Ask a Jamaica Expert: Meet Sara Fried, Travelocity’s Jamaica Market Manager
Editor’s Note: Periodically, we’ll be featuring a Q&A with our resident destination experts at Travelocity, the Travelocity market managers. Market managers are locals to their destination and experts on everything and anything related to tourism in their markets. Please welcome them to The Window Seat.
Sara Fried is the Travelocity market manager for Jamaica. She has been with Travelocity for seven years and is based in Boston, MA. She enjoys rooting on the Boston sports teams and listening to Bob Marley as well as enjoying an ice cold Red Stripe while sitting on the cliffs of Negril, at Blue Beat in Montego Bay or at the top of Dunn’s River Falls in Ocho Rios. Her favorite part of the job is meeting so many phenomenal people that live in Jamaica as well as the discounts on hotels!
TWS: If you had to pick just one thing that makes Jamaica special, what is it and why?
SF: My three favorite things about Jamaica (I can’t answer with just one!!) are the people, the music and that there is definitely something for everyone in this island. Jamaicans are naturally warm, friendly and entertaining people who are always “Irie, mon!” The reggae music is also an integral part of everyday life in Jamaica – it puts smiles on everyone’s faces! From the hotels/resorts to the activities and the cuisine, there is something that everyone can find and enjoy!
TWS: For someone who is visiting Jamaica for the first time, what are the can’t-miss attractions / experiences and what could they skip if they have limited time?
SF: There is so much to see and do in Jamaica it will take time to do everything! If going for the first time to Jamaica one should always try out a Chukka Caribbean Adventure, which is available throughout all areas of the island. As well as a Chukka Caribbean Adventure, must sees include: Negril, one needs to make sure they walk along 7-mile Beach, watch the cliff-divers at Rick’s Café and tries out Ciao Jamaica on West End Road… In Montego Bay, touring the Great House gives you an understanding of the Jamaican history or tee-off on one of the world-renowned courses: Cinnamon Hill Golf Course, Half Moon Golf Course or/and White Witch Golf Course. In Ocho Rios, spending a day at Mystic Mountain, checking out Dolphin Cove and climbing up Dunn’s River Falls must be on your list! And in Kingston, there are plenty of shopping centers, restaurants, art galleries, cinemas and theaters to keep you busy!
TWS: What’s the secret to getting a hotel deal in Jamaica?
SF: Jamaica has phenomenal hotels on the islands and something for every price point. Since one needs to fly in order to travel to Jamaica, check the Jamaica vacation package prices (hotel+air) as you will always find your best savings there! When looking for great deals, if you look at off-peak times, such as May – December, the rates will also be less.
TWS: Tell us your number-one favorite restaurant in Jamaica and what menu item a visitor has to try.
SF: If you’re staying in Montego Bay, you must try The HouseBoat Grill! The HouseBoat Grill offers a unique setting for an intimate, one of a kind dining experience. The best seating is upstairs on their upper deck under the stars with phenomenal views of Montego Bay. It’s casually elegant and if you’re looking to go during a peak time, make sure to call for reservations as you want to make sure to sit upstairs!
TWS: What’s the biggest misconception about Jamaica?
SF: When people visit Jamaica they think they need to stay at an all-inclusive resort and never leave. The island has so much to offer, with lots to explore and see. Don’t be afraid to book a tour and discover the island, you’ll be happy you did!
TWS:Do you know the Roaming Gnome personally? What is his favorite thing about Jamaica?
SF: The Roaming Gnome and I are good friends as we’ve travelled together on multiple occasions. He loves zip lining thru the trees on a Chukka Caribbean Adventure and then cooling off in the ocean with a cold Red Stripe. To him, there’s nothing like laying on a raft, listening to Bob Marley with a Red Stripe in hand!
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From time to time, the Window Seat publishes articles and blog posts written by guest authors to give you a fresh perspective on the world of travel.