Wander or Bust: My Trip to Jamaica

I decided to follow a template I found recently from Elite Magazine’s travel docuseries  exploring women who travel the world and their experiences. I recently visited the tantalizing island of Jamaica. So, I’ve outlined my experience using this travel blog’s profile, used for all their blogging beauties.

My Name: Anya Ivy

What I Do: Film

Where I Live: Los Angeles, CA

Where I Went: Jamaica

How Long I Stayed: 5 days, 4 nights

My Spending Style: My girlfriends and I stayed at an all-inclusive resort, so we didn’t have to spend money on anything other than taxi cabs, excursions and souvenirs.

Flight/Transport to the City: $667

Accommodation: $780

Meals: $0/day

Daily Transportation: $0/day (not including tips)

Going Out: $0/night

Shopping: $60

Excursion/Activities: $220

THE PLAN

Where I Got My Recommendations:

Growing up in the South, I was raised around lots of kids whose families were island migrants. I grew up tasting homemade Caribbean dishes from my friends’ grandmas, right in their home kitchens. So, I’ve always wondered what the actual islands were like. Whenever I get a chance to visit one, I take the opportunity without hesitation. My best friend suggested we plan to visit Jamaica for her summer-seasoned birthday this year. When I got wind of these plans, I booked my flight in less than a heartbeat. This trip was my first visit to the island of Jamaica.

Exchange Rate At Time Of Travel: $0.0076 United States Dollar =1 Jamaican Dollar (so you kind of feel like you’re ballin’)

What That Looks Like IRL: $50 USD =6603.49 JD

Preferred Payment Method:

I always like to take out at least $60 to exchange we I first arrive, in case I need to leave tips; and also, just to have foreign cash in my wallet. It makes me smile. Staying at an all-inclusive resort ensures that you don’t have to spend a penny unless you truly desire to do so.

Phone Bill: AT&T has an automatic service that charges $10/ day to use international data service when you’re outside the States. I was able to use my phone anywhere on the island regardless of Wi-Fi access. Only take advantage of this service on short, getaway trips like this one.

HOW I GOT THERE

What I packed:

  • Three thong bikinis (tan line Goals)
  • Cover-ups
  • Sandals
  • Tanning Oil- SPF 6 (melanin strong)
  • Breezy Dresses for the evening
  • Variety of sunglasses
  • Rompers
  • Wireless speaker for the beach
  • Camera equipment

Where I stayed:

Accommodation: Breathless Montego Bay All Inclusive Resort

Location: City center. All resorts are fairly close to each other. Located within one main area of the tourist town.

Price: $260/night

Extra Costs: None!

Would I Recommend It To Someone Else:

My girlfriends and I always have an unforgettable time at Breathless resorts. They’re an adults only chain so there are lots of activities, shows, and celebrations within the resort. It’s impossible to be bored, here. I recommend this place for young adults seeking jam-packed options of fun activities and experiences on the island.

Accommodation Total: $780/ total

map-of-jamaica-circled-2a

WHAT I ATE:

Breakfast-Lunch Cost: all-inclusive resort restaurants & buffets = $0/day

Dinner Cost: all-inclusive resort restaurants & buffets = $0/day

There’s always the option of exploring the island to dine at local eateries. Since my goal was to relax as much as possible, I enjoyed all the available options the resort had to offer.

Average Total Cost: $0/day

Tip Situation: It’s always nice to tip the waiters, waitresses, and attendants that serve you at an all-inclusive resort, since you’re not really paying for anything else.

Food Situation: Since all the food is ready and available around the resort, eating is always hassle free. The local style of food is traditional Jerk-barbecue meats, stews, rice and grilled foods. On the resort, however, there’s always the option to eat whatever style you’re craving from Latin cuisine to American buffets.

How I Spent My Days:

What I Bought:

General Shopping: $0/day

I didn’t do any shopping, although I thought of visiting the local markets for authentic, island shea butter, and hair products. Each day was dedicated to one excursion and as much tanning time on the beach I could squeeze in.

Souvenirs: $60

Our “Booze Cruise” excursion bus stopped to a gift shop that had a sale where everything was 50% off. We went there after the booze cruise, so we splurged without batting an eye. I got something for every family member!

Souvenirs/Shopping Total: $60

WHAT I LEARNED:

Jamaica is a vibrantly colorful island, where relaxation is its number one moral. My friends and I like staying in all-inclusive resorts to really let go. You’re guaranteed to  unwind when everything, from dining to nightclubs, are all at your disposal, inside the resort. I’ve learned that if you want to get out and see the local scenery, and dine at local restaurants, you’d have to plan to leave the resort.

Leaving the resort can be a huge deal. It means you’d have to go down the long hallway of your room into the main check-in area, call a cab, ride out of the resort into town, and plan to be picked up at certain time, praying that the driver doesn’t forget. Most times, I’d rather sleep-in than venture out into the unknown. But, that’s just me. This vacation fit all my relaxation checkpoints on the bulls-eye.

It seemed like a great place to wander about, however. So, when I visit again, (there will be many more times) I would like to get a more local perspective. The wisest option is to get an AirBnb rental in a perfect location. I’d like to have the curry made by someone’s real-life grandmother, the way I remember.

4 comments

  1. lee watson · July 2

    You are a very interesting women

    Like

  2. Gville · July 2

    Thank you for visiting my island, I’m happy your vacation golds were met. I look forward to showing you the true spirit of the island on your next visit. Once again thank you on behalf of the Jamaican people. One love , respect!!!!

    Like

  3. Deepee3 · July 2

    My GF and I went to Jamaica last year. We had a blast while we were at the resort. The trips to ad from the airport to the resort was a bit of a nightmare though!

    Our drive from our resort to some of the activities off resort was hazardous AF! We nearly had several accidents with oncoming vehicles. And a VERY serious accident happened just moments before we arrived on the scene. And to top it off our ‘bus’ overheated and broke down!

    But other that that…..PARADISE! 😂

    Thanks for all the great details of your trip. Great reading as always.

    Like

  4. michaeljlando · July 2

    This was the most informative vacation blog I’ve ever seen. Details like the exchange rate in Jamaica is something people never talk about. Given how bad I am at overall vacation planning, this was helpful. Your low key vacation style fits my personality perfectly, so I will definitely mirror this vacation plan (minus the sunbathing, lol). If you venture outside the resorts, I’ve been advised from my closest friend who lives down there, to have a local you trust to guide you but you’re savvy when it comes to that sort of thing so I’m sure you’ll figure out what works best for you. The rafts look like fun, hopefully that’s a fairly long excursion; I would love to do that. Anyway, thanks for sharing your trip. Glad to see you had a great time.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s