Under normal circumstances, I honestly wouldn’t have even written this post. But due to some family stuff, Barbados was always been kinda locked down for my family. Whenever we went, it was never a good time. Not to mention, if we wanted to see a Caribbean island, we’d rather hit Jamaica, duh! It’s such a funny little island, but we’re gonna get into whether Barbados is worth the money or not so much.
If you have never seen a pic of all the Caribbean Islands in their entirety, here ya go:
Being that its a Caribbean island, expect everything to run at what a New Yorker would call a “snail’s pace.” We’re on Caribbean Time people, just get accustomed to it sooner rather than later.
Barbados is that little outlier island to the east of the the rest of the islands. For that reason, Barbados rarely gets hit by hurricanes, which is a blessing. So that makes this island safe to travel pretty much year round.
The flight experience will depend on your departure city but if you’re along the Eastern Seaboard, you can get there relatively inexpensively. Flights will run you about $500 out of John F. Kennedy Airport roundtrip (JetBlue) but book a flight to Jamaica, under the same circumstances, and the flight is more like $650 and up. So you’ll save a bit there. Win!
Where to Stay
I don’t know when, but Barbados got stooopid expensive. Beachfront hotels are gonna run you about $230 and up per night and they might offer you breakfast. When you look up hotels in Barbados and they say “All-inclusive,” what they really mean is “We offer breakfast. Only.” Don’t get it twisted ya’ll, these hotels can’t be bothered making meals after 11AM, but there’s a reason for that and we’ll get there, no worries.
You can also stay with locals. My family and I met this super cool French lady at Mullins Beach, who was staying in Barbados for free. She was living with students while teaching them how to code and in exchange, they let her and 4 of her peers stay with them. That’s dope if you’re into that kinda thing.
**For the record, I do not condone staying with strangers. Do your research, check out Air B&B, etc.. Don’t do anything stupid ya’ll.**
Finally, if you can, stay with family. Or make friends that have family and go visit when they go. I’m telling you, living the life of a local for a few days will give a greater understanding of any culture rather then staying at a resort. Just be safe!
So, remember when I said we’d get back to the reason behind resorts not serving food after breakfast? Yeah, that reason is because the food is terrible.
No, seriously. You know how people joke English food is bad? Yeah, so is Bajan food.
Example #1: You’re on an island. Maybe order fish or some sort of seafood to start? Good luck. My parents tried ordering King fish at 12 noon and they were told “No fish was caught today.” WHAT!? HOW? HOW SWAY, HOW?!
Example #2: Most restaurants will offer “macaroni pie.” Do not do it. Or if you’re brave, do it and tell me what you think. But it’s essentially spaghetti noodles with a little bit a cheese (Bajans don’t care for too much diary product) and actual ketchup.
Lord, help this small island!
Luckily for travelers alike, there are supermarkets (Massy’s or Jordan’s) almost always conveniently located near the hotels and villas. It’s super common to see all types of tourists running in and out of a Massy in the evening. Why? Because they have to go back to wherever they’re staying and cook dinner.
If you plan to visit Barbados, plan on cooking some or most of your own meals.
Side Bar: I’m predicting Tastee Patty will eventually hit the streets. They’ve got it hidden in the airport terminal right now! Get your Jamaican Beef Patties frozen and take them home with you!!!!!!!!
I mean, Barbados is a Caribbean island so pretty much all of the beaches are gorgeous. The beaches on the north shore are a bit rockier and there’s a bit more cliff action. But the south and west coasts are both prime real estate for fine, white sandy beaches and crystal clear blue waters.
What To Do
Ehhhh. I’m sure there’s tons of stuff but really and truly, Barbados is a ‘lay back and chill’ type of island.
- Harrison’s Cave and the Animal Flower Cave are good spots for nature lovers.
- Crop Over is the Bajan Carnival so you are bound to have a good time dancing the day and nights away.
If you know of any good nightlife, PLEASE LET ME KNOW! Because there was no way in hell my grandparents were going to let their granddaughter go to clubs by herself lol.
What to Avoid
As with anywhere you go, there are a few mantras to keep in the back of your head. Remember, people love you and need you to come home so don’t do anything stupid.
- When you’re getting ready to leave the airport after your arrival, make sure you have a ride with the resort registered bus or with a reputable taxi driver. Don’t take rides from just anyone!
- When you walk on the streets just make sure you keep your personals tucked away and be humble. Don’t walk around with your cherished family heirlooms in sight.
- Of course, avoid dark alleyways and walking alone at night.
- Avoid public transportation if you can. The large yellow and blue buses run but do so infrequently and not at all after dusk. The white jitneys or dollar vans run but who wants to be squeezed with 20 other people into a mini van while on vacation? Have the hotel get you a taxi and make sure you have that same driver pick you back up at a specific time.
- Lastly, try to avoid the overproof rum in the hot Caribbean sun. It’s awful and will definitely make you more sick off one or two drinks then you would ever believe. Trust.
In the end, this small island is worth it to visit because I have family there. If it weren’t for them, and I still knew what I know now, I would definitely check out other islands before coming back–but that’s just me!
Other than that guys, enjoy the fruits of Barbados and please, please, PLEASE!!! Let me know what you’d like to do or if you have visited, what you have done!