I remember when we first exchanged our money with a guy on the street (they pay higher than actual exchange shops but be careful!) it was pretty funny to look at our “loot” and have some high spending dreams. Ah but reality sets in and then you realize the above photo contains a mere $17 USD and some change.
Of course exchange rates fluctuate all the time, and when we visited Jamaica it was about 106+Jamaican Dollars being equal to 1 US Dollar. Now you might think you can go wild and buy all kinds of STUFF and get lots and lots more since you’re changing your money at such a high rate. Think again. It’s almost the same, and some things are quite a bit more.
Most places there take other currencies as well as Jamaican, some take only Jamaican, which I would think is more beneficial to their own stability of currency. Nonetheless as someone who really stinks at math, having to constantly do calculating in my head was painful. (Although they sell a lot of rum there, so sometimes I didn’t care.) Somethings appeared to be a little cheaper when purchasing in Jamaican Dollars, while others appeared cheaper in US Dollars.
If you are traveling there, they do have ATM machines that spit out money in the currency of your choice – at a hefty international fee to withdraw your money. As someone who is thrifty, hefty means I paid $15 USD to withdraw $100USD.