Barbados rates as one of the most diverse holiday destinations in the Caribbean. Attracting millions of visitors, the island offers beaches, history and countless hiking opportunities. From honeymooners staying in the beachfront villas in Barbados to the day-tripping cruise ship tourist, the small nation caters to everyone. If this is your first time, keep reading and discover what to pack (and what to leave at home) on your trip to Barbados.
Light and airy summer clothes
The climate in Barbados is always warm. Afternoon temperatures usually hover in the 30s (Celsius) while evenings rarely dip below the low 20s. Add the humidity, and it promises to feel warm at all times of the day. Just like any other tourist destination with a warm climate, pack light summer clothes. Think cotton t-shirts, shorts and flip-flop. Barbados has a global reputation for its laid-back approach to life. Few things on the island are formal, and smart-casual is the most you’ll need. If you plan to eat out, t-shirts and shorts are acceptable at almost every restaurant. Embrace the chilled out atmosphere and leave the tuxedo at home!
Don’t bring designer clothes
When we go on holiday, sometimes it’s nice to buy a new wardrobe. Some of us take this to the next level and get the latest fashion and designer clothes. This isn’t such a good idea in Barbados. Apart from looking out of place with the t-shirt and shorts culture, it also screams ‘I have money’. The island nation has a much better safety record compared to the likes of Jamaica or Trinidad and Tobago. But that doesn’t mean it’s completely risk-free. Opportunistic thieves will target the tourists they think have the most money. And having the latest fashion just advertises this fact.
Leave the camouflage at home
While on the subject of clothes, it’s necessary to mention camouflage. Believe it or not, wearing this type of pattern in Barbados is against the law. Only those in the military can wear camouflage, which sometimes catches first-time visitors off guard. You can get into serious trouble if you violate this law. The best way to avoid facing difficulties is to leave it at home.
Get a good guidebook
Regardless of if you’re visiting for the day on a cruise ship or planning to spend two weeks in Barbados, it’s a good idea to get a guidebook. Unlike some of the islands in the Caribbean, Barbados has a fascinating history. From over 300 years of British colonial influence to the world’s first rum distillery, the island offers an enriching experience for those who look for it. Add in the dozens of trails, secret waterfalls and almost hidden coves. All of this information and culture can be yours within a matter of seconds by having a good guidebook at hand.
Have a high-quality camera
Most people prefer to use their phone over a camera in the 21st-century. Snapping photographs of food or selfies has become a global craze. And while it’s still possible to do this in Barbados, those without a high-resolution camera might not be able to capture the essence of the island entirely. The natural beauty is second to none, and a phone camera might not be enough. If you love photography, you’ll find countless opportunities to snap pictures around Barbados. From palm-tree fringed beaches to the impenetrable jungle and colourful culture, you’ll see it here.
But don’t bring too many expensive gadgets
This follows the same logic as wearing designer clothing, flashing costly electronics increases the chance of someone snatching it. If someone sees you with three phones, a tablet and a camera, it signals you out as a target. All it takes is a second and the gadgets on the restaurant table will vanish forever. In the Caribbean, you want to draw as little attention to yourself as possible. And flashing devices that cost more than a Barbadians car is a recipe for disaster.
Don’t even think about wearing your jewellery
Just the same as above, gold necklaces and diamonds justdraws unwanted attention. You’re not going to wear your fancy watch on the beach, and ordinary people take off their valuables before swimming in the sea. Follow their example and leave it all at home.
Remember the sunscreen
As soon as you step out into this Caribbean paradise, the excitement can allow people to get carried away. Diving straight into the hotel pool and strolling along the beach can lead to sunburn. The Barbadian sun is hot, strong and has the potential to burn skin in a matter of minutes. Even when it’s cloudy, the UV rays still penetrate and will cause sunburn. Remember to bring sunscreen. You might not get the type of screen you want when you’re on the island. And even then it tends to be several times more expensive compared to back at home. It might be easier and more convenient just to bring some along.
Make sure you have all your medication
The pharmacists in Barbados won’t stock every type of medicine in the world. And even if they do, it might not be the exact type you take. It’s a good idea to bring your own along with you. But make sure you don’t inadvertently bring anything that’s banned.
Packing for your dream trip
All tourists should bring light clothes, a good guidebook and medication in their suitcase. And a bottle of sunscreen won’t be a bad thing either. But remember to leave the expensive gadgets, designer clothes and camouflage back at home.