Last updated: 11:00 PM ET, Mon June 13 2016

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  • Nick and Dariece | June 13, 2016 11:00 PM ET

    5 Reasons To Vacation in Barbados

    5 Reasons To Vacation in Barbados

    Photos by Goats on the Road

    Located in the West Indies, directly east from the island of St. Vincent, is the coral atoll of Barbados. This island has everything you could possibly want in a Caribbean destination. There are numerous reasons to pack up your bags and book a trip to Barbados, but here is our top 5.

    The Local People

    When traveling, the encounters that you have with local people can definitely make, or break, your holiday. If you only experience rude, unhappy or unwelcoming people, it's unlikely that you'll return home with glowing recommendations about the place you've just been. Fortunately, Barbados has some of the nicest people around!

    We spent almost two months on the island, and therefore were able to interact with many people, from all walks of life. At the side-of-the-road BBQ stands, the Bajans will be happy (and a bit surprised) to see a foreigner lining up for their chicken. On the beaches, the vendors aren't aggressive, and in fact, they will often stop for a chat. If you just say "no, thank-you," they carry on down the beach. Walking past strangers in the street, you'll receive a "hello," or "good morning,” and interactions with shop owners or restaurant staff will be a pleasant experience. The people are what make a destination, and Bajans are wonderful and welcoming.

    travel to barbados the people

    The Food

    Whenever you're traveling, we recommend you do your best to sample the local cuisine on offer — and Barbados is no exception. Bajan food is diverse and tasty, don't be shy to try it all! BBQs are popular island-wide, so make sure to pop in for some chicken, pork, or the obvious choice, fish. The island is home to some fantastic seafood, and if you have the chance to sample grilled snapper, tuna, swordfish or mahi-mahi, definitely go for it! Oistins is a great place to enjoy BBQ.

    READ MORE: A Taste of Barbados: Must-Try Bajan Cuisine

    Apart from BBQ, Barbados is known for cutters (flying fish sandwiches), flying fish and cou-cou (a mix of cornmeal and okra), and fish cakes (salt fish mixed with flour and deep-fried) ... to name a few. The food in Barbados will not disappoint.

    food in barbados

    The Parties and Festivals

    The Caribbean is known for its amazing festivals and parties, and Barbados has some incredibly colorful celebrations. Definitely try to time your trip to Barbados with Crop Over (May-August), which is a harvest festival to mark the end of the sugarcane season. During these months, you'll be able to see calypso competitions, learn about traditional arts and crafts, watch lively parades, and enjoy the local food and drink. This festival ends with the Carnival celebrations! If you can't make it for Crop-Over, don't worry, there's always something on in Barbados.

    The Great Outdoors

    Barbados is a coral island, which means that the sand at the beaches here is incredibly white! There are numerous beaches for lounging, swimming and boogie boarding, just take your pick. If you want a relaxing day at the beach, check out Carlisle Bay, and if you would like to have some (small) waves, head to Accra/Rockley Beach.

    If relaxing on the beach isn't your thing, you could always go hiking. The group "Hike Barbados" meets up weekly to enjoy some exercise around the island. If you're not interested in hiking or lying on a beach, you could try out scuba diving, snorkeling, surfing, paddle boarding or caving. There are endless outdoor opportunities in Barbados.

    carlisle bay barbados

    The Cities and Towns

    There are just four main towns in Barbados: Bridgetown, Holetown, Oistins and Speightstown. Visiting all four on your trip to Barbados will be an easy task (the bus system on the island is very good).

    Bridgetown is UNESCO listed and is the largest town, with the most hustle and bustle, the most businesses and the most people. Come here to enjoy the shopping, historical buildings and restaurants.

    Holetown is located in the western part of the island, right in the middle of all of the action! This town is actually where the first English landed on Barbados in 1625. Stroll along the seaside boardwalk, enjoy the restaurants, and if you visit in February, don't miss the Holetown Festival which offers a parade, crafts and of course, music.

    Oistins is the main fishing village on the island. The beach here is very nice, and during the evenings the fishermen BBQ their catch and serve it up with delicious side dishes of salad, macaroni pie, potatoes, rice and veg. Friday nights the town turns into a party for the Friday Night Fish Fry — do not miss it.

    barbados sunset

    Speightstown is located on the northwestern part of Barbados, and is worth the trip. Here you'll find beautiful historical buildings and local people selling their goods along the streets. The pace here is slower and the town is much quieter than the others.

    Of course, these are just a few of the many reasons to book a trip to Barbados. The island is a bit further away than its neighbors in the Caribbean, but trust us, it's worth the journey.

More Barbados


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Nick and Dariece Notes from the Goats

Nick and Dariece Nick and Dariece are the couple behind Goats On The Road, a website designed to inspire others to live a financially sustainable, location independent lifestyle. Masters at making money abroad and turning their travels into a way of life, they've been on the road since 2008 and have explored some of the least visited places on earth, finding adventure wherever they go. They are also full time contributors at Credit Walk where they share their expertise of making money and travelling forever. Check them out at Goats On The and follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.
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