Travel, Currency and Money saving tips for Barbados
The US dollar is usually accepted in Barbados even though the official currency is the Barbados Dollar (BBD), and most places accept major credit cards. Getting around between the islands of Barbados usually requires flying or chartering a Catamaran as there is no ferry service, and accommodation usually requires booking ahead so check online beforehand for bookings and to compare prices. Also entry requirements can differ between the islands depending on where you are coming from so this also should be checked in advance.
Many destinations have stunning scenery, great food, fine weather and atmosphere. Of course the Caribbean islands have all of this, but the relaxed and generous approach of the local people really takes Barbados to the next level. The island itself is pretty small. It’s only about 20 miles by about 14 miles. And so when you fly in, you can see the whole island from the air usually. It may be a small island, but there’s an enormous amount on offer: culture, history, beautiful scenery and friendly people. Travel on the yellow reggae buses, watch and swim with turtles and enjoy amazing sunsets.
Barbados' local currency is known as the Barbadian or Bajan Dollar (BBD). The BBD is pegged to US dollar at 1US = 1.98BBD. ATMs are widespread and credit cards are widely accepted. You’ll certainly want some Barbadian dollars on hand, but larger payments can be made in US dollars, frequently with a major credit card. Hotels and guesthouses quote rates in US dollars (as do many dive shops and some restaurants), although you can use either US or Bajan currency to settle the account. English is the official language of Barbados, however you may hear the local Bajan creole spoken as well, a combination of British English and West African languages that are usually only spoken in informal settings.
How do I get around in Barbados?
Barbados offers good riding as a means of transport for the adventurous. It’s hilly, but roads are not usually steep. However, most roads are quite narrow, so traffic is a constant bother in the west and south. Most shops require a credit card or B$100 deposit for rentals. Your hotel will usually offer to you up with a rental.
It’s possible to get to virtually any place on the island by public bus. All types of bus charge the same fare: B$2 to any place on the island. You should have exact change when you board the government bus, but minibuses and route taxis will make change. Most buses transit through Bridgetown, although a few north–south buses bypass the city. Buses to the southeast part of the island generally transit through Oistins. Buses along the main routes, such as Bridgetown to Oistins or Speightstown, are frequent, running from 6am to around midnight.
If you intend to rent a car visitors must obtain a temporary driving permit from their car-rental agency; you’ll need to show a valid driving license from your home country. There are scores of independent car-rental companies, some so small that they're based out of private homes. All primary and main secondary roads are paved, although some are a bit narrow. There are plenty of gas stations around the island, except on the east coast. Some stations in the Bridgetown area are open 24 hours.
Travel tips for Barbados.
The weather is most stable from December to May, with the lowest humidity. From June to November there is more rain but usually in short showers. No special vaccinations are required to visit Barbados. If you are arriving from a country where yellow fever is endemic, you'll be required to present proof of vaccination. In 2018 there are sewage problems on the south coast. Rendezvous Road, Hastings, Worthing and the St. Lawrence Gap areas are affected with sewage in the roads and bad smells. They are working to correct this but it's a problem, so you might want to avoid booking hotels in this area for a bit.
Sending money to Barbados
When searching around for information on how to get a good exchange rate when sending money to Barbados you need to start with finding out the latest Barbadian Dollar exchange rate for foreign-transfers, which can be very different to the wholesale rate.
Then compare your bank's exchange rates to several licensed FX providers exchange rate and fees to see how much
you can save - we make that calculation easy in the below table.
Get a better deal for foreign transfers to Barbados
When sending money to Barbados it’s important to compare your bank’s rates & fees with those we have negotiated with our partner money transfer providers.
To get a better deal you should follow these 4 simple steps :
- Open an account with a BER reviewed FX provider (id docs may be required)
- You specify the local or Barbadian Dollar amount you want to transfer
- Make a local currency domestic transfer for the requested amount to the provider's bank account in your country
- Once your funds are received by the provider the converted BBD amount will be transfered to the recipient account you specify in Barbados.
Use the above Send to Barbadian Dollars calculator to compare the exchange rates of FX specialist providers rates versus your bank's standard rates you can hopefully save around 5% and maybe more -
end result is more Barbadian Dollars deposited into the recipient bank account and less margins and fees kept by the banks!