When you book your trip to Jamaica, the odds are good that you’re headed for a spirited, but relaxing island vacation. But there’s much more to Jamaica than great music and gorgeous weather. So follow these tips to keep safe and have fun while visiting Jamaica.
1. Don’t Forget About the State Department
You should know before you travel that both s*xual as*ault and armed r*bbery are common throughout the nation, in some cases even inside gated resorts.
2. Don’t Expect Help From the Cops
The Jamaican police force is universally underpaid and understaffed. Their attention is mostly focused on more serious crime so a tourist’s stolen camera doesn’t rank high on their list of priorities.
3. Don’t Try to Get Around Without a Driver
In Jamaica, they drive on the wrong, -well, left side of the road. It can be a little perplexing, but for a small fee you can hire a driver for the day to help you get around efficiently and safely.
4. Don’t Backpack Through Jamaica
People who backpack through Jamaica essentially put a target on their back, attracting the worst of the island’s criminal element. Your best bet is to spend most of your time in highly populated areas.
5. Do Your Research
Where you spend your vacation will determine what there is to do. Love the nightlife? Then, Negril has tons of thriving hot spots. Taking your family for some fun in the sun? Montego Bay is full of family friendly resorts. Want to experience Jamaica’s inland paradise? Check out Ocho Rios.
6. Don’t Look at the Merchants
When you’re browsing at shops on the island avoid direct eye contact with the merchants. They will take it as a sign that you’re interested in buying but if you’re just looking, keep your eyes on the merchandise and not on the owner.
7. Don’t Use American Dollars
While good, old-fashioned greenbacks are welcome on the island, you should consider using the Jamaican dollar. You’ll find that you don’t have to worry about exchange rates and the locals will appreciate it.
8. Don’t Get Uptight
The entire country is filled with people who are looking on the bright side, and while they’re eager to please, they’re not in any big hurry. So, you shouldn’t be, either. No one wants to hang around with a grumpy tourist.
9. Don’t Be Afraid to Explore
There is one heck of a lot more to the island of Jamaica than just lounging on its world class beaches. There are a lot of great shopping spots and natural beauty like Dunn’s River Falls.
10. Don’t Worry About Finding a Good Beach
The best part about Jamaica is that no matter where you book your reservations Jamaica will have a pristine stretch of golden sand waiting for you. Don’t spend a ton of time trying to find “the right beach.” They’re pretty much all that beach.
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