We know you're excited about your trip to Barbados, but make sure you have all of the items on the checklist below and you familiarize yourself with a few key things before a couple weeks before you come. After all, you don't want any surprises after you arrive! For information related to Barbados Travel Protocols related to COVID-19 see our COVID-19 Info Page.
Travel Documents - Passport
Every person entering Barbados by air or by sea (including our friends from North America) must be in possession of a valid passport. It is highly recommended that your passport be valid for at least 6 months after your scheduled arrival date. It is helpful to also have a separate photo identification card which may be occasionally required for use while on island enabling you to leave your passport in the security safe at your property.
Travel Documents - Visas
While visas are not usually required when traveling to Barbados we do recommend that you ask a question of your booking agent when planning a trip to Barbados - just in case. UK, Canadian and American passport holders do not need visas to enter Barbados for visits up to 6 months. Under normal conditions a granted stay of 28 days is given on arrival. If you wish to extend your stay over this period you must seek permission from the Immigration authorities as remaining in Barbados beyond what is stamped in your passport is against the law. You are also not permitted to accept any form of employment without seeking a work permit. Visa extensions and work permits must be applied for in person at the Immigration Department, Careenage House, The Wharf, Bridgetown. Entry requirements change from time to time and should be checked with your nearest Barbados Consulate.
Electricity supply is very reliable in Barbados with only occasional outages and these are usually as a result of severe weather. Our Barbados Light and Power Company is very prompt to notify local area residents when there is a planned outage due to line work. If this were to occur in one of Blue Sky Luxury's holiday homes your property manager will assist you in making the necessary arrangements so as your holiday is only minimally disrupted. Electricity is supplied at 110 volts/50 cycles so if you are traveling to Barbados from North America you will not need a small appliance converter but our guests from Europe should be prepared. The sockets are suitable for either;
- 2 Flat blades
- 2 Flat blades with round grounding/earth pin
The unit of currency in Barbados is the Barbadian dollar (BDS) which is tied to the US dollar (USD). At the Central Bank of Barbados 1 USD is worth 1.98 BDS but street value is usually US$1.00 = BDS$2.00. All stores will accept US cash as payment but your change will be given back to you in Barbados dollars. Some of our larger retailers will also accept Canadian cash as well as sterling. All Banks offer currency exchange with no attached fee - just remember to take your ID with you. There is also a currency exchange in the arrivals hall at the airport as well as in the departures hall.
Most Barbados businesses, hotels & restaurants encourage and accept major credit cards. The most widely accepted ones are Visa, AmEx, Master Card, Diners Club, En Route, Eurocard, and Barclaycard. Banks in Barbados (mostly British and Canadian based) have ATMs/ABMs that will accept major credit cards and dispense local currency based on the current exchange rate. Traveler’s cheques in U.S., U.K. and Canadian funds are also cashable at many retail outlets. However you should note that some of the smaller business establishments in Barbados operate on a cash only basis so its best to have some local cash on you as you explore the Island.
Drivers License and Permit
All authorized rental car companies can issue you a local driver's permit with the presentation of your valid license. You are required to have one if you will be operating a vehicle while on the island - even if you currently posses an International license. The cost for a visitor permit is $5US for a 2 month permit or $50US for a 12 month permit. You can also obtain a permit from any one of the 3 licensing authority offices located in Oistins, The Pine, or Speightstown.
Barbados Customs and Duty Free Allowances
General duty free allowances in Barbados
Personal Effects: 1 liter of potable spirits or wine. All articles in excess of this exemption are subject to the relevant duty and tax. Personal effects are defined as and include incoming passengers' baggage containing apparel and articles for personal use which a traveler may reasonably require during his vacation e.g. clothing, cosmetics and accessories.
Restricted or Prohibited Items
The importation of certain articles are restricted or prohibited in order to protect the community and to maintain and protect animal and plant life. Prohibited articles such as illegal drugs and pornography will be seized and persons may face penalties or prosecution. Restricted items may be released after inspection by the appropriate agency or detained until conditions of the restrictions are met. Receipts are issued for all articles detained by customs. Among the restricted items are:
Fruits and Vegetables. All fruits, vegetables, plants, cuttings, seeds or unprocessed plant products must be declared to customs and presented for inspection by a Plant Quarantine Officer. Fresh fruits from certain countries are prohibited in order to prevent the spreading of pest and plant diseases. Certain plant, seeds or cuttings may require an import permit and a photosanitary certificate. Request for import permits and further information should be addressed to:
Plant Quarantine Ministry of Agriculture, Graeme Hall Christ Church Barbados Tel (246) 428-4150
BRITAIN - Duty Free Allowances for Returning British Citizens
Each returning resident over 17 years of age may take back:
- 1 liter of alcohol
- 60cc of perfumes
- Up to £145 worth of other goods.
CANADA - Duty Free Allowances for Returning Canadian Citizens
Persons whose stay is in excess of 48 hours can claim up to $400 CAN. per trip. Persons whose stay is in excess of 7 days or more can claim up to $750 CAN. per trip. Each returning Canadian resident may take back:
- 1.4 liters of alcoholic beverages OR 1.5 liters of wine
- 24 12-oz cans/bottles of beer.
Minimum age for alcoholic beverages vary with port of entry. No duty or GST is charged on purchases under $300. GST charge on entire total purchases. Duty varies on alcoholic beverages. Gifts: Persons while abroad may mail casual gifts (except alcoholic beverages) free of duty and taxes, to friends and relatives in Canada, providing the value of the gift does not exceed CAN$40.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA - Duty Free Allowances for Returning American Citizens
Each returning citizen whose stay is in excess of 48 hours may on his return, take back, free of duty, articles totaling up to US$400 (based on the retail value of the items in the country of purchase). Duty on purchases in excess of the US$400 exemption is 10% on the next US$1000, and thereafter at the rate duty applicable. Duty free liquor is allowed at one liter per person for persons over the age of 21. Gifts: In addition to the US$400 exemption, each person can mail back gifts valued at $50 each to friends and relatives back home, provided the addressee does not receive more than one gift parcel a day. No declaration is required, and no tax is levied.
Vaccinations and Vaccines
There are no specific vaccinations required for visitors traveling to Barbados, however it is always best to be up to date with your immunizations. Your personal physician may recommend preventative measures for general travel such as a Hep A or Hep B vaccination. Please do note that it you are traveling to Barbados from an area known to be infected with Yellow Fever you are required to produce a vaccination certificate.