Things You Must Know Before You Go

Barbados is a beautiful island and an excellent vacation spot. It is one of the best islands in the Caribbean.

Money

The currency is Barbados is the Barbados dollar or the Bajan. It is 1.98 the US dollars. So basically $20 Barbados is about $10 US, give or take a little.

Cost of Goods

Items and services in Barbardos are not cheap. They are about the equivalent of items or services in the US.

A nice dinner for two with wine will run you $100 US. Souvenirs are $20 – $35 for t-shirts, $10-14 for towels, mugs, etc.

Natuarally, as it is almost anywhere you travel, the domestic goods are much cheaper than imported items.

Traveling To and From and While in Barbados

When you arrive in Barbados at the airport and claim your bags you will walk out of the terminal to buses, taxis and shuttle transport. It is best to pre-arrange a shuttle to and from your hotel. The taxi ride from the airport will run $20-60 depending on the distance to your hotel and size of taxi you require. The shuttle will charge for surfboard bags and some other large oversized items. Do not pay more than $5.

If you rent a car it will be about $50-60 per day. Don’t let anyone charge you more than that. If you are from the US and you are planning to rent a car while in Barbados keep in mind you will have to drive the car. This may sound simple but the steering wheel is on the wrong side of the car and the cars drive on the wrong side of the rode. This takes a little getting used to but also serves as quite an adventure!

Dress

Barbados is a British colonized island and therefore embraces the British conservatism in dress. The dress during the day is casual, tropical travel beach attire. At night and for dinner the men wear pants and collared shirts and the ladies where dresses and skirts. Due to the weather it is best if they are lightweight materials.

The Barbadians, or Bajans as they are more commonly referred to on the island, dress business casual most of the time. In the city business dress is the norm for locals and there are many men in ties and even jackets.

When dressing to go shopping beach attire is not appropriate. Bathing suits and swim wear are reserved for beaches and beach bars.

Dining

There are some great restaurants in Barbados. The Cliff restaurant is one of the nicest restaurants on the island. The view, as you can imagine for the name, is gorgeous. The restaurant is located in the side of a cliff overlooking the ocean.

In St. Lawrence Gap, Bellini’s is great. It is right inside a cove with small boats and is amazing at sunset. The salmon is my favorite.

Most hotels will have a book of restaurants on the island in their lobby area or with the concierge desk. It will have a picture of the restaurant and the menu with prices. This is a great way to pick some places you would like to eat at during your stay.

Hotels

There is a wide range of hotels to choose from. It all depends on how much you want to spend.

Budget

If you are looking for a bargain, try the Sandy Bay Beach Club. The hotel itself is nice enough, 3 star. But the staff is very friendly and helpful and the beach out front of the hotel is possibly the best on the island. It is all-inclusive so all meals, alcohol, gratuities and non-motorized sports activities are included. This makes it an excellent deal.

Breakfast and lunch are served buffet style and there is a snack bar for in-between times. Dinner is your choice of buffet style dinner or 5-course dinner in the dining room, reservations are required. They will tell you they are booked for the dining room when you ask but you can always get in. Just ask when you can come in and see if there has been a cancellation or if you can try coming at last seating which is at 8:30pm.

You can scuba, kayak and paddle boat and it is all included. Massage for an hour in the spa is only $65. For $5 you can have a giant umbrella staked in the sand by your lounge chairs. The activities center offer a $50 Turtle and Shipwreck snorkel trip. It is a great boat ride and a really reasonable cost.