Important Travel Information for Barbados Vacations
It is mandatory that all U.S. citizens travel with a valid passport whenever traveling to a destinations outside the US (including the Caribbean). For non-U.S. nationalities, please check with the respective Embassy to see if you need a special visa. (Note: If one of a honeymooning couple is a US Citizen and the other is not, a visa is still required by the non-US citizen) When bringing a nanny or babysitter, please be sure that they too have appropriate documentation.
Rental cars may be booked through WIMCO. Rates are approximately $325US per week for an automatic sedan, and $225 US per week for a Moke. Due to a limited supply, we suggest you let us know your preference as far in advance as possible; otherwise we cannot guarantee availability. Be aware that cars on Barbados all have “right hand” drive and British driving rules apply (Driving is on the left side of the road). A temporary driver's license is required to drive on the island and can be purchased from the car rental company upon presentation of your current valid driver's license.
Temperature ranges from a pleasant 75-85 degrees (F), seldom falling below 70 degrees or rising above 87. Humidity is low and the island is cooled by Easterly Trade Winds.
Barbados is a typical, slow paced, relaxed Caribbean island. Clothing should be lightweight and comfortable. Most restaurant dining does not require jacket and tie. British decorum does apply.
Most restaurants and establishments will accept credit cards, but we recommend bringing enough cash or traveler’s checks for your stay. Banks close at 3pm and several pieces of identification are needed for any transaction.
There are telephones in all of the villas on Barbados. Local calls may be placed to any point on the island. International calls can be made with operator assistance only. Clients will be charged accordingly. Telephone charges must be paid to our Island Manager prior to departure.
Changes in Dates
We do allow for a change in the dates of your trip, but we must be advised well in advance. If you change your dates too close to the original time of arrival, you will be held liable for the lost days for both the villa and reserved car. We recommend Travel Insurance. Ask your reservation agent.
We advise checking local and international airline schedules near your date of travel, as they may change without notice.
It is very important to let WIMCO know your complete itinerary if you wish to be picked up at the airport and brought to your villa. Transfers are strongly recommended. There is a charge for this service, between $40 and $50 depending on the location of your villa. Check in time is 1:00pm. Check out time is 12:00pm. Please be considerate of the housekeeping staff, as well as the next guest, by leaving your villa on time.
First Evening Supplies
A variety of food packages are available and can be placed in the villa prior to your arrival. This service is especially intended for those guests arriving on Sundays, holidays, or late afternoon. Please consult your reservation agent for details.
The voltage on Barbados is 110 volts. Adapters for electrical equipment are not necessary if you are traveling from the U.S. European clients are advised to check plugs and voltage requirements on their equipment.
All villas include daily maid service and most have a cook (except Sunday and holidays) as well as additional staff in the larger homes. All linens are provided in your rental home. You may want to bring a beach towel or two.
Hospital: Queen Elizabeth, St. Michael 436-6450 Ambulance: Queen Elizabeth Hospital 426-1113. Taxi: Available at the airport. Approx. $20 to St. James
Barbados has its own currency issued by the central bank of Barbados. The exchange rate is approximately $2BDS to $1USD. Travelers Cheques, most major credit cards, U.S.dollars and Canadian dollars are widely accepted throughout Barbados. Other currency can be exchanged upon arrival at Grantley Adams Airport.
While tipping is generally left to individual discretion, we suggest one of the following guidelines. Either tip 5-7% of the total rental for the entire staff, or tip inside staff $50-100 and outside staff $20-50 per week, per staff member.
Butlers - $100/week, Maid - $75/week, Gardeners - $50/week, Cooks - $100/week, Laundresses - $75/week, Security Personnel - $50/week
Island water is pure and abundant.
Size and Location
Barbados is 166 square miles, divided into 11 parishes. The island is the most easterly of the Caribbean islands, with St Vincent and St Lucia being its closest neighbors.
English, although the Bajan dialect can be heard all around the island.
Shops in Bridgetown are open Monday to Friday from 8:30am-4:30pm and 8:30am-1:00pm on Saturdays. Malls and out-of-town shops and boutiques usually open from 9:00am-5:00pm (Monday-Friday) and 9:00am-2:00pm on Saturdays. Most shops are closed on Sundays, although some supermarkets and convenience stores remain open.
4 hours behind GMT in the winter and 5 hours in the summer. 1 hour ahead of US Eastern Standard Time (EST) in the winter and the same during US Daylight Saving Time.
Settled in 1627 by the British, Barbados remained a British colony until its independence on November 30, 1966. A member of the British Commonwealth, Barbados' constitution is based on the British style of parliamentary democracy, with elections being held every five years. Barbados has two houses of Parliament; a Senate and a House of Assembly. The Governor General, who represents the British Monarch, is Head of State while executive authority is vested in the Prime Minister and Cabinet who are collectively responsible to Parliament.
The Barbados Flag
What it symbolizes