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Barbados Vacation Basics

Cast yourself away on beautiful island beaches

Ever wonder where Zeus hung out when he tired of Greek goddesses?

St. Lawrence GapSt. Lawrence GapWe're pretty sure he headed west to the vibrant island of Barbados. From Bajan festivals to local rum bars paired with an embarrassing richness of sand, sun and natural wilderness this island is anything but drab.

Mount Olympus just can't compete with this glittering playground for golf purists, beach worshipers and outdoor adventure activists.

Bajans (Barbadians) enjoy one of the highest Barbadian HospitalityBarbadian Hospitalitystandards of living in the Caribbean and as a result have one of the lowest crime rates. The flying fish (which don't really fly) is the national symbol and a must-try while visiting.

Barbados is small enough that you can park yourself anywhere and be within a short drive of whatever you want to do.

If you're an off-the-beaten path traveler, skip the overdeveloped Bridgetown and St. Lawrence Gap and hightail it to the eastern side of the island where you'll find wilderness hiking trails, surf sports and a delicious sampling of local culture.

Print off this quick FAQ of the island if you've got your trip booked already:

  • Location: Most easterly of the Caribbean islands in the West Indies 270 miles north of Venezuela.
  • Size: 21 miles long by 14 miles wide
  • Population: 279 000
  • Entry Requirements: A valid passport
  • Transportation: Public transit, cabs or rental cars (left-hand driving)
  • Capital: Bridgetown
  • Language: English (former British colony)
  • Religions: Protestant, Roman Catholic
  • Currency: Barbadian Dollar; U.S. dollar widely accepted
  • Telephone/Area Code: 246
  • Tipping: 10-15%
  • Weather: Dry season January-June; rainy season June-October; trade winds moderate tropical temperatures year-round.

Medical Concerns

  • Malaria: Upon arrival to Barbados you'll find malaria alert signs, but according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)[www.cdc.gov] there is no risk on this particular island. Use anti-malarial drugs and/or mosquito repellent with DEET.
  • Hepatitis A & B: A risk here if you plan to drink the water or eat uncooked vegetables. Get a vaccine and/or be sensible about your food choices and restaurants.
  • Typhoid: If you're traveling off the beaten path or have limited food choices, a vaccine and mosquito repellent with DEET is recommended.
  • Yellow Fever: Transmitted by mosquitoes only. Documentation of vaccine may be required if you plan to fly to Guyana, Trinidad or Tobago. Use mosquito repellent with DEET.
  • Dengue Fever: Transmitted by mosquitoes only. Use mosquito repellent with DEET.

Need more info? The Barbados Board of Tourism is a good jumping off point.

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Most Recent Comments

  • On Cuba Travel ~ 10 Things You Need to Know Before You Go, admin said "Thanks Gordon for the update ... and given most routes to the resorts on the coast are an hour+ and it's Cuban warm, that money for a beverage is a great tip!"
  • On Cuba Travel ~ 10 Things You Need to Know Before You Go, Gordon Mitchell said "Over the last few years The $25 departure tax has been included in your airfare. Make sure you convert your cash at the airport so you can buy a cold beer on the bus on your way to the resort. They will take canadian money but not loonies and toonies. "
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