Barbados Travel Tips
Keep in Mind...
- This is Little Britain Bajans are fairly conservative in attitude and dress. Don't be surprised to see men wearing pants and women in dresses.
- This is where de' rum come from Barbados is home of White, Extra Old and flavored Mount Gay Rum. To sample some, take an interactive tour of the distillery, or just stop by a "rum shop" for a mixed drink.
- This is where the sun lives Barbados is only 13 degrees north of the equator, and you could easily burn. Apply sunscreen regularly and drink water religiously to prevent heat stroke.
You can find a white sand beach, a sprawling golf course or a duty-free shopping plaza just about anywhere in the Caribbean; but you visit Barbados to taste the bittersweet Mount Gay Rum, to lime out to the thrum of a calypso song or to cheer heartily at a polo or cricket match. And though you could spend all your time on the beaches, the point is that here you won't want or need to. This luxurious island is brimming with breathtaking architecture, a passionate sports culture and a party-loving attitude.
The easternmost island in the Caribbean, Barbados juggles two different cultures to create a distinctly Bajan personality. Even after gaining its independence from Great Britain in 1966, this island still holds tight to British traditions like afternoon tea and horse races at Garrison Savannah. Trademarks of the Caribbean are still evident, however, in the sugar-cane fields, rum distilleries and lush landscape. And then there are the many beaches; the meringue "Soup Bowl" waters of Barbados' isolated east coast are a surfer's dream come true.
How To Save Money in Barbados
- Be mindful of the exchange rate The Barbados dollar (BBD) is permanently fixed and $2 BBD is approximately the equivalent of $1 USD. Although most places take U.S. currency, you should pay in Barbados dollars -- your money will go further.
- Try the local food The cheapest meals on the island aren't the bland Continental fare of the hotels, but the dishes served in specialty shops and from street vendors. Order some roti (curried meat with vegetables wrapped in dough) or flying fish (steamed fish served with gravy, corn meal and okra).
- Stay on the east side Family-run guesthouses and inns in the secluded town of Bathsheba are ready to rent at a hearty discount.
Barbados Culture & Customs
Independent since 1966, Barbados has maintained a political system similar to that of Britain, with a constitutional monarchy and a democratic parliamentary government. Bajan customs and ways of life are also still similar. You should bring light colors and fabrics to wear on your vacation, but note that Bajans tend to dress conservatively. Long pants for men and dresses for women are not uncommon.
Bring an open mind and open mouth to Barbados because the island's dining options are varied and delicious. Gourmet chefs have opened the most sophisticated establishments in the St. James or Bridgetown areas, but you should expect to pay a pretty penny for the experience, and plan ahead -- you'll need a reservation to get in the door. Recent visitors to Barbados mention that the food in St. Lawrence Gap is well worth the price; reasonable prices can also be found in Holetown on the central west coast.