Are you planning on a trip to Jamaica in the future? I thought it might be helpful to put together a few travel tips just for you! In the excitement of visiting a new place, it’s easy to overlook some of the practical details that would make vacation time a lot easier.
Arriving on the Rock: There are two international airports – Norman Manley International in Kingston, and Sangster International in Montego Bay.You will most likely have transfers already booked from and to the airport but in the event that you do not, getting to and from the airport is easy. Buses, coaches, taxis and rental cars are available at both airports. Most hotels will arrange to have you transported, if you request it. Facilities at the airports include shops, restaurants, ATMs, car rental companies, cell phone sales.
Arrive in Style: Regardless of airport, airline or class flown, start your Jamaican vacation in style with VIP Attractions’ arrival meet-and-greet services. Club Mobay (or Club Kingston) staff welcomes you at your gate, where you are then expedited through customs and immigration. Luggage assistance and lounge access is provided while awaiting your transportation. It’s the perfect option for families with small children, seniors needing assistance, unaccompanied minors, wedding parties or anyone looking to save time, especially during travel’s high season.**Please let me know if you would like more information on Club Mobay arrival and departure. There are additional fees for Club Mobay. Most of the properties in Jamaica are all-inclusive but if you will not be staying at an all-inclusive hotel, you’ll want to get out and around. If you decide to rent a car, please remember that driving in Jamaica may prove very different to your experience elsewhere. I personally do not recommend driving, but using tour guides instead, which you should already have booked if you are booked with Timeless Travel.
- If you must drive, remember to drive on the left.
- Seat belts must be worn by the driver and front seat passengers.
- Speed limit is 50km/hr in built up areas and school zones. 80 km/hr in other areas.
- Look out for potholes. There are very many, and they are often very large.
- Look out for stray animals (cows, donkeys, goats), especially on country roads.
- Before driving at night, ask advice on the safety of the route before you set out. Know your route beforehand, and have company with you if possible. I DO NOT ADVISE DRIVING ALONE AT NIGHT!
- Lock your car doors if you are leaving your car unattended.
- Do not have marijuana in your vehicle. Police perform regular traffic checks, and marijuana is an illegal substance. A good thing to remember at all times.
Travel Tips for Jamaica – Dress Code:
- For the most part, bring along cool, casual clothing. It’s a good idea to include a light jacket and pants/long skirt/dress, as evenings may get cool, especially in the months from December to February.
- Outside of resort areas or on the beach, a swimsuit is not considered appropriate clothing. A few businesses will post their dress code in a notice on their premises, but most require at least a shirt and shorts.
- Nude and topless swimming are restricted to specific areas. Ask before you shed clothes!
Travel Tips for Jamaica – Health/Emergency:
- There is no need to travel with drinking water. Much of the island’s water supply is potable, and bottled water is easily available.
- Most street food is well prepared, and quite safe to eat. Jerk chicken, corn, pepper shrimp, fruit are some of the delicious foods sold on the roadside.
- Jamaica has no poisonous snakes. The most venomous creature that I can think of is the scorpion, which is not often encountered.
- It’s a good idea to travel with insect repellant and sunscreen, or buy some soon after getting there.
- In case of a medical emergency, try getting the affected party to the hospital or doctor yourself, as many areas do not have an emergency ambulance service.
- Police emergency number is 119 (not 911).
Travel Tips for Jamaica – Business/Communication:
- US currency is accepted at most shops and businesses in resort areas.
- Jamaica’s telephone area code is 876.
Travel Tips for Jamaica – Weather/Climate:
- The coolest months are December to February, with February usually having the coolest temperatures. Expect highs in the mid 80s (F), and lows in the high 60s, depending on your location. In the mountains, night-time temperatures may fall as low as mid 40s.
- The hottest months are July and August. Expect temperatures in the high 80s and low 90s. It may feel even hotter due to humidity.
- Although the official hurricane season is June to November, chances of a hurricane hitting the island during much of that time are extremely slim. Historically, the worst hurricanes have hit in late August and the first half of September. Happily, this has not happened very often!
- Frequent and sometimes heavy rainfall should be expected in the rainiest months, May and October. December to February/March can be very dry. In other months, there are regular afternoon showers.
Travel Tips for Jamaica – General:
- Tipping – in tourist areas and larger restaurants, gratuity is usually included on your bill. In the countryside, and in small establishments, tipping is left to the discretion of the visitor.
- Openly homosexual behavior is not well tolerated. It will cause stares, comments, and in a very few cases, violence.
- Jamaicans appreciate it when you say “Good Morning” or “Good Evening/Night” when you enter a room.
I hope these travel tips for Jamaica will prove useful to you on what’s sure to be an unforgettable vacation!