Montego Bay Jamaica Under 520 USD

Montego Bay Under 520 USD

Montego Bay Under 520 USD
Montego Bay Under 520 USD

Montego Bay, Jamaica: known for being a tourist paradise located less than an hour and 40 minutes from Miami International. I never thought I would get here, but I did, thanks to points, miles, and taking advantage of various promotions. We try to break down how we managed to go to this wonderful place without spending a ton of money, and we’ll show you exactly how we did it so you can replicate it! Sounds good? Great. Let’s get started.

Montego Bay with A Journey We Love
Montego Bay with A Journey We Love

The Background: Every February is Peter’s birthday month. I work in the financial services industry, wherein the first two weeks of the month are busy and the last two weeks are basically for taking vacations and other whatnots. This trip started as a challenge. Peter and I have never been in an all-inclusive resort as the charges are a bit above our normal budget. When Peter asked if I can do this vacation for cheap, I answered: “Of course I can!”

Here’s our expenses with our activities all lined up in a shiny little table:

Montego Bay Jamaica 2016 Expenses

Date Activity Points Used Cash Paid Comments
Feb 19, 2016 Gas to/from Sarasota $45 From Sarasota to Miami and back, we got driven by Peter's brother
Feb 20, 2016 Bottled Waters $5
Feb 20, 2016 Doctors Cave Beach Entrance Fee $12 Don't bother. What a ripoff.
Feb 20, 2016 Dinner at Pelican Grill $36 Good meal!
Feb 20, 2016 Souvenir magnets $5 3 magnets for $5 ain't so bad
Feb 21, 2016 Mayfield Falls Locker Rental $5
Feb 21, 2016 Transportation to Mayfield Falls & Hyatt Zilara from AirBnB $140
Feb 21, 2016 Mayfield Falls Lunch/Beer $30
Feb 21, 2016 Mayfield Falls Entrance Fee $40
Feb 22, 2016 Tip to bus driver to airport $2
Feb 22, 2016 Tip to bag handler $5
February 20 2016 Miami - Montego Bay (MIA-MBJ) by American Airlines 18,000 - British Airways Avios
$232.12 - Barclaycard Arrival+ Points
This was when Miami to Montego Bay was 4,500 BA Avios one way. It's now 7,500 BA Avios.
February 20-22, 2016 AirBnB Accommodation $25 AirBnB Credit
$50 of $100 AMEX Offer
February 22-24, 2016 Hyatt Zilara All Inclusive 2 Free Nights c/o Chase Card
Other Expenses Ruby's Jamaican Visa $65 Ruby has a Philippine passport and needs a visa to visit Jamaica
Other Expenses Money order fee + postage to Jamaican Embassy $8.95
Total 18,000 British Airways Avios $513.95

A breakdown of our expenses for our Montego Bay, Jamaica trip for Peter's 30th Birthday.

Here’s how you can do it too:

Note: we do not have affiliate links, we are just sharing how we did our trip and which cards we used
  1. Barclaycard Arrival+: a great cash back card that you can use to reimburse yourself for ‘travel’ expenses
  2. Chase Hyatt: gives you 2 free hotel nights anywhere in the world if you spend $2k in 3 mos. Any spend in the card gives you Hyatt points which you can use for future ‘free’ hotel stays as well.
  3. Chase British Airways/AMEX Everyday/Chase Sapphire Preferred: these cards give you British Airways Avios, which is perfect for short haul flights that are otherwise expensive to pay for in cash.

So, all it takes is a cash back card, a hotel card with a great bonus, a card that earns British Airways points, and a few promotions to replicate our trip.

With credit card points, we can travel so much more for less. It enables us to stay in these luxurious properties we wouldn’t otherwise spend on!

And thus, we hope you can replicate our $520 Jamaican trip. It was a blast! A budget blast!

Notes: We could have done the trip even cheaper than $520 if Ruby wouldn’t have needed a visa (that would have saved an extra $100+!), but it is what it is! And we know how a blog would sound like if we made the trip under $500, but we only went $20 over!

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  1. Steve L.

    I found your travel site after you were featured on the ” Million Mile Secrets” blog site. I like this article and how you guys are very detail oriented. I can tell you are in the financial biz by the way you crunch the numbers here…good luck with your wedding!

    1. Post
      Ruby Escalona

      Thank you for your comment Steve! I’m working on another post for Memphis but these types of posts take forever for me to write lol! It will be up after cross checking and triple checking I have all the numbers correct ?

      Thank you for visiting! ??

  2. Pingback: Here's what we did with 25 vacation days (in 2016) — A Journey We Love

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