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Jamaican Travel Advice
A Guide To Your Vacation In The Sun

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Jamaican Travel AdviceJamaican Travel Advice

by Kesha Stewart | Associate Writer

You want to make sure you have got all you need for your sojourn in the sun. Here is a glance at what you'll need; from important documents to safety and security.


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  1. Documents: Everyone who travels to Jamaica, inclusive of minors must have an approved travel document that is most likely your passport, you will not be granted entry at the ports without your passport. You are required to also have available a round trip or onward ticket as well.

  2. Taking Pets: As you may be aware there are limitations /restrictions regarding animals. In a case where an animal has to be taken to Jamaica, you will need to go through the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries to obtain additional information and process permits.

  3. Time: We observe Eastern Standard time EST in Jamaica. There are no Daylight Saving Time clock changes.

  4. Airport Pick-up: It is possible to arrange with your hotel to have you picked up at the airport. You may also rent a vehicle on spot. Pre-booked transportation is definitely a better option.

  5. Telephone Service: Only FLOW and DIGICEL provide cellular telephone access. They also have data options. This may be on the costly side. You may explore roaming options with your provider before you get here to make it easier for you. Wi-Fi services are available at your hotel and are usually complimentary.

    In public spaces such as libraries, and parks you may find Wi-Fi access as well. Many banks and other businesses also have Wi-Fi access for their customers so you can speak with them about how you can access the same. I also know that some tour operators provide Wi-Fi connections for their passengers.

  6. Clothing: Your clothing should be lightweight tropical clothing throughout the year with some concessions for cooler periods in the December to early February period. Some evenings may be cooler and some parts of the island like Mandeville tend to have a lower temperature than the general resort areas of Negril, Ocho Rios and Montego Bay.

  7. Electrical Connections: We use a 110-volt or 50-cycle system. Some hotels offer a 220 volts system.

  8. Weapons: Concerning weapons, it is illegal to take along a firearm whether or not you have a permit for such.

  9. GCT: General Consumption Tax A 16.5% tax called GCT is payable on goods and services which indicates the same.

    Some stores include the tax in the displayed price for their product and some do not. Be sure to inquire. Fruits and vegetables do not have GCT added.

  10. Medical Facilities: Access to medical facilities is available in public or private settings. And major health and credit cards are usually accepted. You will need to check with your place of accommodation to check for a nurse on the property.

    Emergency numbers and the contact information of local health facilities are generally readily available from your front desk or are helpfully posted at strategic points on the property or posted in rooms as well.

  11. Currency Exchange: You will need to have identification available to exchange your foreign currency at a bank or Cambio. Most local ATMs accept major Cards like VISA, Mastercard and Cirrus and they dispense cash in local currency. There are certain local ATMs which dispense US dollars. Keep your PIN secure at all costs, and never seek help at the ATM from random persons.

    Call your international provider if any sign of fraud is detected and please use a popular ATM as opposed to an obscurely located one. Avoid using the machine at late hours and by all and shield the keypad when putting in your PIN.

    Secure the cash before exiting the machine booth and always lock yourself inside before beginning your transaction. If you are using a machine connected to a bank location the best time to access it is within business hours so you may seek help from a member of staff if necessary.

    Banking hours are usually between 8:30 am and 2:30 pm in most cases, some bank extend their Friday opening hours to 4:00 pm. Banks are closed on weekends. Cambios are open till Saturdays and run later than banking hours. It is difficult to find a Cambio that is open on a Sunday.

    All local or foreign currency in excess of 10, 000 US dollars in value must declare on arrival failure to do so will likely result in legal repercussions and undue hassle. Jamaica Customs requires this. Airport exchange rates are not as good as outside.

  12. Tax-Free Status: Most expenses that you will incur from a convention or meeting in Jamaica are tax-deductible.

  13. Water: The water from the tap in Jamaica is treated safely for drinking. The water quality is up to world standards and is rated to be among the very best. It is purified by modern methods. Bottled water is widely available in both local and international brands and includes spring, flavoured, purified, and sparkling varieties.

  14. Duty-Free Goods: Some goods are duty-free but have restrictions as to the quantity. For instance, Perfume is 170ml, Eau de toilette 340 ml, alcoholic beverages 1 litre, tobacco is limited to 200 cigarettes or if you are a cigar user you are entitled to 50 cigars.

    You may only take 230 grams of processed tobacco. Kindly note that these are either or and you may not take care not to exceed these quantities. You must be 18 years and older to have this privilege. Can these be mixed???

  15. Tipping and Service Charges: In Jamaica, we accept a gratuity rate of between 10% to 20% at most restaurants. Some establishments will place it on your bill as a service charge so check your bill.

    The 10% to 15% service charge at most hotels is not regarded as a tip. So your place of accommodation allows tipping this you will do separately. The tip is usually $1 for a bag and $3-$5 for housekeepers per night.

  16. Safety and Security: Resorts tend to have 24-hour security, especially the larger or more established ones. However, you should always remember that you are in a foreign country and what may be legal or safe for you to do in your home country may just be a legal matter in the country you're visiting or could be otherwise just unsafe to do.

To ensure your safety and security as best as possible here are a few tips

  1. Use a safe at your hotel to keep your valuables
  2. Wear costume jeweller when going off property
  3. Do not splash a lot of cash
  4. Have local currency.
  5. Be on guard as you would in a public space
  6. Be mindful of your social media posts and footprints and with whom you share your number.
  7. Restrict the use of the key to your rooms
  8. Maintain physical distancing

Here is added information on hotel accommodations and excursions you can try while in Jamaica.

Hotels

  1. Luxury Jamaican Hotels
  2. All Inclusive Jamaican Hotels
  3. Family Friendly Jamaican Hotels
  4. Adults Only Jamaican Hotels 
  5. Budget Friendly Jamaican Hotel
  6. Eco Hotels in Jamaica

Attractions

  1. Eco Friendly Attractions In Jamaica
  2. Adventure Parks In Jamaica
  3. Beaches In Jamaica
  4. Rivers In Jamaica
  5. Parasailing In Jamaica
  6. Catamaran Tours
  7. Attractions In Negril
  8. Attractions In Ocho Rios
  9. Attractions In Montego Bay
  10. Attractions In Kingston
  11. Historical Sites In Portland

This is essentially a quick reference and you may have deeper queries. We should be able to help you if you place them in the comments below.

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Return to Travelling Around Jamaica from Jamaican Travel Guide
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References & Sources For Jamaican Travel Advice

  1. GetYourGuide, https://www.getyourguide.com
  2. TripAdvisor, https://www.tripadvisor.com/

Jamaican Travel Advice | Written: August 16th, 2022

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