Sometimes when you travel, you just want to get away and relax into the laid back culture of a beach paradise. We’ve partnered with smart-luxury travel writer and expert Dr. Cacinda Maloney from the blog PointsandTravel as she shares with you her 5 Jamaican travel tips to make your trip perfect.
5 Jamaican Travel Tips to Make Your Trip Perfect
So you want to go to Jamaica, mon? Get ready to embrace the laid-back Jamaican culture and visit the reggae island of Jamaica! I believe nowhere else on earth will you find a culture as dynamic as the one you will encounter while visiting Jamaica. The Jamaicans are survivors of enslavement and oppression and their past is full of fascinating stories you will hear as you meet the locals. You have made a wonderful choice for cool breezes and laid-back vibes, so let me help you with a few tips to know before you take the perfect trip to Jamaica.
Travel Tip #1 – Know When to Visit Jamaica
Jamaica’s climate stays fairly consistent throughout the year. Temperatures range between 80 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit, with a tropical marine climate. But they do have a peak season, which is the busiest time to visit Jamaica.
And during this time, December through April, hotel and airline rates are typically higher. So I would suggest if you can go during off-peak season (May through November), that would be more cost effective (I call it “smart-luxury”). You’re likely to encounter lower hotel and airline rates and fewer crowds, which for me makes it a perfect trip! Be aware, there is a rainy season: May through June and October through November. So, just keep in mind that you will practically receive a daily sprinkle of rain!
Therefore, the sweet spot to make your trip perfect is the months of July and August, which is off peak and not the rainy season!
Travel Tip #2 – Know What to Do When You Get There
Of course, you want to relax, but now is the time to S-L-O-W down. It is hectic planning and packing for a vacation, as well as getting everything ready to leave town. So just remember that once you get there, you will need to SLOW down and take a breather.
Eventually, I will recommend that you explore your hotel and embrace the great outdoors. This island is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world as well as have some of the most unspoiled mountains and waterfalls for you to see. Of course, there is deep sea fishing, horseback riding, kayaking, scuba, and snorkeling – there are so many things that you can do outdoors. But first, if all you want to do is soak in the hot tub or relax by the pool or ocean, then of course, by all means, do that. You need to take the time to get into that RELAX mode that Jamaica is known for: “Don’t Worry, Be Happy!”
Travel Tip #3 – Eat Locally
Food is a big part of any vacation, so be sure and try out the local Jamaican cuisine where you can eat some of the freshest seafood as well as some tropical fruits and vegetables that you simply will not have access to at home. Don’t forget that Jamaica is the home of the famous “jerk” spices, so a visit to the famous Scotchies Restaurant is a must!
The “jerk” is a marinade that can be added to almost anything, but usually, it is added to meats like chicken or pork and served with side dishes like rice and field peas, roasted yams, roasted breadfruit, and sweet fried cornmeal dumplings. The spicy sauce includes many of the island’s native ingredients. They are also famous for their rum ribs!
There is no need to dress up when visiting, as you can see them smoking the jerked meats right out in front of their palm frond roofs and open air restaurants. You will be so happy that you tried out the local cuisine. The Jamaicans are also proud of their cuisine and will be happy that you tried it as well. This will also give you a chance to interact with the locals, as they are eating here too!
But also a word of warning: if you are drinking rum cocktails all day on the beach, remember to drink water, because the sun, the sand, and sips of rum can get you sunburned and dehydrated!
Travel Tip #4 – Be Aware of Your Surroundings
This travel tip isn’t as fun as the others, but I need to mention it anyway, Sometimes travelers forget to be aware and be prepared when you are traveling to a foreign country
Know before you go:
Know where your passport is at all times and keep it in the same place while traveling. Once you get to your hotel room, put it in the safe and leave it there. You should have other ID (drivers license) in case someone wants to verify it, but no one should be asking you for your passport. It is always a good idea to have a paper copy of your passport as well.
Do you have medical coverage to travel abroad? If yes, have a copy of it with you.
Know where you are staying: address, phone number, and how you are getting there, either public transport or taxi or hotel pickup.
Do a quick internet search about places that it is not wise to go: The best way to protect yourself is to use common sense, avoid dangerous areas, and be aware of your surroundings.
Travel Tip #5 – Where to Stay
I recommend that you stay in a resort versus in town. Here are a few places I can recommend to stay:
Dr. Cacinda Maloney is an official Travelocity Gnational Gnomad. Gnational Gnomads is an exclusive group of high-profile travel and lifestyle experts who offer tips and inspiration on behalf of Travelocity. For more information on the Travelocity Gnomads, visit travelocitygnomads.com.
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