There is no shortage of ways to enjoy the island of Barbados. Located in the Southeastern Caribbean sea, this incredible tropical paradise really has it all. A unique mix of local and British culture means that you can treat yourself to an afternoon tea around noon and follow it up with tasty fish fry and some locally produced rum come sundown. Pink sand beaches and lush palm trees constantly beckon beach bums to just laze the day away. Meanwhile, adrenaline junkies are stoked to learn that Barbados has some of the Caribbean’s best surfing. No matter what kind of traveler you are, Barbados certainly has something for you.
Unfortunately, Barbados isn’t primarily known as a budget travel destination. The endless array of high-end hotels and luxury resorts combined with high import costs means that expenses can add up quickly. Most travelers to the island prefer to stick to all-inclusive resorts and expensive excursion packages. However, if you know where and when to look, Barbados is not only affordable – it can be downright cheap.
So whether you’re a digital nomad looking to take advantage of Barbados’ new remote work visa program or you’re just on the hunt for a cheap Caribbean beach vacation, read on to learn our top tips for enjoying Barbados without breaking the bank.
Free and cheap things to do in Barbados
Hit the best beaches in Barbados
Obviously, you came to Barbados to relax and soak up the sun. You really can’t go wrong with most beaches in Barbados, but it helps to know what kind of day you’re looking to have. So whether you’re looking for a pristine spot to surf or a picturesque pink sand beach to sink your toes into, these are some of the best beaches in Barbados.
Dover Beach is a less crowded beach with a more relaxed vibe. Jets skiing and windsurfing are some of the more popular ways to spend a long afternoon here. If you’re not feeling like an adrenaline rush, however, you can simply rent an umbrella and kick back with an ice-cold tropical cocktail from one of the many bars and restaurants here.
Carlisle Bay is popular with families thanks to its calm, crystal clear waters. What really makes this spot unique though is the unbelievable snorkeling. Thanks to the six shipwrecks in the area, the snorkeling in Carlisle Bay is some of the best in all of Barbados. Just like Dover beach, you can rent umbrellas, sports equipment, and even a glass-bottom boat to take you out to see the shipwrecks up close.
Bathsheba Beach offers some of the most beautiful coastal landscapes in all of Barbados. The jagged rock formations and powerful waters come together to create both a serene photography setting and an excellent surf spot. While it’s not safe to swim at Bathsheba beach, it’s a great place for a budget friendly beach picnic. So grab a cooler, some snacks, and a little local rum and get going.
Admire Animal Flower Cave from above
Located on the northernmost tip of the island, Animal Flower Cave is a natural sea cave set amongst rugged cliffs. The jagged rocks and crashing waves stand in sharp contrast to the serene beaches on the rest of the island, providing a mesmerizing lookout spot. You can pay a fee to go take a tour inside of the cave, but many visitors are content to simply admire the free view from above.
Take a stroll on the boardwalk
The Barbados Boardwalk is a mile-long coastal boardwalk located just south of Bridgetown. The boardwalk connects Camela and Accra beaches, so if it gets too hot, you’re never far from a dip in the water. In addition to spotting many of the island’s turtles and crabs, visitors to the boardwalk can also expect incredible ocean views, particularly at sunrise and sunset.
The boardwalk is completely free to visit and is lined with several bars and restaurants along the way, so you may want to add a few Banks beers into your budget, just to be safe.
Where to stay on a budget in Barbados
Blue Horizon is a budget hotel in a truly 5-star location. Situated just steps from the beach and near to several other top hotels and food spots, it’s hard to find a better value in Barbados. The no-frill rooms here are minimalist in design but provide every creature comfort you could want in a clean, comfortable space.
Savannah Beach Hotel
Overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, the Savannah Beach Hotel is a historic building turned into a true Caribbean oasis. The airy rooms here are elegant and simple, complete with wood furnishings and balcony or patio options. There are several pools, restaurants, and bars on-site and guests have the option to upgrade to an all-inclusive package.
Blue Orchids Beach Hotel
At the Blue Orchids Beach Hotel, the island-inspired rooms are bright, colorful, and spacious. In addition to a location that can’t be beaten, the hotel also offers a scenic beachfront restaurant. Rooms at Blue Orchids come complete with a kitchenette and balconies overlooking either the garden or the sparkling Caribbean Sea. Guests traveling in large groups can upgrade from the studio room to an apartment, which adds 1-3 rooms.
How to find cheap flights to Barbados
In the last few months, Dollar Flight Club members have saved between 70-90% on cheap flights to Barbados. On average, our members spent $297 on their tickets to Barbados and saved over $350 per ticket.
Here are a few samples of cheap flight deals that Dollar Flight Club members have received recently.
- New York City (JFK) to Barbados (BGI)
- Price with Dollar Flight Club: $244
- Average Price: $600
- Atlanta (ATL) to Barbados (BGI)
- Price with Dollar Flight Club: $375
- Average Price: $697
- Austin (AUS) to Barbados (BGI)
- Price with Dollar Flight Club: $426
- Average Price: $679
- Washington, D.C. (DCA) to Barbados (BGI)
- Price with Dollar Flight Club: $303
- Average Price: $597
- Dallas (DFW) to Barbados (BGI)
- Price with Dollar Flight Club: $428
- Average Price: $731
Best cheap eats in Barbados
Cuz’s Fish Stand
Located just steps from Pebbles Beach, this humble parking lot shack specializes in one thing and one thing only: fish. Cuz’s Fish Stand is the undisputed king of fish cutters, a delicious Bajan sandwich of fresh fish, cheese, lettuce, and toppings of your choosing inside a soft salt bread bun.
For about $5, you can grab yourself a cutter with or without cheese. Throw in an ice-cold local Banks beer and you’re still coming in under budget at around $9. The secret has gotten out about this local favorite over the last few years, so expect a line and be patient if there are a lot of tourists in town.
Oistins Fish Fry
Put simply, Oistins Fish Fry is the spot to be on Friday nights. The air is filled with an intoxicating combination of vibrant music and delicious smells as locals and tourists alike come to enjoy endless offerings of fish, shellfish, chicken, and so much more.
A meal at Oistins Fish Fry is really more of an experience and will cost between $12 and $17. While it’s not the lowest price for a budget meal, you can expect large delicious portions of your chosen meat or fish plus hearty servings of rice, fries, or salad.
With 14 different locations throughout the island, Chefette makes sure you’re never too far from a cheap meal. The Barbadian fast-food chain serves up everything from fried chicken and burgers to ice cream and pizza. For the really budget-conscious eater, you can’t go wrong with their cheap and filling roti (flatbread) stuffed with various combinations of curried beef, chicken, and potato. Rotis start at just $4.50.
Start planning your trip to Barbados on a budget
Despite an endless array of luxury resorts and expensive hotels, there are plenty of ways to enjoy Barbados on a budget. A long day lounging on world-class beaches doesn’t have to cost a fortune, and you’re never too far from affordable, fresh seafood. So be sure to save this budget travel guide, sign up for free cheap flight alerts, and start planning your Barbados vacation.
BY: ZACH ANDERSON, CONTENT MARKETING & FLIGHT EXPERT
Zach is a digital marketer, copywriter, and flight deal expert at Dollar Flight Club where he helps 1 million people travel more. As a digital nomad, he is deeply passionate about location independence, Thai food, and helping others see the world affordably.