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Perhaps you are someone who enjoys the local color and traditions when you embark on a Caribbean vacation. If you are visiting Barbados, you should consider traveling there during one of their many festivals.
February brings the Holetown Festival which commemorates the first settlement in Barbados, in 1627. It is celebrated with historical lectures, fashion shows, an antique car parade, street parade, and other exhibitions and concerts. This is a family friendly festival and what better time to get away from the US than February?
The fish festival, a springtime event held in town of Oistins, celebrates the local fishing industry with music, dancing, and a lot of great food. There is also a fish boning competition and a grease pole contest.
The summer brings the Crop Over which begins with the delivery of the last canes of the sugar crop and is five fun filled and raucous weeks of celebration. Crop Over is much more like a traditional Carnivale, so if you want to party, this is when to go to Barbados.
While some people wouldn't think of putting golf and Caribbean together, most golf aficionados travel to a Barbados resort several times a year to get in a few rounds. Barbados has four golf courses (amazing for an island of its size).
The most famous of these courses is the Royal Westmoreland. A Robert Trent Jones, Jr. design, the Royal Westmoreland course offers a challenge with breathtaking views of Barbados' natural surroundings. Staying at the Royal's Country Club is not cheap, but if you are heading out to the Caribbean to play golf, chances are you can treat yourself the luxury.
Of course, when thinking of a Barbados vacation or any Caribbean destination, beaches will come into play. Barbados is no slouch when it comes to coastline, offering 70 miles of beach stretches. And, the array of sand hues ranges from pink to white. Most likely, you can find an affordable Barbados hotel or Barbados resort right on the beach.
Another great reasons to visit Barbados is beautiful and historic Bridgetown. Built in 1654, Bridgetown plays host to some of the Caribbean's best shopping districts. Tourists can enjoy duty-free purchases so cheap they can afford to bring a gift back for every one of their friends.
Despite the island's relatively-small size, finding a Barbados hotel is pretty easy as they are densely populated throughout the island. Finding a deal on a top-notch hotel, however, is difficult due to their scarcity.
For a five-star hotel, you can expect to pay anywhere from $300 per night and up...and that is during the non-peak season. Rooms at the exclusive Sandpiper hotel can rocket to $735 per night for a Garden Room. However, you should note that this hotel is considered one of the finest in Barbados as well as the Caribbean by almost all travel connoisseurs, and well worth the spend.
There are a lot of great sites out there for helping you plan you Caribbean vacation. You may use one for your Barbados travel planning but don't stop there!
Sites like barbados.org can help you learn more about Barbados culture, festivals, restaurants, and shopping. One of their coolest features helps you plan a themed vacation based on your preferences. Are you going for business? Are you an eco-tourist or a honeymooner?
If you are an eco traveler, they will give you the best eco resorts on the island (including the Amaryllis Beach Resort, the Coconut Court Beach Hotel and the Southern Palms Beach club). They also give you the best activities for your theme (like spelunking in Harrison's cave, swimming with turtles, and hiking through the Flower Forest and guided tours all over the island).
Guides like these can be invaluable for choosing the right Barbados resort and time to travel. Learn as much as you can about the activities and hotels so that you can them shop online and compare prices to get the best deal!
Barbados is a relatively small island, just over 2 times the size of Washington, DC. It was founded, originally, by the British in the late 1600's and remained that way until the mid 1900's when it broke away from the United Kingdom (though it still considers Queen Elizabeth II its monarch).
Tourism is the main industry in Barbados, with sugar production coming in a close second. That is why Barbados spends its money on advertising, hoping to bring you to visit this lovely island on a Barbados vacation. Its capital of Bridgetown is one of the oldest cities in the Caribbean and Barbados is, of course, famous for its sandy-white beaches.
When you are planning your Barbados vacation, you will need to know not only the name of your resort, but you'll also want to know your travel time, the distance between your resort and the airport, and other logistical information that will help you plan. You don't want to be without cash and in need of a cab!
If you are coming from Miami to Barbados, it's a quick three and a half hour flight, Los Angeles is around nine hours away by plane, and London is about 7 hours. You will fly into Barbados International Airport, also known as Grantley Adams and it is about 8 miles from Bridgetown. Most resorts will probably help you with airport transport, but if you are in independent traveler, you'll want to know details like this!
There is an airport bus and a taxi service at the airport. Remember, they do charge a departure tax, so use the bank at the airport to exchange enough currency for your taxi ride or bus fare (the departure tax is about 25 Barbados Dollars).
You can get Barbados dollars at the airport. The Barbados dollar is fixed at the rate of $1.98 BDS to $1.00 US. US Dollars are accepted all over the island so if you are American, you are probably all set - but if you are coming from anywhere else, change your money over at the airport for some traveling cash.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|