Why Is Everything So Expensive in Barbados (and What Are the Prices Like)? (2024)

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.

Why Is Everything So Expensive in Barbados (and What Are the Prices Like)? (2024)


Why is everything so expensive in Barbados? ›

On the whole Barbados tends to be expensive, in part because most everything has to be imported and in part because the standard of living is higher than most other places in the Caribbean. That said, to the extent you focus on local items, it can be outright cheap.

Why is Barbados so expensive to live? ›

Because Barbados caters to thousands of tourists every year and food is one of the ways people like to experience new places, eating out can get very expensive. Restaurants in the city's center and those that cater to main tourists sell costly food. Even fast food is expensive.

Why are groceries so expensive in Barbados? ›

In fact Barbados imports much of its food supply. Most products are imported from the USA, Canada and the Caribbean. Many British brands are also available locally. Due to shipping costs, import duties and taxes the cost of imported products is typically higher than you pay at home.

How expensive is it in Barbados? ›

A family of four estimated monthly costs are 4,319.9$ (8,639.9Bds$) without rent. A single person estimated monthly costs are 1,174.1$ (2,348.3Bds$) without rent. Cost of living in Barbados is, on average, 13.5% higher than in United States. Rent in Barbados is, on average, 56.4% lower than in United States.

Is Barbados the most expensive country? ›

Barbados 5th most expensive place in the world to live.

What is the most expensive part of Barbados? ›

The Sandy Lane estate is one of the most exclusive areas on the west coast of Barbados. It is a few miles south of Hole Town. This is where many of the celebrities and the super- rich buy properties and property prices on the Sandy Lane estate reflect that.

Is the cost of living high in Barbados? ›

Barbados and the Bahamas have the highest cost of living among independent Caribbean countries. Monthly expenses for one person without rent and utilities are $704 and $924, respectively. This is almost twice as expensive as living in the most affordable Caribbean states, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Is Barbados an expensive place to live? ›

The average cost of living in Barbados ($1292) is 42% less expensive than in the United States ($2213). Barbados ranked 38th vs 5th for the United States in the list of the most expensive countries in the world.

Is the food expensive in Barbados? ›

While meal prices in Barbados can vary, the average cost of food in Barbados is B$192 per day. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out an average meal in Barbados should cost around B$77 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner.

Why are grocery prices so expensive? ›

Thanks to a combination of inflation, pandemic-related supply-chain disruptions and tariffs on certain foreign imports, food prices have steadily risen since 2020. But inflation has been slowing in the past year and the latest data shows the cost of groceries aren't rising as fast as they once were.

Why are gas prices so high in Barbados? ›

Fuel prices in Barbados are indeed higher than the world average and its regional neighbours. Given countries face similar international prices, notwithstanding any action countries may take to source at better prices, government taxation policy does play a significant role in explaining the final price of fuel.

Why are food prices so expensive? ›

Disruptions and changes to the food supply chain can affect the prices consumers see at the grocery store. Some of these are long-standing challenges. For example, weather events as well as animal and plant diseases, are common disruptions that can impact the supply available—causing prices to increase.

Can I live permanently in Barbados? ›

Retire in Barbados – Visas and Residence Permit

For those who want to retire in Barbados, the process is relatively simple. Individuals over 60 with sufficient funds to support themselves can apply for immigrant status. After living in the country for five years, those people can then apply for permanent residence.

How much is a can of co*ke in Barbados? ›

A 500ml Soda would cost $1.85 BBD on average in the supermarket.

How much does it cost to rent a house in Barbados? ›

The average accommodation in Barbados is priced at $65 per night. If you are looking for a apartment rental, the nightly price is $387 on average. A house rental Barbados will cost $1,056 per night on average.

What money is best to take to Barbados? ›

Most shops and restaurants in Barbados are happy to accept US dollars as well as BBD, but you'll always get more for your money when paying in Barbadian dollars. You'll also receive any change in BBD, not USD. Budget-wise, Barbados isn't the cheapest destination, but it's well worth the price.

What is the average cost of a meal in Barbados? ›

Prices in restaurants in Barbados.
Meal in a cheap restaurant40 BBD (20-60)
Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course200 BBD (140-250)
McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal)20 BBD (15-21)
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught)5.00 BBD (3.00-11)
Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle)8.00 BBD (5.00-12)
5 more rows

What is the most expensive city in the world? ›

Singapore tops the list of most expensive cities in the world for luxury living. Swiss banking corporation Julius Baer Group has named Singapore at the top of their list of the 10 most expensive cities in the world. Published on 20 June 2023, the rankings show Shanghai and Hong Kong at the second and third spots.

Is Barbados cheap to eat out? ›

Eating out in Barbados can be very expensive, and food costs can exceed those of accommodation. Happily, though, there are plenty of good inexpensive eateries on both sides of the island.

Is Barbados a rich island? ›

Barbados Economy

Is Barbados a wealthy country? Barbados is the wealthiest and one of the most developed countries in the Eastern Caribbean and enjoys one of the highest per capita incomes in the region. Historically, the Barbadian economy was dependent on sugarcane cultivation and related activities.

Is Barbados a luxury island? ›

From world-class food and cultural sights to some of the most beautiful beaches and scenery in the world, Barbados is a dream destination that should be on every luxury traveller's bucket list.

What is minimum wage in Barbados? ›

Job title
Per hourPer week
Sales persons/cashiers Minimum wage with effect from 1 September 2021 Minimum Wages - last checked - 31/12/2022$7.25-
Shop assistants Minimum wage with effect from 1 September 2021 Minimum Wages - last checked - 31/12/2022$6.75-
18 more rows

Can Americans live in Barbados? ›

In order to stay in Barbados you will need a visa. Temporary permits are available for visitors and last up to six months. If you wish to stay longer than this then it will be necessary to obtain another visa which must be in duplicate and accompanied by 2 passport sized photographs.

How much is an apartment in Barbados? ›

Renting a one-bedroom apartment in the city center costs 1,083.33 BBD ($541.67) per month or 2,125 BBD ($1,062.50) for a three-bedroom apartment. Outside the city center, the prices drop down significantly to 830 BBD ($415) and 1,700.00 BBD ($850) for one- and three-bedroom apartments, respectively.

Is it safe to buy a house in Barbados? ›

Wherever you go in the world, the purchase of a property will need to follow established procedures to ensure legal requirements are met and that the process goes ahead smoothly. Barbados is no exception and there are measures in place to safeguard both the buyer and the seller of the property.

How much is a bottle of banks in Barbados? ›

In bars $4-$12 generally but the average is about $7. If you are staying at Sapphire Beach I recommend buying two cases of Banks from Massy Stores Rendevous. They will be about $42 plus bottle return of $0.20 BBD each.

How much are cigarettes in Barbados? ›

In Barbados the price of the most sold brand of cigarettes is USD 5.50 and taxes comprise 49% of the retail price.

How much is a gallon of gas in Barbados? ›

Barbados Gasoline prices, 12-Jun-2023
Barbados Gasoline pricesLitreGallon

Is there a McDonald's in Barbados? ›

Back in 1996, McDonald's ventured off to the Caribbean and opened a store in Barbados, which now is the Consolidated Finance building, much to the delight of most locals.

Why is everything so expensive right now? ›

Inflation is so high because many consumers are spending more money than they usually do, and because supply chain issues and global fuel shortages have lingered since the pandemic. That high demand and low supply have led to an increase in prices.

Why are prices so high? ›

"One of the main factors is the supply chain disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which have led to shortages and bottlenecks in producing and distributing goods," said Epps. But there's also a higher demand for goods and services, coupled with a lack of labor -- leading to pressure on prices, he added.

Are groceries actually cheaper than eating out? ›

Is It Cheaper to Cook or Eat Out? For those who want a quick and easy answer: It's generally cheaper to cook food at home than eat out.

How do you get gas in Barbados? ›

In Barbados, drivers are not permitted to pump their own fuel. You must park at an available pump, turn off your engine and wait for a gas attendant. However, you can leave your car during pumping if desired. You will be asked what type of fuel you need and how much fuel you require (expressed in Barbados Dollars).

Where does Barbados get gas? ›

Domestic Production

The Barbados National Petroleum Corporation (NPC) is responsible for the distribution of locally produced and imported natural gas. Barbados has no onshore reserves of oil or gas.

How much is diesel in Barbados? ›

Diesel will cost $3.48...

Why are eggs so expensive? ›

A key reason why wholesale egg prices are higher is that the state is importing nearly two-thirds of its eggs from cage-free hens in other states, reflecting lower in-state production. And importing eggs from other states means higher transportation costs.

How can I cut my grocery bill by 90 percent? ›

What's Ahead:
  1. Shop at discount grocery stores like Aldi or Trader Joes. ...
  2. Compare prices between stores — even if it means driving to a few different ones at first. ...
  3. Plan your meals for the week based on what's on sale. ...
  4. Clip coupons and look for discount codes. ...
  5. Always, always, always eat your leftovers.
Apr 28, 2023

Why is chicken so expensive? ›

Chickens eat a lot of feed, about half a bag each over the eight weeks or so it takes them to reach a market weight of around four kilos. Feed costs, plus the initial outlay for chicks, represent about 70 per cent of a producer's costs, Edwards said.

Can a US citizen buy a house in Barbados? ›

There are no restrictions on foreigners purchasing properties in Barbados, though they are required, through their lawyer, to obtain permission from the Central Bank of Barbados to close on a property purchase and register foreign currency.

How long can Americans stay in Barbados? ›

U.S. citizens must have a valid U.S. passport to enter Barbados. No visa is needed for stays up to 6 months. NOTE: Generally, all U.S. citizens are required to present a valid U.S. passport when traveling to Barbados, as well as proof of anticipated departure from Barbados.

How long can you stay in Barbados if you own property? ›

You can usually reside in Barbados without a visa or any permits for up to 6 consecutive months. This is often long enough for homeowners wishing to spend winters in Barbados.

What is Barbados favorite drink? ›

What alcohol is Barbados known for? Barbados is also known as “The Rum Island”, making it more than apparent what the most popular thing to drink there is: rum! This equates to Rum Punch and lots of it, starting with your welcome rum punch drink, and sampling rum punch specials at local bars.

What is Barbados famous drink? ›

On a hot day (and there are many of those in Barbados), many Bajans reach for a refreshing glass of mauby to quench their thirst and cool down. Mauby is made from the bark of the Mauby tree, boiled with cinnamon, orange peel, nutmeg and cloves, and sweetened to taste.

What part of Barbados is best to stay? ›

When deciding on the best area to stay in Barbados, consider the following four regions: the upscale west coast, the rugged north coast, the modern south coast, and the rustic east coast. The most popular areas to stay in Barbados are situated along the south and west coast of the island.

How long can foreigners stay in Barbados? ›

This Barbados visa allows visitors to stay in Barbados for 28 days to a maximum of six months. This Barbados visa is issued for many travel purposes, for example: Tourism: to roam around the beautiful beaches.

How much is bedroom tax in Barbados? ›

- Guest House BDS $5.00 per bedroom per night.

What is the average household income in Barbados? ›

In total, the national gross income amounted to 16,900 U.S. dollars in 2021. Gross national income (GNI) per capita is the total value of money received by a country, from both domestic or foreign sources, divided by the midyear population.

Are things more expensive in Barbados? ›

The island consistently ranks as one of the most expensive places in the Caribbean, stacked with luxury hotels that charge upwards of $1000 a night.

What makes the most money in Barbados? ›

Described as a 'Mecca of luxury, charm and elegance', tourism is Barbados' main sector and source of foreign revenue. Over 10% of the labour force are employed within tourism.

Is Barbados the most expensive Caribbean island? ›

The most expensive countries for travel in the Caribbean Islands are currently Barbados ($374.20), Antigua and Barbuda ($352.43), British Virgin Islands ($330.40), Curacao ($330.17), and Turks and Caicos Islands ($327.76).

How much does it cost to build a house in Barbados? ›

On average, at the time of writing this guide (early 2021), we can indicate a starting point of about BB$ 10-12 per sq. ft. for an inland lot in a parish like St. George and about BB$ 13-15 for a similar lot in St.

Can you use US dollars in Barbados? ›

Most shops and restaurants in Barbados are happy to accept US dollars as well as BBD, but you'll always get more for your money when paying in Barbadian dollars. You'll also receive any change in BBD, not USD.

How much is rent in Barbados? ›

Renting a one-bedroom apartment in the city center costs 1,083.33 BBD ($541.67) per month or 2,125 BBD ($1,062.50) for a three-bedroom apartment. Outside the city center, the prices drop down significantly to 830 BBD ($415) and 1,700.00 BBD ($850) for one- and three-bedroom apartments, respectively.

What is Barbados best known for? ›

It's no secret that Barbados is known for having some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The serene Caribbean coast on the west is famed for its aquamarine waters and soft sands, while the wilder beaches in Barbados on the east coast are exhilarating to visit, with big rollers and dramatic scenery.

Is Barbados high end? ›

Barbados is known as an iconic luxury destination and is rated alongside the world's most outstanding vacation locales.

What hotel do celebrities stay in Barbados? ›

If you think of where celebrities stay in Barbados, the biggest draw on the island has got to be Sandy Lane. This fashionable resort undeniably offers all the serenity and peace a superstar needs.

How much is $100 US in Barbados? ›

Are you overpaying your bank?
Conversion rates US Dollar / Barbadian Dollar
10 USD20.19100 BBD
20 USD40.38200 BBD
50 USD100.95500 BBD
100 USD201.91000 BBD
8 more rows

How much is $500 US in Barbados? ›

Are you overpaying your bank?
Conversion rates US Dollar / Barbadian Dollar
100 USD201.91000 BBD
250 USD504.77500 BBD
500 USD1009.55000 BBD
1000 USD2019.10000 BBD
8 more rows

How much cash can I take into Barbados? ›

The import of local currency is unlimited but amounts of over BDS$10,000 must be declared on arrival. The export of local currency is prohibited. There are no restrictions on the import of foreign currencies and monetary instruments provided amounts with the equivalent of over BDS$10,000 are declared on arrival.


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