Travel Journal from Barbados


One of my favourite things about flying into a hot country is that moment when you step off the plane. It’s like walking into a heavy fog of glorious heat that instantly warms you all the way to your bones.

You take a second before you begin your descent down the wobbily plane steps to inhale that thick heat and feel the sun on your face.

Yes, this is what you came on holiday for.

If you’re from a warm country I’m not sure you’ll understand this feeling.

After months of hiding under layers of clothing and feeling nothing but an icy chill on your face, this kind of intense heat is welcomed with arms wide open – admittedly with sweaty arms and hair that has instantly fizzed with the humidity but we don’t care.

After an 8 hour flight from London to Barbados, I arrive at around 4pm with just enough time to get to my hotel, enjoy a glass of champers and take a relaxing walk along the beach as the sun sets.

I instantly chill out and embrace ‘island time’ as the locals call it. You have to say ‘island time’ with a Caribbean accent and a little grin as though you’re recalling a dirty a joke.

The Almond Beach Resort Barbados


Sunset walk along the beach

Sunset in Barbados

I settle into my room at the Almond Beach Resort and then head out for dinner at Brown Sugar in Bridgetown. I have coconut beer shrimp to start followed by Barbados’ famous flying fish. By the time dessert comes around I’m falling asleep into my rum soaked bread pudding so quickly call it a night.

Flying fish - A local speciality
Flying fish – A local speciality

The following morning I’m up early for a catamaran cruise with Jammin’ Cruises. By 10am the tunes are banging and the rum is flowing and I’ve made more friends than I can count (that might be the rum!)

We have three chances to jump (or slide) off board to snorkel or lazily bob around on noodles while the crew swam rum punch out to us. We ended up drinking a concoction of punch and seawater but by midday I don’t think anyone cared.

We were lucky enough to see three turtles while snorkeling and even got a glimpse of a stingray too.

The Travel Hack

Swimming with turtles in Barbados

The Travel Hack in Barbados

Stringray in Barbados

Screen Shot 2014-05-07 at 22.51.04

Once the cruise is over I visit Harrison Caves, an incredible network of living caves filled with stalagmites and stalactites. Crystal clear waterfalls trickle through the rocks to form perfect pools of glistening water. I take a mini train ride through the cave to see all the hidden spots.

Harrison Cave

Dinner tonight is at The Tides. It’s known to be one of the nicest restaurants in Barbados and it didn’t disappoint. I have the best table in the house on the beach front where I could listen to the soft shush of the waves while sipping my wine.

It was another end to a perfect day as I dined on lobster followed by the most incredible Mars bar and Oreo cookie cheesecake.

Lobster in Barbados

It’s my final day in Barbados and I spent the morning exploring the historical Garrison district. I visit the old British armory, see the house George Washington lived in, see the tunnels that run beneath the area and find out more about the history of the island. When a place is as beautiful as Barbados it can be easy to forget about the history and what happened to make it become the place it is today. This tour was fantastic and my infectiously enthusiastic guides had me fascinated by the military history. There are so many secrets hidden away in those tunnels and underground rooms and many of them are still being discovered.

George Washington House in Barbados

canon looking into the sea

Canon in Barbados

blue seas in barbados

the travel hack in Barbados

I visit Sunbury Plantation House for lunch and to explore the old building. It’s a 300-year-old sugar estate that has been meticulously preserved and restored so I immediately felt like I was stepping back in time.

I had a typical Bajan meal for lunch including chicken thighs, rice and peas and macaroni pie.

Sunbury Plantation House Barbados

sunbury plantation house

rum punch

typical bajan meal

It’s then time to say a sad goodbye to Barbados but I can’t help but be excited because my next stop is St Kitts!

My travel journal from St Kitts is coming tomorrow.

I’d like to say a huge thanks to British Airways, Time Out London and Visit Barbados for making this trip possible.

  1. Looks absolutely stunning Monica, I can definitely see me wanting to escape to Barbados at some point – beach times!!!

  2. Keri 6 years ago

    Agree the best bit is when you arrive walk off the plane and get that hit of heat and humidity. Love it!

  3. Jodie 6 years ago

    I visited the sunbury plantation house 13 years ago when I went to Barbados, I instantly recognised it! Looks like you had a fab time in Barbados.

    • TheTravelHack 6 years ago

      That’s so cool that you recognised it. You must have a good memory!

  4. Laura Z 6 years ago

    You know what, you make a really valid point. We love that warm blast of air getting off the plane, signalling the start of HEAT for at least a week. I wonder if people from warmer countries feel the same excitement when they visit a cold country. It surely can’t be the same feeling!

    • TheTravelHack 6 years ago

      Ha, we definitely need to ask someone. It rained while I was in St Kitts and everyone kept telling me how much they loved it. They would all stand outside and just enjoy the rain. Now you definitely wouldn’t find that in the UK!

  5. Arianwen 6 years ago

    Sold! I love the turtle shots. That water looks so clear…!

    • TheTravelHack 6 years ago

      It was so amazingly clear Ari. I wish I had chance to scuba dive while I was there because it must be amazing.

  6. I went to Barbados a couple of winters ago and I loved it! Beautiful blue seas… There’s nothing like escaping England for a bit of winter sun.

    • TheTravelHack 6 years ago

      I couldn’t agree more! I love getting away from the cold British winter for a week or two and I’m happy to say in the UK during our summers.

  7. Corinne 6 years ago

    I have not been to even one Caribbean island…it’s starting to get to me, I have to admit. I love your photos…and so want to eat…what? Flying fish? Yes!

  8. Nicole Webb 6 years ago

    Hi Monica, Barbados looks amazing! Like the sound of all that rum! Ha! Great blog by the way. Like your writing style. Nice to stumble across another travel blogger. Cheers, Nicole

  9. Renuka 6 years ago

    Great! Although I am from India, I can relate to your loving the heat once you land. 🙂 It happens! Barbados sounds lovely! Sounds like you had a great time – nice blend of history and coastal beauty.

  10. Anna 6 years ago

    I loved Barbados when I went! I learnt how to swim, dive, and those turtles! I know you´re not meant to hold onto them, but when I did (cheeky) it pulled me deeper into the depths of the water. Powerful little creatuures! Your lovely pictures remind me I´ve got to put mine up one day!

    • TheTravelHack 6 years ago

      It makes me sad when people hold on to them. I love to see them swimming in the wild but I think they’re becoming too tame.
      The skipper of our boat said that the turtles approach fishing boats looking for food and they’re so tame that the crew can reach right into the water and kill them.

  11. Naomi 6 years ago

    Oh wow, it all looks divine! Slightly painful to read whilst I should be in the midst of exam revision but Barbados is so, so beautiful and I love their concept of ‘Island Time’!

    • TheTravelHack 6 years ago

      Oh I remember that feeling well when you’re trying to revise but everything (EVERYTHING!) becomes a distraction. Good luck with the exams!

  12. […] spending an incredible three days in Barbados my journey got even better as I travelled to the island of St […]

  13. […] some work I’d done with Time Out magazine was published. The week before I’d travelled to Barbados and St Kitts for a British Airways Caribbean special and myself and I’d written two small […]

  14. Andrew Clarke 5 years ago

    Wow, Barbados looks spectacular, I am definitely going to have to visit in the near future!!

  15. Andreas 5 years ago

    I love Barbados. I just reminded me when I read the text 🙂

  16. Christie 3 years ago

    Awesome post & pictures!! I was only in Barbados for a day, but we also went to Harrison’s Cave. My pictures didn’t turn out so well, but we did the eco-tour which was incredible. I hope to go back to Barbados for longer in the future, there is so much to see and do.

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