When I think about a holiday on a tropical island, undoubtedly the first thing that comes to mind is palm trees along stretches of white sandy beach.

Others however immediately start thinking of the big price tag that holiday comes with a vacation. But not all holidays have to cost you an arm and most of a leg. Budgeting is an essential part of any holiday, but with the following options, you can save your arm and leg, and still have a phenomenal time in this Caribbean paradise.

Accommodation will unquestionably be the most expensive part of your holiday, but if you are prepared to seek beneath the surface, you will find something to your liking.

The Palms Resort in Negril is located just meters from the water’s edge and is a peaceful, service-oriented hotel with the feel of a more expensive resort at a fraction of the price. At only $80 plus tax per night for a double room, you won’t break the bank for a good night sleep. If you are looking for a more rustic Jamaican experience, Ital Rest in St Elizabeth will woo you with their two double-storey chalets, each featuring a kitchen and bathroom, and the most dazzling view of the ocean from the balcony.

The chalets have no electricity, and you can enjoy the true island experience by candlelight with a traditional meal cooked by the owner’s wife. From $40 per night, you will be hard-pressed to find a better experience. If you’re planning a trip, be sure to travel Jamaica and stay here.

Jamaican food is known for being spicy and flavorsome, but at what cost? Despite being an island, seafood is quite pricey due to overfishing in the area. Chicken is a great option, and you can enjoy a chicken curry or stew for as little as $8. Juici-Beef Patties Restaurant, a quaint local eatery in Ocho Rios is known for their beef patties and coco bread, which costs under $5. For an amazing home cooked meal in the rustic forest of Negril, Just Natural is the place to go.

The average price of $7 for a meal will have you coming back for seconds! From fresh fruit and breakfast burritos to veggie burgers and Johnnycakes, which is a local cornmeal flatbread, there is something for everybody’s taste.

Getting around Jamaica does not have to be an expensive undertaking, and the route taxis are an excellent way to see the island at an affordable cost, charging about $2 per 50km. Buses and minibusses are the most inexpensive mode of transport in Jamaica and charge about $1 per 50km. Make sure that the route taxi you use is marked as such, and are not to be confused with other more expensive licensed taxis, or “contract carriages” as they are known.

There are so many activities to do in Jamaica, that you will be spoiled for choice. The Bob Marley Museum ($20 per person) is a must see for anyone wanting to enjoy this piece of Jamaican history.

The Green Grotto Caves are a favorite out of the thousands of caves located on the island, and for $20 per person, you can take an hour-long tour of the crystal clear lake.

The YS Falls ($17 per person) is considered to be the best waterfalls on the island, comprising of 7 waterfalls all cascading into natural pools where you can take a swim in the cool waters. Reach Falls ($10 per person) where a local guide will lead you through water pools to the main waterfalls is a favorite of the locals. You can find a list of attractions all over online.

Traveling and enjoying the tropical island of Jamaica on a budget is entirely doable, especially if you know where to look.

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