Why You Should Not Book Your Jamaica Vacation Tours on TripAdvisor or Expedia
Photo credit: Evo Flash
Planning to book a tour of Dunn’s River Falls, Bob Marley’s birthplace, or any other Jamaica tour when you visit us at Jamaica Ocean View Villa in Ocho Rios?
If you’re like most travelers, you’ll likely hop on TripAdvisor or Expedia to explore your options, read reviews, and click through to the websites of the best-reviewed tour providers.
Don’t get us wrong. These websites are excellent resources for learning from other travelers exactly how you should be spending your precious time in Jamaica. But when it comes to the next step—book your tours—we have a controversial opinion:
Skip Expedia. Skip TripAdvisor. And instead, go straight to the source—your hosts! We love TripAdvisor as much as anyone, but as Jamaican locals, we know the rules of the game. As such, we can save you time, money, and hassle by doing all the bookings for you.
We highly encourage you to take note of the tours you want to take (i.e., use TripAdvisor and Expedia to do your research), pass them along to us, and let us take care of the rest!
In many cases websites (and resorts) that connect you with local activities mark up the price and pocket the difference. This is called a referral bonus, and it’s paid to the website or resort out of your tour fee. When you book through us, we don’t charge referral fees. That means you pay only the base price of tours and activities—and no referral fees! (This is also an advantage of choosing us over a resort.)
Ocho Rios is an incredibly tourist-friendly location. As such, they assume you don’t have a car to get around, and the majority of tours and activities include transportation to and from your hotel in the purchase price.
Unfortunately, this also means another price mark-up to pay for fuel costs, vehicle maintenance, and driver fees.
When you book with Jamaica Ocean View Villa, you receive up to ten hours of transportation per day included in your stay! That means we can talk the tour providers down on the overall cost to account for the fuel, vehicle, and driver you won’t be using.
Which brings us to the third, and most important reason:
Our Relationships with Tour Groups
Booking tours through websites is rather detached and mechanical. They can charge you whatever they want…simply by changing their website or profile on TripAdvisor and Expedia.
On the other hand, booking through your hosts provides a much more personal connection and makes use of our local knowledge. Ocean View Villa maintains good relationships with local shops, restaurants, bars, and tour owners, and can provide you the best possible price for wherever you want to go. No need to fall victim to the whims of the tour provider!
Please do not hesitate to contact us regarding your Ocho Rios/Jamaica travel questions and/or any special requirements. We are just as excited as you are about lovely Ochi, so send us your questions, check our availability, or make a reservation at any time!