“Let the Christmas catch you in a good mood, Let the Christmas catch you feeling fine.” It’s the most wonderful time of the year again and you may be planning a trip to Jamaica. If done as an ad hoc venture, traveling can be a costly and unpleasant experience. So, if you are traveling to Jamaica for the Christmas season and you want to have an awesome time, plan ahead. You can be a first time visitor, returning visitor or a Jamaican resident, plan ahead. The 5 tips that I will be sharing can be adapted to anywhere and anytime of the year. However, details regarding these tips are tailored specifically to Jamaica and also for the winter season. So read carefully.
Tip 1: Reserve Early
My first and most important tip is to book your hotel or boarding arrangements early. Obvious, right? The winter season is a very busy period in Jamaica, and a lot of traveling happen this time of the year. As such, many persons book their hotels months in advance. This is done to avoid the rush and also to guarantee a place to stay. However, if your option is to stay with a family or friend it is best to let them know from early because they may be traveling as well or have packed accommodations. Visitors it is best to do your bookings early to ensure you get what you want. With the emergence of Airbnb, visitors now have the option of not only having variety in accommodations, but this offers the opportunity to live like a Jamaican.
Tip 2: Rent a Vehicle
Many hotels offer group tours to see Jamaican sites scheduled by the hotel. However, this can be a very repetitious and mundane experience. Why not rent a vehicle and explore at your own pace?. Having a vehicle gives you the opportunity to see Jamaica for yourself and gives you the independence to go where you want and when. Jamaica is a small island and with the building of new and beautiful highways, maneuvering this small paradise is simpler than Dora’s adventures. So get your GPS, fill up your tank and go where you want to go. And, if you’re a returning resident, I’m sure that you’ll want to move around without depending on family members or friends.
Tip 3: Plan ahead
Research where you want to go and what you would like to do. The winter season is a very busy period with long nights and short days. Having fun goes by as quickly as searching for fun activities. Events are advertised in advanced and as such give persons the time to schedule their attendance. Some events are seasonal/annual so you can always count on them to happen. So research these events and plan your attendance. Plan time for extemporized events. You never know what you will find happening in Jamaica. There is a lot to do during the winter season such as, going to the beach (yes, that’s a must 365 days a year), clubs, parties, tours, hikes and all sort of adventurous events. Make time to attend the ones you know about and make time to attend the ones you don’t know about. The important thing is, plan to have fun.
Tip 4: Pack Lightweight clothing
it is always best to think about climate conditions when doing your vacation research. Jamaica has a tropical climate and the exotic, warm conditions remain relatively the same year round with temperatures averaging between 70 – 88 degrees Fahrenheit. You’ll want to wear and bring light, breathable none restricting clothing.Consider light pants and button-up shirt or t-shirt for men and skirts, Capri pants, short-sleeved tops or dresses for women. Yes, it’s the winter season but you can “let loose.” Unless you are on business and is restricted by a more professional attire. Also, the winter season begins at the end of the rainy season therefore, you might experience the tail end of the rainy season. Have at hand a lightweight, breathable raincoat, umbrella and a pair of walking shoes that water won’t destroy.
Tip 5: Emergency, Health, and communication
No matter where you go and when you do so, this is a must for all vacation or travel plans. However, when traveling to Jamaica for the winter season, be extra vigilant. As said many times in this article, the winter season is a very busy period in Jamaica. As such mishaps are more frequent.
- The police emergency number in Jamaica is 119 (NOT 911).
- You can leave an emergency contact with the hotel receptionist and have that information readily available.
- In case of emergency, it is best to seek help in finding a hospital because emergency ambulance service may not be available.
- No need to pack water for your trip, however, include a hat to protect you from the sun, as well as sunglasses and plenty of sunscreens.
- If you are on medication, have sufficient to last your entire trip and more.
- In case you have known allergies, ensure you have medications for those (if possible). If in doubt about the food you are partaking, request ingredients or make your allergies be known.
- Jamaica has reliable and affordable cell phone services. Therefore, if roaming is too expensive, you can purchase a cell phone for as little as $4000 JMD or approximately $35 USD. Minutes (talk time) varies from $100 JMD or approximately $1USD upwards.
Traveling to a new country can be exciting and scary at the same time. Worst, if it’s your first time to that country. Hopefully, these five tips will ease some of those travel jitters. Then surely, the Christmas will catch you in a “good mood” and be “feeling fine.”
Have other tips or disagree with ours? Leave your comments in the comment section below