The majority of travelers, from the most adventurous to the most cautious ones, have a secret urge to dig their peet in feet in white sand, or better yet swim in crystal blue waters. “There’s something so ironic about spending a week in paradise that we all just can’t resist” - lonely planet. Hell its the truth!!
When most people think of a vacation in paradise, they associate it with a heavy price tag, and guess what? That’s not always the case! Sometimes you can enjoy five-star scenery without a big budget, especially if your taking a trip someplace like Jamaica.
According to lonely planet its best to travel during low season! For the cheapest transport and hotel prices, you’re best traveling from May to mid-December. You can save about 30% off your accommodation and transport, but guess what? This means you’ll be holidaying in humidity and an increased chance of bad weather and hurricanes. On the bright side, if your looking to experience Jamaica’s tropical weather and get that sun kissed tan this may just be the right time of year for you!
This is something you can’t avoid completely, but you will have to search deep for if you want to get the best rate. But if you’re a pre-planner unlike me, then you are destined to find an affordable selection. Flights to Jamaica are usually reasonable; with airports in two major cities just grab a flight deal to Jamaica and chill out in the relaxing atmosphere of this tropical paradise.
The Good Grub
If you don’t do anything while you’re in Jamaica, the one thing you will do is eat right! To really experience Jamaica you have to embrace some of their fine local dishes from curry goat, ackee and saltfish, festival, to everything jerk. Even though the majority of the hotels in Jamaica are all-inclusive and involve eating the typical American style buffet, venture out onto the streets of Jamaica and try some of the authentic cuisine. One of my all time favorite restaurants is Scotchies; east of Montego Bay this restaurant is known globally for their delicious jerk dishes starting under $5. If in Kingston one cannot forget to visit Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt’s restaurant. Jamaica offers a lot of everything, being that this is a Rastafarian culture they don’t forget their vegetarians. In the city of Negril, the Hungry Lion is a vegetarian’s paradise, offering good, hearty, healthy food. What more can you ask for?
Living unlike the rest
Upon arriving in Jamaica, it’s a good idea to really research the areas and cities in which you will stay-in. It’s usually cheaper to stay at an all-inclusive resort, when you factor in the cost of food, transportation and excursions. Some hotels work together with airlines and offer you a deal that you cannot resist! Example: 4 nights at an all-inclusive resort + airfare for $700, OR you can spend $400 + for airfare and $100 – 125 a night + food and transportation. Food for thought!
The three major area’s that tourist stay-in are:
Kingston – Pegasus Hotel, Spanish Court Hotel, Wyndham
Ocho Rios - RIU Ocho Rios, Sandals Grand Riviera, Jamaica Inn
Montego Bay – Secrets, Iberostar, Round hill
Outside the gates of paradise
Your hotel’s brochures are not lying to you when they say that you will be staying in paradise, but the true beauty can be found in the mountains, where you can explore the magnificent waterfalls and rich plantations that Jamaica has to offer.
Here is a mock itinerary of my 9-day stay in Jamaica that only cost me $900 – such a steal!!
Day 1- Depart Lynden Pindling International Airport- Nassau, Bahamas
- Arrive at Kingston Normandy International Airport Kingston, Jamaica
- Take a bus to Jamaica Pegasus Hotel
- Dinner at Usain Bolts restaurant
Day 2 - Explore Kingston – (Down town Kingston, University of the West Indies and The Bob Marley Museum)
- Depart Kingston in route to Ocho Rios (3 hour drive in the rocky mountains)
- Arrive at RIU Ocho Rios resort
- Explore the resort (Unpack, dinner and watch the show)
- Margaritavile Ochie
Day 3- Breakfast (RIU hotel)
- Mystic Mountain Jamaica (Bob sledding, zip lining and sky lift)
- Dunns River falls
- Return to Hotel (Dinner / Clubbing)
Day 4- Breakfast (Hotel)
- Explore Ocho Rios (Sightseeing and shopping)
- Depart Ocho Rios in route to Montego Bay (2 hour drive)
- Arrive at Ibersostar resort – time to hit the beach!!
- Dinner (Authentic Jamaican Restaurant)
- Margaritaville MoBay / Casino
Day 5- Breakfast (Hotel)
- Relaxed at Hotel
- Lunch at Scotchies
- White water rafting
- Reggae Sumfest Concert Dancehall night from 10pm to 7am!!
Day 6- Return to hotel at 7:30am from concert
- Sleep the day away
- Relax by the pool
- Dinner / Clubbing
Wedding crashers??? I think so!!
Day 7- Breakfast
- Shopping in down town MoBay
- Margaritaville MoBay
- Return to hotel – Dinner
- Reggae Sumfest Concert International Night – 10pm to 4am
Day 8- Breakfast
- Travel to Negril (1.5 hour drive)
- Margaritaville Negril
- Ricks Café
- Return to hotel – Dinner / Clubbing
Day 9- Depart Jamaica
Now imagine what your trip could be like !! Head on over to Kayak today and book your Jamaica excursion!