Barbados is a beautiful island and an excellent vacation spot. It is one of the best islands in the Caribbean.
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!
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.
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.
There is a wide range of hotels to choose from. It all depends on how much you want to spend.
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.
If you try booking this hotel use www.cheapcaribean.com and you may get an even better deal.
The Hilton is a gorgeous hotel located on a peninsula, so the view out of every window is crystal blue water.
This hotel has all the amenities, valet, room service, scuba excursions, restaurants, bars, spa, pool, children’s programs, everything you might need.
The rooms range from $450 – $1500 per night.
It is a beautiful hotel and if you have some money to spend on a nice vacation this is the resort to choose. You actually don’t even need to leave the hotel much. You have the views, pool, and beaches while having all the amenities of the hotel only steps away.
Sandy Lane Hotel is the place to stay if cost is not a concern. It is the site of Tiger Woods wedding and is breathtaking.
This hotel is stunning. It is by far the most luxurious hotel on the island. You name it and it’s done. Spa, golf, horse back riding, 5 star dining, concierge service, luxury sedan from the airport. They will have it or find it for you.
The children have a summer camp style center called the Tree House Club. It is a kids dream with arts and crafts, movies, pool time. It also always parents some alone time on the vacation. They also have a Den for teenagers to enjoy away from the parents and little ones.
Room rates range from $850 – 10,000 per night.
Snorkeling with the Turtles & Shipwreck
Catamaran and boat snorkel trips are offered all over the island. The Snorkel Turtle trip was nice but you may or may not see turtles in the water. Keep your eye out because you may see some from the boat.
The shipwreck snorkeling is beautiful. There are a ton of color fish and clear water. There is an old shipwreck and then a newer man made shipwreck where they sunk a party boat, not as authentic, but draws some exotic sea life.
Wild Life Reserve
If there is one thing you get out and do in Barbados go to the Wild Life Reserve. It is on the North end of the island and you can take the 4×4 Adventure Tour, taxi or rental car. It is $13 US admission cost and it is worth 3 times the price.
When you walk in there are large turtles everywhere. The reserve has no cages in the main area. Only the snakes, gigantic python and iguana’s are caged in a separate area. The monkeys, rabbits, and other wild life run free. The reserve is heavily shaded with rain forest looking trees and vines that hang and provide swinging tools for the monkey. You walk through the reserve on brick paths. There is even a crocodile in a pond, with high rock walls so it can’t escape.
It is a unique experience and something not to be missed.
Atlantis Submarine Excursion
If you choose to do the submarine excursion book this on www.magicaljourneys.com. They offer discounts including some two for one booking deals. That means $90 for two people instead of $180.
Other attractions on the island include a rum tasting tour, exploring caves, golfing and horseback riding.
IMPORTANT TRAVEL TIPS:
– Check the weather before travel so you know how to pack
– You can search and claim your unclaimed money to have extra spending money for you trip!
– Use travelers cheques. If they are lost or stolen they can usually be replaced within 24 hours, from virtually anywhere in the world by most banks, service establishments and by a large number of merchants
– Do not leave valuable in your hotel room or if you do opt for activating and using the safe in the closet.
– Do not call home from the hotel room. There are shops you can go in and dial from their computer, use a handset to talk and call home for $0.50 per minute. The hotel will charge you $5.00-35.00 to connect you and then $2.90-7.90 per minute! If you use your cell phone it may cost you $2-$5 per minute.
– Travel with great people and HAVE FUN!