Visiting Barbados  Budget Edition

Ah, Barbados: swaying palms, stunning white sandy shores, crystal blue waters, coral and sandstone cliffs rising a hundred feet out of the sea. This Caribbean gem has been a popular tourist destination for a long time now and its high-end vacation infrastructure is well honed – but wait, it’s not out of your budget-traveling league! Here are some tips for planning and booking for alternatively cheap holidays to the islands.

First and foremost: be creative, be friendly, and get local. The island is renowned for its friendliness; so don’t hesitate to ask around for tips on where to go if you’re looking for inexpensive, not-fancy, local fare.

Getting There - Shop Around, Miss the Crowds

If you want to cut travel costs to Barbados, aim for flexibility. Save hundreds of dollars by looking for package deals and when you can, do your best to travel off-season (that means avoiding December through April).


You don’t have to spend lots of money finding a place to lay your vacation-happy head in Barbados. The tourism industry likes to tout its luxury options, but instead look into renting a condo or a house through one of the home-search internet sites, or look for local B&Bs. Be diligent, there are lots of affordable options to be found.


Sure, restaurants are fun and you can always ask around for local recommendations, but also remember to think like a local and pack a picnic, hit street vendors, and ask around about weekend fish-fries. The home-grown Barbadian sandwich is called the cutter - Bajan Salt Bread cut in half, stuffed with a savory filling and eaten for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or just as a snack. Why not plan a daily adventure around trying all the local varieties, from ham to cheese, from liver to chicken gizzard? Or just stick to the many delicious fish varieties of this local favorite.


Stick to Mount Gay Rum, produced in Barbados since 1703. Pick up a bottle with some friends, add a few bottles of Banks beer to your tab, and check out a local cricket match on TV - you’ll be keeping step with years and years of local tradition and flavors.

Getting Around

If you want to check out the islands’ more remote and stunning northern and eastern parishes, look into renting a car or Mini Moke (open air beach buggy) for a couple days, but otherwise spend just a dollar per ride and take the bus. It might not be the quickest way to get around but it’ll be the most colorful, and potentially musical if they’re playing reggae and soca dance music to liven up your trip.

If you do your research, plan ahead, and be ready to take local recommendations on the fly, there are plenty of ways to see Barbados on a budget, so cost-cutting travelers, go ahead and put this beautiful destination on your to-do list.

Debbie McCartney loves travelling and is always either saving for a trip or making the most of her budget wherever in the world she’s managed to get to.


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