Even though Barbados has the reputation of being a millionaire’s playground, a holiday in Barbados need not break the bank as it is possible to have a fantastic time in Barbados within a limited budget.
A lot of people come to Barbados during a career break and can often stay for as long as six months if they watch their spending and learn how to live like a local.
Barbados has so much to offer that is free of charge, such as a day on the beach or out swimming in the sea, both of which are great fun and don’t cost anything at all.
In this article, we look at how to make the most of a holiday in Barbados and suggest ways to enjoy yourself spending the least amount of money.
Firstly you need to look at where you will stay and how long you will be visiting; if you are coming on a short holiday of just two weeks then the most cost-effective option is to rent a self-catering, short term let apartment. Prices for these vary, but there are some beautiful apartments in prime locations for as little as $35 US per night, which sleep up to 4 people. This is like having a two-week holiday for as low as USD 123!
If you are looking for a more extended stay, then you could stay with a local family or rent an apartment on a long-term lease. A two bedroom apartment would cost around USD 500 per month, bringing your average nightly rate down to USD 16 per night. This rate would estimate on a six-month let, and you can share this cost if you rent the second bedroom so that it can be as low as USD 8 per night.
Once you have the accommodation budget set, you now need to look at your average daily spend.
Food in Barbados can be expensive at the supermarket especially if you buy imported products and the luxuries from home, therefore you should buy local produce and plan your meals.
If you eat fish, then you can enjoy fresh fish at very reasonable prices – fish in Barbados sells for $2.50USD a pound, so a visit to the local fish market is well worthwhile. Each pound of fish would give you at least 2 or 3 steaks, so for USD 7.50, you have a meal for every night of the week.
Cook extra at night so that you have something for a packed lunch the next day, and eat lots of pasta, rice, and potato, which are high in carbohydrates and very filling. These are also very cheap to buy and make an excellent complement to fish.
If you are not so keen on fish and prefer meat, then buy local produce and cook larger meals to last you a couple of days.
It is also very inexpensive to eat out in Barbados if you go the right places, for example, the side of the road vans and the fish fry’s will cost you about USD 5 for a full plate of food.
So now you have covered the basics, somewhere to sleep and things to eat, now let us look at what you will do with your time on the island.
If you are interested in water sports such as wind and kite surfing, then you have excellent wind conditions in Barbados and a full day out on the water is free of charge especially if you come with your equipment.
A day at the beach is also free, and you can take a beach towel instead of renting beach chairs, you can also find a tree to sit under instead of renting an umbrella. If your budget allows then even the luxury of renting a chair and umbrella will only set you back by USD 5 for the day for both!
Now there is no point in coming to paradise unless you are going to take part in the Barbadian culture of partying and enjoying the nightlife. However, this can be expensive unless you choose the right places to go on the right nights of the week.
There is a beautiful social scene in Barbados, which caters equally well to both locals and visitors and most bars and clubs offer a fixed entry fee with a free bar. The entry fee is usually $15 – USD 20 and that is all you will pay for your entire night out, and this typically includes entertainment with live music to ensure you get to dance and have a good time.
Given how cost effective it is to stay here, eat well and party this should leave enough in your budget to explore the island and go on some tourist outings either taking an island tour or spending the say out on a catamaran.
Even a 5-hour cruise on a catamaran will cost as little as $50-$75USD, which includes a free bar, a full buffet lunch and use of snorkeling equipment to swim with the turtles.
Lastly, you will need to get around, and the best way to do this is by bus, which costs a fixed fee of $1.50 BDS so only 75 US cents for the entire journey!
So for a great time in Barbados for those on a limited budget, be sure to spend your budget vacation in Barbados and save.