The essential checklist for your stay in Montego Bay

What you need to pack for your vacation to Montego Bay depends on how long you’re staying, who you’re traveling with, and what activities you expect to participate in. But here are a few general tips about the essentials and what you might want to bring if you’re traveling with kids. Also, what to leave at home and where in Montego Bay to get the stuff you forgot to pack.

Montego Bay is warm, humid, and pretty casual. Breathable and lightweight fabrics are better than synthetic and heavy ones. What you want is beachwear, some dressier outfits appropriate for a nice dinner, and comfortable shoes if you plan to hike or do other physical activity.

The Weather

Montego Bay is a breezy tropical haven. The difference between winter and summer is only about 10 degrees. During the year, temperatures vary from 71ºF to 91ºF at most, and the heat and humidity are tempered by regular northeastern trade winds. July and August are the warmest months; February is the coolest; May, June, October, November, and December are the rainiest. June through November is the hurricane season.

Documents for International Travelers

If you’re traveling from another country, you’ll need a valid passport for every member of your group, including infants. Your driver’s license won’t be accepted at the airport. To avoid problems with customs, at the time of your arrival there should be at least six months left before your passport expires. As a precaution, use your phone to take photos of your passport and any other travel documents, like travel insurance documents, and store the photos in a secure but accessible site — just in case any of these materials get lost or stolen.

You will also need to have with you the contact number and address of your accommodation in order to answer questions at customs and fill in the immigration forms.

How Much Money Should I Bring?

Although we don’t recommend that you travel with large sums of money, you will need some small bills for tipping and small purchases. So make sure you have some on hand while you are traveling. Airport carts are not allowed outside the terminal building, so you may need small change for the porter (about one U.S. dollar per bag).

U.S. dollars are accepted island-wide. Exchange rates vary if you purchase Jamaican dollars (JAD). Be aware of the latest exchange rate for U.S. dollars and Jamaican dollars. Credit cards are accepted at the Round Hill Resort, grocery stores, and most restaurants. Local street and market vendors typically accept either U.S. dollars or Jamaican dollars. There are several ATMs in Montego Bay and one in the nearby town of Hopewell.

Be sure to let your bank know that you are traveling to Jamaica so you won’t have any problems using your debit or credit cards.

What to Pack

Many things you may have forgotten can be found in Montego Bay. But your checklist should include most or all of these essentials:

  • Travel insurance documents if you decide to get it.
  • Prescription medications.
  • Cash in small USD denominations for tipping porters, tour guides, etc.
  • Sun hat, sunglasses, and reef-safe sunscreen (there’s a coral reef on the beach at the Round Hill Resort). The sun is strong in Jamaica!
  • Tennis shoes or sneakers for playing tennis at Round Hill, ziplining, climbing the falls, hiking, etc.
  • Ladies: You will live in your bathing suit and coverup — bring several! Also a couple of floaty dresses and, during the winter months, maybe a lightweight sweater.
  • Gentlemen: Pack a pair of long pants, since the Round Hill Resort requires long pants in the dining room after 5 p.m. But the bar area is casual.
  • Toiletries like combs, makeup, deodorant, lotions, toothbrushes, and toothpaste.
  • Dinner attire for a special night out. Some upscale restaurants in Montego Bay have dress codes.
  • Insect repellent and insect bite relief cream.
  • A medicine kit.

What You Don’t Need to Pack

Here’s what we recommend that you not bring with you to Montego Bay:

  • Bathroom products and toiletries, towels, bathrobes, hairdryers, and Bluetooth speakers. We provide our guests with these items, so you can leave yours at home.
  • Camo anything. Wearing clothing with a camouflage print pattern is illegal in Jamaica except for members of the army here.
  • Heavy clothing or shoes. Even in winter, it will still be warm enough for light, breathable tops, shirts, and pants or shorts.

If You’re Bringing Children to Montego Bay

At Coconut Cottage, we have a video game console, pool floats and toys, and board games. If you ask us, we can also provide you with a pack-n-play, crib, or wagon.

For your kids, you might want to bring:

  • Rash guards.
  • High-SPF reef-safe sunscreen.
  • Sandals or flip-flops.
  • Dinner outfits.
  • Insect repellent.
  • A medical kit.

Forgot Something? No Problem!

There are plenty of shopping opportunities in Montego Bay. The Half Moon Shopping Village is just a fifteen-minute drive away and encompasses more than 25 shops that offer everything from local crafts and jewelry to designer clothes, perfumes, and beachwear. There’s also Taj Mahal, a massive duty-free shopping mall in Ocho Rios. Just across the street from Coconut Cottage, the Round Hill Gift Shop & Boutique offers all the essentials you may need plus beach and casual wear and resort-style eveningwear by Caribbean and Jamaican designers.

If you have any questions about what to bring for your stay at Coconut Cottage, contact us anytime. We’re happy to help!