices sky-rocket after a hurricane (sorry, shouldn’t say the H word).

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Posted : June 4, 2018 10:21 am
ironheadUSVI
(@ironheadUSVI)
Advanced Member

Wolverine, you can pay for priority boarding to make sure you will have overhead or forward closet space.

And if it is over MY seat I'm going to remove it to put things in MY space that I paid for.

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Posted : June 4, 2018 10:21 am
Gator's Mom
(@gators_mom)
Trusted Member

You might think about bringing a box freezer. Steel cut oats will go stale in humidity and/or get buggy. Freezers are pretty good humidity/bug proof bulk storage for certain items like flour, sugar, oats, rice, spices, herbs etc. But adding one at your home will affect you WAPA bill. You can put food items in your container.

I would call AA cargo about the instrument BTW. Air cargo is different than checked baggage. You pay for the service you need.

Following up on islandjoan’s suggestion above to bring spices and coffee, what are the restrictions regarding being allowed to include food items inside one’s shipping container...I’m assuming packaged dry and canned items for the most part? I’m thinking of buying some staple food items by the case at COSTCO to include in the container (for instance, I found steel cut oats to be about three times the price of what I pay here and I’ve eaten them for breakfast forever), and found good coffee in STT during my recent visit to be about $14.95/12 oz beans versus $12.95/lb here in the States...and can only imagine those prices sky-rocket after a hurricane (sorry, shouldn’t say the H word).

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Posted : June 4, 2018 11:12 am
ironheadUSVI
(@ironheadUSVI)
Advanced Member

Toilet paper, paper towels, dish soap, etc. - it'll fill up your space, won't go bad and you'll always need it.

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Posted : June 4, 2018 11:44 am
fdr
 fdr
(@fdr)
Trusted Member

Echoing Gator's Mom, keep in mind food storage in the tropics is much different than in Michigan. We keep things in the fridge that you wouldn't think of, and anything you keep outside the fridge should be completely sealed in plastic. Unless you have full-time AC, the heat, humidity, and bugs can quickly turn stored food bad.

Keep in mind as well that unless your shipping container is temperature controlled, it is going to get hot in there, especially for items packed next to the container walls. That can ruin or shorten the shelf life of some foods. (A cheap way to see how hot a particular box got: Pack a candle in it; see what condition the candle is in upon arrival.)

I order spices and pantry staples from Vitacost when they have their monthly 20% off sale (going on now). The only food items I bring back from America now are fresh fruits and veggies, which I wouldn't bother with for an initial move.

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Posted : June 4, 2018 12:05 pm
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