Barbados: An Empty Resort Paradise

Barbados is a beautiful and friendly island. It attracts the wealthy, particularly the British, who want to enjoy beach holidays amidst dark and cold winter months. The island is full of high class resorts, most of which are empty though. The high season has not started yet after the global common cold hysteria. The same applies to all Caribbean islands we visited this year. The tourism business in this once busy island area has suffered enormously.

While low demand could lead to lower prices, this does not hold true in the Caribbean. Like its neighbours, Barbados is experiencing the painful effects of worldwide inflation. Everything is expensive from food to housing costs. For tourists, the cheapest accommodation starts from around 70 USD. It is bad value compared to, for example, the Dominican Republic which offers the same experience of sand and beaches for much less. Of course Barbados holds a higher status among the Caribbean islands. It is clean and safe, and boasts some of the best beaches in the area.

We stayed in a very nice privately owned traditional wooden house and slept one night in the airport. If you want to save money, airport offers definitely the best value in town. The benches are comfortable enough for sleeping, the air is fresh as the airport is only covered for rain, and there are drinking fountains and plenty of clean restrooms. The guards will make sure that your stay is safe.

Another good thing about Barbados is extensive public transport that works even during bank holidays. You can travel on big municipal buses or in small vans, including to and from the airport. The price is fixed: 3.5 Bajan dollars. The drivers are very helpful. When one driver didn't know the place where we were going to and passed it, he gave us our money back and took us to another bus. We arrived comfortably to our destination, a bit late but who cares. Barbados is living in Bajan time, which is pretty close to manana culture.

Walking, on the other hand, is difficult just like in all other Caribbean British and French colonies. Roads are filled with road kills and pedestrian sidewalks are mostly missing. Unfortunately, car drivers have no respect for pedestrians and many drive smoking marijuana.

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