4 Replies Latest reply: Jan 9, 2018 11:27 PM by twomoreyears RSS

    For those with VRs in the Caribbean/Central America - how do you ship items?

    twomoreyears Senior Contributor

      We purchased our home in the Caribbean a few years ago, and have spent the last few years making large shipments (containers) to the island from the US.  But we are at the point that we only need to ship a few things from time to time.  It seems to be a pretty big pain, or REALLY expensive. 


      Anyone out there with great advice on how to ship items?  Any websites that are really great at shipping to the islands?  Wayfair?  It's just really, really expensive and time consuming to buy something, put it in a box in my house, send it via UPS to Tropical Shipping, create a tracking id and send them a lot of paperwork, then have them send it.  I get it that Tropical is a good choice for containers, but I'm looking at a couple of smaller boxes - a little more than I can carry in my luggage but not a lot more.  The US post office does not show any options other than Priority mail, and it's $105 to send a 17 by 13 by 13 inch 20-pound box - or over $5 per pound!


      Advice?  Good or bad experiences?

        • Re: For those with VRs in the Caribbean/Central America - how do you ship items?
          martyp Contributor

          Others who have homes in the Caribbean should be able to provide the best answer.  Until then, check out DHL.  I used to travel all over the world and we used DHL exclusively.


          One time, about 9,000  miles away,  the full address was,


          Marty Pautz

          Kurumb Maldives


          DHL got it to my door.

          • Re: For those with VRs in the Caribbean/Central America - how do you ship items?
            soybeanpod Contributor

            DHL advertises themselves as the choice for international courier shipments, but we have actually had very poor results with them. Many little islands in the Caribbean seem to have one courier who has spent the time to get to know the local market, so it is worth asking around and seeing who the local small businesses use. The same goes for shipping companies. We have a small shipper who does a good job to the out islands of the Bahamas, but that is the only area they serve. Again you need to ask around on the island. The post office is not a reliable or timely option for us. I just received my summer utility bill in the mail.


            Generally we have found that the best option is to support local businesses and try to buy it locally, even if it is not exactly what you are looking for and the price seems excessive.


            Off topic, you mentioned that your physical address is your villa name. Did that create problems for you in signing up for HomeAway Payments? We know of several VRBO/HA homeowners in the Caribbean who were turned down for HomeAway Payments because they did not have a street address. When we tried to sign up they seemed very concerned because without a street address they could not find the house on Google Map, which was how they verified the existence of the property.

              • Re: For those with VRs in the Caribbean/Central America - how do you ship items?
                twomoreyears Senior Contributor

                soybeanpod -

                I did not have trouble signing up for Homeaway Pyments.  They were happy to collect and hold my money!


                Where I ran into a mess was trying to prove anything about our property and address to Yapstone when I tried to sign up for Advance Payments./  We went around and around about proving an address, and I kept explaining that we don't have an address. Finally, thanks to Erinn getting in touch with the HomeAway person that is the Yapstone liaison, Yapstone finally accepted some other documents as the proof they wanted.


                And, yes, I'd like to get to the position where we support more of the local businesses.  But we are there so infrequently that we don't really have time to shop around for things we need or want.  Unfortunately, most of the products are not made on the island, so I'm still supporting manufacturing in China.