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Travelzoo Experience: Barbados on a Budget

One of the most coveted perks at Travelzoo is the Travelzoo Experience, in which Deal Experts and other employees take advantage of the same travel, entertainment and local deals we publish to our subscribers and report back on their experience.

After seeing a Top 20 deal to Barbados this year, I immediately sent it to a friend and within 10 minutes I had planned a pre-birthday beach vacation for myself. I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to jet set to an exotic island for a mere $250 roundtrip including taxes.

Barbados is known for being one of the more pricey Caribbean vacations so my goal was to do Barbados on a budget. This sounds like an impossible feat but with the right amount of planning it was certainly achievable.

The best way I found to stretch my budget was to stay in the heart of the action. This may sound counterintuitive but I found it cut down on transportation/taxi costs and presented a variety of accommodation and dining options.

I chose a hotel in St. Lawrence Gap, an area known for its beaches, nightlife, restaurants and most importantly ... the locals. While I was here the hotel I stayed at wasn’t the highlight. I chose an OK hotel but I didn’t come for the hotel I went there for the vibe of the area. Beach vendors are friendly and are found "liming" to island tunes (a term that means to relax, enjoy food, drink and the company of others). Outside the hotel on the main strip visitors will find various fast-food and sit-down restaurants to suit every budget including Chefette, Barbados’ own popular restaurant chain that could give Colonel Sanders of KFC a run for his money. These food options were often just as good or better than the pricier options found on site at the hotel.

Although it’s certainly touristy, the one thing I would recommend for sure is going to Oistin’s Fish Fry which takes place on Fridays. A trip to Barbados isn’t complete without experiencing this weekly event. Fresh fish of all types is caught, seasoned, fried and served at numerous stalls. You can tell which vendor stalls are the most popular by the length of the line of people waiting. A filling meal can be bought for about US$15-US$20. In addition to food there is also a main stage with a live DJ or band so as the night goes on Oistin’s Fish Fry turns into a weekly party with no cover charge which meets the "Barbados on a budget" criteria.

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Tips by

Deal Expert, New York
Friday, August 3, 2012
See more Tips from
Martha Appiah