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Pack Your Bags Jamaica: Taking a Vacation in Europe is Surprisingly Affordable

by Stephanie Koathes Jan 14, 2019

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Eiffel Tower in Paris, France representing easy European vacations for Jamaicans.

You’ve seen Paris in movies, heard about the Colosseum in Rome, wondered about the red light district in Amsterdam. Perhaps you’ve always thought that visiting Europe would be so expensive as to render it impossible.

Well it’s time to change that notion.

It is true that in the past there were few options to take us across the Atlantic, and all of them costing eye-watering sums. These days, that’s no longer the case.  You can find flights for under US$1000 or even under US$500 depending on when you book.

Flight options

Commercial airplane flying over clouds.

There are also options for low-priced direct flights departing from Montego Bay’s Donald Sangster International Airport including TUI Fly and Eurowings.

Eurowings flies to a few destinations in Europe from Jamaica including:

  • Cologne
  • Dresden
  • Berlin
  • Munich
The famous cathedral in Cologne, Germany.

The famous cathedral in Cologne, Germany located near to the main train station.

Some other destinations are Rome, Athens, and Barcelona though these flights are routed through Germany. Plus, Tui Fly heads straight to Brussels and Amsterdam.

Another airline to check out, though slightly more expensive, is Condor.

The Schengen visa

Close up of Schengen visa in passport.

So you’ve discovered that a flight to Europe isn’t necessarily that much more than one to New York. What else do you need? A visa.

A visa for travel in the European Union is called a Schengen visa, referring to the Schengen zone of free movement. Schengen visas for travel can be valid for up to three months and allow travel to all members of the Schengen zone. This visa costs around 60 euros or a little over US$70 depending on exchange rates. You apply for the visa at the embassy of the country where you will stay the longest. Our handy Schengen visa guide should make the process easier to understand.

If you find the application daunting, a travel agent can help you and provide a trip itinerary if necessary.


Your accommodations don’t have to destroy your bank account either. Europe has fantastic selections of cheap hostels where you can get a bed in a dorm for as little as US$10 – 20 per night.

Hostel room with several bunk beds.

If sleeping in a room with others isn’t a problem for you, hostels are an amazing option.

If you’re travelling with a friend you could book a two-person dorm and split the cost. Or you could get a private room if you’re travelling solo and don’t want to be in a dorm.

Apartment rentals such as Airbnb are also great. To save more, you can even book a private room in a house rather than rent the whole place.

Now you know that a European trip is easier than you think. Start planning!