If you are planning a vacation at one of the all-inclusive resort hotels in Negril Jamaica, please review our all-inclusives page information because your resort will probaly arrange most of your logistics needs for you.
Pre-Trip Preparations and Considerations
Everyone must now have a valid passport to enter Jamaica!
Be sure to take the time to familiarize yourself with the Transportation Security Administration's Article for Travelers as you prepare for your trip. Then make absolutely sure that you and all of your traveling family member's passports and driver's licenses and / or photo ID's are valid or get them updated immediately so that they are valid by trip time. It's also a good idea to bring along a copy of your birth certificate.
Read Miyard.com-about-Jamaica for a quick rundown on things about Jamaica of which you should be aware, before you visit Negril.
The most expensive time for visiting Jamaica is during their winter season from December until May (when it is not hurricane season). This is when when the island has its best weather
During this time period the intense heat of summer has passed and Jamaica's famous temperate, balmy weather ensues. So, don't expect any bargains anywhere during these months because this is Jamaica's busy tourist season and this is when they have to make their year's profits so that they can survive.
To get the lowest rates and low air fares though, try to book up your airline flights and your resort stay 5 - 6 months ahead of time. Air fares normally go up as you get near to your trip dates so start checking in February or March for airline reservations for a trip in November or later. Tours of Negril's and Jamaica's attractions can be booked in well advance from Rocky's Tour and Taxi Service or right from your resort when you get to Negril.
Credit Card Usage - Prenotification of Credit Card Companies is essential!
Financial Institutions must have advance notice if you are going to use your credit cards outside of your normal spending area or they will not honor them! So, before you go to Negril and try to use them (or try to use an ATM), call your financial institution(s) ahead of time to notify them of where you will be using their cards and when you'll be there.
Make 2 photo copies of all of your credit cards, passports, id's and other important documents. Leave one copy at home and bring one copy with you in a secure place on your person or in your luggage just in case they are lost or stolen.
Use your credit cards for major purchases like airline tickets, resort fees, vehicle rentals and jewelry purchases. But normally don't use them for small purchases so as not to risk identity theft.
Visa and Mastercard are universally accepted island-wide but other cards such as Discovery or American Express are probably not be acceptable in many places.
Carrying Trip Cash
The thing that is most desired in Negril, besides yourself, is your money! Obviously its the lightest thing that you can carry and using it locally really helps Negril's economy. Enough cash can make your traveling much easier and lighter (because you'll carry less baggage or baggage poundage) This is especially true if you have enough to spend on any or all of the following...
casual clothing, sandals, sunshade hats (100+ gift and clothing shops to choose from).
taxis (plenty are available).
food at road stands and restaurants + drinks at bars (200+ of both of these are in Negril so you have plenty of choices).
activities in Negril which you desire to experience like jet-skiing, wind-surfing and para-sailing.
attractions in and around Negril that you might desire to visit.
purchasing and shipping or carrying back duty free items and / or Jamaican Crafts and Artwork
tips for your servers
donations for occasional poor beggars.
All cash can be risky to have on hand when you travel so when carrying it, exercise the following precautions...
Never flash any of your cash in public where bad guys can spot it.
Bring singles, 5's and 10's (USD or equivalent other currency) for tips or charity money. This cash should be concealed seperately from your big money in one of your front pockets or your purse so that it is handy for quick and easy dispensation without flashing a wad.
Divy up all your trip cash between responsible parties to be carried by each of them.
Keep wallets with money, id's and passports in your front pockets at all times where their presence can be most readily sensed. Then, when you approach or are in a crowd, merely put a hand into your pocket to feel them to prevent pickpocketing.
Try to avoid crowds and when you are unexpectedly jostled by a passerby, immediately grab for your money to be sure it wasn't taken.
Do not put your valuables in rear or side cargo pants pockets where they may be easily confiscated.
Purses should hold a mininum of things, so empty them of unnecessaries before you leave home for your trip and then carry only a small amount of cash in them.
Traveler's purses should have zippers (+ if posssible, velcro flaps to seal them shut as have most modern camera cases).
Purses should be held securely in your hand (s) when you're in public. If they have straps use them to further secure your grip on them.
For your large denomination money use waist belts having hidden money compartments or use flat pouches (that are made to hold money) that strap to your body underneath all of your clothing.
for ultimate cash concealment and security some ladies put big bills in their bras or in their panties. Some men do the same in the briefs that they are wearing. Others conceal their big bills in their shoes.
Traveler's checks are a more secure way to carry money.
Once in Negril It is best to go a Cambio (currency exchange) to convert your USD and Traveler's checks into Jamaican currency because they give you the best current exchange rates. You can also use an ATM there to obtain Jamaican currency although their rates are higher.
Other currencies may be used in transactions in Jamaica but usually vendors or resorts will convert them at a much poorer rate than is given by a Cambio (i.e.when you could be given 80 to 1 USD by the Cambio you may only receive 70 to 1 USD from vendors). Currency conversion loss is an unneccessary extra expense that tourists can avoid by always using Jamaican cash for their transactions.
When making a trip to Negril you need to book your airline ticket dates for your 1st and last stay dates there well in advance. You may not want to reserve airline tickets until you book your resort room(s) first so that you are assured of all of the dates that you intend to stay there. Then book your airline ticket dates accordingly. It is expensive to change your airline reservations once they are booked so book your resort reservations before you book your flights, just in case the resort cannot accomodate your initial plans.
During Negril's busy season of December thru May advance booking is of utmost importance whereas during the off season it is not so important because none of the resorts book up then. However, there are some special dates where they may be booked so check with your resort or travel service well in advance in order to avoid those dates.
All-inclusives may include air fares in their fees in which case the resort will be automatically responsible to provide a car or bus to meet you on time at the airport on your day of arrival and to also return you to the airport on time on your day of departure. If you book your own air fares then your all-inclusive resort may not pick you up at the airport so be sure to secure these arrangements with them or with Rocky's travel service.
There are pros and cons to using travel agents. The cons mainly revolve around their cost which in many cases is not worth considering because of all of their back and forth dealings with the airlines and with Negril's large resorts that can occur. However, most travel agents don't book you with the medium or smaller resorts in Negril so that's another con. Here' a very good travel servicet if you're looking to stay at a small to mid-size resort in negril - www.negrilonestop.com.
The pros for travel agents are that they can save you a lot of trip logistic legwork and they can sure bail you out when difficulties arise. It's usually best to get a few referals when it comes to using travel agents because as a service, some are good and some aren't so good.
Multi-Resort / Multi-Town Stays
Sometimes vacationers stay at more than one resort in more than one town during an extended vacation during the busy season. That entire itinerary needs to be properly coordinated and booked well in advance with all of your resorts and other needed services.
Check-in bags do get delayed or lost by the airlines more often than they might want to admit so plan that this might happen to you! Stash medications, toileries, a bathing suit, a shirt and pants or shorts, socks and underwear in your carry-on just to get you by in case your bags are permanently lost. Be sure to bring enough money to purchase new things in case this happens. Because Negril is so casual in all regards, only a few things may be need to be purchased if this happens.
If this does happen to you, you will have to spend some time at the airport filling out forms before you can go to your resort. Make sure you hold onto all of this paperwork and, once you are situated, keep on calling the relevant office and checking the airline's website to see if they have been found.
If you are staying at a resort, the airline will ship your late luggage to you or you can go back to the airport to pick it up when it finally turns up. Bring all of this paperwork plus your passport with you when you go back to the airport to reclaim bags. Unfortunately, sometimes bags do not turn up at all, in which case the airline cashes out each bag at a maximum of $500.00 but not until after you return home.
It is best to get your rented vehicle at the airport so that you can return it right there on your day of departure. Some Montego Bay and Kingston auto rental companies that do not have airport facilities will offer to pick you up and drop you off from the airport to get you to and from their office. Their charges are usually lower than those of airport vehicle rental services to make them competitive in light of this inconvenience.
When you rent a car, obtain good road maps from the car rental company so that you won't get lost. Valid driver's licenses from most countries are honored in Jamaica. Remember that Jamaicans drive on the opposite side of the road from Americans and Canadians so be prepared to adapt your driving to always stay on the left hand side of the road (its not hard to do if you drive slowly at first). Because of this driving difference some folks prefer to arrange for a taxi ride from the airport to their resort in Negril. There, where it's easier for them to learn how to drive Jamaican style, they can rent a vehicle or continue to use taxis.
If you rent a car, bear in mind that you are entirely liable for all damages of any kind to your vehicle! So be sure to inspect it carefully before taking possession of it. Also, ascertain that you can overnite park the rental car in your resort's private parking lot. Thieves will steal it or try to remove parts from it if it is unattended.
Also, scammers in public parking lots may acost you falsely claiming that you damaged their car when you pulled in and wanting money. Just tell them that you want to get a polce officer and they will probably run off.
Scammers walking the streets in the crowded towns will also walk very close to the road and try to be slightly nicked by your car as you drive past them. They do this so that they can get money from Jamaican insurance companies.
In Jamaica, you drive on the left hand side of the road so always remember to bear left. Roads in poorer areas or older areas can be extremely bumpy and / or tight. Unfriendly watchdogs or stray dogs, loose goats and other livestock, people blindly carrying heavy items can all be road hazards. Emergency vehicles or firetrucks can also appear at a moments notice around tight turns in the road!
Corners with street lights in Kingston often have squeegee men who swoop on your car to clean your windows and then demand payment for doing it. Other scammers there will suggest that you take their picture and then they will demand money from you for it. Aggressive street vendors will pester you when traffic stops you in front of their stalls. If you drive with open windows or unlocked doors, bad guys have been known to reach in and grab for purses on the seat or necklaces from your neck or watches from you wrist when you slow down! So drive with your windows closed, doors locked and a/c on to prevent all of this.
In bad neighborhoods, bad guys will threaten you if you try to take their picture! Any of these incidents can be reported to police on the street or at the local police station but because so many people in Jamaica are poor, not much can be done about it. All Jamaicans know how important tourism is to the economy of the island because articles about it are constantly in the Jamaica Gleaner newspaper. But the scamming opportunists don't think much about the Island's economy when an unwary tourist is within striking distance because they are only interested in their own personal economy.
Taxis, Buses and Resort Provided Airport Transportation
You can get off of your plane at either airport, obtain your check-in bags and walk over to any tour service there and purchase a bus ticket right to Negril for a very low fare (for you and your bags). This is your most economical means of island transportation but if you don't know your way around, you might not want to take this form of transportation. Then, if you desire private transportation instead, you can go right outside of the terminal and flag down a taxi to carry you there, but this is much more expensive (3 - 4X).
If you plan to use a taxi or a bus make sure that the vehicle has a red JUTA (Jamaica Unionized Transportation Association) license plate on it and check the driver's JUTA identification badge on his person. Never utilize any driver with a car that does not have the red JUTA license plate because some unauthorized drivers are bad guys who can do you wrong in a number of nasty ways! Licensed JUTA drivers are safe because they have invested in the proper insurances and are answerable to the Island's transportation authorities.
Always agree with your driver upon the fare to your destination before you enter the vehicle, not after you enter it because some drivers will increase their rates en route. If you meet a good driver while visiting, just get his phone number and call him to meet you anytime, anywhere and he will probably do so. Also you can tell us about him or he can contact us himself so that we may list him on this website for the benefit of other tourists as we have done for Rocky.
You can also arrange with your resort to send transportation to meet you at the airport and take you to the resort but this is almost as expensive as a private taxi. In Negril however, route taxi fares are very reasonable for local runs. Just reach agreement on the price of a fare with your driver before you get into the taxi.
Most people, don't rent cars in Negril but instead they rely entirely upon route taxis to get them around to shops, restaurants and clubs. For most people who only take a few excursions from their resort, taxis are immensely cheaper than auto rentals. However, some people rent an economical Jamaican land cruiser for a day or two just to tour the town and its cliffs.
For planning purposes, Jamaican prices for tourists are very similar to American prices. Converting 80 JD for 1 USD some examples are...
A restaurant meal is $10 to $25 USD ($700 to $2,000 JD).
A Heinekin's or Red Stripe beer is $1.25 to $2 USD ($100 to $250 JD) from the grocery store, $2 to $5 USD ($250 to $600 JD) in Negril's bars and restaurants.
A name brand ball cap or hat is $15 to $30 USD ( $1,200 JD to $ 2,500 JD)
An individual route taxi ride is $2 to $7 USD ($150 to $500 JD per person) depending upon distance.
A resort accommodation can run from $50 to $700 USD per day ($4000 JD to $$56,000 JD).
A Jetski ride is $40 USD per 1/2 hour ($3,200 JD)
It is wise to plan out a daily budget right along with your itinerary so that you bring enough cash and have a large enough balance in your credit card accounts to accommodate all of your anticipated spending.
Restaurant Food and other Sustenance
Typically, When at home and we're hungry or thirsty, we merely go to our well stocked kitchens and grab a bite to eat or fix ourselves a drink. Not so when travelling! We must either go to restaurants, buy prepared meals from shops to take back to our accommodations or do limited grocery shopping in town.
In Negril we can taxi to grocery stores to purchase some things to snack on or to prepare meals (in microwave ovens or in small room kitchenettes with limited cookware).
Some resorts will not allow their patrons to bring in food from outside of the resort because they want you to spend your money on their restaurant's food. In that case, to get around their rules, you should eat out somewhere that is off-resort and bring back a hidden doggie-bag.
You can also walk from your resort right out to roadside BBQ stands on the land side of the main beach and / or cliff roads where good food and drinks at inexpensive prices are served. The very best roadside stands have a steady trade from the locals. Their trade shows that the food is good and the prices are low so watch for them.
Buying American or European foods and beverages in Negril can often cost twice as much as you pay in the US! This increase is primarily due to the cost of shipping things to the island and customs fees. Since airlines allow you 1 carry-on bag and up to 2 check-in bags of 50 # or less, many travelers load one of them up with snacks and packaged goodies for inexpensive sustenance all during their stay.
Jamaica has a great, up-to-date water treatment system island-wide, so travelers need not fear drinking it. Only the most fanatically fearful will need to purchase bottled water while they are in Jamaica.
Mid-size and up resorts usually provide some kind of internet availability but some of them only have it in their lobbies, which can be a bit inconvenient and annoying. If high speed internet availability in your room or on your room's verandah is a must, then be sure that your resort provides it before you book your stay there. Large all-inclusives should have this capability.
If you stay in a small resort without internet capabilities you can walk or taxi to any internet cafe in town or to many of Negril's restaurants to get connected.
Cell Phones in Jamaica
If you need a cell phone (or phones) while you're in Negril, some resorts will lend them to you for your stay for a small deposit and fee. Otherwise, it is most economical to just buy one there ($30 USD and up) and then purchase Jamaican or international minutes from Digicel for them. There are street vendors all over the place selling Digicel minutes cards. Tere are also shops that sell them. So, when you first purchase your phone just get what minutes you think you'll need and then later if or when you run out, stop a street vendor and buy what more you'll need from him. You can also stop in any store with a Digicell sign to purchase more minutes. When you leave your SIM card will expire and you'll have to buy another one when you return.
1st Day of your Trip
To accomplish the task of getting from your home all the way into your room(s) in your resort usually uses up most of your first vacation day, depending upon the extent of your flight itinerary. So when you first get to Negril, don't plan to do much other than eat, maybe drink a few Red Stripes or rum drinks on the beach or on the cliffs and then go to sleep.
Don't forget that if your hotel does not do it for you, you'll need to arrange for timely transportation to deliver you and your bags on your departure date back to your airport 2 hours before your scheduled take-off time. Have your ticket and passport and your customs form handy then and don't forget your money, credit cards and traveler's checks. Make sure each of your bags is under 50 lbs. or you'll pay big-time for those that are overweight. Don't bring any bottled drinks or other forbidden articles to the airport because they will be taken from you by airport security people when you do your check-in or in customs. You might want to wear slip-on shoes for your airport security inspection and don't carry keys, loose change or metal jewelry to set off the metal detector's alarms.
Once on board your aircraft, relax and enjoy your flight. If you have to make connections to get to Negril, you will have to repeat the security check at each stop where you change planes. That's one good reason to fly to Jamaica non-stop if at all possible.
When you land in Montego Bay at Sangster International Airport, (or in Kingston for that matter) you'll just love the comforting feel of the warm Jamaican weather as you disembark your plane. It will put you in the mood for all of the good things that are certain to await you in Negril.
But the airport can be a bit taxing. There's a long walk from your plane to the baggage claim area and usually some delay time waitng for your bags to appear. Then its over to customs and once you're in line, more delay time while you wait for your turn at customs inspection. When you're thru with customs you'll have to either carry your bags out yourself to your transportation or hire a red cap to do so for you, because you cannot take the free airport carts outside of the terminal and no one is allowed to come in to help you carry your bags.
On the sidewalk just outside of the terminal you might be shocked to discover crowds of people milling around and this will seem a bit disconcerting. However, this is the necessary result of the airport's security rules of not allowing anyone into the terminal without a ticket. Most of these people are waiting for friends or relatives to arrive so that they can transport them home while some are waiting to give prearranged bus or taxi rides to resort travelers like yourself. Some of them are just folks with nothing to do, so they're milling around at the airport out of curiosity or looking for a handout but they are usually harmless.
In any case, if you don't engage in unnecessary conversation with strangers and just make contact with your prearranged driver you'll be in your ride in no time. If you drive off in your own rental vehicle, just to be safe while you drive on the roads, keep your vehicle's windows rolled up and the doors locked at all times. From Mobay to Negril is a very interesting article written byJohn Casey for Escape from America Magazine that you might want to read to prepare you for what you'll encounter on the drive from the Montego Bay airport to Negril.
When you finally arrive at your resort, if you bring children, they will of course be impatient to go right out onto the beach. Along most of the 7 mile beach, the water is shallow for a good ways out, so the kids will be pretty safe if the waves are calm that day (which they usually are). However, there are no lifeguards at most resort beachfronts, so just to be safe, don't let the kids go into the water unsupervised. And for obvious reasons, the cliff resorts can be dangerous for unsupervised small children.
If you don't bring children then as we mentioned above, you'll probably just want to chill out in your room or at your resort's beach bar (with a red-stripe or a rum drink) or maybe you'll even have dinner at your resort's restaurant or elsewhere and then get a good night's sleep to offset your jet lag and get you ready for your first day of play in beautiful Negril Jamaica.
2nd day (1st day of play) up until and including the day before your last trip day
During the wintertime it's such a pleasure to wake up to balmy, pleasant weather which is exactly what you'll do during this period every day of your stay in Negril. In this delightfully warm weather you will have many, many outdoor beach and cliff things to do and tours to take to occupy your time. You can swim, sun yourself (getting a good dose of much needed, healthy, sunshine-induced vitamin-D), parasail, power boat, glass bottom boat, water ski, jet ski, play volleyball or just stroll along the beach for miles and stop inside of its resorts and shops.
You can also rent a bicycle or a motor scooter to get around the entire area. More hardy souls might want to walk the 7 mile beach area too. But always be cautious of sunburn because it can happen quickly here if you're not careful and its painfulness can ruin some of your stay.
Other hardy folk rent bicycles to get around town because the main beach road (Route A1) has wide shoulders to accomodate them (but it can still be a bit dangerous). The cliff road is much harder to walk or bike and it is even more dangerous because it snakes around quite a bit which makes it is impossible to foresee fast traffic.
Morning breakfasts, afternoon lunches and evening dinners in Negril's many restaurants or at your resort or even at your beach bar can be a memorable treats. Night clubbing is also a great way to spend an evening. Rick's Cafe is Negril's world renowned night club, eatery and a great place to anytime-of-the-day hangout because of its unique, embedded cliff diving facility right within view of its bar and restaurant
Last Day of your trip
Unfortunately, this is the day when you'll really, really wish to God that you'd booked more time in Negril because you will not want to leave - guaranteed! You will have had such a great experience that you'll desperately begin concocting some crazy, mind bending scheme like how you can afford a home here or if you can buy a small resort of your own to make some kind of a living here or some other crazy stay-in-Negril-no-matter-what thoughts like this. But who knows, these thoughts might not end up being so crazy after all! A number of people who are now in business in Negril are expatriates of other countries who decided to just uproot their lives and leave them to move to Negril to do these kinds of things.
In any case, back to reality. Again. be sure that you have your airline ticket, customs form and your passport handy and be sure that you pack up everything you brought with you as well as what you bought while you were in Negril. Again keep each of your bags under 50 lbs. Next, give your final tips to all of your resort people and drive bck or be driven back to the airport. Then bon voyage and don't worry - jus' be happy mon!
Negril.com's message board and Trip Advisor's Negril Forum have many daily threads that provide travelers with much up-to-date tourist information.
Owners, Managers and Patrons of All of Negril's Enterprises
All encyclopedias rely upon experts to provide them with authoritative and true articles about their subjects and this video encyclopedia is no exception. However, the articles that we use here are in photo and video form, so the experts whom we must rely upon to produce them are Negril's enterprise owners, managers and their patrons. After all, who is better quailfied to provide good visual information than these folks who have valid, first-hand knowledge about each of Negril's resorts, restaurants, clubs, shops, road stands, attractions and activities?
Therefore, we here request Negril's enterprise owners to record for us a brief digital video welcoming people to their enterprise and describing its attributes (preferably with them and some of their staff and / or their patrons in it). This will humanize their enterprise to the public by being a very friendly and inviting way of encouraging people to come to Negril for their vacations.
Other Videos and Photos
Enterprise owners (and their patrons) may also provide us with separate additional videos of some of the unique, interesting things that occur within their enterprises.
Contributors of More & Better Information to this Vidia
If anyone finds that any of the information we have gathered on Negril on this website needs correction, modification or improvement - please tell us about it by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Promote Negril's Mini & Micro Businesses
If you own a smaller Negril enterprise or micro-business and you are without a website of your own, you may use your page here for a starter website until you are ready to create one of your own. Just e-mail us at email@example.com to obtain our help in quickly customizing your page for you at no charge whatsoever.
Get the Word Out!
Any loyal patrons of any enterprise in Negril which has not yet taken advantage of our offer to build, improve and / or customize their page at no charge, should pass this offer along to those enterprise owners whom they know well enough to suggest it.
Videos Humanize Each Enterprise
All videos and photos of Negril's enterprises will greatly humanize and express the true ambiance of each of them. This can help allay potential visitor's fears of the unknown and increase each enterprise's chance of obtaining their patronage.
E-mail or Snail-mail Visual Data to Us
Just upload their video(s) onto You Tube and then e-mail us their link(s) to firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll then approriately categorize and embed these You Tube'd video(s) onto their page and onto any other appropriate pages within this website.
Alternatively, people may snail-mail cd-rom(s) of their video(s) to Alex Hanson at 6542 N. Clark Street, Chicago IL 60626. When we receive these videos, we will check them for quality and then load them right onto You Tube and embed them onto all of the appropriate pages within this Vidia to which they might apply.
Each digital video embedded on this Vidia is also shown on You Tube, so it becomes a 24 hour a day, 7 days a week, goodwill ambassador that will promote that particular Negril enterprise - world-wide!