Here are some tips that will be helpful when planning a trip to Jamaica.
Article and photographs by Laurie-Han Hébert.
- People think of sunscreen, but also bring mosquito repellent if you plan to do activities outside the city.
- When you leave your accommodation, stay in a group and limit your evening outings as a security measure.
- For excursions, bring closed shoes, but also water shoes.
- Bring money for tips, as this amount increases rapidly with waiters, baristas, room service, buses and teams guiding you on your outings.
- The prices of souvenirs are relatively expensive. Prepare to haggle. The city is the best place for crafts, clothing, etc., but the airport is perfect for alcohol since these are good prices without taxes.
6. Most of the time, equipment including snorkels and fins is provided for you if you go on an excursion at sea, but also bring water goggles to swim by the beach. This will allow you to see the surroundings, but you will also avoid the tingling due to sea salt.
7. For outings and excursions, check with your travel company representative, but also some employees who may offer better deals or a lower price.
8. If you want to read at night, bring a small portable lamp for novels since the places where the light is also include a lot of noise.
9. Do not be surprised if you are often offered “Jamaican cigars”. People are extremely respectful when you refuse. You can say “No, me good.” (In patois, we replace the I’m by me) and they will understand directly.
10. Get ready to eat jerk chicken and festivals in industrial quantities! It’s excellent, but do not overeat the sauce because it is relatively spicy.
11. Smile, you are in Jamaica! And be prepared to say often “yahman”, which is an expression in patois (the second language, yet non official, spoken in Jamaica, after English) used to show your agreement.