Airport Shopping in Barbados
Barbados' Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA) is the island's only airport and handles daily flights to and from all over the world.
During 2004 - 2006, GAIA (www.gaia.bb) underwent a US$150 million extensive expansion and renovation programme to enhance its terminal operations and cater to the increasing aircraft and passenger arrivals to Barbados. This (of course) included an exciting increase in facilities for airport shoppers to take full advantage of.
As a result, GAIA now provides an even wider variety of duty free shopping options for travellers in both the Arrivals Terminal and the Departure Lounge than ever before.
Shopping At GAIA
Unlike other countries, you can benefit from Barbados' duty free bargains as soon as you arrive on the island. After clearing Immigration, you'll see a Cave Shepherd store in the Arrivals Terminal, right next to the baggage claim. Here, you can shop for tobacco, alcohol and perfumes at up to 40% off US retail prices, and set the tone for a wonderful holiday.
The airport's Departure Lounge also offers shopping options like a convenience store for any items you may need on your flight, as well as any last minute purchases before you set off on your journey.
For some serious duty free options at GAIA, we recommend visiting the outlets of Diamonds International, the largest direct-to-the-customer diamond dealer in world selling fine jewellery and watches, as well as Colombian Emeralds International, selling duty free jewellery and designer watches.
You'll also find one the Best of Barbados Gift Shops in the Departure Lounge; one of the best places to get authentic souvenirs in Barbados. Best of Barbados is a family-owned business, who have been making and designing top quality local gifts and handicrafts on the island for over 40 years. They stock a large variety of Bajan-made souvenirs, ranging from prints and designs by the company's founder (artist Jill Walker) and her family, to jewellery, art, paintings, cookbooks, beach bags, towels, T-shirts, music and DVDs - great for those last minute gifts for friends and family back home!
In fact, there are a variety of fashions, crafts and souvenir stores within GAIA, including Island Crafts, Ganzee, Caribbean Kidz, and The Tamarind Seed, just to name a few. There are also natural beauty and skin care products on sale at Earth Mother Botanicals, and books, magazines, newspapers and music available at Biway Books and Music.
GAIA also houses a branch of Bijoux Terner selling ladies fashion accessories like watches, jewellery, hats, bags, belts and wallets for the bargain duty free price of US$10 on everything in the store!
Also in the Departure Lounge, the Cricket Legends of Barbados shop offers travellers unique duty free cricket and sports memorabilia, and some great gifts options.
The Departure Lounge is also home to a variety of other duty free stores selling liquor such as rum, whiskey, brandy, and vodka. There are also tobacco products on sale, such as leading US and UK brand cigarettes and Cuban cigars, at very reasonable prices. You can pick up international fragrances, skin care, and cosmetics, as well as chocolate, at these stores. Within Barbados' airport, these stores include Runway Duty Free, Runway Beauty, the Refinery Limited, and the Barbados Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (BADMC).
For an extensive list of shops at GAIA, see www.gaia.bb/shopping.
GAIA - Not Just Shopping!
While you wait for your flight at Barbados' GAIA, you can also visit a number of the airport's bars and food outlets including Chefette, Island Grill, Grab 'n' Go, Good Eats, Banks Bar, Cream, Gate Zero Bar, and Christophe's Café.
For a full list of bars and restaurants at GAIA, see www.gaia.bb/food-and-beverage.
As you can see, Barbados' GAIA has been transformed from a single terminal building to a functional and modern airport facility to cater to every shopping traveller's needs, and more!
Author: Brett Callaghan