6 Things To Do Before You Visit Barbados
Barbados is a fabulous place to visit but to make sure your holiday goes to plan and that it is as stress-free as possible, it’s always a good idea to plan and prepare in advance. If you’ve not been to the island before and are unsure what to plan for, here are six things we recommend you consider.
1. Passports, visas and travel documents
When travelling to Barbados from another country, there are a number of documents you will need for your visit to go smoothly. First and foremost, you’ll need a valid passport as you won’t even be allowed to board the plane without one. If you don’t have a passport, apply in plenty of time before your holiday so that any issues or delays do not cause a problem. If you already have a passport, check carefully that it doesn’t expire until after you are scheduled to return.
Depending on your nationality, you may require a visa for entry into Barbados. Visas are not required for citizens of the EU, the Commonwealth or the USA. Many other countries have visa-free access agreements, too. However, it is wise to check as a visa may need to be shown upon arrival.
Also make sure you have all the relevant travel documents, such as plane tickets and accommodation reservations.
2. Travel insurance
Make sure you have purchased adequate travel insurance before your holiday starts. Not only will this protect you if your holiday is cancelled or there are issues with flight delays, it will also ensure you have cover for medical treatment and for the loss of any valuable items you bring with you.
Before purchasing your insurance, consider the types of activities you may want to experience on your visit. There are some sporting activities, such as polo, diving and powerboat riding that might affect your premium or which some insurers may not cover.
3. Learn about the island
Before booking your accommodation it’s advisable to learn about the island so you can find the right place to stay. Some parts of the island are very expensive while others are more affordable, some beaches are ideal for sunbathing and swimming while others are great for surfing. There are busy places with lots of clubs, bars and restaurants and there are areas that are perfect for those wanting a quiet retreat. To create the perfect holiday, make sure you choose a place that offers all the things you need. There are plenty of websites where you can find out about Barbados, though we’re sure you’ll find lots of helpful information right here on the Royal Westmoreland Blog.
4. Packing your suitcase
Airline suitcase allowances are never generous enough so it is always a good idea to pack carefully. Luckily, the warm climate means you won’t need to bring any heavy coats, though a light raincoat is advised as we do get short but intense bursts of tropical rainfall, especially between June and November.
What you will need is beachwear, comfortable clothing for daytime activities, sportswear if required and something a little smarter should you fancy dining out or going somewhere where more formal outfits are preferred. When visiting places of worship or government offices, it is expected that clothing will cover the shoulders. Perhaps the heaviest items you may require are a pair of sturdy walking shoes, should you plan on doing a bit of hiking or exploring the rainforest.
Aside from clothing, another essential is sun protection. While high-factor sunscreen is readily available, bringing at least one bottle with you means you can apply it as soon as you arrive without having to dash out and find any. As the sun’s intensity can give you sunburn very quickly, this is something we strongly advise. Other sun protection items we recommend are hats, UV-protection sunglasses and, especially for the little ones, UV-protection swimwear.
Finally, make sure you bring mosquito spray or skin repellent. You’re most likely to get bitten if you’re near stagnant water and at dusk or, if you’re an early riser, at dawn. Like sunscreen, repellents are readily available but having some with you on arrival means you won’t get caught out. If you find yourself particularly attractive to mosquitos, wearing long sleeves and long trousers during the evening can help – as can sleeping under a net.
5. Pre-booking activities
Most activities on the island can be booked while you are here and if you have a concierge service, this can be done for you. However, there are some exclusive activities that cater for limited numbers of people which may be booked up if you leave it too late. Booking a table at some of the island’s best restaurants, for example, shouldn’t be left to the last minute, so it is always a sensible idea to make a reservation once you have your holiday dates confirmed. The same goes for any event or show with limited capacity and when booking a tour.
6. Hiring a car
Hiring a car isn’t essential when you visit Barbados. The island is quite small and serviced by excellent public transport. If you are staying at a resort or hotel, you’ll often find shuttle buses are available to take you to the most popular destinations and that taxis can be arranged for you by the concierge as and when needed.
However, if your accommodation doesn’t provide these services or if you plan on touring the island independently, then a car can be useful for all or part of your stay. If you do need a car, it is best to book before you travel as there can be a high demand, especially during the winter months.
When you visit Barbados, your intention will be to have a great holiday, whether that’s taking time to relax or letting your hair down and having fun. Planning carefully before you leave makes sure that when you arrive, you won’t have to worry about things you have forgotten to do or bring. Hopefully, the points mentioned in this article will help all your travel plans run smoothly.
If you are looking for luxury accommodation in Barbados, take a look at the superb villas and apartments here at the Royal Westmoreland.