GMT -4 hours
The official language is English, but many of the locals speak Bajan (English-based language with West African influences).
The Barbados dollar is the home currency and is tied to the value of the U.S. dollar (approximately USD $1 = BDS $2). Banknotes are issued in six denominations — $2, $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100. Barbadian coins are available in four denominations: 5 cent, 10 cent, 25 cent and $1.
US dollars tend to be accepted across the island, alongside major credit cards at hotels, car rental companies, restaurants, and shops. However, smaller shops may only accept Barbados dollars, so it is useful to take US dollars or GBP on holiday and exchange them locally. ATM machines can be accessed across the island.
The standard tipping rate in Barbados is 10 per cent. Normally, a service charge of around 10–15 per cent will be added to the bill at hotels and restaurants, and any decision to tip more should be founded on the quality of the service.
Arrival & Departure Formalities
As of 22 September 2022, all Covid-19 protocols regarding entering Barbados were revoked. There are no restrictions whether you are vaccinated or not. Your passport must be valid for the entirety of your stay, no additional validity beyond your departure date is required. British passport holders do not need a visa to visit Barbados. Unaccompanied minors (younger than 18 years old) must travel with a written letter of consent from a parent or legal guardian which is signed and sealed by a notary public.
There is a compulsory departure tax of BDS $55 (approximately USD $27.50) for all passengers older than two years old. From 2018, there is an additional fee of USD $70 for those travelling from outside of the Caribbean and USD $35 for those travelling within. This additional fee is normally included with your plane ticket cost. Please check with your sales consultant for further information.
People drive on the left-hand side in Barbados and vehicles are mainly right-hand drive. You must be 21 or over to rent a car on the island and have at least two to five years of driving experience. If you are over the age of 70, you will require a medical certificate to rent a car. Always bring your driver’s licence, as you will need this to be granted a local driving permit.
Honking is meant as a friendly ‘hello’ or ‘thank you’ in Barbados, rather than a sign of annoyance.
Typical speed limits on the island: city areas (40 km/hr), rural areas (60 km/hr) and highways/motorways (80 km/hr).
You should always park in areas that are well lit and never leave valuables in the vehicle. Parking is approximately $1 USD per hour, including at the airport. Street parking is not advised as there are traffic wardens, and you may get a ticket. Most major towns and cities are dotted with public car parks which only charge a small fee.