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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Fax (246) 422-1795
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