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Barbados Travel Information

The Basics

Time

Local time in Barbados is GMT -5.

Electricity

Electric current in Barbados is110 volts, 50Hz. Most hotels provide adaptors and transformers for hairdryers and other appliances.

Language

English is the official language in Barbados.

Travel Health

There are no mandatory requirements regarding vaccinations for visitors to Barbados, however a yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travellers over one year of age coming from infected areas, and Hepatitis A vaccinations are recommended for those aged over two years. There has been an increase in the outbreaks of dengue fever and mosquito repellent is strongly recommended. Medical care is good but very expensive and serious cases are usually transferred overseas (usually to the USA). Health insurance is therefore strongly recommended.

Tipping

Tipping in Barbados is not necessary if a service charge has already been included in the bill, otherwise it is generally about 10-15%. Tipping is normal in bars.

Safety Information

There are no extremist groups or areas of instability in Barbados. Some drug-related organized crime exists, but does not generally affect tourists. There has been a small increase in the incidence of tourists being robbed, and visitors are warned to be especially vigilant on the beaches at night. There has been an increase in attacks and rapes against foreigners and visitors should be alert at all times. Tropical storms and hurricanes may occur between June and November.

Local Customs

It is an offence to dress in camouflage clothing in Barbados as it is reserved for the military. Topless bathing is frowned upon and nudism is illegal.

Business

Bridgetown is generally the centre of business in Barbados. Business protocol is fairly formal, including greetings (use Mr or Ms) and dress, which is smart. Handshaking between both men and women is expected and business cards are handed out on introduction. Punctuality is expected at meetings. Business hours are generally 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday. Banks and post offices close at 3pm.

Communications

The international access code for Barbados is +1, in common with the US, Canada and most of the Caribbean, followed by 246. The outgoing code is 011 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 01144 for the United Kingdom), no outgoing code is needed to call the US. Mobile phones operate on a GSM network. Cell phones can be rented through a number of companies. Internet cafes are widely available.

Duty Free

Travellers to Barbados do not have to pay duty on 200 cigarettes or 227g of other tobacco products; 750ml spirits and 750ml wine; perfume up to 118ml perfume or 237ml of eau de cologne; and souvenirs to the value of Bds$100. Prohibited items include rum, matches, fresh fruit, and articles of clothing or accessories made from camouflage material.

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