Jamaica is one of those destinations that eternally sits high on the travel lists of many. Admittedly, when traveling to Jamaica, most travelers are in silent agreement that paying high prices has a lot to do with safety rather than luxury. One thing we have to remember is that independent, tourist-friendly and unbelievably exciting things are happening in Jamaica’s tourism industry which make it possible to travel around Jamaica on a budget. 

The bad news is that many people will still underestimate their ability to explore the lush island safely and on a budget. The good news is this list will prevent you from any confusion about how to get around without over-spending. 

Here’s your guide to traveling to Jamaica on a budget.

1. Picking the right accommodation


Credit: Higher Level JA, Airbnb in Jamaica

While Jamaica is a great location for those in search of the all-inclusive life, travelers on a budget also have much to look forward to.

Airbnb and local guesthouses gives travelers the chance to see the real Jamaica without the hefty cost. The opportunity to cut the costs of your stay are plentiful. There are a range of options from hill-top Jamaican-owned abodes to cabins or even smaller, locally run resorts in the coastal towns.

2. Free excursions to enjoy Jamaica on a budget


Turtle River Falls, Ocho Rios

Explore the lesser known or, better, the free excursions and day trips out that Jamaica has to offer.

Jamaica and most of the Caribbean is mostly loved for its many opportunities to connect with nature. While these are often packaged trips and excursions, there are many ways to experience Jamaica for free. Whether it is strolling the many white-sand beaches, many of which are free entry, visiting the local rivers for a riverside picnic or even wandering the crafts markets.

Other excursions that are low-cost include local falls, such as choosing Turtle River falls and gardens rather than the competing and pricier Dunns River (only a drive up the road). In the same sense, you could invest in local versions of river rafting. I decided to raft in Ocho Rios’ smaller but equally mystical White River rather than traveling out to do the same thing on the Rio Grande.

3. Transportation around Jamaica


Adobe Stock

Traveling around by taxi can be super costly. A budget friendly way to travel Jamaica, from parish to parish, would be Jamaica’s trust coach service – Knutsford Express.

One thing about the Knutsford Express service, it is going to give you top-tier Jamaican hospitality. By far the greatest travel experience I have experienced yet, with a person employed just to ensure that passengers have a perfect travel, you can see why it is so popular.

4. Consider your parishes

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A great way to save costs is to consider which locations you travel to. Avoiding Montego Bay, Ocho Rios and Negril will save you a lot of money while traveling Jamaica.

Instead, consider parishes that are less populated by tourists but still full of cultural and natural escapes, such as St. Thomas, Portland or Port Antonio. Here are a few things to do in each of these breathtaking Jamaican parishes:

St. Thomas – Great location for nature lovers and adventurers seeking waterfalls and hot springs

Portland – Spiritually charged and full of opportunity to see the land of the Maroons, lagoons, rivers and Mountain peaks.

Port Antonio: A city in Portland parish that has impressive views and the famous Winnifred beach, a serene place to watch the sunset and eat some of the best fish in Jamaica.


5. Good Jamaican food doesn’t need to cost the world

Andrew Itaga

This point goes hand in hand with the point about traveling to particular parishes. In the hub of the popular resort towns, you will find that the price of eating out surges. Wandering outside these zones will open up your options.

The good news is it won’t only be street-food for dinner while you explore Jamaica. You’ll have access to Jamaica’s finest, complex and flavorful dishes, and you won’t be supporting chain restaurants, instead putting money into the local economy