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Dreaming about tropical islands and white sandy beaches, but worried about the expenditures involved? I know that you’ve seen those ads on television touting the all inclusive resorts with all the fancy amenities. Yes, they are beautiful and who wouldn’t like to stay there. But if you are like me I simply can’t afford to stay there every time I go. What you don’t see are the very beautiful smaller resorts that line the seven mile sugar beaches at Negril, Jamaica.

Depending on what time of year that you plan on traveling, great deals can be had if you just do a little browsing. Personally, after vacationing there for the last seven or eight years, staying in the resorts that are not all inclusive suits me just fine. In fact I prefer these particular places because I never tire of watching the beach life. There is always something going on. Musicians travel up and down the beach, playing for tips and creating the background music that sets the tone for the vendors that sell anything, from fruit to fresh, just cut aloe to spread on the inevitable sunburn.

Negril, Jamaica

After haggling with the vendors, (unlike in the states bargaining is expected) and never paying the asking price, we always buy several lobsters( actually crayfish but delicious) with a fresh lime to squeeze over them and of course some of the patties that are filled with meat or vegetables. Some tourists are put off by being approached by the locals selling items, but this is part of the charm to me. If you want to be separated from the beach scene then you might as well go to Florida and save your money.

Another thing about staying in the budget friendly all inclusive Caribbean resorts, is the availability of many restaurants, bars, and souvenir shops all along the beach. There are many things to see and do in Negril that doesn’t cost a lot of money. We like to go to Xtabi, a restaurant and bar on the cliffs. We take our own snorkels and masks each time we go, but they will gladly rent these to you for a reasonable fee. It doesn’t cost anything to snorkel along the caves and cliffs,(an unforgettable experience) but my wife can’t leave without having one of their conch burgers.

Some of the smaller resorts have suites with add on rooms and a small kitchen if you want to save even more money. It is a simple matter to walk out to the street and hire a taxi to take you to the grocery store. Again, do not accept the first price that they quote, there are so many taxis that they will take you there and wait until you finish shopping, then return you to your resort for a reasonable price.

If you drink alcoholic beverages, you will save quite a bit by buying them at the Hi Lo. This is the grocery in Negril that all the tourists use. There is also a local market that you can visit to buy fruits, fish ,lobster and island clothes. Anything you want, just ask your driver. My wife loves haggling with the local shops for souvenirs and jewelry and is quite effective at the process.

We have stayed at several places along the beach and this was our favorite Caribbean all inclusive holidays. Over the years we have gotten to know the manager and staff and they couldn’t be nicer. William, the manager, sees that everything runs as smooth as can be and any problems or questions that may arise is quickly and politely handled. The gardens are simply beautiful and are kept in wonderful shape.

Check out their hot deals at Depending on when you plan to travel, there are many price ranges to suit your needs and pocketbook. The Beachcomber is another nice resort that we have tried and we have friends that have stayed at Idle-a-While. If you are looking for a lower budget clothing optional place, then check out the Firefly. All of these places and more are located on roughly the same area of the beach and I’m sure that you will find something you like.

We usually book our own flights and rooms because we know the ropes and can save money doing it that way, but there are some good package deals that are out there. We love the country and the people that we have met and can hardly wait to return each time. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, the people will be glad to help. Enjoy all inclusive holidays in the Caribbean and get hooked on it like we did. When we are there life is, no problem mon.