When it comes to vacations, you know my philosophy: Don’t just travel – have an adventure! I truly believe that. Soaking up some sun on the beach is dope, but wouldn’t it be even more dope to soak up that same sun, while diving for food, then cooking the food on the beach while listening to local musicians play tribal music? I think you get the point.
If you’ve never been to Jamaica, you probably think it’s all post-card pretty; pristine beaches, delicious foods, and friendly patois speaking people. And yes, Jamaica is a beautiful country with beautiful people but there is also violence, pollution, poverty, poor infrastructure, and a corrupt political atmosphere. If you want to do more than just visit a place like Montego Bay, Jamaica, then get out of your luxury resort and hit the streets!
Benefits: Okay, it’s Jamaica. As far as beautiful weather, great food and interesting people – it’s a go. Montego Bay is one of the more safer Jamaican Parishes. You can get great deals on hotels and airfare from most U.S. cities will cost under $500.00. You can visit places like The
historic Rose Hall Great House, and feel like a local while shopping Montego Bay’s Hip Strip. Montego Bay is foreign friendly – meaning there won’t be such a culture shock if you are from the US, UK or Africa. Jamaica’s number 1 money maker is tourism so most of the locals are used to tourists and for the most part they are friendly. There is great night life, if you’re looking for someplace to party, then Pier 1 is my favorite. You can also get your hair braided for less than $100.00 USD. During my last visit I paid $3,500 Jamaican (about $28 USD).
Be Careful Girl: Even though Montego Bay is safe as far as Jamaica is concerned – it’s still a foreign country, and it’s still Jamaica – watch out for scammers! Girl, you cute but not that cute for 5 Jamaican dudes to fall in love and want to marry you after a week. Make sure to exchange money at the airport. You can use Cambio’s but never exchange money from a shady looking place or with someone on the street. If there’s money involved, use caution. Because there are so many tourists; even if you are black – the locals can spot you, it’s hard to blend in. Even though I said most of the locals are friendly, most of them aren’t so polite.
What to Wear: It’s HOT in Montego Bay. You might want to be cute at night, but in the day, dress for comfort and ease. When I visit, I usually keep a pack of baby wipes and deodorant because I sweat a lot. Make sure to bring a pair of light weight sneakers, some of the local roads aren’t paved or need work so cute sandals don’t always work. There are a lot of shops and boutiques with reasonably priced clothes, but be careful of knock off EVERYTHING! But you will be able to spot fake merchandise from a mile away. Here’s a little inspiration to help you pack!