Barbados attracts thousands of tourists each month to enjoy its beaches, tropical sunshine and have a laid-back holiday. Offering a wide selection of accommodation from the high-class beachfront villas in barbados to guesthouses, the small island-nation caters to everyone’s needs. If this is your first time, check out theseten must-know tips before starting your holiday.
1. Travel Off-Season
Barbados’s low season corresponds to its rainy season lasting from late May to early December. During this time, fewer tourists take their vacations leading to a general reduction in prices. If you don’t mind a bit of rain, you could potentially snap up that ultra-luxurious villa for a fraction of the cost at Christmas.
2. Be Wary of Travelling in the Summer Months
At the same time, be aware that Barbados has a hurricane season. Powerful storms develop in the Atlantic and can bring torrential rainfall to the island between June and October. While not every hurricane hits the nation, it can lead to flooding. Who wants to sit on the beachinthe heavy rain?This doesn’t happen every year and a storm probably won’t hit when you’re there. Just be aware that this is the peak time for hurricanes and travel disruptions.
3. Get Ready to Spend
As you would expect, travelling to Barbados won’t be cheap. When the total cost of everything is combined, it will soar into the thousands. Factor in the price of flights, accommodation and meals. Enjoying the entertainment and taking day trips will also add up. The best thing is to have a budget in mind and an idea of what you wouldn’t mind spending. And stick to it. If not, you might end up returning home with an overdrawn credit card bill waiting to be paid back.
4. Embrace ‘Island-time’
The Caribbean has a laid-back approach to life that penetrates almost every part of their existence. From the locals listening to reggae and soca in the beachside bars to the cashier at the supermarket, almost everyone will be chilled out. But the relaxed pace of life isn’t all roses. When someone tells you to meet them at a certain time, you should expect them to be late. This is the concept of ‘island time’. You need to embrace this way of life and be patient if you end up waiting for the tour bus to arrive. However, it’s also a good idea to factor in unexpected delays when you’re heading to the airport. The taxi that you booked for 8:00 am might not show up until 8:30 am and nobody wants to be in a crazy rush to catch their flight.
5. Learn About Barbados’s Colonial Past
Barbados was an English and British colony for over three hundred years which shaped the life and culture on the island today. You can see the legacy of this in some of the Victorian-era buildings and Bridgetown’s architecture. While it’s not essential, knowing a little bit about their past will help you get more out of your trip.
6. Want to Explore? Rent a Car
Who wants to travel all the way to the Caribbean and spend every waking second of their time sunbathing on the beach? The ones who do miss out on forests, orchid parks and vantage points that offer a coast-to-coast panoramic of Barbados. If you want to explore the best of the island, the most convenient way is to rent a car. The roads are easy to navigate and you’ll have more flexibility compared to joining an organised tour. You don’t need to get a Sat Nav either. Simply get onto the coastal road and drive. It’s almost impossible to get lost.
7. Don’t Be Complacent when it Comes to Safety
Almost everyone who visits Barbados leaves with an overwhelmingly positive experience. And unlike some of the other popular Caribbean destinations, this island feels safe. But that doesn’t mean you can let your guards down. Petty crime and theft are widespread with tourists often becoming targets. The best piece of advice is to apply common sense and keep valuables out of sight.
8. Bring Your Golf Clubs
Few people classify Barbados as a prime location for golfers. But with a handful of courses set in the lush tropical environment, it deserves more attention. And apart from attracting a few tourists to tee off, it also brings in some of the more well-known golfers and celebrities. Playing a game in Barbados might bring you up against a few people you recognise!
9. Enjoy Locally Produced Rum
The number one drink in the Caribbean is rum. Head to the shops and you’ll find shelves of different varieties produced in distillerieson the island. Rather than buying a bottle, join a tour that takes you to see where they make it. And you can then sample their different varieties without spending a fortune.
10. Make the Most of the Romance
Life offers few moments more magical than watching the sunset with a special someone. And Barbados is no exception. Boasting several kilometres of coastline with magnificent beaches, catching the sunset is a must. Either sit on the sand or in one of the beachside bars or restaurants. But don’t head back too late and always sit on relatively popular beaches to avoid any unwanted attention.
Top Tips for Barbados
Make sure you learn a bit more about Barbados before getting on the plane. Remember to set yourself a budget and be prepared to splurge. And always keep your guards up regardless of how safe you feel. Follow these suggestions and you’re sure to fall in love with this island nation in the Caribbean.