Jamaica isn’t just one of the world’s top tourist destinations because of its unique beauty, and it isn’t just a top tourist destination because it’s close to home – although both of those things are true. Another reason why Jamaica is such a popular destination is because your money can go further there. Jamaica is a land of affordable luxury, and you can travel there on a modest budget and still feel like a celebrity.
The fact that traveling to Jamaica is so affordable, though, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try to save a little more if you can. Keeping your travel expenses low can make it possible for you to have a longer stay – and if you’re on a very tight budget, finding ways to save money can potentially be the difference that makes it possible for you to travel to Jamaica at all.
Your money can go further in Jamaica, but that doesn’t mean you can’t save even more by making the right choices before and during your trip. Here’s how to save money on your Jamaica vacation.
Choose the Right Location
Saving money on your trip to Jamaica begins with choosing the right location. Vacationing in Montego Bay can be a great choice because it’s the tourism capital of the country. You’ll have a bevy of activities – not to mention the best food in all of Jamaica – right on your doorstep. Since Montego Bay is central to everything, staying there means that you’ll spend less time getting from point to point during your vacation. It also means that you’ll never have to worry about finding things to do. The most scenic beaches and the best food are right on your doorstep!
Choose the Right Accommodations
Are you thinking about staying at a traditional hotel or resort during your vacation in Jamaica? If you are, you should consider an alternative option and rent a private villa instead. Renting a private villa gives you a resort-like experience at a price per day that’s often significantly lower. What’s even better is that you can enjoy the beautiful tranquility of a private villa the way you’ve always wanted: without other guests hogging the best views and beating you to all of the amenities.
A private villa also gives you some amazing money-saving perks that you wouldn’t get at a resort. A personal chef can save you an enormous amount of money that you’d otherwise spend on restaurant bills – always one of the biggest vacation expenses. A private driver can pick you up from the airport and take you from point to point during your vacation, eliminating the cost of a car rental – and if you decide to rent a car anyway, you’ll love the fact that renting a private villa allows you to enjoy free parking rather than paying exorbitant parking and valet fees at a resort.
The best part of renting a private villa is that a free resort membership may actually be included in the cost of your stay. That’s an enormous savings, and it dramatically increases the number of things that you can do while vacationing in Jamaica. When you rent a private villa, you may even find that you enjoy the property so much that you’ll end up spending a few extra days exploring the on-site amenities and not doing much of anything at all.
Pack Plenty of Snacks
When you look for traveling advice online, one of the most common tips you’ll see is that it’s always unwise to overpack. That’s especially useful advice if you happen to be traveling with young children, because there’s a good chance that you’ll be carrying at least one kid by the end of your travel day.
Here’s a solution that’ll help you fill the leftover space in your bags without adding a lot of extra weight: Pack plenty of snacks. Your money may go further in Jamaica, but convenience food is expensive everywhere. That statement is especially true when it comes to in-flight snacks. One of the best ways to save money when traveling to Jamaica is by grabbing chips and peanuts for 50 cents a bag at your local big-box store instead of spending $4.00 per bag on the plane because your children are hungry, and your flight isn’t scheduled to land for another hour.
Buy your convenience food at normal prices before you leave instead of paying through the nose later because you have no other options – and save your vacation money for the Jamaican specialties that you can’t get anywhere else. Don’t forget the best part of filling your bags with snacks before leaving: It means that you’ll have plenty of space in your luggage for the souvenirs that you pick up during your trip!
Don’t Be Afraid to Haggle
Speaking of souvenirs, many of the things that you buy during your trip to Jamaica will be sold by street merchants. Whether the thing you’re buying is a hand-made craft, a t-shirt or something else, remember that the average souvenir seller is an independent businessperson who can sell items at whatever price he or she wants. Think if an item’s sticker price as something like an opening offer, and don’t be afraid to haggle. Remember that there’s going to be a decent margin between what the seller is asking for an item and what he or she actually paid for that item – and sacrificing a bit of profit is usually better than not making a sale at all.
When you’re negotiating for a souvenir, don’t be afraid to walk away if a seller isn’t willing to drop the price on an item to what you believe is a reasonable range. When the seller realizes that you’re okay with not buying the item at all, that might be the thing that swings the negotiation in your favor. If the negotiation doesn’t work out, though, there’s no need to worry. You’ll find something at another souvenir stand that you like just as much. If there’s one thing that Jamaica definitely isn’t short on, it’s opportunities to buy souvenirs.