30 yo black woman from US and need a temporary change of scenery. I work remotely so just need some recommendations for where to stay. Should I rent a car? Any and all help is greatly appreciated!
Try to live in a gated community, and always be alert when in public, especially when carrying a handbag. Beware of two people on a bike (usually two men) as one might come off and grab your bag while the other waits on the bike. Happened in front of me once. Aside from Negril, Portland is also a relatively safe place. Don’t live in Kingston, St Andrew, St Catherine or St James.
Treasure Beach. Lots of guest houses to rent, beautiful place, friendly people. Rent a bike instead of a car. You can travel to other spots on the island fairly cheaply by route taxi if you want to get out. Sounds fun!
If you like greenery, mountains, rivers, and nature you might wanna check out a place in Portland parish! Its generally a little less developed than some of the other areas being suggested but it’s gorgeous and relatively safe out there
I just came back from Jamaica (Montego Bay) had a blast! Sorry I can’t offer any input..just wanted to know what type of remote job you have because I’m seriously looking for one so I can travel the world freely ♥️
Congrats again. I’m super jealous
Also, some things about driving: when someone flashes their lights as they drive down the street, it means police are down the road. If they flash their lights at you at an intersection, it means they’re letting you through. If they honk their horn after you let them through, it means “thank you”.
I am an American and have been living in Treasure Beach for about 4 years. It’s very quiet and peaceful here, and I feel very safe. Treasure Beach is made up of 6 small fishing villages and is very rural and isolated. There isn’t much to do here so if you’re looking for culture and socialization Negril is a much better option. There are a LOT of expats in Negril as well. Most parts of the island you would most certainly need a car. There are a lot of smaller car rental places around the island where you could get something once you’re here and rent on a month-month basis if you’re comfortable driving on the left. Please keep in mind that rents can be affordable but everything else is very expensive here. Especially things like, gas, groceries etc. Make sure you have or keep a back up American Health insurance plan in case something serious comes up. You should also look into purchasing a short term international insurance plan. Make sure you have an unlocked phone that can take a foreign sim. Get a flow or Digicel SIM at the airport when you arrive. They sell them at the club MoBay arrival lounge desk. You can get a monthly plan for about $30-40. Hope that’s helpful but let me know if you have any other questions!
Definitely suggest, Ocho Rios/ negril / Montevideo bay ( coastal areas) for a balance of beauty and amenities, good Wi-Fi etc. Plus ochi Rios is like 45 mins from the Kingston invade you need to do anything in the “city”Definitely would suggest getting a car if you want to enjoy the island and get ready for aggressive driving
Where you stay all depends on your budget, and what you want? Do you want to be in Kingston (City) or by the coast like Negril or Ochi? (Touristy)
I think you definitely need a car but car rental prices are steep. If this is not an option, you need a good recommendation for a driver who is reliable. So far I have not found one.
Do you have family or friends here, or are you coming on your own?
I’m all about saving money so I’ll advise you on that. Don’t go to Kingston if you wanna save money. You can come to montego bay or Hanover. If you like the country areas with a lot of fruit trees Wi-Fi etc. Hanover would be great caz I live there and it helps to save money. Montego Bay nice too but they tend to try and exploit foreigners every chance they get by over charging… I wish I knew you else I would genuinely help you…
I recommend portland, was there for like 2 months felt pretty safe except being near car drivers lol.
Locals from mobay and reddit adviced me also portland. Had a calm time there. But this is all from a males perspective.
Have you been to Jamaica? I just got back on Sunday. WiFi will be your biggest hurdle.
We rented a car for a week and did fine (as Americans) a little stressful at first but most of roads were in decent condition. The roads were in better condition that roads in New Orleans/Atlanta. But I imagine renting a car for 6 months would be costly. They have a very strong public transportation system though.
Also check out r/digitalnomad
I felt safe considering everyone’s bleak warnings beforehand (solo female). Living in Atlanta, New Orleans, and Miami is comparable. Honestly, Jamaica felt a LOT like Miami. People made it sound like we were going to get sex trafficked stepping out side and it wasnt like that at all. Taking normal precautions. (Although we spent one night in Kingston and its the only place I’ve ever been where I didn’t stop at redlights at night because. Very dark at night and lots of folks roaming, homeless, sex work, etc. However Kingston was awesome and I would love to go back)
But I was shocked at how expensive it was. Of course I was getting the tourist prices but it was very hard to discern what is a fair price and what is a mark up. There are more affordable islands for sure if you need to make your dollar stretch.
We live in Eltham , close to Ocho Rios, bought the house ten years ago . Eltham is a small, safe community where everybody looks out for each other . If you like I can ask around for you for a place to stay . You can PM me for more info , no problem
As a similar age female local that works in tech and also works from home here are some guidanceWhat is your rental budget? The closer you are to towns the more pricey it will be. Kingston being the most expensive, though the most convenient to amenities including public coworking spaces(at a fee). Rent goes for about 800 to 1200 us or more for modern apartments. If you go more rural, internet is less reliable(not in all cases) and further away from amenities.Safety is a concern everywhere in the world honestly. While crime is rampant they are targeted so just be aware of your surroundings, ensure any locals you trust have good intention and do not be too unnecessarily friendly or share who you are for unscrupulous people to target you.I recommend getting a car no matter where you choose. Public transport is not that reliable unless you have set arrangements. Uber is available here but not so dominant in rural areas and mostly available in Kingston. We also drive on the left so you’d have to be prepared for that. Cost of living is high. Note the exchange rate at current is 152 to 1 us. So you may spend a lot on grocery. If you want entertainment nightlife is more predominantly in Kingston. It exists in every parish but you’d really have to be close to a local to get details as to where the events and hotspots are.
I’m on the eastern urban side of Jamaica so if you do decide and would like more details/guidance don’t hesitate to reach out.
All the best!!
I am not from Jamaica, but visited many times.
First suggestion is you pick Negril as the place to settle in.
The next thing you need to be very careful about taking about “working” while in Jamaica. They are very protective of their countries jobs. They Do Not want people “working while in Jamaica”. I have seen people turned back and deported because they told the customs official too much information.
The last thing I suggest is you do your homework very well on the place you want to stay.
One Love& Bless Up..Hope you have an Irie journey.
U must have a car u can DM me I have friends that do rentals. Or try island car rental but u will spend. Or you could buy a car. I’m from the states n live half the year in Kingston for the last 7 years. You’ll be all good. I love Portland if you don’t want to be in the city otherwise do Kingston. Mona is nice, Ligunea has lots of rentals, jacks hill is pretty n out of the hustle n bustle. Or u could live in the west coast MoBay of negril. I don’t live on that side so can’t speak on how life is over there
I hate to say it but as a female on her own I wouldn’t stay in Jamaica. The crime in that country is one of the highest in the world for such a small island also the US dollar doesn’t go far in that country because it can be expensive. Negril is very nice but after a couple weeks you will want to experience more. As a black female who has been to over 25 countries, Thailand is where you want to go. Best experience as a lone black female traveler, the US dollar stretches far, it is safe and I gotta to tell you the islands in that country are unmatched.
Don’t be fooled by the “ Come to Jamaica and feel Allright” commercial. Jamaica for its small size is one very dangerous island. Imagine, living in a gated community just to feel safe. Lots of indiscriminate murder every single day.If you have the chance to work remotely and want to strech your dollar, consider Vietnam or Thailand. Two drop dead gorgeous places that are safe for a female traveling alone.Good luck
I have the option to work remote and I looked into Jamaica for the low cost of living. I’ve lived in the Cayman Islands and the BVI, so I have a lot of Jamaican friends and love the culture. I’m back in the States now. Phoned a few of my Jamaican friends back in Cayman looking for some tips on where to live in Jamaica etc. and every one of them highly recommended I don’t move there. They said they don’t even like going back when they have to visit family. So sad, such a beautiful place, with so many wonderful people, the jewel of the Caribbean.
Jamaica is diverse, depends on what you want, how you want to live. There are remote areas of complete peace, magnificent beaches, busy crowded areas like cities. Shop around before putting down roots.
I wouldn’t rent a car. I’d get a charter taxi to start to give you a feel of the road, the speed, how other drivers behave, etc.
Get a car, you will be hitting the windshield wipers for the first week, but will get used to the left side driving pretty quickly. Use your spidey senses and become gray as possible, don’t be flashy, down play any wealth or finance. Have fun and enjoy.
I’m an American in Portland. I have a car, but prefer not to drive. Jamaicans drive with a 7th sense. What you do really depends on the Parish. They are different and what works for some may or may not work for others.