FAQ

Barbados is a relatively prosperous middle income country, so visitors will find it easy to adapt to living here.

Accommodation

There is a wide range of accommodation available to people working remotely from Barbados. 

The houses available for fully furnished long term rental in the tourism industry are usually called villas. They range from palatial beachfront luxury estates to more reasonable houses and townhouses within a walk or short drive from the coast.

There are also a wide range of fully furnished apartments for rent, either in small buildings or in apartment hotels.

This depends on what type of environment you are looking for. Some people are seeking bars and nightlife while others are seeking seclusion and nature. Most available accommodation is on the West or South coasts. This is because that is where the best beaches are, and the majority of people who come to Barbados want to spend time at the beach. Rents tend to get more expensive the closer you are to the beach, but the island is only 21 miles by 14 miles, so nowhere is very far from the coast. If you want dramatic coastline scenery and to be far from crowds you may want the east or southeast part of Barbados, The parishes of St. Andrew, St. Joseph, St. John and St. Philip. To be closer to restaurants, beaches, and nightlife consider St James, St Michael, and Christ Church.

Internet and connectivity

Internet speed here is good. Barbados is currently ranked 34th in the world in the broadband Speedtest Global Index (that’s a little faster than in Belgium, but not quite as fast as in Germany). There are two major companies who provide internet connections, Digicel and Flow. A mid range plan from either provider will offer download speeds of about 100 Mbps and will cost around US$50 per month.

Mobile phones and plans are available from the same companies that provide internet services. Both of them operate 4G-LTE networks and will offer prepaid or postpaid plans. Coverage is is about the same for each service, with the only dead zones being in some particularly hilly areas of St. Andrew and St Joseph.

Medical and Health

Yes. All visitors need to be covered by medical insurance. If you are arriving on the 12 Month Welcome Stamp you will need to provide proof of insurance coverage. We have formed a partnership with Safety Wing, a global health insurance provider that understands the needs of remote workers because they are all remote workers and digital nomads themselves. Click here to get your medical insurance...

Medical facilities in Barbados are good, and all Barbadian citizens are covered by universal health care. There is a large public hospital, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in Bridgetown; it is supplemented by eight community polyclinics around the island. However, the public health care system is very heavily used, particularly during the pandemic, so visitors should be adequately insured and use the private facilities like the Bayview Hospital and Sandy Crest Medical Centre.  

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have given the Barbados Government high marks, saying that their “quick and comprehensive response to the pandemic has undoubtedly been a key factor in the country’s success to date in preventing widespread community transmission.“ Being an island gives the ability to more easily monitor all border crossings and to prevent excessive importation of the virus by vigilant testing of arriving visitors or returning residents. The Barbados Government Information Service publishes protocols for various activities from travel to bars to kindergartens. All residents and visitors must follow these protocols while in Barbados.

Transportation

This depends on where you are and where you are trying to go. The public transportation system is a mix of public and private operators. The public Transport Board buses (large blue ones) are a mix of several dozen old diesel ones and a few dozen new electric ones. These are supplemented both by private minibuses (yellow), and small ZR vans (white with a purple stripe). They all cost the same fare (Bd$3.50) and there are no transfers. On some routes at some times service is every few minutes; on other routes at other times the wait can easily be over an hour. The overall safety record of the system is good, but the ZR vans do have a reputation for reckless driving.

Neither Uber or Lyft operate in Barbados.

{slider=How do I get a taxi?}

There are a number of taxi companies and many independent taxi drivers. An internet search will turn up many of them. None of them are equipped with fare meters, so you need to find out in advance how much the trip is going to cost.

You can rent cars through any of the many rental agencies. We will help you find the vehicle that is just right for you if you ask for our help by filling out this form. North American and European drivers will need to take extra care because they are not used to driving on the left hand side of the road. If you stay alert and not let your attention wander you will adapt safely. Finding your way around in Barbados can be a challenge because road signage is inconsistent, but the online navigation aids like Google maps, Apple Maps, and Waze all work very well here. You will need to get a Visitor's Permit, but the cost is minimal and the car rental agency will be able to provide it.

Visas

Visitors from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, and the USA and several other countries can stay in Barbados for up to six months without the need for a visa. Visitors from countries in the European Union may stay for up to three months in any six month period. You can work remotely while staying here without a visa, but of course you cannot be employed in Barbados.

To stay for longer than six months you will require a Barbados Welcome Stamp, which is valid for twelve months. You can apply for this online before you arrive, or you can apply online after you arrive on a visitors’ visa. The cost is US$2,000 for an individual or US$3,000 for a family. You will have to prove that you earn at least US$50,000 per year to be eligible. The Welcome Stamp is renewable so that you can stay longer than one year.

Barbados offers a residence by investment program. The Barbados Special Entry and Reside Permit (SERP) provides permanent residence to people who invest US$2 million in Barbados, or by acquiring a residential property worth more than US$300,000 purchased with funds sourced outside the island.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Barbados is quite high. This is because so much of what is available here is imported. Gasoline costs about US$6 per gallon and many supermarket staples will cost up to twice what they do in Europe or North America.

Locals cope by avoiding high priced imported goods and substituting locally produced items. Instead of patronising large supermarkets many locals buy their groceries from vendors at places like Cheapside Market or Bridgetown Fish Market.


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