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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    25

    Default How much money should we bring?

    Hi

    We will be at CSS on the 4th December (not long to go). We were just wondering how much cash should we bring with us?

    Originally we were going to get 800 pounds changed into US$ but now are thinking that it may be too much?

    Trying to identify how much we will need... are there any trips that aren't included with Couples that you recommend we do and at what cost?

    also should we take US$ or Jamaican $?

    any info would be great.

    thanks

  2. #2

    Default

    Bring U.S.$s, there are other excursions you might want to take.
    It just depends on how long you are going to be @ CSS. The resort has so many things to do on property, you might have enough with just the included trips,Dunns River and Ocho Rios
    shopping. You will need small bills to tip the airport baggage handlers, your driver to and from CSS. Once you get to CSS you will need no money. They have a gift and jewelry shop on property that you might want to buy something from. We usually bring about $300 plus with us. Everywhere takes credit cards. We use that if it is a big purchase. Hope this helps.
    "Once you go...you know"
    Steve

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    223

    Default

    Get US$, small bills. 800 pounds is about $1256 US... that seems like plenty of cash, maybe too much. You are going to swipe a credit card at the desk when you check in and they will put $250, I think on it for "random room expenses/charges"... you can use this to purchase things in the gift shops, or from vendors who are allowed to visit the resort (cigars, jewelry, crafts, etc.)... when that $250 is spent, they will ask you to clear that charge and open another one.

    I suppose it depends if you do a bunch of off-site shopping and excursions. We did the included ones, catamaran cruise, Dunn's river falls, scuba diving, snorkeling. You tip the guides at Dunn's river and the cat cruise crew, other than that, we didn't spend any money on excursions. You can pay cash to the vendors, but charging to your room is so easy. Oh, I just remembered, we did buy the dvd compilation from our trip up the water fall, the Dunn's crew dropped it off and we paid them cash for that.

    If you want to get certified as a scuba diver, that is an extra expense and it includes a couple extra dives other than the one free one... or I believe you can pay a flat rate to just dive additional times too.

    FYI, the airport is like a shopping mall, if you have allotted plenty of time before you depart, you can buy pretty much any gifts you want on your way out, just make sure you have room for them in your carry on... and be prepared to have to stow them in your checked luggage at your "customs" re-entry point.

  4. #4

    Default

    Hi Akin,

    We're going to CN on 20th November. Haven't been to Couples before but have been to Jamaica twice before with Sandals.

    Each time I have taken approx US$200. This is really for the occasional trip off resort and spending money at the airport on the way home. If I want to do an excursion I pay for it on credit card therefore the only money I need it the odd tip for non resort people (drivers, baggage handlers etc) and money for beers, taxis etc off resort.

    No need to take Jamaican $ as everywhere takes US$. Be aware however that some places will give you change in Jamaican dollars so try to have small notes. My other half just went to a travel exchange last week and asked for low denomination US notes. They were delighted to get rid of them to him!

    As far as trips are concerned - given you are staying at CSS you MUST do the Dunns River trip (it's included with Couples). It's great fun to walk up the waterfall. Take watershoes and a waterproof camera if you can.

    I've done Rick's cafe too but it's too far from where you are staying to be viable trip.

    Hope this helps.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    808

    Default

    I would suggest US dollars. The amount depends on what you want to do, and how much tipping of outside drivers you will have. Also, if you are planning on buying anything from any of the vendors on the resort (they only allow a select few,a nd they all take US dollars). We usually brought about $250-300, but always took some back with us. We also used some of that at the airports. But, we didn't travel off the resort on any non-included excursions. I believe that you can charge those to your credit card if you are going to do one of them (if you are bringing a credit card). But, if you are planning any other excursions, and not using a credit card, think I would bring more than we normally do.
    Linda

  6. #6

    Default

    everyone accepts U.S. money so there is no reason to exchange into jamaican.
    We were there for a week and never did

    As far as how much...it all depends on what you want to do and and what you want to buy. We took $1100 and came home with about 250 left. But we spent 500 on massages (including tips). Then we probably spent close to 300 in the gift shop on souvenires to bring home, some blue mountain coffee to bring home and a few other things. We also bought a few art things to bring home that we usually wouldnt have. We probably spent 30 bucks on tips for the bus drivers, luggage guys at the airport, and the tour guides at dunn falls.

    Id always rather have too much money than not enough though.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    70

    Default

    We won't take anything like probably about half, but it does depend on wht you intend to do off resort. We will be taking a trip to mayfield falls (last time we went to YS/ and black river which was lovely). Any organised trips we put on credit cards anyway, but if you locally source you need cash.

    If you want to stay at the resort all the time you wont even need 500.

    Also - get US dollars and try to get some $1 and $5 as they are best for tipping (not on the resort of course) - big notes are always more difficult to break.

    Hope this helps

  8. #8

    Default

    Take US currency and about 300.00 should do very well. Maybe 2 50s ,,50 singles and the rest in 20s 10s and 5s. You will spend most of your cash at the airports.
    ARE WE THERE YET??

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    916

    Default

    It really depends on what you plan on doing. At the resort, you hardly need any cash. Maybe a little for a vendor on the beach or for tipping non-Couples employees, like the Spa staff, if you use that service. I think we brought around $350 US (approx 223 pounds) for a week and were fine. If you plan on doing anything off-site, you will want cash for that too. We did the Black River Safari and also ate at Cosmo's one night. We used cash for those outings. I would just bring US dollars. It seems to be the most widely accepted currency.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    163

    Default

    What happens if you do not use the $250 they swipe on your card. I assume they credit you at the end of your stay.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    25

    Default

    We brought $150 in cash since, like everyone says here, everything is included. We knew we would not be doing any off site tours. The only money we spent were for tips at the airport and the van driver (to and from resort). Still came back with $100...

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    25

    Default

    Thanks everyone for your advice.

    Well it seems that 800 is way too much to bring (good for me so I have more for Xmas shopping)

    We will be there (CSS) for 10 nights from the 4th December.

    I think that we want to go to Lobster Dave's (hopefully others would like to go and we could go in a group). I'm not sure what else we would like to do as there is so much included in the stay that we may not need to do anything else, after all we are there to relax.

    Hope to see some of you there.

  13. #13

    Default

    Hi Akin, we haven't been to Jamaica yet but I am budgeting on what we did when we went to one of the S resorts in St Lucia. We took 500 which we had converted to US $950 and brought about $150 back which we changed back to Stirling. I would say ir all depends on what it is you intend on doing, we are planning to higher one of the independant tour operators for a day which will cost us $200 in cash and then entrances to such as Bob Marleys house and Luminous Lake so with food will probably need a further $2-300. Expensive day but it will be a big day out running from first thing in the morning until mid - late evening by the time we are back. For organised trips we will use the credit card at Couples and they do have cash machines available in Ochi itself by all accounts so getting more cash if needed should be no problem. I am hoping what we have budgeted cash wise should be good to go though, we'll find out in another 123 days now! Regards Dave and Chell

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    25

    Default

    I will be taking my CC with me so I can use that if we do run out of money.

    If we get to do anything else good whilst there I will post it on here when we get back.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,337

    Default

    We take about 500 USD for a week, and come home with $300 USD or so.

    We charge everything to the room we can, and pay with a credit card.
    Irie Mon

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    110

    Default

    We usually take about $400.00 USD (in small bills)... for tipping, craft vendors that come in once a week and Rum Cream at the airport! We are planning on going to Dave's Lobster Shack this visit and will need cash for that. I like to go to the Spa but will most like charge it on the credit card. We have a driver friend who picks us up each time we are in Jamaica, we pay him in cash too.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    808

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kazd View Post
    What happens if you do not use the $250 they swipe on your card. I assume they credit you at the end of your stay.
    It is just a hold like when you rent a car or rent a hotel room. You only get charged what you use.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    197

    Default

    It depends on what you want to do. You'll want ~$3 per bag for the porters and about $5-10 each way for the drivers. US is fine. After that, it depends on what you do. You may want ~10-20% for spa tips and $$ for any additional excursion tips. If you don't do the latter, $30 is fine unless you have lots of bags.

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