Travel to Barbados
Here is some general information that will help to facilitate your stay in Barbados:
The Barbados dollar is the official currency of Barbados. It is pegged to the United States dollar at a conversion rate of US$1.00 to BDS$ 1.98. US dollars are accepted island-wide. Most stores and restaurants accept major Credit Cards.
All banks provide foreign exchange services based on the exchange rate in the market at the time of the transaction. Banking hours on average are 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Banks offering services include the Bank of Nova Scotia, First Citizens Bank, CIBC First Caribbean International Bank, Royal Bank of Canada and Republic Bank. Banking services are available on weekends from some Republic Bank branches, Scotia Bank and First Citizens.
Most business places and stores are open between the hours of 8:30a.m. and 4:30p.m., Monday to Friday. Supermarkets are usually open from 8:00 a.m. and have a range of closing hours between 7.00 p.m. and 10:00p.m., often with later hours on weekends. Shopping malls outside of Bridgetown also have extended hours. The Information Desk at your hotel or at the Conference Centre can help to advise you further.
In Barbados, the standard voltage is 115 volts 50 cycles. Standard plug types in Barbados are two flat blades or two flat blades with a round grounding pin. North American equipment will not need an adapter or converter. Many hotels provide converters for European or Asian electrical equipment, but you can also buy them at most international airport shops. Please check your electrical equipment before your travel to ensure that you have the correct power supply that will allow you to safely operate your equipment while in Barbados.
The Barbados Water Authority, a Government Statutory Corporation, is the sole provider of potable water in Barbados. The water supply is safe to drink.
Mobile and WIFI Service
If you plan to use your cell phone in Barbados remember to check with your local cell service provider to make sure that the roaming feature is activated before you travel. You should however be aware that, as in most jurisdictions, calling and texting from Barbados on your cell using roaming can be quite expensive.
To avoid these excessive charges, you can also choose to buy a prepaid SIM card in Barbados. These are readily available from the two cell service providers, Digicel and FLOW. They have several retail locations throughout the island, where the service provider can check for compatibility with your phone. A variety of phone, text and data packages are offered.
Barbados has comprehensive island-wide cellular data coverage. WiFI access is offered at most hotels, and will be provided throughout the main Conference venues.
Barbados is home to a well-developed health care framework, supported by highly qualified professionals, which provides both public and private medical care to citizens and visitors alike. The 519 bed Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) is the country’s primary acute care medical facility. The QEH is also an accredited teaching hospital affiliated with the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus. In addition, the Government operates a network of polyclinics throughout the country and there are also a number of privately-run medical facilities, including two 24 hour clinics.
Lying 13 degrees north of the Equator, Barbados has a tropical climate, characterised year-round by bright sunshine and cool breezes from the North-East Tradewinds, with temperatures during the summer months reaching 88˚F / 31˚C. The dry season falls generally in the months of January to May while the wet season is from June to December. Rainfall during that season usually comes in the form of refreshing, short showers .
Lightweight summer clothing is recommended. You might occasionally need an umbrella but definitely not a coat.