Barbados is another stunning example of what the Caribbean has to offer as a region. Although it is a tropical nation, the trade winds keep it nice and breezy the year round. In a region that is not known for its education, Barbados has one of the highest standards of living and literacy rates worldwide. Ideally, that means you’ll get an even better level of service than you can expect in countries that lack a decent standard of living. Also, you can relax a little (but not much) about your bags being stolen on the beach. The rainy season falls from June to October, but the island falls outside of the main hurricane corridor. Expect to dress well on the island – they used to be a proper British Colony.
English is the official language of Barbados.
The Barbados Dollar is the official currency of the island, but U.S. Dollars are widely accepted. Credit cards are welcome in most businesses as well. To find out about the conversion rates, visit our currency converter.
Budget accommodations are available on the island, with beds starting as low as $22. Hotels and Guest houses are available, as well as villas, time shares and all inclusive resorts.
Food and Drinks
As a prime time tourist destination, Barbados is chock full of restaurants. In fact, there is a whole Barbados restaurant guide available through the tourism website. Fresh fish and rum are staples, as they are throughout the region. Fresh fruit is plentiful and Banks Beer is a local brew available for those of you who can’t handle the hard stuff.
>>more information on Best Restaurants in Barbados
Many holidays and festivals are celebrated throughout the island, with Crop Over as the star of the show. Crop Over is a five week summer festival, celebrating the end of the sugar cane harvest. It is Barbados’ most popular and colorful festival, and definitely a great time to visit. Other holidays, in addition to Christian religious holidays, include:
Errol Barrow Birthday (January 22)
Heroes Day (April 28)
Labor Day (May 1)
Whit Monday (May 28)
Emancipation Day (August 1)
Kadooment Day (August 6)
Independence Day (November 30)
Boxing Day (December 26)
Getting There & Around
Air Jamaica, American Airlines, BWIA and US Airways offer flights from the United States. From Canada, you can travel with Air Canada or BWIA. The U.K. is served by British Airways and BWIA and inter-island travel can be arranged with Air Jamaica, Air Martinique, BWIA, Caribbean Star or LIAT.
Collective taxis, called ZR’s, are readily available on busy routes, although the can be quite crowded at times. Local buses are available as well, but you’ll need correct change to ride. If you want to try something a little different, a helicopter shuttle service is available for some destination. Finally, the old standby rental cars and taxis are available throughout the island.
Electricity in Barbados is: 110 volts/50 cycles. The standard plug types in Barbados are flat blade, 2 flat blades and 2 Flat blades with round grounding pin. Solar power is often used for showers, which is cool and environmentally responsible.
Things to Do
Unlike most Caribbean islands, there is surfing available in Barbados (and Puerto Rico, actually). That is certainly a plus in my book. Scuba diving, lazing on the beach, shopping, golf, caving and nightlife are also popular pastimes on the island. There are plenty of historic attractions to keep you busy if you need a break from the sun for an afternoon, too. Cricket is the sport of choice among the locals, and something to see for visitors.