Making good decisions about your trip to Barbados isn't difficult if you have done all the necessary research and taken the time to evaluate your vacation priorities. Discovering that your hotel is landlocked, for example, would be an unpleasant surprise for avid scuba divers, but you can avoid these kind of problems if you combine your interests and your information when starting the decision making process.
The best planning is that which takes into account as many variables as possible. You should consider not only obvious factors, like your budget, but also your traveling companions and their preferences. Use the categories below to help guide you as you encounter the many choices you will have to make before enjoying your Barbados vacation.
Once deciding that you will visit Barbados you should think about the island's culture in order to figure out which region is right for you. The influence of British colonialism is still evident throughout the island although this has blended with the African heritage of many inhabitants.
One aspect of this mixed culture that you'll experience while in Barbados is the language spoken by the people. Although the official language is English, you will probably encounter a very distinct dialect known as "Bajan." Some visitors may find it difficult to understand islanders speaking in this manner, however, and that should be factored in when you decide where you'll visit. Staying in major tourist areas such as Bridgetown will bring you into contact with more recognizable speech patterns, but it may not afford you an experience as authentic as the one you would have if traveling in the country's interior.
If your vacation is centered on a certain activity such as fishing or tennis, the research you've done should help guide you to accommodations that are nearby these activities. Deep-sea fishing off the southwestern coast is world-class, for example, while several major resorts offer tennis facilities to both guests and visitors.
When you are trying to decide where you will settle on Barbados, there are many aspects of both the island and your vacation style to consider. For example, family-friendly resorts are not difficult to find on Barbados, but you should not assume that every hotel welcomes children. Determine your travel priorities and then let the research you have done guide you to the ideal island spot.
Knowing where you'll stay is important, but once you've established this it's time to start making plans about how you'll arrive. Airplanes and cruise ships are the two most popular options, but adventurous travelers are welcome to sail into Barbados on their own private vessel or one they've chartered for the occasion.
At present, there are few direct flights to Barbados from the U.S. mainland, meaning that vacationers who choose air travel will need to transfer somewhere in the Caribbean. If you are uneasy about flying or cannot ride in small planes, you may want to consider alternative arrivals. Cruises are a good choice, as well, but most lines do not stay in port for more than a few days. This means that visitors who come by cruise ship will have an abbreviated and somewhat different experience than those who take lodgings on shore.
Once on Barbados you should also have a strategy for getting from the airport or marina to your hotel. Decide before arriving if you'll be renting a car or taking advantage of the island's taxi services. If you are hiring taxis, become familiar with the pricing system; if renting a car, be prepared to obtain a temporary driving permit.
Choosing how to spend your time on the island is your final major decision. Don't feel compelled to schedule every minute of your vacation, but try to make the most of your time by being prepared for things such as guided tours or chartered expeditions that will require that reservations be made in advance.
Make sure that you consider your traveling companions, as well. Groups of friends may enjoy an activity such as a tour of the Malibu rum distillery located on the island whereas this might not appeal to a couple planning a romantic honeymoon. When traveling with others, it is always a good idea to discuss the itinerary beforehand in order to ensure that everyone is satisfied.
Good time management and an awareness of your options will help you to experience everything that Barbados has to offer. Knowing where to find the best scuba diving, for example, will reduce the amount of time you spend trying to locate a dive shop and give you more time to spend underwater. The activities you participate in while on the island will determine how much you enjoy your vacation, so figure out what you're interested in and start making your daydreams a reality.
Making decisions about your trip is the most important step in helping your plans come to life. Consider all your options carefully and then trust that your research has given you all the information you need to make good choices. After you've settled on where to stay, how to get there, and what to do, the hard part is behind you. Get ready to enjoy the perfect tropical vacation only Barbados can provide.
Help us improve! We welcome your corrections and suggestions.