There are so many important things to consider when making the big move to a new country like Barbados. However, there’s no need to feel overwhelmed – we’ve prepared a simple guide for all of your final preparation ‘to-dos’ before you set off on your journey.
Things to consider:
— Check your passport is valid.
— Research relevant visa requirements.
— Book your flights (REMEMBER: ask airline officials about international baggage weight allowances and items you are permitted to travel with on the aircraft).
— Organise travel insurance and/or medical insurance, if required.
— Ensure your immunisations and medical check-ups are up to date.
— Sort out your accommodation (temporary or permanent).
— Organise any shipping of furniture or other items you may wish to bring to the island (HINT: importation taxes set by the Barbadian Government apply to certain items that are shipped to the island. Do your research, and make sure it is economical to ship your personal items, as opposed to purchasing new ones here).
— Discuss your financials with your bank (TIP: advise them of the dates and destination of your travels, and ask questions like will you have access to your funds whilst overseas? Are your bank and credit cards valid and accepted overseas? Which ATMs accept my bank card in Barbados?)
— Cancel any relevant cellular phone, Internet, and utilities contracts.
Things to pack:
— basic clothing
— toiletries and any specific beauty/health products
— driving licence
— full medical and immunisation records
— academic and professional certificates and records
— birth and wedding certificates
— special medication and/or prescriptions
— cellular phone set to global roaming
— electricity adapter/plug for any international electrical appliances you may bring (NOTE: electricity in Barbados is 110 volts/50 cycles)
— personal and sentimental items such as your laptop, iPod, CDs, family photographs etc.
Things to have handy on arrival in Barbados:
— entry visa (if required)
— job offer letter/letter of admission from a school or university
— evidence demonstrating means of ‘personal support’ if you are entering the island initially as a ‘visitor’ (HINT: a personal bank statement should suffice)
— a small amount of cash (preferably US$, if you have no BBD$)
— address and directions of where you are staying on the island (TIP: it’s also good to have the contact name and phone number of someone you will be staying with).
Please refer to our Immigration Requirements page for a more comprehensive guide on arrival paperwork and visa requirements for Barbados.
Let’s be honest, moving abroad requires a lot of paperwork. Therefore, it goes without saying that organisation is the key when it comes to ensuring all of your documents are prepared and meet the requirements of the Barbados Immigration Department, prior to your arrival on the island.
You may already have some of the required paperwork on hand, whereas other documents might take longer to sort through. Be sure to allow yourself plenty of time to deal with your relevant paperwork to reduce any unwanted surprises, delays, or disappointments.
Some documents might be required to be dealt with in your home country, so it’s best to check which paperwork is better dealt with there, and what can wait until you arrive in Barbados. It will save you a lot of time to prepare and finalise as much as possible before your big move.
NOTE: Many legal documents need to be signed by a Justice of the Peace or some other relevant departments/professionals, so always do your homework and find out what any specific requirements might be, prior to you arriving on the island.
Another important consideration is personal medication and prescriptions. If you are taking a certain medication, there’s a chance that the exact one might not be available in Barbados. You will need to seek out a substitute or alternative that is available on the island. We advise you make sure you have enough medication to cover yourself for 6 to 8 weeks, whilst you source an alternative.
NOTE: Totally Barbados always recommends you consult your doctor prior to making any decisions regarding new or alternative prescription medication.
Another consideration is your immunisation history. Check with your doctor that your immunisations are up to date and about which vaccinations you may require for Barbados. Also ensure you and your family have all had a recent medical check-up, before making your journey to the island.
Do you know if your current medical and other insurance policies will cover you while you will be in Barbados? We suggest you contact the relevant insurance companies well in advance so you can take out any additional necessary policies, in time to cover you for when you make your move.
Flights to Barbados can become very full at certain peak times of the year, so make sure you book your flights well in advance. There might also be weight restrictions and black-out dates, so clarify these matters with your airline or travel agency to give you enough time to prepare.
REMEMBER: ask about the various restricted items, either in your checked luggage or hand luggage, so you can be clear about how to organise your packing.
If you have any pending school entries awaiting you in Barbados, you will also need to have your, your spouse’s and/or your children’s academic records current. These are required on application at any of the schools or universities across the island.
REMEMBER: the more prepared you are with your paperwork and final preparations, the less likelihood there will be any surprises, disappointments, or embarrassing situations.
Last of all, Totally Barbados wishes you well on your move to Barbados and we can’t wait to welcome you here on the island with open arms!
Author: Brett Callaghan