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I recommend resorts for first time visitors. Listen regardless of what you hear it is not likely for something negative to happen to you. Cruise ships come everyday and ppl walks off the boat and explore just fine. Resorts are just a better fit for first timers. You can schedule any excursion at the hotel or have a cab take you. Spend the money as it will be a memorable trip and 9/10 you will be back
I got back from a mo bay resort a few weeks ago as a first time visitor. It was a bit frustrating when I left the resort (I’m male) and took a little walk outside as I kept getting hassled - cab drivers asking if I wanted to buy any pre rolled joints, one even asked if I wanted a sample of the white substance he had in a bag! I’m definitely glad i was staying at a resort rather than just an airbnb
they are just providing what a lot of ppl are looking for. if you say you don’t smoke or are drug free or whatever they move on. important thing is there’s no need to take offense. they’re asking but that doesn’t mean you have to say yes. but if you say “not today” or “maybe later” or “ i have some already” that leaves a door open.
bartering is part of the subculture. being offered weed or coke doesn’t necessarily make it a dangerous situation. like anywhere you want to be aware and mitigate risks but if i had $1 for every time i was offered something i’d be a millionaire.
it can feel shocking at first to an American because we don’t have a lot of places where strangers will walk up in you snd ask you to buy something. it’s not an everyday thing. in JA it can be a multiple times per day thing.
on accommodations. there are loads of resorts that are in between an airbnb and an all inclusive mega resort.
i probably would not recommend any airbnb for a first timer. better to get the lay of the land and logistics of travel and location down before going more on your own. but i’d also recommend steering clear of all inclusive resorts. just my bias.
Don ‘t defend this! Imagine you leave your yard to go to the shop and people on the road harass and beg… if they think you’re a tourist…
There is no Air BnB in Jamaica… just scammers renting rooms at high prices, calling them Air Bnb
i hear what you’re saying, i’m not defending it, I’m explaining it. a tourist on reddit is not going to change what happens in the ground in jamaica tho.
you’re correct that airbnb are more difficult to confirm legit, but that doesn’t mean there are no legit guesthouses there…. that’s why i said first time travelers should beware and be aware. it’s easier to scope out airbnb opportunities while staying at a hotel of some type and make plans for the next trip.
i mostly frequent negril as i hate cruise ship crowds and the chaos and stuff that comes with them. away from cruise ship crowds the hassling and haggling is way more subdued….
I was at one of those all inclusives and wanted to get to town and this taxi driver… thinking I was a tourist was going to charge me $15 US for a $100 Ja ride….(that’s like 75c US)
There is a company called Airbnb… and many people who claim to run Airbnb in Yard are unknown to them. Better to select a small Guest House if an all-inclusive is too expensive
well in fairness, the $100 JA ride is a route taxi that travels certain routes and may pickup,others along the way, and route taxis can get packed with people and route taxis are really the “public transportation” for Jamaican locals…. private taxis are different, more geared to tourism and will do door to door trips and will travel within and outside of the routes of route taxis and are a private ride that will not stop to pickup others….
a taxi ride in Boston or NYC will also not be $0.75 from door to door.
To go to the town from the hotel is $100 Ja… it is a short ride.. So it’s a route taxi… so it’s full of people… not even 10 min. I’m gonna spend in there.
This $15 US is a rip and they managers of the Hotel know it is a rip and let it rip. The driver thought I was a tourist which is why … he’d of run away from me if he knew I was local… cause he’d never get that kind of coin from me unless he was taking me from Falmouth to Ochi
so are you saying the private taxis should not exist?
it sounds like you prefer route taxis (which is fine) and do not want to pay the rate for a private taxi (which is also fine) but that doesn’t mean nobody will or that it’s not a fair rate for a private taxi. a 10min taxi ride in new york city probably costs more than $10US. a taxi to the airport in a major american city can cost $60-80 at times.
i realize it may be shocking to a jamaican the private taxi fares, and difficult to understand why you’d pay 10-20x as much to take a private taxi, but the private taxi is priced more in line with prices some tourists are familiar with and it’s not seen as outrageous.
there’s also the negotiation factor… i don’t ask what the price is from point A to point B, i offer a price and we negotiate from there, if taxi driver doesn’t want to take me for what i’m prepared to pay, no problem there are other cars around.
I take a private Taxi from here to Portie and back and it is 25m each way and it costs me $5k. Can you do the Math by yourself? Do you understand that the Tourist going 1 m is charged $15 US and that is 2k Jamaican….
Honestly you should not go to Jamaica if you have a problem with weed, and the offering of such. It sounds like you literally want to erase their culture.
The vast majority of people love their weed culture and hospitality.
Depends on your travel style, comfort level, personality, preferences. For Airbnbs, use the same common sense you would anywhere - read the reviews, if it’s too good to be true it’s probably a scam. The thing about setting guests up seems like fearmongering - ongoing revenue is more profitable than robbing someone.
For the men, you just need to practice saying “no thank you” without smiling - if you’re from North America, you might smile when you’re turning people down as a way to soften the blow. In Jamaica, it reads like you’re playing coy and don’t really mean the ‘no thank you.’ You’ll be approached no matter where you stay, really.
Please don’t follow this persons advice. All you need to do is say “no thank you, not today” and 99% of people will respect you. IT IS SO RUDE to local Jamaicans when you just ignore them, they’re just trying to make money to survive and support their families too.
I’m not Jamaican. My partner is Jamaican. Several people in my Jamaican circle make money from hustling (massage, tours to selling whatever you may need) and they feel bad when tourists completely ignore them.
It’s rude and absolutely unnecessary. Respect is mutual. Treat people respectfully, be firm when needed - that’s enough!
This is true for you. It’s not true for tourists. Acting like this opens up an opportunity to aggressively complain about rudeness and it starts a deescalation cycle - in other words, they end up talking to the person. I see it dozens of times a day when a ship is in port.
A firm and polite No Thank You is by far a more effective strategy for tourists.
You can see on the Airbnb website that there are a lot of options to stay. Some are owned by foreigners, some are local. I’ve stayed at one in St Elizabeth, wasn’t ripped off. Maybe you’re thinking of a BNB (bed and breakfast) which is different.
It’s different for tourists, hustlers are used to tourists being chatty. I tried ignoring for a while but I had a few times someone chase me down and get angry. As a tourist, saying “no thank you” without smiling works much better.
I know a woman who claimed to run an air bnb which was a fabrication. She was quite the whack job.
I find that when I’m going somewhere and someone tries to sell me something… say they are standing arms length, I don’t say nothing.
I don’t recommend Air BnB for the Newbie. Where you gonna get food? You don’t know the area and unless you buy a pre cooked meal, you’ll have to cook it.
Wiser to go to an All Inclusive, and use it as a base to find a cheaper place and link up where you’re gonna get food.
Again, it depends on travel style, preferences, etc. Some people prefer having a kitchen and cooking for themselves, some don’t.
All Inclusive food is generally not good though.
For what it’s worth I’ve never stayed at an AI in Jamaica and never had an issue finding food (groceries and pre-cooked.)
Speaking from experience, the food at Royalton is magnificent. I was there on 2 diff occasions . At Jewels the Chef was really fantastic… he did simple stuff… like boiling corn in coconut milk.
Cooking means knowing where to go to buy stuff… and I wouldn’t like to wake up in a city I don’t know and have to go shopping by myself.
That’s exactly what I keep saying - it depends so much on the preferences of the person who is travelling!
Some people travel to relax on the beach and not think or worry - those people would enjoy a resort and would be miserable somewhere else. Some people travel to experience new cultures and to put themselves in new situations - those people would hate a resort and are very happy to stay in a shabby room in town. Some people have food allergies or dietary restrictions, for them it’s more important to have a full kitchen and they’re used to figuring out shopping wherever they are. Still others (like me) like the comforts of a hotel but don’t do all-inclusive because we want to eat at a variety of different restaurants instead of just one chef.
I was reluctant to be at an all inclusive.. but I was invited so went. I was stunned at the huge variety of food offered, the number of different restaurants available.
I would take a plate have a little this and a little that and something else. I had thought it would be like a cafeteria but the restaurants weren’t like that at all. It was a real pleasant surprise
I went by myself and stayed in a resort…. Stay in a resort. It was an amazing time for me. You don’t have the stress of worrying about those things. I stayed at the S hotel. It was so beautiful. Be cautious on the streets tho of course. Wherever y’all choose to stay I hope y’all have a great time!
dude, people need to stop scaring foreigners about Jamaica, it’s beyond ridiculous. girls, rent your Airbnb and save money! resorts are a huge waste of money and they keep you at a distance from locals and the true culture. Pick an Airbnb with good reviews in an accessible area and you will be fine! if you have any questions, feel free to DM me. The first time I went to Jamaica, I took my niece with me - we rented local, saved money and got to know Jamaicans and spend time with them. Stay far far away from the resorts.
I am gonna be honest here there is no problem with a Airbnb. I would even recommend it over a resort.. you just have to find one that is gated you can’t loose…only persons you allow in have access..resorts can be pricey so I know this for sure. I do excursions and also private chef..I could get you a safe Airbnb here in ocho Rios where it’s less congested
Honestly I don’t know what it is about Mobay, other than being close to the airport… It a trash city… There’s hardly anything to do in Mobay. St James, Trelawny… Hard pass.
There are some really nice villas, but Montego Bay gets two thumbs down for me. I’d do an Airbnb but you’d probably be better off with booking.com
As far as safety, probably the same as Mexico.
If you check subreddits like /r/solotravel and search safety you’ll get the same advice, don’t let your guard down, etc etc.
Latin and Central America gets a bad wrap but as you’ll see most persons don’t have any issues. And as someone who’s traveled the globe I’d feel less safe in the US than anywhere else in the world. Not the biggest fan of Italy either.
Resorts are overrated & will tell you not to leave the resort for your safety. Locals are the same inside & outside the resort. Just don’t do dumb tourist things like wearing expensive clothes & jewellery out clubbing at night & you’ll be fine. Make sure the Airbnb you book is in a community like Freeport if you’re worried about safety. If you don’t know where the resort is located but are going on price alone, you may end up in a worse neighbourhood than if you had stuck with your Airbnb plus a lot of resorts are in isolated locations with absolutely nothing around them to do
The point is that there is a company called Air BnB and it means bed and breakfast and is examined by the company. Most people in Yard just call themselves a BnB but have no connection.. and don’t serve breakfast
I know what airbnb is.. I have a property listed on there and we don’t serve breakfast (unless you get groceries then the chef will cook). But anyone these days can have a Facebook page that says they are a ‘villa’.. people need to do research h to ensure what they are booking is legit. It’s not that hard to find out.
I think you may be misinformed about what Airbnb is - despite the name, it’s not a bed and breakfast. They’re two totally different things with similar names.
Airbnb is a company with a website that allows people to rent out space to travelers. The space can be anything from a room with a bed in a shared apartment with a shared bathroom all the way up to a fancy villa all to yourself, and the price is set accordingly. The type of room, amenities, etc. are all available to the visitor and are clear on arriving. Hosts and visitors use the airbnb website because it offers some protections if the property is different than what is claimed (though they do not do inspections), and because it’s easier to have all the available properties listed in one place instead of each host having to do their own marketing and web hosting. Despite the name, breakfast is NOT typically included.
A bed and breakfast is a specific type of accommodation (generally not listed on Airbnb) with a small number of rooms, almost always with private bathrooms, and breakfast is included.
So if the woman you mentioned in other comments is renting out a room in her home on Airbnb, with no breakfast included, that’s what Airbnb travelers expect
No clue why people are giving resorts such a bad rap, they maybe pricey but nothing beats an all inclusive for me.
The issue with Montego Bay and airbnbs is that it’s not really walkable and central to everything so you probably need to rent a car. If you don’t rent a car then to get around the taxis will overcharge you as there’s no Uber and they overcharge tourist by a ridiculous amount.
This is all from a local Jamaican perspective but when i leave the city of Kingston i prefer going to the all inclusives as they’re on beachfront property and is a one stop shop where i get food, clubs, pools, gyms, watersports etc all in one.