If you were not familiar with left side driving in Barbados, would you let it deter you from discovering beautiful secluded beaches, quaint seaside bars, a breathtaking countryside, and great local hot spots?
I think not.
One of the many joys of vacationing is the freedom to explore your destination to your heart’s content, and there’s no better way to do so than by renting a car.
Ok, I totally get it. For some, driving in Barbados could be challenging with the left side driving and the right side steering.
If this is a major concern, here’s a suggestion. When you make your reservation, request a mini driving lesson when you arrive in Barbados before your rental agent hands over the vehicle keys.
Your safety comes first, and it will help you ease into left side driving in Barbados.
There’s nothing like being on the open road, especially when driving in Barbados. It’s exciting when you’re not sure where you’ll end up and what you’ll see and discover.
Barbados has highways that connect the north to the south, with secondary arterial highways running from east to west. A highway rotary connects each leg of the highway.
All major highways have four lanes. All other roads and secondary highways are two-laned with the exception of Bridgetown, the capital, which is unidirectional.
Rotaries are named after prominent Barbadian or historical figures. In areas where there is inadequate signage, these rotaries act as connecting points to facilitate navigation.
For an additional fee, GPS navigational systems are now available through your car rental agency.
Nevertheless, you should always keep a few maps handy. Maps are readily available at any hotel or tourist desk, or you can get maps from your rental agent. Most times the agent will place the information in the vehicle’s glove compartment.
To be issued a Barbados driver's permit, you must be over 25 years old, have a current driver's license, and least 4 years of driving experience under your belt. Cost of the permit is US $5 and it is valid for 2 months.
Sooner or later, you will pass a local bus stop (within the mile). It will display a “To City” or “From City”. If it says the latter and you decide to continue on your route, you’ll end up “deeper in the abyss”, if you know what I mean.
If it says the former, make a u-turn and follow the road in the opposite direction. The pole signs for Bridgetown will be displayed and this will ultimately direct you to the nearest rotary. Locate your rotary on your Barbados map and this will give you a clearer indication of your position.
If you’re not the adventurous type and you would rather get from Point A to Point B in the blink of an eye, a GPS rental system is recommended. Cost is approximately US $5 per day. This would also eliminate the need to ask for directions, as below.
Local Bus Stop
Finding a parking spot or an affordable parking garage in and around a city area can be a major headache.
Not so in Barbados. Indoor parking garages and outdoor parking lots (rate based) take the aggravation out of parking in Bridgetown, and parking is dirt cheap.
On street city parking is not recommended for a few reasons. Parking spots are small and rules are enforced, so don’t think you can just grab a spot. You might end up getting a ticket.
* Zoom out and click on the map pins to
identify the garages and lots listed above
Grantley Adams International Airport has one main outdoor parking lot with long and short term parking, and 24 hour operation. Access to the parking area is through the lift-arm system.
Parking rates are extremely low at US $.50 for 30 minutes, US $1 for one hour, and US $6 per day. Pay stations are available in the departure and arrivals areas for settling parking fees.
Once you get the hang of it, left side driving becomes easy. Before you know it, you will be on your way to a great adventure!