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  • We went to Barbados on a budget to see if it was possible. Here are our best tips 😎
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🇧🇧 Bargain Barbados?

Ahoy pirates,

This year I decided to make good on my own advice, and booked a spontaneous, last-minute trip to Barbados. This would be my first time visiting a Caribbean Isle, and although I had heard they were expensive, I was determined to see if I could do it on a budget.

But was this a doomed endeavour? I'll give you a deep dive into everything I found out about travel, accommodation, and things to do, whilst trying to save some cash. Spoiler alert, it's definitely NOT a cheap island, but there are ways to budget. 😉

Let's dive in. 👇

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Flights to Barbados from the UK can be expensive, even going over £1000 for a return trip. But, cheap flights are out there.

In fact, what drove me to book the trip in the first place was the discovery of direct return flights with TUI for £300. In the dark, dreary, post-Christmas slump, the promise of sunshine, white-sand beaches and turquoise oceans felt too hard to resist with that price-tag.

So, what's the catch?

TUI has some awesomely priced long-haul flights, but these are how they flog their unsold seats, so these are LAST-MINUTE deals. I'm talking within the 6 week frame.

So, if you can be flexible, and are happy with some quick planning and packing to get to paradise, this is the best way.

Pirate tip(s):

📆 Although not guaranteed, TUI are quite consistent with their last-minute deals. If you have a particular month you would like to travel in, you could always check a little closer to the time to see if any cheap options have become available. Just try to avoid the peak summer months for the best prices.

🎒 Unless you are happy with hand-luggage (55x40x20cm), you will also need to add checked baggage, which is £56 for a 15kg bag for the return trip. To cut costs, we shared one bag between us.

✈️ Examples of upcoming direct return flights:


After some frenzied last-minute planning, then a smooth 8-hour TUI flight, my boyfriend and I arrived for our 14-night trip to Barbados, just in time for NYE. 🎆

Nothing beats the feeling of touching down in a new place, especially when that first blast of warm air hits you in the face. And as we took in our lush tropical surroundings, we felt certain our spontaneous decision had been the right one. But would our budget last? Could we really survive for two entire weeks in this supposedly super-pricey destination?

The island is not large, 21 miles in length and 14 miles in width. It is blessed with two varying coastlines; the wild and rugged beauty of the Atlantic ocean to the East, and the serene Caribbean sea with its quintessential azure hues to the South and West. Most of the tourism centres around the Caribbean side.

The West coast is the most upmarket destination, and the South coast, close to the capital Bridgetown, and where we based ourselves, is known as the more lively area on the Isle. Inland you'll discover lush tropical gardens, small dispersed towns and rolling green hills.


Accommodation options on the island are typically luxury resorts. But you can find decently priced rental properties.

Eating out is one of the major cost factors when travelling to Barbados, because it can be very expensive. A typical meal out for two costs around 100 Barbados dollars (£40). So one of the best ways to save money is to stay somewhere with self-catering.

Having a kitchen to cook was key for us. We also wanted somewhere close to the beach and with stable WiFi, as we would be working remotely when we were out there.

We found Cherry Tree Apartments in Christ Church via, which was basic, but clean and in a great location, super close to the beach. It cost £500 for the entire two week-trip, working out at £250 each. Not bad at all!


So, apart from finding cheap flights and good-value self-catering accommodation, how can you actually save some cash whilst you're there?


Even though cooking for yourself is definitely cheaper than eating out in most cases, groceries can also be expensive. Make sure you go to the bigger supermarkets to do your shopping.

You could even bring some staples from home to get you started and cut costs (if your baggage allowance permits!)

Beaches are FREE

All beaches in Barbados are publicly owned, meaning you have access to 70 miles of glorious shoreline at your disposal. If you love the beach as much as us, you could easily spend your entire holiday beach hopping and taking in the varied coastline. Some beaches are perfect for sports and surfing with bigger waves, whilst on the West coast you'll find protected bays with shallow sandy stretches. We particularly loved Speightsown and Worthing, intimate beaches perfect for swimming with a few cafes and bars dotted around.

Take the reggae bus

Taxi's and car rental are super pricey on the island, due to the cost of gas. A 20-minute taxi ride can cost as much as £45, so it's really not a viable option if you're on a budget. Luckily, you can easily get around by travelling on the public buses, aptly nicknamed ‘the reggae bus’ due to the tunes blaring. It's cheap, at just £1.40 per ride, and also a super-fun way to see the island. We got to explore the entire coast using the reggae bus, and we had some of our most memorable experiences doing so.

Another option would be to cycle, especially along the coastal roads.

Drink and eat local

Luckily, this one is easy, seeing as the local drink and food is delicious. Drinking local alcohol like Mount Gay rum or Banks beer will save you a ton, as it's produced on the island. And if you're craving a cocktail, we loved the rum punch mixes you could grab from the shop, perfect for a sundowner on the beach.

One of the best ways of experiencing Barbados food on a budget is by dining at local eateries. We loved Daddy's in St Lawrence's Gap. There was a casual and cool vibe with decent value food and drinks. You can also find some amazing food-side trucks selling roti's and burgers.

Other tips

If you want more from your beach time than sunbathing and reading, bring your own snorkelling gear and beach games - as renting or buying equipment on the island can cost a lot.

And for a change from the beach, take a picnic to one of the many beautiful tropical gardens. We spent a tranquil day at Hunte’s Botanical Gardens with its classical music and impressive range of plant species.

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