Opportunity to Fulfill Sole Vacation Goal

Updated on August 17, 2010
L.A. asks from Redford, MI
14 answers

It’s been my adult dream to vacation in Jamaica. I’ve been saving for quite some time and finally I have the funds. I’ve even arranged a sitter for my 2 and 4 year old, I just don’t know “how to get there”. What I mean is: do I just search for plane fares and hotels (where should I look?), when is the best time to go, should I find a travel agent (where do I look?), with two children I think I should insure the trip (who offers vacation insurance?)…

I’ve never been more than 100 miles away from home and don’t know where to start in order to end in a fabulous vacation in Jamaica.

How do you plan a trip that far away from home?

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M.M.

answers from Detroit on

I have used the agency below several times and they are awesome!!! Friendly, experienced, VERY helpful. Have dealt with several people, depending on the trip. That's what impressed me...went to one person for a cruise, and when I went back to her to book a Vegas trip she said, let me pass you on to someone who specializes in Vegas trips because she was more comfortable with cruises. They cared about MY vacation! Have a BLAST!!!!

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A.B.

answers from New York on

Because you are an inexperienced traveller, I would suggest you find a travel agent. Liberty Travel has branches everywhere and I have had good success with them in the past. Google them for a location near you. Jamaica is a wonderful place but you definitely want to stick to a resort for your own comfort. It is always possible to arrange for tours should a particular place interest you. An all-inclusive resort is great -- this way all your meals, most drinks, and many activities are all included, reducing stress. And as you are travelling alone, they will best be able to guide you away from honeymooner-heavy or family oriented resorts. You can usually get a package that would include air travel, transfer to and from the airport in Jamaica and your time at the resort. Travelling solo is wonderful, you meet so many interesting people and can really make your own schedule without thinking of anyone else. Once you stick your toes in the water here, so to speak, you may even travel with women's adventure tours later! The world is at your feet! Good luck and enjoy your tropical getaway!

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C.M.

answers from Detroit on

The most economical way to go is to book online and to go to one of those resorts like Sandals or Club Med. They have all inclusive packages that really are all inclusive...food, room and activities for kids. I would also recommend that if you plan to venture off the resort compound that you inquire with the concierge at the resort about a reputable "guide" to take you. Jamaica isn't all that safe for unsuspecting tourists. I have to think that since it has been a lifelong dream to go there, you would want to see more of it than the resort. It is a beautiful place, lots of culture etc... Just be sure to do it safely! Happy Travels!

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L.M.

answers from New York on

I suggest you go talk to a travel agent. They will be able to provide you with lots of options and advice, and also advise what type of documentation (passports, visas, etc) you'll need. They'll also help with vacation insurance.

Before talking with them, you can do some research on line using the travel websites, like hotels.com, travelocity.com, etc.

For Jamaica you may want to consider going to an all inclusive resort. It makes travel so much easier because they will handle the transportation to and from the airport. The all inclusives are safe and offer excursions that are safe.

Have a great vacation!!!!

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A.M.

answers from Detroit on

You have lots of good answers.
I would google "vacations to Jamaica from Detroit" and stuff will pop up. Take time to investigate. I have used travelocity, expedia, Apple Vacations etc. Also, before each new trip I take, I go to the bookstore and browse through the travel books for that area, which will give you lots of ideas regarding things you may want to do and see. Once you get your basic trip in place (flight, hotel) you can build an itinerary or plan for what else you want to do. Lucky you---have fun!!

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D.H.

answers from Detroit on

We travel every year at least once and I have never used a travel agent. We do time-share, but we've also done vacation rentals and a cruise on our own. I would suggest going to tripadvisor.com for lots of information for where you want to go. You can get traveler reviews on hotesl/resorts, things to do, restaurants, weather, etc. It is always my first resource. I see no reason to pay someone else to do the things that I can do, and we've had some beautiful vacations :)

The only trip I ensured was our cruise....we were going during hurricane season, plus you never know. The cruise line offered insurance, but after looking through a travel book that I got from the library I researched online a couple of other places, compared prices, and went with one that was suggested in the book . You can do an internet search and get quotes....they will cover luggage, airfair, hotel, meals, etc. some will cover if your plane is late, some if you lose your job and can't go, or some for specific health/family problems...so read through and compare the coverage. It was about $140/each for my husband and myself. We didn't have to prove any medical conditions or anything.

Have a great time!
D.

T.F.

answers from Dallas on

On a personal note, I deal only with my preferred airlines (American and Southwest). Both are HQ here and it is super easy.

As for locations, if you've never been, go to Trip Advisor........you get great reviews of all types of places. I'd probably stay at an all inclusive resort.

Sometimes there are vacation deals through AAir and SW. I like booking my own thing, but I've been doing that over 20 yrs.

I lived in Jamaica for a summer and loved it, however, I lived in Kingston, not the resort areas.

There are some great places. ENJOY!

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A.S.

answers from Denver on

I just wanted to say a big KUDOS for getting the funds together and get yourself set to go!!! It's such a huge thing to accomplish a big goal like that!!

I have always purchased my fares through Orbitz or directly with an airline. Since you've never done it before, either enlist a friend or go with a travel agent. Both can offer you travel insurance in case you need to cancel or postpone the trip for any reason.

Also be sure to pick up a "Lonely Planet" travel book, they're great at giving you the low down on the country you're traveling to. You can get them at the library or buy one from Amazon. It will give you all the tips on where to stay, what to avoid, where to eat, what is a must see and the best travel times (ie after October and the hurricane season has passed :)

Have a BLAST!!!!

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L.S.

answers from Grand Rapids on

We went there for our honeymoon and it was asweome. We did not use a travel agency and I am not experienced in this at all. I would HIGHLY recommend doing an all inclusive resort. Beaches is a family friendly resort I do believe. We did sandals and it was nice to have everything right there. I booked ours via expedia.com and was even able to purchase extra things like swimming with the dolphins and more. Althought I had said if i was to do it again I would not buy those things until I got there. That way you know what you will or won't have time for. We were there for 6 days and I personally felt it was too long. I just wanted to come home by day 4-5. Good luck.

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R.C.

answers from Jackson on

I had meant to respond, then the email got buried in my inbox. Everyone has pretty much said everything that I was going to say. You may have already booked your trip, but just in case here the other points I was going to make.

We went to the Sandals in Ocho Rios and we loved it, but if we did it again we would pick a resort closer to the airport (Montego Bay). It took over 2 hours for us to get from the airport to the resort, and we dropped off other people at closer Sandals resorts along the way. However, you also pay more for those resorts because they are closer. If you don't stay at an all inclusive place, beware that there are plenty of people who will try to scam you or try to take advantage of you--not at nicer hotels, but if you are out and about in the cities seeing the sights by yourself. Get a good travel book, and take the warnings seriously!

My sister likes to use travel agents for big trips, because if something happens with flights being cancelled or other "hiccups", then there is someone else who can take care of the details for you. If you book it yourself, you have to do the grunt work yourself and if you've never done it you may not realize what rights you have.

Have a great trip! I've been to Jamaica twice, and would go again in a heartbeat!

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H.J.

answers from Detroit on

Apple Vacations always offers good deals and is pretty reliable. They have pretty accurate descriptions of the hotels so you can find something in your range. You may want to get a travel agent because they are aware of the best times to go for your money and can book your vac. and plane, etc. I would highly recommend finding an all-inclusive resort to go to. They cost more (obviously!) but you get food, drinks, activities, and a lot more. I think you get your money's worth that way. Good luck! Jamaica is beautiful!

A.S.

answers from Detroit on

See a travel agent. Or look up vacation packages online.

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V.H.

answers from Detroit on

Depends what sort of person you are - do you want a big hotel with everything in a big resort or do you want a smaller place where you can get to know the locals? Research online and avoid hurricane season and spring break. Personally I love the smaller boutique hotels of Negril above the cliffs but they are quite bare bones and might not suit a lot of Americans - definitely a more European/melow / basic vibe, or the mountains, again not a top US choice. Traveling alone, I would avoid exploring too far from your hotel after dark unless you want to get hassled into buying drugs. Don't wear flash jewelery and leave your fancy stuff at home.
Try looking at the Jamaica official tourist page for a good starting place for your research and have a great trip....

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R.J.

answers from Seattle on

Travel Agent.

I'm a SUPER experienced traveller... and I always, whenever possible, go through an agent. OMG, so, so, so in love with them.

They'll also walk you through all the options like Sandals or other "all inclusive" resorts to hotels, to all the way to B&B's & hostels.

PLUS they have the in on activities, prices/discounts (I have yet to pay more than $100 a night in hotels that would otw cost $800 a night), tours, deadlines, insurance, immunizations, visas... the whole shebang.

If you were local I'd give you my agent's name.

LOVE travel agents.

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