Have you been dreaming about a holiday to Jamaica for a while?
Picturing the soft sand and azure sea?
Envisioning the lush green mountains?
Hearing the reggae vibes?
Anticipating the tingle of jerk spice on your tongue?
If you’ve been before, you’ll know that a couple of weeks never feels like enough – if it’s your first time, trust us!
The good news is that with enough prior planning (entry requirements permitting) you can plan a long-term trip to this legendary island nation and soak up the awesome ambience over a few months. Here are 5 tips for your long-term Jamaica travel adventure!
Check your entry clearance
Current circumstances mean you’ll have to check, double-check and triple-check the entry requirements for Jamaica. But in regular times, its visa regime is fairly relaxed and countries like the UK, US, Australia, New Zealand, Ghana and Gambia enjoy visa-free entry for up to 6 months.
Talk to the Passport, Immigration & Citizenship Agency (PICA) to find out the latest requirements for your entry clearance.
Plan your itinerary
Jamaica is a small nation compared to many, but it makes up for it with a plethora of varied activities and diverse terrain in town and country – so you’ll have to plan ahead to make the most of it.
Check ratings and recommendations before pre-booking accommodation and consider spending some time in cultural hub (and capital) Kingston, tourist hotspots like Ocho Rios and Negril, and off-the-beaten-track spots in parishes like Portland and St Elizabeth.
Wi-Fi coverage and speed across Jamaica is generally good. But it can vary in very isolated locations, so if you rely on consistent internet access for your Youtube vlog or ARU Distance Learning course, confirm accessibility with your host beforehand.
It’s also worth noting that Jamaicans are very au fait with social media, so following local celebs like Dutty Berry and Ras Mokko will provide unique insider insights to the culture.
Learn the lingo
The vast majority of Jamaicans speak standard English fluently, so you’ll have no problems making yourself understood.
However, Patois (a mixture of English, African, Scots and Irish) is the main language in everyday use – check out ‘Jamaican Patois’ videos on Youtube if you want to learn the lingo, immerse yourself more in the culture and really know ‘wha gwaan’ (‘what’s happening).
Try the food