Packing your bags and heading to the airport at the end of your vacation is always a bittersweet experience. It can feel as if you’ve left a little piece of yourself on the island. You can, however, bring a little piece of the island back home with you!
The enjoyment you get from an exquisite Jamaican vacation can last even longer if you have something to remember it by. You can also pick up things to gift to your friends and family, to show that you were still thinking of them even while you were away.
Memories and photos are great but get your hands on some meaningful, quality souvenirs while you’re in the land of wood and water! Here’s a list of 10 souvenirs to bring back from Jamaica.
Art is big in Jamaica. Finding high-quality yet affordably priced art pieces won’t be a challenge.
Watercolour, ink, and oil reign supreme in Jamaica as far as painting goes. Paintings often depict landscapes, Jamaican cultural scenes, and popular Jamaican stars like Bob Marley.
Especially in tourist areas, you’ll find talented artists who are open to making custom pieces and portraits. It’s all the more special and totally worth it!
There are also many talented wood carvers who sell intricate crafts of all sizes, from sculptures to household items like bowls. Weaving is popular in Jamaica, too. Pick up a woven basket or rug to spruce up your home!
Blue Mountain Coffee
Coffee aficionados and the average enthusiast alike will want to take home a couple of packs of Blue Mountain Coffee.
The brew from Jamaica’s highest mountain range is famous all around the world. It’s noted for how rich it is, as well as its lack of bitterness. You should definitely try it during your trip and carry some home too!
You can find Blue Mountain Coffee for sale all around the island at cafés, grocery stores, duty-free shops, and hotel gift shops. Top brands include Jablum, Café Blue, and Coffee Traders, all of which have distinctive blends.
With some world-class Jamaican rum, your vacation can continue even when you’ve gotten back home!
Appleton Estate is the premier brand on the island. You can even tour the distillery to learn how rum is made and get the chance to purchase some straight from the source!
Wray and Nephew’s white rum is another favorite among both locals and tourists. It’s lighter and just a tad sweeter, making it perfect for cocktails.
For those with an even sweeter tooth, try getting some Jamaican rum cream. This sweetened, milky rum drink is flavored with spices, nuts, and sometimes dried fruits.
Jamaican jewelry is African-inspired with a carefree tropical twist. Fashionistas will definitely want to pick up some authentic, handmade jewelry from craft markets. Going home with at least a bracelet in the colors of the Jamaican or Rastafarian flag is a must!
Statement earrings and intricately beaded necklaces and bracelets are staples of Jamaican fashion. In true island style, Jamaican jewelry incorporates many natural elements such as stones, carved wood, woven twine, and bones.
As with all souvenirs, ask questions and read the labels to make sure you don’t accidentally buy a Made-in-China item.
Spices & Seasonings
One thing you’ll no doubt note during a trip to Jamaica is just how amazing and diverse the cuisine is. The flavors in Jamaican food are unlike those most visitors are used to. Take note of the ones you like and try to find them at shops before you make your way home!
Jerk spices are a must-get. Though you can now find jerk spices at many major supermarkets around the world, nothing can beat the ones made on Jamaican soil.
If you’re brave enough, take home a bottle of scotch bonnet pepper hot sauce. The small peppers pack a punch that’s about 40 times hotter than a jalapeño.
Well now that you’re planning to bring home some Jamaican spices and seasonings, what are you going to cook with them?
A cookbook can help you enjoy Jamaican cuisine even after your vacation is over. Of course, everything is online these days, but making an authentic recipe from a printed cookbook is an experience all in itself!
Even if you’re not much of a chef yourself, a foodie in your life may appreciate a book of exotic Jamaican dishes.
Getting some Jamaica-branded fashion items is a great way to continue repping the island for years to come. All around Jamaica, you can find wearable souvenirs in the form of clothes, shoes, hats, bags, and accessories.
Any item of clothing you can imagine, there’s someone selling a Jamaica-branded version! Lots of items you’ll find will have designs of the Jamaican flag, the Rastafarian flag, iconic musicians, and landmarks.
There are also plenty of subtler options that incorporate a Jamaican theme in a more tasteful way. It’s worth getting out into the craft markets to find some of the more unique pieces.
Music is a central part of Jamaican culture, uniting the people of the island as well as visitors with booming dancehall melodies and down-to-earth roots reggae tunes.
Spotify and Apple Music put the world’s music at your fingertips but nothing beats having a physical copy of some of the most iconic Jamaican music. CDs are readily available and vinyl records are back in style, too. Stop by a record shop and get your hands on some!
Pick up hits from Jamaican superstars like Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Shaggy, and Beenie Man. Consider getting a couple of CDs or records from newer and more underground artists, too, as it’d be harder to find their music outside of the island.
Personal Care Products
The relaxation doesn’t have to end once you leave Jamaica. The island’s natural remedies extend to personal care, as well. From natural hair products, to handmade soaps, to skin scrubs, you can find the perfect gift for someone who’s into skin care or hair care.
Two ingredients to look for are Jamaican black castor oil and cold-pressed coconut oil. Both can be found in their raw form or as part of a product.
These two natural oils are good for just about everything, including moisturizing and softening skin, protecting hair, and removing makeup. They also supposedly have a range of deeper benefits that promote overall good health.
Herbal remedies are popular in Jamaica. One such concoction is root tonic. This drink has been around “since the year was naught”, as Jamaicans say (meaning it’s been around for a very, very long time).
Root tonic is a sort of a cure-all; it is believed to cleanse, detox, give you energy, and ease pain, among other things. One particular supposed effect — the one that is probably the reason it’s stayed in the minds of the people for so long — is that of an aphrodisiac!
Root tonic can be made from a wide variety of herbal blends, with each one having different effects. You can also get this drink in the form of alcoholic tonic wines.