Why Is Everything So Expensive in Barbados (and What Are the Prices Like)?

Barbados is one of the most expensive places in the Caribbean. There are several reasons for why things are so expensive in Barbados, some are related to the country’s economic structure, and some are due to society’s customs that value frequent trips overseas. This is because many things are imported from the US or Europe, so they must be shipped across the ocean and then put on top of customs duties.
Why Is Everything So Expensive in Barbados
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The cost of living in Barbados is very high. Public transportation is not very frequent, and taxis are expensive; most people walk everywhere. A meal costs between $10 and $30, while a drink can cost up to $30 for a mixed drink. The prices at restaurants are generally around $40 per person for dinner, but that can go up to $200 or more per person on holidays like New Year’s Eve.

How Is Barbados Economy?

Barbados is a high-income country with a diverse economy. One country in the Caribbean has the highest per capita incomes, driven by tourism, foreign direct investment, and the international trade sector.

This year, Barbados is the 67th freest in the 2021 Index of Economic Freedom, with a score of 65.0. It is because of the improvement in their fiscal health and management of debt by the country’s government.

Is Barbados a Developed Country?

Barbados is a developed country. In fact, among all the countries in Eastern Caribbean, Barbados is the most developed country.

In 2010, the United Nations labeled Barbados as a developed country according to its Human Development Index. HDI measures a country’s performance in education, health, income, and other quality of life indicators.

What Is Barbados Main Source of Income?

Barbados’ main source of income is tourism. From an agriculture-based economy (sugar production), the country shifted to tourism-based income. It significantly contributed to Barbados’ economic growth in terms of employment, gross domestic product, and foreign earnings.

Barbados is a popular tourist destination for its world-class golf courses and luxurious hotels.

Is Barbados a Rich or Poor Country?

Barbados is a rich country. It is one of the richest among all the countries in the Eastern Caribbean. The country’s GDP per capita income is $5 billion as of December 2018.

Why Is Barbados So Rich?

Since the shift of Barbados from an agriculture-based economy to a tourism-based economy, the country’s economy has improved significantly, thus becoming a rich country. It ranked as the leading tourist destination in the Caribbean. The tourism industry employed the locals, income from its products, and different destinations. The United Kingdom accounts for 40% of all visitors in Barbados, with the United States and Canada following closely after.

Aside from that, Barbados is a rich country because foreign direct investment and the international trade sector drives its economy.

Is Barbados a High Income Country?

Barbados is a high-income country. The tourism industry mainly contributes to the country’s income, followed by foreign direct investment and the international trade sector.

What Is the Average Income in Barbados?

The average income of a person working in Barbados is B$6052 ($2987). That would be B$72,628 ($35,845) for a year. However, it still depends on your job in the country because the salaries vary drastically. The average monthly wage in Barbados includes transports, housing, and other benefits for employees.

Is Barbados Cheap or Expensive?

Barbados is an expensive place to travel to. One of the main reasons is that the country imports its products from the United States and the United Kingdom. The prices are twice the amount from your country.

So, if you are planning to visit Barbados, make sure that you have intended well on your expenses and considered your budget well.

Cost of Living in Barbados vs. US

On average, the cost of living in Barbados is 35.02% higher than in the cost of living in the United States. Living in Barbados would cost higher in terms of food, transportation, clothing, activities, and entertainment than in the US. However, for housing and childcare, the cost is lesser in Barbados compared to the United States.

Cost of Living in Barbados vs. UK

The cost of living in Barbados is 13.4% more expensive than living in the United Kingdom. If you live in Barbados, you need to pay more for your food from restaurants and groceries, transportation, and clothing. Meanwhile, you will pay less for your housing, childcare, activities, entertainment in Barbados than in the United States.

Is It Expensive to Vacation in Barbados?

It is expensive to have a vacation in Barbados. The expenses for your vacation, including accommodation, food, and activities, are pretty expensive but are still comparable to the prices in the United States. Groceries are also costly in Barbados because they are imported from the US and UK.

However, suppose you are planning to stay in Barbados for a vacation still. In that case, the expenses vary on when you will visit and for how long. Rates drop during the low season in Barbados, and that would be a great chance to spend some time in Barbados while on a budget.

How Much Is It to Go to Barbados?

If you are going to Barbados, the cost is usually around B$1137 ($2305). However, this varies depending on the time of the year you will visit, the country you will come from, activities you will do, and the place you choose to stay in Barbados.

Why Are Holidays to Barbados So Expensive?

Holidays to Barbados are so expensive because the rates of accommodation, food, and activities become higher than usual.

However, you can still visit the island on a budget if you know where to eat and what activities you will do.

How Can I Go to Barbados on a Budget?

Although Barbados is an expensive island to visit, it is possible to stay on a budget. Get to know more about it!

    • Know when to go: Visiting Barbados during the low season would make you spend less on the island. Flights and accommodation are less expensive during this time, which starts in July and ends in October.
    • Visit the island’s beaches: All the beaches in Barbados are for free. You have access even to the most exclusive beaches.
    • Rent properties on AirBnB: Hotels are pretty expensive in Barbados. It is ideal to consider renting apartments and beachside bungalows on AirBnB. You can have your private place at a lower price while still enjoying the island.
    • Buy from local supermarkets: Products in Barbados are expensive too since they imported them from the US and UK. However, you can buy from local supermarkets at a lower price, such as in Jordans Supermarket.
    • Eat at local eateries: Food can be really expensive in restaurants in Barbados. To enjoy food while being on a budget, eating at local eateries like Fisherman’s Pub in Speightstown and Cheapside Market in Bridgetown is recommended.
    • Travel through public buses: You can get around the island all day through reggae buses that play lovely music. You can get anywhere on the island at B$1 ($0.49).

Are Supermarkets in Barbados Expensive?

Supermarkets in Barbados are expensive. They imported its products from the United States and some from the United Kingdom. Even the food in luxury hotels is costly.

If you plan to go grocery shopping in Barbados, you can buy from local supermarkets and prepare your meal.

How Much Is a Loaf of Bread in Barbados?

A loaf of bread in Barbados costs around B$9.50 ($4.71). You can buy this at bakeries, local groceries, and supermarkets.

Can You Take Food in Your Suitcase to Barbados?

You can take food in your suitcase to Barbados. Some examples are coffee, cereals, and biscuits. However, any kinds of meat, plants, fruits, vegetables are subject to inspection to avoid spreading plant diseases and even pests in the country.

How Much Money Should I Bring to Barbados?

If you are planning to visit Barbados, bring around B$607 ($301) per day of your stay, as this is the average daily expense you might spend on the island.

A meal for one day costs around B$154 ($76), while local transportation costs around B$49 ($24). Accommodation in Barbados for one person costs B$379 ($188), on average.

How Much Money Should I Take to Barbados for a Week?

A one-week stay in Barbados costs around B$4,247 ($2104) for one person. So for two people, the trip will be around B$8,494 ($4208). However, suppose you are planning to go with your family. In that case, the expense may go down because tickets for children are cheaper than the adult’s and you can share them in your hotel room.