With its crystal blue waters, Page Design Web sugary-white beaches, stunning landscape, addictive sun rays, and an inherent African pride, Jamaica is rapidly becoming a favorite spot for family vacations. Here are some important tips to plan a family trip to the Caribbean island nation.
TAGGED UNDER: Family Vacations Jamaica
Family values are a little like family vacations―subject to changeable weather and remembered more fondly with the passage of time. Though it rained all week at the beach, it’s often the momentary rainbows that we remember.
― Leslie Dreyfous
Out of Many, One People―this Jamaican motto aptly describes the people and diverse culture of the Caribbean island nation. Jamaica is not only one of the most popular tourist destinations in the whole of the Caribbean, but also in the world. With pristine beaches, sumptuous cuisine, the beats of reggae music, and an extremely happening nightlife, Jamaica definitely tops the list of most sought-after leisure vacation destinations in the world. The island offers so many things for tourists to do in there that it is also increasingly becoming a hot favorite spot for family vacations. People love to go to Jamaica with their children and elders and return after savoring the most enchanting flavors of the island.
Planning a Family Vacation to Jamaica
If you wish to experience the Caribbean verve along with your family this vacation but are confused regarding how to go about planning your trip, you have landed on the right page. This Buzzle write-up will help you with the task.
Do In-depth Research
Surf the net, refer to popular travel magazines such as Travel + Leisure and National Geographic Traveler, and/or read travel books. Research about every possible facet with respect to a Jamaican holiday. If possible, try to get in touch with people who have been there on a family vacation in the past. First-hand information will help you to a great extent in planning a perfect holiday with your family.
Pen Down a Probable Itinerary
Every location on the island has something unique to offer. Once you do an in-depth research, you will come to know the highlights of various Jamaican cities/towns. If you are traveling with children, look for spots which offer recreational facilities for them, and so on. Then, according to your preferences, make a rough list of the probable spots you would like to visit with your family.
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If you are traveling independently, this itinerary will help you get around the place. If you are going through a tour operator, do not hesitate to give him your rough itinerary, and he/she will refine it for you.
If you have planned to go with a tour operator, see to it that you book an all-inclusive package, which will also include the two-way airfare. However, if you are traveling independently, the Internet will be your best resource to book airline tickets. While you can book your tickets directly from the airline’s website, there are several reputed websites which offer great discounts.
Make sure that you book the tickets for the entire family together, as there are also several family discounts on airfares. Don’t get carried away if you find good discounts offered on one site. Compare prices with those on some other sites, and you might indeed be able to crack a good and an affordable deal. However, do not forget to check for hidden costs and surcharges, otherwise you may end up paying much more than you had estimated.
Note: Some airlines offer special discounts for children. Check if you can avail any of them.
Set a Budget
Jamaica is expensive, but it can be affordable too. Depending on the kind of vacation you are looking for―lavish or budget―set your overall budget, and plan all the activities that will fit into it. If your plan is to spend a lavish holiday out there, sky is the limit for you. With more money to spend at your disposal, you can book your stay in some of the most luxurious resorts on the island, eat at some of the grandest restaurants, and shop extravagantly.
However, if you are on a budget trip, there are ample options for you as well. All you need to do is plan strategically with regards to when to go, where to stay and eat, and so on, and your Jamaican holiday will be the most fulfilling experience of your life.
Decide the Time to Go
The peak season to travel to Jamaica is during the winter months, especially around Christmas. This means that from the month of October to about April, Jamaica is crowded with tourists, especially with the Europeans and North Americans, who seek refuge on the island to soak up the tropical sun. So, if you are planning to holiday with your family during this time, please book well in advance, as it is next to impossible to find bookings at the eleventh hour.
The good news, however, is that the Jamaican climate stays pleasant all through the year and so, even if you happen to miss your chance during the peak season, you can opt for the so-called off-season when there will be lesser tourists and accommodations that are easily available at lower rates.
Choose a Tour Operator
Once you have narrowed down the list of preferences according to the needs of your family members, the next major step in planning a safe vacation is to book an appropriate tour operator. Shortlist a few of them, who best suit your preferences and budget, and speak to them personally when and where necessary. Since the safety and comfort of your family is your topmost priority, get everything cleared from your prospective tour operators in the first meeting itself.
Ask them about the family packages they may be offering, discounts, special facilities for kids and/or elders, and so on. Check if they custom design family packages according to your preferences. You can then choose a tour operator who best suits your needs.
Note: It is perfectly fine if you want to go independently. However, in such a case, you will have to do a very careful research with respect to accommodation(s) and itinerary. If it is the first time that you are visiting Jamaica, it is advisable that you go through a reputed tour operator who will take care of all the big and small aspects of your vacation.
Booking an Accommodation
The best accommodations in Jamaica, if you are accompanied by your family, are the numerous all-inclusive family resorts. If you have booked a tour operator, such an accommodation will be a part of your package. However, if you are traveling on your own, you will need to do a bit of research. Most of these family resorts offer a considerable amount of privacy to their guests.
They also provide services such as nannies for toddlers, special outdoor activities designed for kids, special menus for children, and so on. Inquire about these facilities, and also ask if they have any special offers. Check if an in-house doctor is available since you will be traveling with children and/or elders. Also, check if the accommodation you are about to book is disabled-friendly, just in case.
➤ Plan your itinerary keeping in mind the overall duration of your vacation. See to it that there is enough time to rest in between your journey from one point to the other. Kids and elderly people tend to get tired really fast, and you definitely don’t want one of your family members falling sick during the trip.
➤ Pack your luggage with utmost care and attention. Your tour operator will provide you with a list of essentials to pack; however, there will be certain items such as kids’ diapers and medicines, which you will have to pack on your own. It is a good idea to prepare a list of items you need to pack before you start with your packing to ensure that you don’t forget anything important.
➤ Get an appropriate family travel insurance before embarking on your journey. Ensure that it covers all kinds of contingencies.
➤ Make your family take all the immunization shots required before traveling to Jamaica. Your tour operator or your local medical practitioner will be able to advise you on t