Gateway to the Caribbean

This is Bridgetown, Barbados. The gateway to the eastern Caribbean, Grantley Adams International airport is suddenly so popular with our customers it's up 63% on last year, tipping it into Holiday Extras' top 20 destinations for the very first time.

Why? First and foremost, Barbados rejoices in the white sands, dazzling sunshine and turquoise seas of the Caribbean. This is the setting for a beach holiday on a proper island paradise.




Home comforts

But for British tourists fond of Spain's southern beaches, Tenerife or almost any other European beach holiday, Barbados has a unique appeal. It's a commonwealth country (gaining independence from the UK in 1966) - which means not only the locals, but also the overwhelming majority of visitors speak English as a first language. Fully a third of visitors to Barbados come from the UK each year, according to the Barbados Ministry of Tourism. Another third arrive from the US and Canada - so unlike a European beach holiday, you'll be able to speak to pretty much everyone you meet, including tour guides, and waiters and the other guests, in English.




Not just the language but the education system, legal system and the roads are all based on the British template - in Barbados you drive on the left. We share the Queen as head of state, and reviews of the island even rate Barbados as somewhere you can get a proper cup of tea!

British holidaymakers used to home comforts should therefore be amply provided for in this welcoming commonwealth paradise, while the island's native culture, cuisine, nightlife and world-famous beaches will offer plenty to engage more adventurous travellers too.



Book your holiday extras early

It pays to book your airport parking, airport hotel or your lounge as soon as you book your flights. Prices usually go up nearer the date you fly, and last year Holiday Extras saved our airport parking customers £59 each on average when they pre-booked their airport parking instead of paying on the day.

Book my hotel and parking today


A Brexit-proof beach holiday

And for holidaymakers putting off their plans while the Brexit debacle rumbles on…well, Barbados is thousands of miles from the EU, and whether anything is decided in Westminster or Brussels this year or next, holidays to this Commonwealth Caribbean island should be completely unaffected.

If you want more similar options, see our big guide to Brexit-proof destinations for 2019 .



What to see and do in Barbados

There's lots to see and do in Barbados. In fact, there's more every year - the vigorous Ministry of Tourism works tirelessly to bring new attractions and resorts to the island, as tourism is a major part of the local economy.

If you've come for the beaches, some top picks are Rockley Bay, Payne's Beach, Carlisle Bay or Bathsheba Bay.

If you're looking to sample the local culture and nightlife, downtown Barbados is your best spot. Here, one of he top draws is Oistin's Friday night fish fry, but the capital also hosts most of the island's main museums and cultural highlights.

Watersports abound on Barbados. Snorkelling cruises depart from the docks at Bridgetown; and jet skiing, fishing and sailing are all readily available. Here's a list of some of the top water activities from TripAdviser



Getting there

From the UK Grantley Adams International is between eight and nine hours direct. That's a shade under twice the length of a direct flight to any of the main Canary islands, which are all around four and a half hours from London.




Is it safe?

Wherever you travel, we recommend checking the Foreign and Commonwealth advice before setting out. The FCO page says "Most visits to Barbados are trouble free".

The FCO warns of the possibility of hurricanes (always a risk in this part of the world) and warns of the zika virus (ditto). But almost any exotic location comes with its own weather and medical risks. We simply recommend taking out a good, comprehensive insurance policy before you travel, and checking the FCO advice before you set off.

200,000 British tourists every year

More than 200,000 British tourists chose Barbados for a holiday last year (that's almost as many British tourists as locals, with the population of Barbados standing at 270,000). With more flights more attractions and more resorts added every year, Brits looking for a thoroughly Brexit-proof beach holiday where everyone already speaks the language could do a lot worse than join them.



Book your holiday extras early

It pays to book your airport parking, airport hotel or your lounge as soon as you book your flights. Prices usually go up nearer the date you fly, and last year Holiday Extras saved our airport parking customers £59 each on average when they pre-booked their airport parking instead of paying on the day.

Book my hotel and parking today


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