Your Barbados Vacation – Five Do’s and Five Don’ts

An Englishman is in a plane approaching Barbados; he’s going for his annual holiday to the island paradise. As the plane approaches the island, the Englishman looks out of the window. And he sees, glistening in the clear aqua Caribbean Sea surrounding Barbados, the wedding ring he’d lost last year.

It’s an urban myth, but who knows? The sea around Barbados is amazingly and brilliantly clear. You’ll see for yourself when you visit. And when you do, please take heed of these do’s and don’ts:

Don’t Haggle Dickering over price is not part of Barbadian culture. Pay the price the vendor asks or don’t buy. Also, ask the price of a taxi ride before getting into a cab – then accept the price or take the bus.

Don’t Drive on the Right Hand Side of the Road We drive like the Bits: on the left. This means the steering wheel is on the right side and, if you have a manual transmission, you’ll be operating it with your left hand. It’s a bit of a tap-your-head-rub-your-stomach exercise until you get used to it.

Don’t Go on the Beaches at Night This applies to any beaches anywhere in the world. Barbados’ crime rate is low, but use good sense.

Don’t Drink too Much Rum Rum is a religion in Barbados; in fact, it’s believed that Barbados is the place rum was first developed. The problem is that rum goes down easily, especially in the ubiquitous island drink, rum punch. So, as you enjoy your libation, remember there’s rum in that punch.

Don’t Stay Inside Your Hotel If It Rains Even during Barbados’ rainy season in the fall, the island very rarely gets torrential rain. And it hasn’t seen a hurricane since 1955. So your chances of having glorious weather are overwhelming. Still, if it does rain, plan indoor activities such as visiting the George Washington House (yep, George Washington lived in Barbados a short while) or taking the Mount Gay rum factory tour.

Do Eat Flying Fish Flying fish are to Barbados what salmon is to Alaska. You’ll find flying fish fried, grilled, prepared with a Creole sauce, and put into sandwiches (called “cutters”). Be sure to head to Oistins, on the south coast, on Friday nights: just-caught flying fish are cooked out on the beach, music plays, and parents and kids alike have a fine time.

Do Take a Catamaran Cruise This is the very best way to experience the Caribbean Sea, view the famous Platinum Coast of Barbados, and swim with our gentle giant sea turtles.

Do Swim! But know where you can and where you can’t. Take a dip in the sea anywhere along the west coast of Barbados where the Caribbean Sea beckons with clear, gentle water. Much of the south coast, too, offers wonderful swimming. Do not swim along the east coast of the island, where the Atlantic Ocean pounds.

Do Patronize the Street Vendors in St. Lawrence Gap The vendors are friendly and relaxed, but they take their work seriously; many have been selling along St. Lawrence Gap for a decade or more.

Do Bring Your Family Barbados is not just for honeymoon couples, although we get a lot of lovers. The island is also a fantastic family vacation spot, with a gentle sea that has no sharks or stinging sea creatures and many land activities. In fact, be sure to take the four-wheel drive Island Safari – kids love it! Kids of all ages, that is ….

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