Here's what we do, we sit down and just write down in columns what we're gonna do and what money we'll need to do it.
First is tipping, which is only the driver, bag handlers and spa... no tipping at the resort for anything else.
So tipping, we figure from the start at our home airport a couple bucks to/from for the driver who shuttles us from our car to the terminal and then to /from Couples and the airport and if you do Dunns River Falls or any other excursions, add that in too (plan like you'll do it so you'll have enough)... so with that we normally take about $80 to $100 in ones/fives.
Then for any souveniers purchased from vendors or in the gift shop (not including any gift shop credits you may have coming to you) we usually take another $100 in fives/tens. I like to buy a pair of sandals each time we go and we normally get the dvd at Dunns River Falls and also some t shirts from a vendor.
Then there is any extra excursions you may want to do that isn't included like Zip lining or parasailing etc... which can run from $100 to $200 a couple, so add another $220 or $440 in twenties if doing two excursions, including tipping.
Then there is eating at the airport while waiting for your plane to go to Jamaica and also at the airport coming home, so add in another $100 or so for those meals plus tips at the airport, in twenties.
If you are going to get any spa treatments, and don't have credits to use there, plan on $100 or more per treatment... so take another $230 or so per person if you plan to get a couple treatments.
We normally use the free repeaters massage and then I get a hot stone massage later but my husband doesn't get any more, he doesn't care for the massages, so not counting a credit to use in the spa that would be another $155 or so plus $10-$20 tip.
So all together we normally take about $800 to $950 in cash... spread out in ones, fives, tens and twenties. Saying that, we do usually end up bringing home half of it, but we like to take more than we need just in case we want to do something and we don't like using our credit card any more than necessary.
Remember at the resort it is a cashless system, so you charge spa, gift shop etc... to your room, then settle up when you check out, and that is when you can use your cash to pay your bill. (or credit card)
If you want to use your credit card for eating at the airport and settling up your bill at Couples, then you could take a lot less, it's just our preference to pay as we go.
The resort has an atm, althoguh it was out of service for a couple days at the beginning of our first visit. We stay 9 days and bring around $1500. We usually do a couple of excursions, ricks, sea doo, and other stuff. If we didnt get resort credits we would bring another $500 for the spa. 8 days!!!! woo wooo
I think we took $250 in cash but didn't need it all. No cash tipping of Couples employees (we brought a bag of hershey kisses instead, housekeeping loved them), but you will need to tip the guys at the airport who carry your luggage and the driver to the resort. If you go on the Dunns River Falls excursion, tip the driver, the photographer/videographer and the guide.
**we brought a bunch of $2 bills, thinking they would be neat to tip with, only to find out from the Dunns River Falls guide, that they were considered 'evil' money. Back in the day, "ladies of the night" were given $2 (google it), long story short, it was considered dirty money. The guide took it, but warned us others might be superstitious.**