10 Ways to save money in Jamaica
Updated: Nov 8, 2019
Jamaica can be a relatively expensive destination, Here are some tips to make it more affordable;
1. Avoid supermarkets; instead buy from corner shops and farmers markets. Jamaican supermarkets are filled with imported foods and usually come with a hefty mark up and taxes. Instead head to the corner shop usually informal variety stores where purchases are made over a counter. There you can get a variety of canned and fresh goods for really cheap prices. Farmers markets offer fresh local produce at low costs, haggle to get the best deal. Please note that you should only buy from these places in Jamaican cash, no credit cards accepted here.
2. Take public busses as often as is practical. Local busses are very cheap, average fare for one stage is the equivalent of a bout US$1. Late night you should take taxi instead as it is safer.
3. Have an idea of taxi rates before hand so that you can insure that you are not being over charged.
4. Drink tap water, Jamaican tap water is clean and abundant and free. The only times when drinking tap water is iffy is when there has been a lot of rain. In this case check the appearance of the water first. Before you go out on your daily adventure fill your water bottle and avoid paying for water.
5. Stay at a hostel. Because you will get to meet people and then make travel groups. When you travel together as two or more people cheaper options for accommodations open up and you can share costs for a room in places where there are a lack of hostels. Hostels offer great local information that can save you money. Many hostels also know the best and cheapest places for food and entertainment.
6. Exchange your money at cambios away from tourist centers. Do not exchange money at the airport the rates there are ridiculously low. Cambios give better rates than banks and can be found all over the island.
7. Learn about cheap and filling Jamaican foods. Examples; Bulla - a pack of these cheap sweetened bread cakes can help fill the gap when you are hungry. Breadfruit a fruit which is roasted and baked and has doughy consistency like bread is very cheap and filling and also nutritious. It is also delicious!
8. What fruit is in season? Mangos are very cheap and abundant when in season. In many cases you can just pick from a tree for free! They are sweet and high in calories and will fill you up, not to mention delicious! Bananas are also availble on the streets and are very cheap! The equivalent of US$1 will get you 5 bananas.
9. Avoid expensive branded drinks and buy “bag juice” on the streets to quench your thirst. It’s basically juice sold in a small plastic bag that usually you buy semi frozen and sip as it melts. It is very cheap and comes in many flavours.
10. Negotiate rates on your accommodation, during low season May- December you can get good deals if you scout around and haggle on rates. Most hostels and guest houses are willing to be flexible during this period.
Those are just a few ideas on saving money. If you have more ideas or would like more info please do not hesitate to contact us!