Here are some tips that may help you enjoy your stay  more. If you think there's anything we've missed, please  tell us.

Travelling times from:

  • London UK - 8 hours
  • Florida USA - 4 hours
  • Central Europe - 10 hours
  • Canada - 6 hours

To gain entry into the island you will be asked to  present your  passport, drivers license or original birth certificate  and a return  ticket. You may need a visa depending on where you are  coming from.  Contact your local travel agency for more information.

Always travel with a map - although it's hard to get  totally lost  on the island and although locals are always eager to help a lost  traveller, you still want to know where you are. Maps can  be obtained  from many distribution points throughout the island.

Dress lightly for a tropical climate, but remember to  dress for  the occasion - swimsuits are not normal clothes.

When going outdoors, especially to the beach, remember to wear  plenty of sunblock with UV protection - in no time you  could be  sunburnt - making the rest of your vacation uncomfortable. You can  easily get a nice suntan without trying too hard.

Make sure you bring a camera or camcorder.

Try to plan out your vacation before hand. That way you  will be  able to take in as much of the island as possible.

When hiring a car, remember that we drive on the left  hand side  of the road at all times. Also do not be startled when  someone blows  the horn for no apparent reason. Many locals use their  horn as a  greeting or a thank you. Bear in mind too, that rush hour  is 7:30am-8:30am  and 4:00pm- 5:30pm. If possible avoid travelling at this  time.

If you want to visit the major attractions or you like a  lot of  action, try to stay somewhere central such as in the  Christ Church,  St Michael, or St James area. That will make travel to and from  the 'hotspots' of the island easier.

Never carry very large sums of money on you at one time - although  the island is relatively safe, like any other place in the world  it is not completely crime free.

Major credit cards and traveller's cheques are widely  accepted.  ATM machines are also everywhere on the island. Banking  hours are  8:00am-3:00pm, Monday-Thursday and 8:00am- 5:00pm on  Fridays. Please  use the currency converter to check exchange rates to see  whether  it would benefit you to exchange your money in your  homeland.

When shopping remember that normal business hours are  8:00am-4:30pm  on weekdays and 8:30am-1:00pm on Saturdays, although many  shops  open later. When buying duty-free items make sure to take  along  your ticket or ticket stub and your passport. Supermarkets usually  open from 8:00am-8:00pm Monday-Saturday. Petrol Stations  and their  Convenience stores are open 24 hours.

Parking is  available  at most private shops outside of Bridgetown. In Bridgetown  there are  many parking lots where a minimal fee is charged. Be careful not to  park in a No Parking Zone.

A 15% Value Added Tax (VAT) is charged on most of the  services,  however it is usually included in the price.

Most hotels and restaurants add a 10% service charge to  the bill.

Electricity is 110volts, 50 cycles. Adapters are readily  available.

On your return to your home country you are only  permitted 1 litre  of spirits, 200 cigarettes/500g of tabacco. Also, in order to maintain  an island free of rabies, there are strict rules on  importing pets.

Travel
Barbados has a very good network of roads that are kept in good  repair, and because of the small size of the island. (21  miles long  x 14 miles wide), you can get from the furthest points non stop  in about 1 hour. There are several modes of transportation available.

Public transport
There are several forms of public transport available  islandwide.  The government buses are painted yellow and blue - the  national  colours. There are also privately owned mini-buses and  vans. These  can be easily identified by the maroon stripe running  through them.  Both of these modes of transport are inexpensive and  reliable being  only BDS $1.50 / $US $.75. To stop one of these buses, you need  only to wait at a nearby bus stop or put out your hand  when one  is coming your way.

Taxi service
For the visitor requiring comfort and assured reliability, there  are many inexpensive, and efficient taxi services  available island wide.

Hiring a car
For the adventurous and those interested in exploring the  island,  renting a car is the way to go. If you wish to do so  remember to  bring along your drivers licence. The government and The  Department  of Transport ensure that the roads are properly maintained with  adequate lighting and signage. As a former member of the  British  Commonwealth, driving in Barbados is done on the left hand side  of the road with right hand drive cars. The British system of a  roundabout is also in use.
Please remember that the speed limit is 80km/h on the  highway and  60km/h on all other roads, unless otherwise specified.  Always remember  to have a map at hand, though the locals are always keen  to help  a lost traveller.

And if that isn't enough, check out http://barbados.org  for even more information, especially on sports  activities.

With the help of this website, plan your vacation to make it a  memorable one.

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James  Bay
The Garden
St. James
Barbados
(246) 422-3933
Fax (246) 422-1795
info@james-bay.com

©  2010 All rights reserved Marc Ward
Photography & Videography by Gareth Sambidge. Web Wizardry by Robert A. Ross.