So you’re planning your next vacation and you’ve chosen Jamaica, great choice! Whether you’re looking for relaxation or adventure, Jamaica has it all. But let’s be real, the cost of a vacation can be tricky.
You’re probably wondering how much this Jamaican getaway is going to cost you. No worries, we’ve got you covered.
We’ll break down all the expenses and give you an idea as to how much does a trip to Jamaica cost. We’ll look at everything from flights, accommodation and food. Keep reading for all the info you need to make your Jamaican dream vacation a reality
Factors that Affect the Cost of a Trip to Jamaica
Before we get into the details, we must point out that some factors may impact the cost of your trip. The first is your home city. Naturally, where you live will determine the access to flights and the cost. The time of year you decide to travel also has an impact. During peak travel seasons such as Christmas and Summer, ticket prices and accommodation costs tend to rise.
Jamaica is a popular destination with direct flights from dozens of cities in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere, which means flights are generally affordable. The island has two main airports, the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston, and the Sangster International Airport in St. James. Of the two airports, Sangster tends to offer more flights and cheaper flights.
If you are traveling from New York, in the US, an average round trip runs about 400 USD during off-peak season. In peak travel season, however, a ticket from the same city can get up to $2,000. Tickets from locations in the south of the United States are even cheaper, with a round trip from Miami, Florida often being as low as US $350.
Meanwhile, if you are traveling from Ontario, Canada to Jamaica, a typical ticket will cost you about $450 Canadian. In winter, these tickets often double or triple in cost.
Trips from Europe to the Caribbean are generally more expensive than from North America. For instance, a typical flight from London to either of Jamaica’s main airports will run £750. As for other destinations, you can expect these prices to go up, especially during the winter.
Jamaica compares favorably with other tropical destinations. In terms of accommodation costs, the island is more expensive than destinations such as the Dominican Republic, however, it is cheaper than destinations such as the Bahamas.
The great thing about Jamaica is that it offers both high and low-end choices. For instance, the nightly rate at a smaller boutique-type hotel per night can be as low as $75 US per night at the Ocean Cliff Hotel in Negril. This means you can spend an entire week on the island for around $500 US.
If you’re the type that prefers an all-inclusive experience, however, then things can get a bit pricey. The nightly rate at the Jewel Grande Montego Bay Resort & Spa is around US $700 per night, while Secrets Wild Orchid Montego Bay can run up to US $1,000 per night for a couple.
For all-inclusive hotels, you should also bring some extra cash. This will be needed if you go off site or want souvenirs.
On the other end of the spectrum lies motels and private residences that are available through Airbnb and private bookings. These can start from as low as US $40 per night but beware as these accommodations may not have a lot of amenities, so in essence you get what you pay for.
The amount you spend on food will again depend on personal taste. If you intend to eat as the islanders do, then food will cost you less than US $20 per day. At a local restaurant, a typical meal will cost around US $6. On the other hand, if you intend to enjoy fine dining outside of the hotel setting, then be prepared to spend at least US $60 per person for a typical meal.
If you are staying at an Airbnb or other accommodation where you are required to provide your own food, then be prepared to spend about US $150 for a week’s worth of groceries per person.
Public transportation in Jamaica is relatively affordable compared to places like the United States and the UK. A typical 15-minute journey in a shared route taxi or bus costs about US $1 each way. Depending on the length of the journey, it might go up to about $2.50 each way. While a great and cost-effective means of transport, public taxis are not always convenient as they do not run 24 hours and wait times may be long on some routes. There are also safety concerns about being in a country you are not familiar with.
Chartered taxis are the easiest and most convenient way to travel while on vacation in Jamaica. The cost of these will vary depending on the distance you travel. For instance, a typical pick-up from the airport in Montego Bay, St. James to a hotel in Ocho Rios, St. Ann will run about US $120.
If you drive, renting a car is also a great option. Companies like AMG Car Rentals allow visitors the convenience of picking up and dropping off a vehicle at the airport, so the entire process is hassle-free. A typical daily rate for a mid-size car is around US $50.
Other Travel Related Costs
When traveling, there are usually some unexpected costs that pop up. Tipping for instance might not necessarily be a main item in your budget but it is an expected custom in most hospitality sectors, including Jamaica.
Baggage fees also have to be considered. If you travel light and keep your luggage to one carry-on bag, then you may not have to pay any extra for luggage, but if you like to have options for your outfits, then it’s likely you’ll end up with extra bags. The typical airline charges around $50 US per bag up to 50 pounds. You may also be limited to 3 bags depending on the airline.
Travel insurance is another travel-related cost that you may want to consider. Having spent hundreds of dollars on plane tickets and accommodation costs, most travel agents will recommend that you invest in travel insurance. This usually costs about $250 US, and guarantees a refund of your upfront travel costs in the event of unforeseen circumstances such as natural disasters and flight cancellations.
Another travel cost that is actually popular in some countries, is a departure tax. Jamaica has both a departure tax and a landing fee which is more popularly called an arrival tax for air passengers. The tax of US $35 is generally included in the cost of your plane ticket when traveling to and from the United States. If you are traveling from the UK or elsewhere, then you may be required to pay this amount in cash or by card.
Spontaneous shopping or adventure is also prone to happen while on vacation. So it might be a good idea to reserve some money for these miscellaneous unplanned expenses.
Check out our article on how much money to bring to Jamaica. We go into more detail as to how much cash to carry.
Tips for Saving Money on a Trip to Jamaica
The most expensive part of a trip is usually plane tickets and accommodation. Booking these well in advance usually gets you the best deal. For plane tickets, browsing multiple sites or using a search engine such as Google Flights can help you find the best deals.
When it comes to accommodations, another trick is to book a location close to the city center or the sites that you wish to see. By doing this, you’ll end up saving money on transportation and even food – as you’ll be able to go back to your hotel for meals.
Eat at spots that the locals frequent. Not only are these restaurants more likely to have good food, but they also tend to be cheaper as well.
Wrapping it up
So, having gone through all the elements that are necessary when planning an epic trip, we can conclude that the average one week vacation to Jamaica will cost at least USD 2,000 per person.
Broken down into segments, you will need about $400 for airfare, at least $600 for accommodation, another $300 for travel and activities, and about $700 for daily expenses including meals.
This is, however, just a rough estimate and will vary based on your city of origin, your personal taste, and your spending habits.