If you’re looking to escape crowds, there’s nothing more appealing than sitting on a secluded white-sand beach with a refreshment in hand. The idea of a private escape to Jamaica might feel like a costly and impossible dream — but we’re here to help you understand how to budget for a getaway that enables you to escape the hustle and bustle of your daily life and the more popular tourist destinations.
Here are five tips for planning and budgeting for the perfect, crowd-free getaway of your dreams in Jamaica.
Pick your destination
The first step in planning an affordable getaway to avoid crowds is picking the right destination. While places like Miami and Orlando might seem more affordable and boast lots of things to do, exciting nightlife, and great food, one thing can’t be avoided in these popular destinations — crowds.
While an island getaway might seem like a more significant investment, the peace and serenity are worth the cash — and choosing the right resort can help you save money compared to domestic beach destinations like Florida or California.
We love Jamaica because it’s home to the perfect mix of things to do for anyone. Foodies will enjoy world-class dining, adventure junkies can experience the thrill of ziplining and sailing, and anglers can deep-sea fish. If you love the nightlife, you can enjoy live music and clubs to your heart’s content, and if you’re looking to relax, you can enjoy some of the world’s most picturesque beaches.
Aim for all-inclusive
Sometimes, planning and budgeting for a vacation can make you feel like you need another vacation. All-inclusive resorts in Jamaica can take the stress out of travel planning and budgeting for your secluded getaway. By choosing an all-inclusive option, you have your lodgings, food, and beverages covered, many excursions, transportation to and from the airport, and so much more. If you choose the right resort, you’ll also get things like sporting equipment, entertainment, and event butler service included. You’ll fly home in peace at the end of your stay, knowing you had one bill covering everything, including all taxes, tips, and gratuities.
Choosing an all-inclusive vacation helps you make the most of your trip without worries. Don’t take our word for it, though. These pictures show the realities of an all-inclusive trip vs. a self-catered one.
Choose your adventure
Planning your trip at an all-inclusive resort can be done online or with a travel agent’s assistance. Choosing to do your own planning might give you a sense of control, or it might feel like you need a little extra assistance–many resorts will have a live chat feature or phone line to call with questions about inclusions, pricing, and other factors that play into your budgeting decisions.
Depending on the reason for your travel, you might even get things like golf, sailing, or a wedding ceremony included in your stay. Planning upfront allows you to understand exactly how much you should expect to pay for your getaway and have a full picture of everything that’s included, which items might have an upcharge and cost you more in the long run.
Look for discounts
When budgeting for a trip, it’s essential to look at both the bottom line and the value you’re getting for the price. If you’re looking to save a few dollars but still enjoy the perfect island getaway, you might be inclined to choose a lower-level hotel room at a lower nightly rate. However, if you want extra inclusions like butler service, in-room dining, or premium liquor, choosing a room at a higher price per night might be a better value.
Also, think about when you’re planning your trip. The peak season for Caribbean travel is mid-December through April, which is just as true for Jamaica as for other destinations like the Bahamas. Choosing an off-peak month will help you save some cash and avoid the most crowded months for travel to places like Jamaica. You’ll still get beautiful views and will likely have great weather in months like November.
You can use specific online-only deals and specials, such as free nights or discounted rooms, by booking your stay online. Many all-inclusive resorts will also have the option to book flights directly when reserving your stay, reducing the number of bills to worry about and the logistics involved in planning.
Decide how to pay
Typically, you’ll have the option to make one up-front deposit for your trip upon booking, and the full balance will be due shortly before your stay (depending on the resort and how far in advance you’re booking, this can be anywhere from a few weeks to a few months). While the total amount might not be due immediately, it’s important to budget accordingly and know how far in advance you’ll need to pay. Many all-inclusive resorts offer a layaway plan, letting you stretch payments out over the months leading up to your trip rather than forcing you to come up with a lump sum at once.
Starting to plan your Jamaican getaway might seem daunting, but using this guide can maximize your value while minimizing your stress and time spent in crowds.