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Travel Tips for Barbados

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Note: All United States citizens are required to have a valid passport to re-enter the United States.

Size / Population: Barbados is 166.4 sq mi and 432 sq km with a population of 287,025.

Political Status: Parliamentary democracy with a constitutional monarchy.

Language: English is the official language, while Bajan is the local language in Barbados.

Currency: Barbadian dollar (or Bajan dollar). The rate of exchange against the US dollar fluctuates daily. ATMs available; US dollars are widely accepted, but change comes in Barbadian dollar.

Electricity: In Barbados, the power plugs and sockets are type A and B. The standard voltage is 115 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz. Appliances from the US will work in Barbados.

Time Zone: Atlantic Standard Time; Daylight Saving Time is not observed.

Communication: Barbados is part of the North American Numbering Plan, which means that placing a call to Barbados from the US works the same as dialing any long-distance number. From the US to Barbados, dial 1 (the long-distance prefix) + 246 (area code assigned to Barbados) + the seven-digit local phone number. Calls from Barbados to the US are dialed as the same, starting with 1 (the long-distance prefix) + area code + local number.

Drinking Water: In Barbados, tap water is safe to drink and can help reduce the number of plastic bottles used on the island.

Transportation: Public transportation is mainly provided by the buses of the Barbados Transport Board, mini-buses or route taxis also known as ZR Vans. Bus fares are BDS $3.50, while taxi rides vary depending on the distance. The drivers know the rates, so be sure to ask them what it will cost to take you to your destination before you begin your journey; haggling is a common custom.

Local Customs: The legal drinking age in Barbados is 18, or if with a parent, 16. Tipping: generally 15-20% in restaurants; bellmen: $1 per bag; housecleaning staff: $1-$2 per day. Many all-inclusive hotels include all gratuities. Ask if you are in doubt.

Getting Married: There is no required waiting period or minimum length of stay to get married in Barbados.

Both parties must appear in person at the Ministry of Home Affairs to apply for a marriage license.

Wedding Requirements
  • Valid passports and birth certificates
  • Return tickets
  • If either party was divorced, an original Decree Absolute or a certified copy of the Final Judgment. The Decree Nisi is not accepted
  • If either party was previously married and widowed, a certified copy of the Marriage Certificate and Death Certificate in respect of the deceased spouse
  • For a Roman Catholic ceremony, the relevant documents must be sent by your bishop to the bishop of Bridgetown
  • Where necessary, all documents not in English must be accompanied by a certified translation
  • Arrangements should be made with a Magistrate or Marriage Officer to perform the wedding ceremony, prior to applying for the marriage license. A letter from either the Magistrate or Marriage Officer must be presented at the time of making the application

Your Selected Hotel Requires Proof Of Vaccination: Effective September 1, 2021: All guests age 16 and over must present proof of Covid-19 vaccination upon check-in at all Elite Island Resorts hotels. Proof of vaccination means a written CDC vaccination card (US), NHS vaccination report, pass, or certificate (UK), official vaccination receipt (Canada) or similar official medically and governmentally recognized document. Guests ages 16 and up who cannot provide proof of vaccination will not be allowed to check in. This policy will be reevaluated in April 2022 for possible extension. Visit Elite Island's website here for more information.

This applies to: St. James Club & Villas Antigua, The Verandah Resort & Spa Antigua, Pineapple Beach Club Antigua, Galley Bay Resort & Spa Antigua, Hammock Cove Antigua, St. James's Club Morgan Bay St. Lucia, The Club Barbados Resort & Spa.

Hotel Cancellation Penalties: We understand the unexpected can happen and choosing to cancel your vacation is never an easy decision. For that reason, we are providing you with a chart of estimated cancellation penalties for our partner hotels. Visit https://www.vacationexpress.com/hotel-cancellations/ for more details.

Passenger Information with regards to rights under the Canadian Air Passenger Protection Regulations: SOR/2019-150
If you are travelling to or from a Canadian airport and are denied boarding or your baggage is lost or damaged, you may be entitled to certain standards of treatment and compensation under the Canadian Air Passenger Protection Regulations. For more information about your passenger rights please contact your operating airline or visit the website of the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA).

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