Helpful Barbados Tips you can use on your Caribbean vacation

Barbados Tips to help you have a great time during your vacation in Barbados. I have put together some helpful tips to make your visit more enjoyable.

Banking Hours - An important Barbados Tip

  • Banks are open from 8.00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. (Mon. - Thu.) and 8.00a.m to 5.00 p.m. (Fri).

  • There are several ATM's on the South and West Coasts, and in Bridgetown.

Store Hours

  • Stores normally open from 8.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. or 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. (Mon.- Fri.), and 8.30 a.m. to 1.00 or 2.00 p.m. (Sat.) They are normally closed on Sundays.


  • There is a 15% Value Added Tax (VAT) charged in stores and restaurants, and 7.5% in hotels. There is a good selection of tax free shopping, especially in Bridgetown.

Currency of Barbados

  • Barbados has it's own currency the Barbados Dollar which is fixed to the US dollar at the rate of BBD $1.98 = 1 US dollar.

  • US dollars are accepted island wide also most stores and restaurants accept major credit cards and travelers cheques.

Proper Dress

  • Swimsuits are for the beach and it is not good etiquette to go shopping or into a bank without covering up a bit.

  • Restaurants are casual but elegant and shorts are acceptable in most - except the very exclusive ones.

Illegal Drugs - A very important Barbados Tip

  • The penalties for illegal drugs are severe, even for softer drugs like marijuana - that helpful fellow making an offer to you might be an undercover cop - don't take the chance.
  • Electricity in Barbados is 110 volts/50 cycles. The electricity supply is reliable with only occasionall outages.

  • An alternative source of power is provided by solar panels which are getting more popular.

Emergency Telephone Numbers - An important Barbados Tip

  • Police - 211

  • Ambulance - 511

  • Fire - 311

  • A good private clinic is FMH Emergency Medical Clinic - 228-6120.

  • Collins Ltd. in Bridgetown is an excellent pharmacy in case of illness.


  • The islands water supply is extremely clean and safe to drink as it is filtered by coral and captured in underground aquifers.

  • Please conserve water as the islands water supply is limited.
Postal System
  • The General Post Office is in Bridgetown at Cheapside, and there are seventeen district post offices island wide.

  • Stamps can be bought easily from most hotels and a variety of stores.
Size of Barbados
  • The island is 21 miles (34 km.) long and 14 miles ( wide and the area is 166 square miles (424 square km.).

  • It is divided into eleven parishes.
Government of Barbados
  • Barbados is an independent country (since 1966) with it's own flag and coat of arms. The head of state is the Prime Minister.

  • As it's based on the British system there are two parliamentary houses - the House of Assembly and the Senate.

  • The country is still a member of the British Commonwealth.
  • The official language of Barbados is English, but the Barbadians frequently speak in "Bajan", a dialect that is difficult but understandable.
  • The population of Barbados is approximately 270,000, the ethnic mix is as follows:

  • 92% African descent

  • 3% European descent

  • 4% Indian and Asian descent and a good number of mixed races.
Religion in Barbados
  • The main religion is the Anglican religion, but there are over a hundred different religious denominations. Barbados remains a very religious society.
Safety - One of the most important Barbados Tips
  • Serious crime in Barbados is not common, but common sense rules as in your home country should be followed.

  • Do not leave valuables in rental cars

  • Stay in well lit areas at night

  • Remember to lock your hotel doors

  • Swimming on the east coast is very dangerous and should be avoided.

  • Manchineel trees found along many Barbados beaches are poisonous they bear a fruit that resembles a small apple that is extremely dangerous if eaten. Do not shelter under these trees when it's raining the water running off the leaves can cause blistering of the skin.
  • Barbados driving is on the left hand side of the road.

  • When approaching a round about always give way to the vehicle on the right.
Sun Care - An important Barbados Tip
  • Barbados is very close to the equator so the sun is extremely strong and precautions need to be taken.

  • There's nothing worse than the pain of a bad sunburn - it can spoil your vacation.

  • The sun is strongest between 10:00 a.m and 3.00 be sure to use strong sunscreen during these hours.

  • You can still get burned in the morning and the afternoon and overcast days are deceiving the ultraviolet rays penetrate the clouds and cause sunburn.


  • Beware of Mosquitoes at any time of the year. Although Barbados island has no Malaria risk, Mosquitoes can ruin your holiday by biting your ankles and legs particularly.

  • Always take a good mosquito repellent and use it before 10am and after 4pm or when you are in a dark shaded area (all day).

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