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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    24

    Default spending money/safest method of payment

    In general, how much spending money do you go through for a trip, if you are doing all the "must do's" like local shopping, and a trip or two off the resort to explore?

    We are also wondering how most people handle their money while away, such as cash, credit cards or travelers checks. we have never traveled out of the country before, and aren't sure what the safest method would be, and the most convenient.

    We have four kids, and will be traveling in May of 2012...we need plenty of time to save, and aren't even sure what our savings goal should be.

    Besides the fact that we are super excited, and we know not to pack jean shorts for my husband (hehe), we are going into this pretty unaware of what to expect...any tips greatly appreciated!!

    Megynn and Andrew
    May 2-11,2012
    CN

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    336

    Default

    The tip we got in 2009 when we went and will do again was take alot of 1's and 5's. Just because of tipping the shuttle person, bag handler, spa Ricks cafe jumpers,vendors at resort, etc. anybody that is NOT a couples employee then you can tip. We took I believe 300 bucks and went for a week and came back with some left for sure. The resort they ask for a credit card so the excursions and such you can put on your card. Honestly we didnt use money too much. They used to have a ATM card but I believe they took that out. Just make it small numbers not a lot of 20's is what we did so you dont have to find change. Makes like a lot easier and we kept our cash in the safe. VERY SAFE.

  3. #3

    Default

    you will need some small bills for tipping the shuttle drivers ( I usually bring 15-20 in 1$ bills), if you do excursions through the resort you can just pay with your credit card, outside of the resort i would suggest using cash. If you plan on going shopping, it just depends on what kind of things you are looking to buy, if its just trinkets and souveniers then I would say 150.00 should suffice. I have used my credit card at the airport every time we have been to jamacia (thats where we buy our rum and coffee), with no problems. On most of the excursions you will tip your guide and the shuttle driver that takes you there as well. On the way to the resort, the driver will usually stop at a gas station for a bathroom break and you can buy a beer or two while your there. I know a lot of people hate the stop, but its quick and it keeps everybody happy! If you hate carrying cash, get a Visa gift card so if anyone steals the number your not losing anything. I never had any problems, but I have talked to a few people that had their card numbers stolen while shopping of the resort. Remember if your on a tight budget, it truly is all inclusive, so you could get away with only bring some 1 bills for tipping if you just wanted to stay on the resort, and their is plenty to do on the resort. Remember that you are paying 3-400 dollars a day to be on that property, and if your gone all day on an excursion your not on that property!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,336

    Default

    You best bet is to only spend cash with vendor, never a credit/debit card. If you can charge the trip to your room, do it, and pay with a credit card at check out.
    Irie Mon

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    2

    Default

    We bring $2 bills for tipping the porters, bus drivers etc. They're convenient and unique.

    CN in 78 days

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    11

    Default

    It all depends. For a first trip to Jamaica at CN, I’d say most of the “must-dos” are included or free. Catamaran cruise, trip to CSA to walk the other beach, Ricks Café, scuba and snorkeling… all no charge! You might spend a couple of bucks buying drinks at Ricks. They’re expensive, but not exactly a major budget item.

    Without any excursions or spa treatments, we probably spend less than $200 cash for a week. Most of that is spent at the airport. Any other big expenses get charged to the room or put on a card.

    Take lots of small bills. Split the cash up between the two of you while you’re traveling. Keep a small amount ($5 or $10 in singles) handy in one pocket, so you don’t have to pull out a big wad when you need to pay someone. Once you’re at the resort, leave most of it in the safe.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    1,735

    Default

    We have never been able to charge off-site excursions to our room. We have always paid with a credit card at the time we book it at the Tour Desk. Another tip is to use a credit card instead of a debit card as there are more safeguards built into a credit card.

    I agree to never use a credit card with a vendor and I go one step further and never use one off the resort. I have heard too many stories about people who have used their credit cards on the shopping trips or at local restaurants and bars.

    Take small bills because the vendors don't have a lot of cash for change and at the stores on the shopping trips (and even the airport!), you may get your change in Jamaican.
    [
    CN 2006, CSS 2009, CN 2009, CN 2010, CTI 2010, CN 2011, CSS 2012, CN 2012, CN 2013, CSA 2014, CN 2014, CSA 2015, CN 2015

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    1

    Default

    I would go one step further and say don't use your credit card at check in on the resort...use cash instead.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,962

    Default

    Sorry, but I just don't agree with tcakes' take on the CC issue. Couples is perfectly safe for use of your card at check in. A hold on a guest's credit card is standard practice, not just in the leisure travel industry, but in the hotel industry in general.

    Since Couples is now cashless, and the shops are quite diligent on asking you to identify yourself, its very convenient to use your credit card. Just use common sense and discipline, as should always be the case.

    The other responses are dead on regarding the denominations of cash to bring with you, as well as when,where, why and how to use cash.
    Chris

    "In an abundance of water, the fool is thirsty..." - Bob Marley - "Rat Race"


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    708

    Default

    15 trips to Jamaica and we've always used our credit card when checking in at the resort, never had a problem. I don't think you are any more likely to experience a problem there than you would be at a hotel in the US.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    2,309

    Default

    LuvJA ~ I've been told that they do not like the $2 bills. You might want to rethink that.
    Juliann & Jeff
    Jamaica Soon Come

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    10

    Default

    Do they take canadian money anywhere there or just want american? Before you post any funny remarks remember the almighty loonie is now worth more than the almighty US dollar!!
    Kevin CSA Apr.3-17

  13. #13

    Default

    tcakes is wrong on this one, as several have said.
    Been to Couples many time slso. You are totally safe using your credit card for check in and any purchases.
    And each room has a safe to secure anything of value when not in the room.
    You will love Couples!
    Respect
    Mi love fi binaked inna Jamaica
    (Patois for: I Love To Be Naked in Jamaica / At the island or SSB Mon!)

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