Vacation packages have a number of points in their favor. They’re often a bargain compared to purchasing services piecemeal. They’re incredibly simple. Pick a package, pay for it, and you’re done. All you have to do is pack and show up at the airport. However, it is possible to make mistakes when shopping for a vacation package to Jamaica. We’ll share some of the mistakes people make when planning their vacation and give tips on how to avoid making these mistakes yourself.
Not Budgeting Correctly
If you’re booking a vacation package, all the big budget items are taken care of like flights, lodging and most of your food. One of the benefits of staying in Jamaica is that the tap water is safe to drink, so you don’t have to worry about paying for a steady stream of bottled water. However, this is a tourist-dependent economy. You’ll pay a lot for any meals, souvenirs and services away from the resort. You’ll be expected to tip when at the resort, too, unless everything’s tracked via your wristband. Fortunately, nearly everyone accepts U.S. dollars.
Taxi and bus rides are expensive, too, but that’s not another way of ripping off tourists — gas and vehicles are hard to transport to the islands, so you have to pay more to use both when getting around.
Not Choosing a Safe Resort
All-inclusive resorts are often gated and come with private security. That’s a major attraction when you’re visiting a place with a crime rate as high as Jamaica’s. However, you cannot assume that a gated entry equals security. For example, Jamaica has a rape problem. What makes matters worse for tourists is that some of these sexual assaults have occurred inside of gated resorts. The solution is to do your research and avoid locations that have blamed the victims or minimized the issue.
You should also exercise caution in every situation. Don’t get so drunk or high that you lose situational awareness. Don’t use substances of any kind to the point where others have to take you to your room. Travel in groups if visiting clubs or bars, and never drink anything you’re unfamiliar with. This includes at the restaurant bar itself. Do not go anywhere with staff alone, whether it is a laundry room or “special access lounge”. Don’t let someone claiming to be a staff member into your room when you’re alone, either.
Making Assumptions on Travel Deals
If you’ve booked one of the many Jamaica vacation packages, understand that the travel agency or resort staff booking everything make the decisions. Don’t assume you’ll get extra travel miles for taking the flight to Jamaica. Recognize that you may not be able to receive hotel points for staying at the resort with the rest of your party. However, you’ll almost certainly get credit card points when you pay for your vacation.
Believing the Stoner Stereotype
While Jamaica has a reputation of being a stoner’s paradise, cannabis is illegal here. Possession of small amounts is a minor crime but still a crime. While you might be able to secure cannabis as part of a so-called religious ritual (where limited use is legal), it is best not to do so. Also take care not to get drunk and/or stoned to the point you’re easy prey for thieves.