Every year, Forbes Magazine compiles a list of choices for an inexpensive travel destination. For 2019, travel experts share their favorite places to go on a budget and the best ways to see these places, with recommendations for affordable hotels, bargain eateries, and even money-saving ways to visit more expensive destinations. Jamaica, selected by freelance travel and lifestyle writer Meagan Drillinger, was near the top of the list.
While Jamaica is usually considered a beach destination, Drillinger believes that 2019 will be the perfect year to discover the city of Kingston, which she considers an “untapped, culturally rich” capital. Kingston presents a rough-around-the-edges ambiance and a “soul” she finds irresistible. Kingston is where travelers will find the “heartbeat” of Jamaica in ways that can’t be experienced at a beach resort. It is also much cheaper than a resort.
Drillinger notes that rhythm rocks the city streets all day, noting that in 2018, Kingston opened the Peter Tosh Museum, a venue that provides a welcome addition to Kingston’s musical offerings. The city is also home to the Bob Marley Museum and the Jamaica Music Museum The city showcases the island’s music in local dance halls and the not-to-be-missed Trench Town Culture Yard offers a perspective missed by those who stay on its north coast beaches.
The new high-speed highway that links Kingston with Ocho Rios lets visitors make that trip easily so they can experience both a city and beach vacation. The new S Hotel in Montego Bay offers a “sleek-and-sexy” South-Beach-style accommodation newly opened in January. Visitors can finish their trip with a tour through the history of reggae music upon departure from Sangster International Airport. VP Records, the biggest independent reggae music publisher, and label in the world has launched its 40th anniversary year with an installation at the airport that chronicles the firm’s contributions to reggae music.