Avid surfers eager to tackle the island's beautiful waves would probably not appreciate arriving on the island to find that their hotel is located high in the Blue Mountains. Nor would many honeymooners like to find themselves booked to stay at a resort that caters to young children. Informed decisions can help prevent unpleasant surprises while visiting Jamaica.
Experiencing the perfect vacation means paying careful attention to detail when making important travel decisions. Once you've determined your priorities and taken the time to learn about Jamaica, you're ready to begin the decision-making process.
If your vacation is strongly guided by a particular activity such as golf, hiking, or water sports, a guidebook or Web site may provide the most useful information for deciding which region of Jamaica is right for you. These guides, as well as other Internet resources can provide some ideas about which areas of the island are best for your visit. Look into this before booking your airfare or accommodations.
The most conventional methods for arriving in Jamaica are via planes and cruise ships. Each offers travelers plenty of options, however, so you should decide how you would like to travel, when you hope to arrive, and how quickly you'd like to get there. Many of the small airports found in Jamaica do not receive direct flights so visitors who are uncomfortable in small planes may want to remain near larger cities that have direct service, such as Montego Bay. Cruise passengers should remember that most ships do not remain in port for very long so they offer a much different experience than the one you might have if you were staying on dry land. For those who believe that getting there is half the fun, experienced sailors are even welcomed to bring their own vessels into certain marinas on the island.
Figuring out your itinerary might be the most difficult of all the vacation decisions you'll have to make. First you'll have to settle on a place to stay and determine which activities you're most interested in. If water sports are a top priority, a hotel located on the beach may be essential. Those interested in seeing historic sites might plan to stay in or near colonial structures or plantation homes; luckily, both are easy to find in Jamaica.
Consider which aspect of your visit will be the most meaningful. Do you have your heart set on seeing a specific region or participating in certain activities? Perhaps the style of accommodations tops your list of vacation priorities. If exploring coral reefs are important, you'll want to seek out destinations with nearby marine life and scuba diving or snorkeling facilities. Travelers looking for some solitude will find that out-of-the-way spots outside of the traditional tourist traps offer them the privacy they desire in a more secluded atmosphere.
Your traveling companions will also influence you when making decisions. If planning a family holiday, you will probably find that Caribbean and Jamaica guidebooks that are geared toward family travel will help you to find kid-friendly hotels and activities. On the other hand, if you're traveling with friends you'll need to take everyone's preferences into account before making any major decisions.
Don't be afraid to be picky when you're choosing where you'll stay, how you'll get there and what to see and do while in Jamaica. Once you've done your research you should feel confident about your decision-making ability and prepared to make all the arrangements for a perfect Jamaican vacation.
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