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Island Paradise on a Budget: Jamaica

Posted on 19th Dec 2014 @ 9:50 PM

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Most travelers, even the most adventurous and impatient ones, have a secret yearning for a sandy island surrounded by clear, blue sea. There’s something so iconic about an island paradise that we just can’t resist the thought of getting back to nature in such a luxurious way. It looks like a big budget kind of holiday, and sometimes it is, but you can enjoy five-star scenery without the price tag, especially if you take a trip to Jamaica.

Getting there

Another cost you won’t be able to avoid completely is your travel, but with some pre-planning and a little help from the net, you’re sure to find an affordable option. Flights to Jamaica can be particularly reasonable, just be sure to book in advance, research your airport options and always get a little help from a flight comparison tool. By doing all of those things, you’re sure to snag cheap flights. Travel during low season For the cheapest transport and hotel prices, you’re best traveling during the low season – which is from May to mid-December. This can save you about 30% on your accommodation and transport, but does mean you’ll be holidaying in humidity and here will be an increased chance of bad weather and hurricanes. However, hardy travelers might find the risk worth taking, for the chance of quieter beaches and lower costs.

Eating right

To enjoy Jamaica cheaply, you need to embrace its amazing local dishes and diners. Avoid eating in those all-inclusive hotels and expensive restaurants that are trying to cater to your tastes, and dive into some more authentic fare. Get along to Scotchies, to the east of Montego Bay, for no-frills presentation but delicious jerk dishes coming in at under $5. Vegetarians must get along to Negril for a meal at the Hungry Lion, which is a little pricier (between $10-30) but more than makes up for it in good, hearty, healthy food. You should also be sure to pay for your food, and everything else, with the local Jamaican dollars whenever you can and avoid extra rates.

Beyond the resorts

It’s true that you’ll find a paradise in the gorgeous resorts of Jamaica, but it tends to come at a cost. To experience the true beauty of the island, you need to explore the mountains, waterfalls and rich plantations it boasts. However, you need to do this with a guide if you want to do it safely. Pick escorted tours with drivers or guides and, unless you’re planning on staying for a while and venturing far field, this will be cheaper and more sensible than hiring a car, which can be pretty expensive. Jet off to Jamaica for less and you can lounge in luxury without the big bud.   Blog: HAPPYTIMEBLOG - 17 February 2012 By: aaron@happytimeblog.co.uk (Aaron "Danger" Bradford) : photo from Flickr by: David G...