How to plan a trip to Jamaica

Jamaica, a Caribbean island nation, has a lush topography of mountains, rainforests and reef-lined beaches. Many of its all-inclusive resorts are clustered in Montego Bay, with its British-colonial architecture, and Negril, known for its diving and snorkeling sites. Jamaica is famed as the birthplace of reggae music, and its capital Kingston is home to the Bob Marley Museum, dedicated to the famous singer. The culture is different compared to USA, Never compliment a lady as you are skinny, locals think if skinny means one is sick or not well fed, instead they feel happy if you compliment you are like lobster , all the meat in the tail.

What is the best time to Go to Jamaica

It is always summer in Jamaica. To have better experience and nice memory it is better to visit Jamaica on a slow pace in each city and explore its streets, culture , food and coffee. The best months to visit Jamaica are Winter when the weather is comfortably warm and cloudy. You can plan for June to August  but the Caribbean  climate makes the summers are hot and dry.

What to do for Transportation in Jamaica

Local Transport. Major cities all have good transport systems, including bus and taxi. Planning to rent car then you should do it in three months in advance as car rental on peak time can be $50+ for a small car. Another disadvantage for car rental is it left side driving and traffic sign is not clear at many spots.

What to wear in Jamaica

  • Light breathable Fabric shirts and  tops to visit Jamaica in summer.
  • Comfortable Walking Shoes. The number one thing you should pack are comfortable shoes as some of the attractions are nearby so you can walk.

 

How much luggage you should carry

you should take at least enough clothing to cover up the number of your travel days so that you should not start wasting time laundry the cloths. Southwest travels so 2 piece of luggage is free. Most hotels/resorts offer free airport shuttle so weight should not be a problem.

 

is it safe to travel in Jamaica

Jamaica is safe compared to other Caribbean island where you can see drunk people but harmless. It is advisable to practice keeping your wallet in the front side zipped or double pocket and keep a mock wallet in the back pocket. For ladies carry a cross body purse and carry the travel document(passport) always or else carry the passport in neck wallet. Bargaining exist in almost all the shops and is better to window shopping and avoid touching the products.

How to have data on the cellphone in Jamaica to call back to USA

A good option is to buy google FI available in bestbuy or other major retail and cost $10+ per month for 1gb data (free data after 6gb). In most of the Jamaican country google FI tie up to local provider digicell and network also works well. Data only sim card is available from the google FI site. Advantage with Google Fi is it automatically covers in 200+ countries and territories with data and texting abroad at no extra charge, plus affordable voice calling – just step off the plane and go!. The sim cards works on latest unlocked iphone and andriod/pixel phone (get an unlocked phone from walmart for less than $50 for travel incase your phone is under contract).

Other option is to use major USA network provider which has partnership with caribbean providers and unlimited data will cost around $25 for a 7days. talk to your provider before going and ask them about the charge. To get the data you need to set the phone in roaming.

When or how should you book the hotels in Jamaica

start at least three months or before for hotel search if you are planning to in peak time.  do not go for low price tag. If you are from USA then the first advice is to look for USA name brand hotels with flexible rate which can guarantee free cancellation if you find some negative reviews. you can try booking.com as well.Here are some of the things that you should look while booking hotel

  • Pay when you checkout
  • no of people you are going to stay , as most of the Italian hotel room are small so you should book a junior suit (e.g. 2+ person) or two interconnected room.
  • keep email communication with hotel
  • If breakfast is not in the room price then it is better to prepay the breakfast.
  • make sure all the city tax or car park fees or any other charges on the communication.
  • Even though charges will be little more stay close to attraction as you can save time and energy.

look for All inclusive resorts which will have plenty of things to do and you will have a quality time. Either buy the resorts from Wholesaler like costco/BJ’s or directly from the resort site. Things to consider while buying is what benefit to get from the all inclusive.

What to eat or drink in Jamaica

All inclusive resorts provides all you can eat and drink and good resorts will have plenty of bars and restaurant inside the resorts. check at costco site if the resorts are listed for rating. Usually KFC is popular in jamaica. people wait in queues to eat in KFC. Jamaican typically call KFC as keep free from cooking.

What to carry – cash or Credit Card in Jamaica.

Currency in jamaica is jamaican dollar and one US Dollar is around JA $130+ . In some of the places stores or facilities they do not accept card so it is better to carry some cash. some major USA bank exchange and will give you Jamaican Dollar and will take back once you return. You can get the Dollar converted to JA Dollar for 1dollar to 100 JA Dollar. Carry at least couple of no fee foreign transaction credit card. Practice to keep your wallet in the front pocket at least a month before going on the trip and keep a empty wallet  on the back pocket. US Dollar is accepted widely so even if you don’t change the dollar you can manage.

 

Cities not to Miss in Jamaica

Montego Bay

Montego Bay, the capital of Saint James Parish on Jamaica’s north coast, is a major cruise ship port with numerous beach resorts and golf courses outside its commercial core. Popular beaches include Doctor’s Cave Beach and Walter Fletcher Beach, home to an amusement park. There’s also snorkelling and diving at coral reefs in the protected waters of Montego Bay Marine Park.

 

Kingston

Kingston is the capital of the island of Jamaica, lying on its southeast coast. In the city center, the Bob Marley Museum is housed in the reggae singer’s former home. Nearby, Devon House is a colonial-era mansion with period furnishings. Hope Botanical Gardens & Zoo showcases native flora and fauna. Northeast of the city, the Blue Mountains are a renowned coffee-growing region with trails and waterfalls.

 

 

Ocho Rios

Ocho Rios is a port town on the north coast of Jamaica. A former fishing village, it’s now a resort with a cruise ship harbor and a busy bay beach that’s lined with hotels. The surrounding parish of Saint Ann is home to rainforest, rivers and waterfalls. Dunn’s River Falls is a terraced, 180m mountain waterfall with lagoon pools, surrounded by trees.

Negril

Negril is a town in western Jamaica. It’s known for its miles of sandy beaches on shallow bays with calm, turquoise waters. Seven Mile Beach, particularly the portion overlooking Long Bay, is lined with bars, restaurants and resorts, many of them international and all-inclusive. Long Bay opens onto a lagoon protected by coral reefs and is a snorkeling and scuba-diving destination.