What to Wear in Barbados

Cruise gala dinner night on P&O's Azura

Cruise gala dinner night on P&O's Azura

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to help you pack with confidence and stay safe, secure and comfortable.

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General Packing Tips

  • Smart casual clothes in lightweight natural fabrics will work best - It is warm and sunny but not unbearably hot all year round.
  • However the nights tend to be a little cooler and a sweater or pashmina is worth popping in your case.
  • Daytime essentials include t-shirts, camisoles, sarong and shorts as most people spend their time on the beach.
  • Remember your sun hat and sunglasses, and wear plenty of sunscreen (we love the Riemann P20 range for 10 hour protection).
  • Mosquitoes can be a problem, so take insect/mosquito repellent and cover up with long sleeves and pants when you can, particularly in the evenings if you are outdoors. Avoid wearing any scent or perfume.
  • Keep your swimwear for the beach, beach bars and hotel pools.
  • There are a number of up-market restaurants where the dress code is super smart - so you might like to include a smarter outfit.
  • Do not wear or carry any army/combat type clothing or print, as this is illegal in Barbados.
  • If you plan to explore the island, take some lightweight comfy shoes for walking. We love Hotter shoes, for total comfort along with style. If you get up early you can join the locals at the Saturday Brighton Farmers Market.

Clothing Tips for Women

  • For evenings dress is smart casual - ladies tend to wear short summer sundresses - and take a pashmina or wrap as just after a downpour it cools very quickly, but only temporarily.
  • A few well-chosen pieces of costume jewelry will transform any outfit.
  • And your pashmina is a versatile piece that will dress up any outfit too.
  • Be sure to pack some flat sandals or flip flops as beach parties actually happen on the beach! We love the Lindsay Phillips Switch Flops range - using interchangeable shoe and flip-flop bases with snap-on decorations, you can change your look from day to evening in an instant whilst still packing light.
  • Note that it is frowned upon to go topless and illegal to go nude on the island.
  • Pack your very best of the best if your plans include clubbing at Sugar Ultra Lounge.
  • In Barbados on business? Smart business attire is expected, as is being on time for meetings. It is customary for men and women to shake hands.

Clothing Tips for Men

  • If you're looking for versatile and stylish beachwear, try the Madda Fella range of shirts, shorts, polos and swimwear.
  • For evenings, guys' dress is smart casual - so long pants and short-sleeved shirts (no t-shirts). Tailored shorts are acceptable.
  • If you're here on business then smart business attire is expected, as is being on time for meetings.
  • For great versatile travel jackets with multiple pockets including RFID security options, we love the SCOTTeVEST range.

Pack for the Weather

  • July, August, September, October, November and December is officially the rainy season, although it tends to start earlier these days. You do still get lots of sunshine, but it is interrupted by deluges of rain which last for up to 30 minutes at a time. You may like to take a light raincoat or travel umbrella.
  • We love the Weather+ app - it gives an accurate 6 day forecast for day and night, which when you're planning from home is really helpful. You can keep all the places you've been to too - a nice way to remember your trip :) Download for iPad/iPhone or Android

Regions of Barbados

  • Beaches on the northwest coast can be stony, so take along some dive shoes to protect your feet.
  • If you're keen to hike in the rainforest go for comfort over style, and be sure to pack suitable footwear.

Other Things To Pack

  • A lightweight day sack or beach bag will come in handy to carry your sightseeing essentials.
  • The tap water is safe to drink, but if you do tend to buy bottled water consider carrying a Go! Filtered Water Bottle - fill up from any source and get clean, safe drinking water without wasting plastic bottles.
  • Look after your mobile phone with a phone bunjee - it protects against loss, theft and damage.
  • To use electrical gadgets you may need a travel adapter plug, and also a step up voltage converter if your devices are not designed for local voltage (115V).
  • If you're aiming to travel with just carry-on baggage, try the CabinMax soft-sided rucksack - it's light, roomy and has plenty of pockets to keep your stuff organized.
  • Avoid paying unexpected baggage fees - use an accurate luggage scale to ensure you keep within the weight allowance. Don't forget to leave room for souvenirs on the way home! How about some rum, or you may develop a taste for Hot Pepper Sauce - just remember you will need to pack any liquids in checked-in luggage unless you buy at the airport. Bajan Rum Cake is also a popular buy.

Last updated 21 September 2016.

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Pack Light

  • Less luggage to carry
  • Save time packing and unpacking
  • Save money on baggage fees

Pack Right

  • Respect local cultures
  • Feel comfortable and confident
  • Suitable outfits for all occasions

A Message From Helen

I want you to have an amazing vacation. That's why I started WhatToWearOnHoliday.com,
to help you pack with confidence and stay safe, secure and comfortable.

Advice You Can Trust

This site is awesome! We are headed to Barbados and the information was very helpful.

- Jacy, USA