cost of living in barbados

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Old Apr 4th 2006, 2:24 am
  #1  
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Default cost of living in barbados

Hey folks,

I've got an opportunity to move to Barbados for 3-4 months and set up a branch office for the company I work for. It's an exciting idea, but I'm sorely lacking in hard information about things like:
-rents
-where to live (prolly near/in Bridgetown)
-where would be a good place to open an office (IT business)
-getting around
-rents for furnished apartments/houses
-what to do after sitting on the beach gets old (you can't scuba every day... can you?)
-how's the rainy season
-what's expensive, what's not
-making friends and such (are the people friendly/reserved/etc)
-do you need a car to get around
-can yah get internets

And so on. I'm trying to get a picture of what it would be like, because I'm quite tempted... but there's gotta be a down-side to island life (having lived in Quintana Roo, Mexico for about half a year, I know the tropical paradise ain't always).

Predictably, most of the information online is about holiday rentals, hotels, rum... I want to hear what it's like to be a working stiff on the island.

Thanks in advance.
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Old Apr 14th 2006, 1:52 pm
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Default Re: cost of living in barbados

Originally Posted by cgeisel
Hey folks,

I've got an opportunity to move to Barbados for 3-4 months and set up a branch office for the company I work for. It's an exciting idea, but I'm sorely lacking in hard information about things like:
-rents
-where to live (prolly near/in Bridgetown)
-where would be a good place to open an office (IT business)
-getting around
-rents for furnished apartments/houses
-what to do after sitting on the beach gets old (you can't scuba every day... can you?)
-how's the rainy season
-what's expensive, what's not
-making friends and such (are the people friendly/reserved/etc)
-do you need a car to get around
-can yah get internets

And so on. I'm trying to get a picture of what it would be like, because I'm quite tempted... but there's gotta be a down-side to island life (having lived in Quintana Roo, Mexico for about half a year, I know the tropical paradise ain't always).

Predictably, most of the information online is about holiday rentals, hotels, rum... I want to hear what it's like to be a working stiff on the island.

Thanks in advance.
okay...the one thing you need to know about Barbados is that basically its Manchester in the sun! MILLIONS of burnt english tourists - you hardly get the local feel (tourists will say not, as they buy little carved ornaments but thats HARDLY local life!!)

anyway,

living - traffic is a nightmare in Barbados, south cost is hotels and tourists but has some nice houses too, and most of the restaurants, west coast is hotels too but the more exclusive ones - and also nice to live.

rents - for a decent 3 bed you are looking at $1500 - $2000US so depends what you want really

car - yes, a must, but are expensive due to a massive import duty. Dont buy a nice car its not worth it, try a 5 year old Toyota, thats the best.

loads of nightlife, clubs, different sports clubs, you wont get bored at all!

internet is easy - although may take a couple of weeks, but theres loads of internet cafes.

rainy season is Oct, Nov, Dec.

pretty much everything is expensive in Barbados - you'll need lots of cash if you wanna live nicely and have fun.
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Old May 31st 2006, 12:49 pm
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Default Re: cost of living in barbados

I'm a brit & have been living & working in Barbados for 10 Years.

Rents: flats/house start at around 600.00 US$ - you can get a reasonable apartment for $800 to $1000.00 US$ P/Month.

as for opening IT office - what type of Business ?
if its just an office you need there are lots of places,
Bridgetown is mad busy and I would not recommend it, Warrens is a good, easy access to most parts of the Island, check out Cariblist.com for rentals of office & Apartments.

Getting Around: a car is a must have. if you are starting a Business then Lease is probally the best option, But not cheap, Standard 4 door saloon about 600.00 US$ a Month, most major car dealerships are on the Island.

theres plenty to do on the island, depends on what your tastes are.

dry Jan - May, wet Jun - Nov, but it normally nothing to bother you.
as a brit think endless summer.

Expensive - LOL - went back to the UK last Year and I thought the UK was expensive. - its all about how you live - the better supermakets (away form the coast) are a little more expensive than the UK, as most stuff is imported and its only a small Island. Beer & Cigs are alot cheaper. you can also Buy direct from wholesalers - I buy Chablis for the wife by the case from a wholesaler and its cheaper than the UK Supermarkets. if you average it all out I would say its slighty cheaper than the Uk, If your a wise spender -

Bajans are generaly very friendly and always willing to help, there is also a large amount of Brits living over here.

Cable & Wireless is currently the only provider on the island - there are a few other, but they all pipe through C&W.
Current prices ( May 2006)
256Kbps/128Kbps $35.00 US$ P/M
512Kbps/256Kbps $50.00 US$ P/M
768Kbps/384Kbps $70.00 US$ P/M
1.5Mbps/768Kbps $140.00 US$ P/M
2.0Mbps/768Kbps $185.00 US$ P/M

As C&W is the only provider its service is not great, but there are other players coming into the market soon.

Hope that helps, if you need more info email me
[email protected]

Phil

Originally Posted by cgeisel
Hey folks,

I've got an opportunity to move to Barbados for 3-4 months and set up a branch office for the company I work for. It's an exciting idea, but I'm sorely lacking in hard information about things like:
-rents
-where to live (prolly near/in Bridgetown)
-where would be a good place to open an office (IT business)
-getting around
-rents for furnished apartments/houses
-what to do after sitting on the beach gets old (you can't scuba every day... can you?)
-how's the rainy season
-what's expensive, what's not
-making friends and such (are the people friendly/reserved/etc)
-do you need a car to get around
-can yah get internets

And so on. I'm trying to get a picture of what it would be like, because I'm quite tempted... but there's gotta be a down-side to island life (having lived in Quintana Roo, Mexico for about half a year, I know the tropical paradise ain't always).

Predictably, most of the information online is about holiday rentals, hotels, rum... I want to hear what it's like to be a working stiff on the island.

Thanks in advance.
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Old May 31st 2006, 1:09 pm
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Default Re: cost of living in barbados

Thanks Phil. A little too late since I already agreed to go (I'm writing this from the Hilton), but it's good to know what I got myself into.

Will keep your email handy and maybe get a once I'm set up.
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Old May 31st 2006, 2:58 pm
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Default Re: cost of living in barbados

No Prob,
I own a Computer Business on the Island so if you need any help let me know,
Phil.



Originally Posted by cgeisel
Thanks Phil. A little too late since I already agreed to go (I'm writing this from the Hilton), but it's good to know what I got myself into.

Will keep your email handy and maybe get a once I'm set up.
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Old May 31st 2006, 3:03 pm
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Default Re: cost of living in barbados

Originally Posted by Rum_Bo
No Prob,
I own a Computer Business on the Island so if you need any help let me know,
Phil.
now you just might be someone I need to talk to!!

how much are laptops over there? My 6 year old Toshiba I'm on right now is sooooo slow - but dont want to spend a fortune...
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Old May 31st 2006, 5:26 pm
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Default Re: cost of living in barbados

LOL - We are Acer Dealers - I'm currently useing a Acer Aspire Series.
Seems to work well - never liked laptops over here - climate was always a problem. they seem to be more rubust lately.

email me: [email protected]

Let me know what your looking for ie: CPU (intel/AMD) DVD Burner, do you need high video, hard dirve size etc etc. what do you do with it is always a help when advising what to buy: prices start at $899.00 US$.

OR contact the company direct:
On Line Consultancies (B'dos) Ltd - 246 438 6666

Phil.

PS: Im semi retired so have little hands on with the company.
thatys why I purchased the boat as a new project to keep me Busy
Phil.



Originally Posted by islandmom
now you just might be someone I need to talk to!!

how much are laptops over there? My 6 year old Toshiba I'm on right now is sooooo slow - but dont want to spend a fortune...
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Old Aug 16th 2006, 3:09 pm
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Default Re: cost of living in barbados

Hi,

I was reading this thread as I have recently been offered a role in Barbados and I am trying to make a decision.

I am a Brit who has lived in Bermuda for the past 4 years. My recent (brief)trip to Barbados suggested that other than the Bajan's much of the population is made up of a conveyor belt of toursits throughout the year. I have very much enjoyed Bermuda by mingling with locals and particularly a great 20-30something expat community and my concern is whether this exists in Barbados. I would be moving to a company with very few employees and so I am worried that as a single guy I may struggle to really feel part of a community.

Any info. would be greatly appreciated.
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Old Aug 17th 2006, 10:47 pm
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Default Re: cost of living in barbados

Hey there saw this thread and thought I'd join in.

There are rumblings of a job in BGI and I wanted to find out more as hubby will be in the office and that leave me and the kids at home. So from a Mom's point of view with pre-school kids, what life like?

I was in BGI about 7yrs ago full of party night life and sun, but things are different now....what's the schools like....social circle for Mom's and kids.....safety...housing....for some reason I'm under the impression that being a stay-at-home-mom I'll have un-wanted attention from indiviuals that know I'm home alone (safety aspect).

Island mom - I'm guessing you have kids (from your name)...what are your experiences?

Any other info anyone wants to add about living there..plse feel free to add your comments.

At some point soon we'll have to give an answer as to whether we want to move for this job or not. So for now would like to find out as much as poss about the place...from those that are living there.

Cheers
RS
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Old Aug 17th 2006, 10:59 pm
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Default Re: cost of living in barbados

Originally Posted by Rumswizz
Hey there saw this thread and thought I'd join in.

There are rumblings of a job in BGI and I wanted to find out more as hubby will be in the office and that leave me and the kids at home. So from a Mom's point of view with pre-school kids, what life like?

I was in BGI about 7yrs ago full of party night life and sun, but things are different now....what's the schools like....social circle for Mom's and kids.....safety...housing....for some reason I'm under the impression that being a stay-at-home-mom I'll have un-wanted attention from indiviuals that know I'm home alone (safety aspect).

Island mom - I'm guessing you have kids (from your name)...what are your experiences?

Any other info anyone wants to add about living there..plse feel free to add your comments.

At some point soon we'll have to give an answer as to whether we want to move for this job or not. So for now would like to find out as much as poss about the place...from those that are living there.

Cheers
RS
from a social point of view you'll be very busy!! loads of mums and kids and a big brit expat scene. Depends of course on where you live as South and West coasts are busy. If you live in the centre of the country or out on the east coast you'll be living in a car as everything is on the other coasts and it'll take a while!
great schools and pre-schools available also. Sports are great - tennis, karate, soccer, swimming, rugby, dancing - they've got it all there.
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Old Aug 19th 2006, 6:52 am
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Cool Re: cost of living in barbados

Originally Posted by Rum_Bo
I'm a brit & have been living & working in Barbados for 10 Years.

Cable & Wireless is currently the only provider on the island - there are a few other, but they all pipe through C&W.
Current prices ( May 2006)
256Kbps/128Kbps $35.00 US$ P/M
512Kbps/256Kbps $50.00 US$ P/M
768Kbps/384Kbps $70.00 US$ P/M
1.5Mbps/768Kbps $140.00 US$ P/M
2.0Mbps/768Kbps $185.00 US$ P/M

As C&W is the only provider its service is not great, but there are other players coming into the market soon.

Hope that helps, if you need more info email me
[email protected]

Phil
Actually in addition to C&W's CaribSurf (http://www.caribsurf.com/ )
there is also Sunbeach: -- http://www.sunbeach.net/
and CariAccess -- http://www.cariaccess.com/
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Old Aug 25th 2006, 12:32 pm
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Default Re: cost of living in barbados

I have read with interest the various messages. I would agree with those who have indicated that Barbados has an advantage over a lot of the other islands. At the moment my wife and I are considering retiring there at an opportune moment and have found the immigration department most helpful.

What we need to be clear on is the cost of living. Bajans have told us this August whilst we were there that it is high. How high is high? What would be considered to be a reasonable income for a Brit to exist? How high are the average utility bills and fuel bills for example?

Renting. Can anyone advise where the best place to rent would be? What could you expect to get for example for 400 sterling a month? Any useful contacts to pass on? Any useful tips on buying?

I have had a chat with Phil, who has answered others on this site, and he was very helpful but other views would be much appreciated on what it is to actually live on the island full time. Phil, assures me that there is no downside and I am sure that he is right but is there anything one should be sensibly aware and take into account before leaving the UK?What is the level of crime for example?

Mike Saunders
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Old Aug 25th 2006, 11:58 pm
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Talking Re: cost of living in barbados

There's a range of categories that will dictate your monthly expenses in Barbados.. E.g. Having a 1 family flat vs. a Condo... The number of members in your household. etc. etc. etc.

Utilities on the islands are a mixture of public/private owned.

Electricity is the Barbados Light and Power Company (BL&P Co.) -- http://www.blpc.com.bb/ Its a crown corporation (Barbados government) however it has a few large corporate investors(Locally and in Canada). BL&P has their fees on their website which they claim to be among the cheapest in the Caribbean.
http://www.blpc.com.bb/

Although Barbados never signed onto Venezuela's cheap Caribbean oil programme named PetroCaribe, costs in Barbados are still surpressed because Barbados has enough oil-locally to supply part of the country's domestic needs. Additionally the Government of Barbados is working on an agreement to have a 120 naughtical mile undersea pipeline deliver natural gas from oil/gas rich Trinidad and Tobago to the south. Feasibility studies are also being done on turning Sugarcane / garbage into power, or the introduction of a wind farm off the coast of Barbados to capitalise on the Atlantic Ocean's tradewinds.

In terms of gas. I can't think of the name for the company that privides gas to the home. It is owned by the government as well. The only gas you need to the home is for your stove.(if you buy a natural gas stove.) other than that Barbados has a bunch of companies that sell solar hot water heaters. Rest-assured the solar hotwater heaters also have an electrical heating system in them too which can be switched on during very cloudy days. So overall your only fees to your house will be water, telephone, electricity and cable if you subscribe to it. Gas is based on how much or how often you cook (unless you get an electric stove. or if you have to purchase natrual gas at all)

Water is another government company. The Barbados Water Authority runs the water department. Barbados has among the most naturally pure drinking water in the world. There's really no worries drinking from the tap water.

The telecom market in Barbados has now been liberalised.

Digicel,
Sunbeach,
and
BMobile are the initial mobile companies.

Telephone companies are just now being approved however data is now no longer required to exit the island via Cable and Wireless so costs are falling fast. Companies like www.teleBarbados.com + www.wiiscom.bb and others are rushing to bring the cost of telecommunications in Barbados down. There's now new & faster fiberoptic lines from/to the United states being rolled out finally.

Cable TV is provided either by US based DirecTV [http://www.starcomnetwork.net/services/directv.htm]

Or via the Government owned Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation [ http://www.cbc.bb/content/view/187/92/ ]

Other than cable there is only 1 TV station in Barbados.

Overall one of the biggest hits you can take to the wallet is if you follow many of the other Barbadians and buy an SUV.... That'll run you ~ BDS$60 just to get the needle to move... last I spoke to someone in January it was about US$1.20 per litre.

Last edited by _Tropical_11th; Aug 26th 2006 at 12:16 am.
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Old Aug 26th 2006, 10:37 am
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Default Re: cost of living in barbados

Originally Posted by _Tropical_11th
There's a range of categories that will dictate your monthly expenses in Barbados.. E.g. Having a 1 family flat vs. a Condo... The number of members in your household. etc. etc. etc.

Utilities on the islands are a mixture of public/private owned.

Electricity is the Barbados Light and Power Company (BL&P Co.) -- http://www.blpc.com.bb/ Its a crown corporation (Barbados government) however it has a few large corporate investors(Locally and in Canada). BL&P has their fees on their website which they claim to be among the cheapest in the Caribbean.
http://www.blpc.com.bb/

Although Barbados never signed onto Venezuela's cheap Caribbean oil programme named PetroCaribe, costs in Barbados are still surpressed because Barbados has enough oil-locally to supply part of the country's domestic needs. Additionally the Government of Barbados is working on an agreement to have a 120 naughtical mile undersea pipeline deliver natural gas from oil/gas rich Trinidad and Tobago to the south. Feasibility studies are also being done on turning Sugarcane / garbage into power, or the introduction of a wind farm off the coast of Barbados to capitalise on the Atlantic Ocean's tradewinds.

In terms of gas. I can't think of the name for the company that privides gas to the home. It is owned by the government as well. The only gas you need to the home is for your stove.(if you buy a natural gas stove.) other than that Barbados has a bunch of companies that sell solar hot water heaters. Rest-assured the solar hotwater heaters also have an electrical heating system in them too which can be switched on during very cloudy days. So overall your only fees to your house will be water, telephone, electricity and cable if you subscribe to it. Gas is based on how much or how often you cook (unless you get an electric stove. or if you have to purchase natrual gas at all)

Water is another government company. The Barbados Water Authority runs the water department. Barbados has among the most naturally pure drinking water in the world. There's really no worries drinking from the tap water.

The telecom market in Barbados has now been liberalised.

Digicel,
Sunbeach,
and
BMobile are the initial mobile companies.

Telephone companies are just now being approved however data is now no longer required to exit the island via Cable and Wireless so costs are falling fast. Companies like www.teleBarbados.com + www.wiiscom.bb and others are rushing to bring the cost of telecommunications in Barbados down. There's now new & faster fiberoptic lines from/to the United states being rolled out finally.

Cable TV is provided either by US based DirecTV [http://www.starcomnetwork.net/services/directv.htm]

Or via the Government owned Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation [ http://www.cbc.bb/content/view/187/92/ ]

Other than cable there is only 1 TV station in Barbados.

Overall one of the biggest hits you can take to the wallet is if you follow many of the other Barbadians and buy an SUV.... That'll run you ~ BDS$60 just to get the needle to move... last I spoke to someone in January it was about US$1.20 per litre.
Many thanks much appreciated.
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Old Aug 26th 2006, 1:35 pm
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Default Re: cost of living in barbados

well from Tropical 11th's posts I dont think theres anymore I can add really.

A decent house rental starts at about £1200 UK but I dont know how many beds you need and what area you want. just remember if you live inland or on the east coast you WILL spend your life in the car travelling to the West Coast. thats where everything is, where most people are and the restaurants etc...

cars are hit by a MASSIVE duty bill so if you can import maybe check that out, gas is going up by the day out here and we have doubled the cost of filling our truck up in just 6 months.
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