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Speedy1
03-04-2016, 10:08 AM
Although I implemented this service over one year ago, I see now that I was not alone. Services such as DUFL (www.dufl.com) have also implemented similar services.

Effectively, this is a travel solution for the "Frequent Budget Traveler", which eliminates the fees and hassle of carrying bags while you travel. I'm pleased to see that I Finally had a good idea! :)

My pricing scheme is quite different from DUFL's, but my success in my first year has been amazing. I am not afraid of others who wish to get involved, as I feel that this service is best provided by those who can provide it in their home location, rather than remotely. I currently provide this service here in Costa Rica for those customers who fly in and out of SJO, and I will soon be providing it to customers who fly in and out of LIR, as well.

Basically, your bags meet you upon arrival at the airport, or in your room at your hotel... clean and otherwise "ready for action", along with all necessary accessories (chargers, snacks, toiletries, liquor, etc.)... sans airline baggage fees. If you visit Costa Rica more than twice per year, you should look into this option. Is this blatant advertising? I suppose that, in a sense, it is. I am only doing this because of the overwhelming positive response to this service, and because I want anyone who wishes to benefit from this service to have access to it. If there is interest on Ticaland, I will set up an advertising revenue stream with Ticaland, as appropriate.

Speedy1
03-04-2016, 06:21 PM
I did get a couple of emails about this today. Here's the opening section of my business statement...

THE STORY

Pies Feliz is the answer to all of your dreams regarding travel to Costa Rica. Imagine what it would be like to just hop on an airliner, with no preparation and with no bags or worries whatsoever, and arrive in Costa Rica with everything that you could want or need just waiting for you.

If you’re like me, you’ve traveled with your bags more times than you can count... lugging them through endless airport concourses and hauling them in and out of buses and taxis all over the world. Yes... sometimes, that is necessary. However, after years of travel, I have fine-tuned my baggage strategy to the point where it is almost a science. That would sound silly to a lot of people, but not to frequent travelers who often travel to the same destination(s).

I quite literally travel many times every year with nothing more than the shirt on my back. Customs officers often think that something “Fishy” is going on, until I explain how I travel and hand them my business card. After that, the response is invariably, “That’s the smartest travel idea I’ve ever heard.”

Even if I only saved 20 minutes per one-way trip (it’s usually more), I would easily save over 100 hours per year. However, that’s not Really why I travel the way that I do. The real reason is the complete lack of stress that I experience on a trip. It is literally impossible for me to “Forget” anything, because there is nothing to forget. Everything is ready and waiting for me when I arrive at my destination. Moving through airports is a Breeze... no bags to lug around, no complicated security procedures. I do get some strange looks, until I explain what I’m doing and hand out my business card.

In my mind, I’m just driving around the block, and if you have one or more regular destinations, then that’s what you should be doing, too.

How did this all start?

I’ve been traveling internationally, alone, since I was 16 years old. I have traveled to all 7 Continents and have visited over 180 Sovereign States on Planet Earth... some of them don’t even exist anymore. I’ve spent God Only Knows how many hours on airplanes, and over the past 35-ish years I have logged more sleep in airplanes than I have logged in a bed. I have Flown over 20 Million Miles (not earned frequent-flyer miles... Flown Miles). I tell you all this, not to brag, but to let you know where I’m coming from. If you’ve ever seen the film “Up in the Air”, you’ll understand a bit of what I’m talking about.

It gets OLD... dragging a bag around everywhere that you go. It’s worse than being a woman with a large purse. Even with the brilliant invention of the “Rollaboard” bag, it is still a huge pain to drag a bag with you, everywhere that you go. I stumbled onto the solution to this problem entirely by accident, many years ago...

I am the Traveler in my family. By that, I mean that I am the only person in my family who is willing to venture more than 30 miles from his home, under Any circumstances. I don’t know why or how I got the “Travel Bug” and the rest of my family did not, but that’s the way it is. So... if I want to see my mom, dad, brother, and sister... I have to go to them. I’ve developed quite a knack for planning trips that give me 2 or 3 days to spend with them, several times per year. I even make special trips just to visit them, on occasion.

On one trip, long ago, I said to my mom, “Hey... why don’t I just leave 4 or 5 days’ worth of clothes, a toothbrush, and a few of these travel-size items here? That way, they won’t take up space in my bags that I need for the rest of the trip?” She answered, “Good Idea.” It wasn’t long after that, that I realized I didn’t need any bags at all, when I was just going to visit my family... and it wasn’t long after that, that I realized I could just call ahead and tell my mom, “Hey, the next time that you go to the store, please get some more of my favorite antiperspirant... I noticed that I was almost out, on my last visit.”

Now it’s all starting to make sense, isn’t it? I had long ago figured out the first secret of stress-free travel: Travel Light. Now I was figuring out the second secret: Don’t carry stuff from A to B to A to B to A, when you don’t have to.

Thus was born... Pies Feliz... a concept which is brilliant in its own right, and which has Really built up momentum since almost all airlines began charging for checked bags. While budget travelers see the most immediate benefits, even First-Class travelers appreciate the advantages of maintaining a “Stock” of clothing and personal items at their most frequent destinations.

The cost of setting this up is minimal, and silly-simple for a visit to Costa Rica. Get one of your old bags that looks like its next time being handled by airport baggage handlers might be its last, throw in a weeks’ worth of underwear, socks, shorts, old jeans, and t-shirts, as well as an old pair of sneakers and some flip-flops. We are talking about a vacation to Costa Rica, here. Who are you trying to impress? Almost everyone has a weeks’ worth of stuff that they never wear, even though it’s in perfectly acceptable condition. If you don’t have a ratty old bag, go to Walmart and buy one of the shitty bags that they sell for $19.95. Get the idea?

You don’t have to use my service. If you have a friend or someone that you do regular business with in Costa Rica, they’ll probably hang onto the bag for you, until your next visit. In my case, when my Customer arrives at his hotel... there’s his bag, with a pack of stuff (razor, shaving cream, antiperspirant, mosquito spray, sunscreen, etc.) sitting on top of it, just waiting for him to show up.

This is one of my little “side businesses” here in Costa Rica. For those who don’t know... I am NOT my own boss, when it comes to my primary business, although I do enjoy a great deal of autonomy. Still... I like to stretch out and do things on my own, and this little venture has done surprisingly well.

Speedy1
03-04-2016, 11:02 PM
On a similar -- yet different -- note...

In the course of my travels, I have met a few people who really have some unique points of view and strategies for traveling. I've learned some really, really cool "think outside of the box" ideas from some of these fine folks. Here's one particular solution that might appeal to some of the guys on this board. It's a unique approach whose time has almost arrived... for some people, anyway.

To set this up... keep in mind that checking just one bag, round-trip, costs at least $50 on most airlines.

This travel genius is a frequent visitor to Costa Rica. I met him about 7 years ago, during his first trip to Costa Rica. We originally made contact on that "Other" board, back when it was actually worth a shit. I'm not making this name up just for this post... I do actually call him "On a Dime" Daniel, a nickname that I started using for him before we ever met, after only 2 or 3 email exchanges. On a Dime is my personal hero when it comes to traveling as cheaply and as efficiently as possible. He's not a poor man, but he is the most frugal person that I have ever met. For example, he runs his own small business in the USA, and his printer is filled with old bills, invoices, and letters loaded into the paper tray, upside-down. Practically everything in his office is something that has been re-purposed from its former life. His desk is made from two large coolers and a plank of wood. It doesn't look like junk, either... he put some real thought into the design. OK... You get the idea.

On a Dime is just as frugal with his travel, and he does travel quite frequently. He travels to Costa Rica 3 or 4 times each year, and that's not the only place that he visits. Once again, he's not poor. His point of view, roughly speaking, is something like, "I don't mind spending money, but I hate wasting it. If I pay $25 for a checked bag, that money just vanishes into thin air... for the sole privilege of lugging a bag around, waiting at the carousel for 20 minutes, and then possibly filing a 'missing bag' claim form." On a Dime is a very frequent flyer, but he has never built up any real status with any airline, because he is loyal to none of them. His primary concern is whose fare is $5 cheaper than the others. We have very different opinions on this topic, but he's happy, and his system works for him.

OK... enough with the setup...

When the airlines started charging for checked bags, even on flights to Costa Rica, On a Dime came up with his own "Unique" solution to this issue...

Instead of paying $50 to check a bag round-trip, my hero arrived with no personal belongings other than the clothes that he was wearing and whatever he had in his pockets. Then, he hit the Tico and Chinese bargain stores of downtown San Josť... the places that sell Cameron Klein underwear and Ni-Key sneakers. I've bought some of that stuff myself. Some of it is junk, but some of it is every bit as good as the legitimate brand. Shortly after his arrival, On a Dime spent 30 - 45 minutes and roughly $50, and returned from his little shopping trip with a week's worth of underwear, t-shirts, shorts, socks, a pair of sneakers, a pair of jeans, a pair of flip-flops, and a swimsuit. Basically, he traded $50 in baggage fees for a $50 reusable wardrobe, most of which is still living in a bag in my closet, right here in San Josť, awaiting his next visit. One bonus of this strategy is that, as long as he has at least a little bit of a suntan, he can pass for a Tico from 30 feet away. Although I don't enjoy shopping for clothes, I must admit there is a bit of a thrill when you find a t-shirt of the same quality as a Hanes Beefy-T on the $2 rack.

Speedy1
03-05-2016, 09:14 AM
I just got out of chat with On a Dime, who saw my previous post about four hours ago. That would be about 5:00 a.m. Central Standard Time in the USA... the perfect time to wake up, check your emails and the message boards, and get ready to hit the local Yard Sales. With a gleam of pride, he recalled that particular trip... "You know, I only paid Six Dollars for those Nikki sneakers (or whatever the hell the knock-off brand name is), and they still look like New!" I have to admit, they're a lot higher in quality than $6 sneakers deserve to be.

Like an idiot, I then asked, "So how did the yard sale crawl go this morning?" That really set him off...

Dime: Oh, Lord! This one guy was selling a completely inoperative old desktop computer for $20. He didn't realize that there is at least $35 worth of scavenge-able precious metals inside that thing.

Me: So, you're going to spend 3 or 4 hours making 15 bucks?

Dime: Oh! That ain't even the half of it!

Me: Do Tell...

Dime: This one guy had a perfectly good coil of sisal rope... at least 20 feet long. I paid him $1.50 for it.

Me: Needed some rope, did ya?

Dime: Man, there's always a use for some Good Rope!

Me: Wow! Look at the Time! Sorry, Dude, but I gotta go!