Things to do before Barbados Vacation
Are you coming to Barbados for a holiday? As you start preparing for your vacation, we have some hot insider tips on things you can do to get the most out of your time away on this little island paradise.
Top 10 Things To Do Before Your Barbados Vacation
1. Read www.TotallyBarbados.com
You’re in the right place! Our multiple award-winning website has all the information you need to get ready for your holiday, and so much more. Have a good look around our site, learn about the island, and decide on some of the things you might like to do during your stay. Take full advantage of Totally Barbados – we make every effort to give you a unique insight into the island, with the most up to date and accurate information right at your fingertips!
2. Plan Your Budget and Exchange Your Money
Now that your island holiday is booked, you need to think about how much spending money you can bring with you. The best thing about Barbados is that you can enjoy all the island has to offer on any budget! If you know in advance how much money you’d like to spend or can afford, you can cater your holiday to suit. Rest assured, Barbados offers such a broad spectrum of great things to do and experience – there really is something for everyone, on any kind of budget.
When exchanging your money in preparation for your vacation, it’s worth noting you can basically spend both Barbados Dollars and US Dollars, island-wide. On the streets, $1 US Dollar is usually matched to $2 Barbados Dollars. If you don’t have cash on hand, most places will also take MasterCard or Visa, so you have a variety of payment options at your disposal.
3. Finalise Your Travel Paperwork
Make sure all of your travel documents are in order before your arrival on the island – ensure your passport is valid, your return ticket secured, and your entry visa approved (if required). See our Immigration Requirements page for more details.
NOTE: Don’t forget to also organise relevant travel insurance and/or medical insurance to cover you for the duration of your trip.
4. Plan Your Wardrobe
The climate in Barbados is notoriously warm all year round. Temperatures only drop slightly below 29 degrees Celsius from January to April, then pick back up for the remainder of the year to an average of 30 degrees (with increased humidity). You’ll need to pack cool cotton clothing, beachwear, and slightly more formal summer clothes for evenings out.
NOTE: Most official buildings such as the Immigration Department require you cover your shoulders in order to enter – make sure you pack something that will suit this requirement to avoid being turned away.
5. Pack Sunscreen
Given the sunny nature of the island, ensure you pack plenty of sunscreen. We recommend you wear high factor like 45 or 50, even on overcast days. It would be a shame to ruin your holiday with sunstroke or sunburn so make sure you wear a hat, your sunscreen and drink plenty of water throughout the day.
6. Plan For Mosquitos
Due to the tropical climate of Barbados, mosquitos are inevitable. Mosquitos on the island seem to be most active at dusk and dawn, and especially around stagnant water.
To prepare yourself, try taking Vitamin B and garlic capsules for a few weeks before your holiday – they are supposed to act as natural mosquito repellent. For the more conventional traveller, it’s worth noting you can get mosquito candles, coils, sprays and skin repellents in most supermarkets, convenience stores and pharmacies on the island so you don’t necessarily need to pack these items. Whilst you’re here, you can also try sleeping under a mosquito net and/or spray your room with repellent at least 30 minutes before you intend to re-enter. Another alternative is the neem tree – it’s said that if you plant neem around your house, it will naturally repel mosquitos.
TIP: Wearing longer sleeves and pants during the most active mosquito times will also help to limit the amount of bites you may get.
7. Plan For Duty Free Shopping
There are big savings to be made by buying duty free items on your holiday. There’s great duty free shopping in Bridgetown, and in most of the tourist areas on the island. Why not take a trip to Diamonds International, The Royal Shop or Little Switzerland, where you can buy various luxury items, all at duty free prices?! If you know you’re tempted to shop, make sure you make allowances in your budget for these potential duty free holiday purchases.
8. Book A Restaurant and Plan To Sample The Local Food
Barbados hosts some of the world’s finest restaurants and no matter what your budget you should allow money for at least one special meal in paradise. For fine dining restaurants, you can expect to pay at least $150 Barbados Dollars per head however an average meal out may cost around $60 Barbados Dollars per head. Of course, this can be as low as $20 if you eat somewhere like the infamous Oistins Fish Fry or a local rum shop. If you’re on a very strict budget, some of the food vans or individual food vendors sell various treats on the street for as little as $5. Otherwise, head to the market for cheaper fresh produce and try your hand at some home cooked Bajan delicacies!
9. Plan Your Sightseeing
There are a number of great tourist attractions in Barbados – take your time to research in advance what things may be of interest to you whilst you’re on holidays. From lush tropical gardens to deserted beaches, our sightseeing section has information to help you decide and provides contact details for tour operators so you have the convenience of booking direct, before you arrive in Barbados.
10. Book A Hire Car
You may wish to consider hiring a car for all, or at least part, of your Barbados holiday. Although the island has a reasonable and reliable public transport system, it’s nice to have your own transport to move around, see the sights, and maybe get to those harder to reach places on the island.
TIP: Hire cars tend to be in demand, especially during peak tourist season – we advise booking in advance, where possible.
Author: Brett Callaghan