March 27th, 2012, 11:09 PM
How much cash do you normally bring ??
Just wondering how much do most normally bring? Wife wants to buy souvenirs and I'm pretty sure most will require cash. We also want to do an excursion if possible, does this require cash or credit card? Where do most buy liquor to take home (cash or credit)? I'm just trying to figure out how much cash to actually bring. This will be our first time to Jamaica and out of the country. We're tripping to CN........
Thanks, John & Angie
March 28th, 2012, 10:03 AM
We usually bring $1000. extra and tend to spend it all. Couples excursions are free but if you are doing one that isn't affiliated with Couples I'd pay cash.
While at CN if you walk the beach for quite a while until it seems like you are in nowhere's ville (somewhere between CN and CSA) you will stumble upon a small little gift store. Cheapest Rum and Rum Cream we ever saw on the island.
We haven't used our credit card at all when in Jamaica. Cash is the appreciated form of payment.
March 28th, 2012, 12:00 PM
You will LOVE LOVE LOVE CN ...... We normally take $400 & come home with most of that but we've been to Jamaica 10 times (5X to CN with #6 booked) so don't spend much on trinkets since we have so many from there. The excursions that you book at the resort tour desk can be paid by credit card .... Anything you buy at the resort, like spa services, photos, gift shop purchases, phone calls from your room, night snorkel trip, private dinner, etc. can be charged to your room & paid by credit card on check out. You will need cash for vendors & taxi driviers (if you should hire one), & tips for drivers, baggage handlers, tour guides, cat cruise, spa employees, singers that walk along the beach (if you choose to request songs) etc. ..... Most people buy their liquor at the airport so credit cards will work .... If you have a connecting flight, though, the liquor will have to be put in your checked bags before you go through security at the connecting airport where you go through customs. We therefore, buy our liquor at the resort (we use our resort credits) so we can pack it in bubble wrap that we take with us & make sure it's packed as securely as possible. Just a Tip - Take mostly small bills ..... nothing over a $20 because change is hard to come by ..... We take lots of $1's & $5's.
March 28th, 2012, 03:20 PM
We usually bring 400.-500. cash. Split it up between you both in case of loss.
Originally Posted by June670
Excursions that are booked at the resort can be put on your CC. I would not use the CC off the resort but thats your call. Our CC has been compromised before....not in Jamaica though.
We always buy liquor and coffee at the duty free at Mobay airport on the way home. Learned that trick years ago on our first trip to Jamaica. You don't have to carry it and the stores at the airport pack it nice and will tell you what you can bring back legally to your country. We find the best prices are at the airport.
Enjoy CN ...it was our first Couples too. Been there 4 times. You will be back.
March 28th, 2012, 04:58 PM
200.00us should do it and use a credit card for the rest
March 29th, 2012, 09:37 AM
I would start with $300. Add to that if you want to buy a lot of souvenirs or do paid excursions. Most of the cash we spend is getting to / from Couples.
March 29th, 2012, 10:48 AM
We bring $250 and always come home with cash. Excursions and anything in a resort shop, spa, etc will go on a card.
March 29th, 2012, 12:31 PM
It really depends on if you plan to leave the resort or not. We like to take about $500-$750 as we will hire a driver for the day and enjoy various sites. If you are not leaving the resort much it could be a lot less. Have small bills available no matter how much you take for tips to non Couples employees like airport baggage handlers ($2 per bag), the driver who takes you to the resort, the catamaran operators, spa, and beauty services not to mention the souvenirs you may buy along the beach. As people have stated above you should but duty free coffee and liquor at the airport on the way out with credit cards.
March 29th, 2012, 01:33 PM
I think June670 is just planning out who to rob.
It really depends how much off-site excursions you do, how many spa treatments you have, and how many gifts you purchase. I try to avoid using my credit card as much as possible when we are there, so we usually bring around $800 "just in case", but we hardly ever spend that much. You can also charge certain things to your room (e.g. spa and gift shop purchases) and then pay by credit card or cash when you check out.
March 29th, 2012, 09:37 PM
Thanks everyone, This has helped a lot.
March 30th, 2012, 02:27 AM
Hi John & Angie,
We usually bring around $400 in small bills and at least half comes home with us. Unless you plan on leaving the resort a lot, you'll mostly need it for tips. Tip the baggage handlers at the airport $1 a bag and the van drivers about $10 each way. Don't know whether there are strolling musical groups on the beach at CN but at CSA we tip them once or twice a week a couple of bucks. Buying gifts from the CN gift shop can be charged right to your account.
Enjoy you time in Paradise!
March 30th, 2012, 03:16 PM
$300.00 should do it...Key is to bring small bills...$10's , $5's and $1's.....As previously stated, change is hard to come by...
March 30th, 2012, 03:44 PM
Just a note on Credit Cards...
We have been going to Jamaica since the late 1980's and credit cards are more widely accepted now than 20 years ago, but credit card fraud has grown as a problem. I would always suggest letting your Credit Card company know the dates you will leave the US and the date you will return. This has save us a few times from charges people tried to make to our cards in Jamaica after we were already home.
As for cash, we usually find that about 3 0r 4 hundred is plenty, but other than one dinner at Rockhouse we generally don't spend alot during an A-I vacation. We would be hard-pressed to find a way to spend the $1000 that someone else says they bring with them.
We only too travellers checks once and found them a pain in the but when it came to getting them cashed or getting change when we used them. Certainly they are a good idea, but not always easy to use.
No matter what you take always alway use the safe in your room for your valuables at all times.
Respect and good travels!
March 30th, 2012, 04:16 PM
LLE - do you walk on the road to get past the few resorts past CN that don't allow beach access? Heading toward CSA there is a guard who stops you.
March 31st, 2012, 04:01 PM
We've never been stopped from the other resorts and we walk it many times every time we go. We go off-beach for a little bit, but it's not a road. It's a path that sort of parallels the road. It kind of feels like hiking in a way....well, not really, but it's still cool. The first year we did it we were hoping we could stop at CSA for a drink but they wouldn't allow it. The guards at CSA were the only ones that ever stopped us. They noticed our key chain "bracelet" from CN and made us keep on walking.
April 1st, 2012, 12:16 PM
There are no resorts along 7 Mile Beach (Bloody Bay + Long Bay) that do not allow walkers to pass through on the beach. If some guard stopped you they did so inappropriately. The beaches in Negril are public along the waterline and anyone can walk along them. There are areas where you simply cannot do so though due to the lay of the land, for example getting from Bloody Bay beach onto Long Bay Beach because of the "Point" where there is no way to walk. Some of these areas must be bypassed to continue your walk. We have been going to a variety of resorts in Negril since the late 80's and have never had a problem with the security guards at any of the resorts. The rule is that you must walk along the waterline and not deviate up into the resorts or use any of the facilities of the resort you are passing through.
April 3rd, 2012, 01:02 PM
We bring $1,000 we get a couple of massages, dinner on the island, etc. Even tho we have been to Couples 13 times and we swear we are not going to buy a lot of things - we still do! LOL Besides your on vacation so why limit yourself.
April 4th, 2012, 11:22 AM
So glad someone started this thread. We were going to bring about $1500 - $2000, guess there's no real need for that! Perhaps $500 - $1000 is more reasonable.
April 4th, 2012, 10:03 PM
We've managed on just $150 in cash, when we haven't done excursions or serious shopping, just charged the spa to the room. Other times closer to 300-400. Depends on if you plan on buying a lot.
April 7th, 2012, 11:21 AM
We took 400 dollars in cash and spent it on....
20 dollars for tipping bus driver there and back, 2 dollars a bag for the airport bag guys when arriving and leaving, 10 dollars for the catamaran, 15 dollars for a couple pieces of small jewlrey at the stand right next to the water sports shack. 300 dollars for the 2 jet skiis and the two parasailing. At the end of the trip we went up to the 2nd floor of the main lobby to get the rest of our money changed to the jamaican dollar...we wouldn't do this every time but decided to do it our first time to jamaica so that we could take home some of their currency to keep.
Everything you buy at the resort, photos and souvineers (where you can buy alcohol) was cashless, it gets added to your room and at the end of your stay you can pay with the credit card that you used to hold the room or cash.
22 dollars for sunscreen (OH MY GOSH TAKE MULTIPLE BOTTLES. I had brought multiple bottles but only of spf 30 and had to buy spf 50 at the gift shop after burning every day), souvineers at the gift shop (an ashtray, a mug, a shot glass, a small stuffed animal, and a lighter) was around 45-50 dollars, and 2 pictures taken by the resort was like 35 dollars (a little tiny bit of a rip off but I REALLY wanted them ..haha)
we will def. not be spending as much money the next time, we will not buy the pictures, sunscreen, or souvineers so hopefully we can save more money
hope this helps!
Emily (first timer)
Couples Swept Away 2012
April 10th, 2012, 02:01 PM
This is awesome! I too am glad someone started this thread because we have been pondering the same delima! We are going May 8-14th 2013 for our wedding & honeymoon at CSA. A lot of what we are wanting to do is part of the all inclusive deals (catamaran, kyaking, snorkeling, etc), so other than tiping our drivers and boat operators for those excursions they will be low cost - & tipping the spa folks. We plan on taking a shopping excursions and buying small souviners for some lucky family members (and ourselves of course). We're pretty sure the Dolphin swim will be our greatest expense, but apparently we can charge this to our room and pay with CC at checkout.
Anyone know....is alcohol part of the all-inclusive at the resorts? Not alcohol to take home (lol)...just drinks while there.
Can't wait - this is going to be the time of our lives....wedded bliss in blissful Jamaica!
Gina & Jason
April 10th, 2012, 03:43 PM
Gina and Jason,
All alcohol is included :-) Have fun!
April 10th, 2012, 04:57 PM
Gina/Jason.... Congrats on your trip... Yes, alcohol is included.... Premium and lower shelf. Most rooms have stocked bars.... There will be lots of drinks for everyone. Have fun.. Mike/Shellie
Originally Posted by beachorbust
April 10th, 2012, 06:25 PM
We tried to use our CC at CN to book a trip to Appleton but were not able to. We could use cash only. Figure on at least $500 if you plan on side trips. Appleton charged us another $25 per person to get in. This was not on the trip paper or mentioned until after we booked the trip and were getting in the van to go. The trip was $95 per person just to Appleton.
April 11th, 2012, 11:48 AM
Originally Posted by beachorbust
If you take a look at some of the other threads you will notice a lot of people not recommending swimming with the dolphins. Supposedly, they are in cages...animal cruelty. Just sayin' before you decide to spend a bunch of money on it you might want to research it a bit and see if it's something you are comfortable doing.