People pay thousands of dollars to visit Barbados. If you are lucky enough to know someone that lives on the island, it may curb your costs or at least give you an inside scoop into the magic.
Hosting is a topic of conversation amongst my friends. The excitement of having friends and family visit and the anxiety that comes from ensuring that they have a good time.
Here are my insights into what could go wrong and why, and how to prevent this.
Time for Transition
There is this commonly held belief that people hit the beach and immediately relax. It doesn’t quite work this way. By the time most people come on vacation they are in desperate need of time away from their lives. There are those that don’t know they are in need until their body starts to release the tension and they become so tired!
This release of energy takes a few days. It can be very disconcerting to the ones on vacation – why am I so exhausted! It can be disruptive to those of us living here – why are they so high strung? There is a definite energy shift from the “big city” hustle to the Caribbean lifestyle. Be ready for it to happen and give it some time!
We managed to get a surf lesson in with Boosy before Cole got sick
Hitting the East coast trail with Shawna and Cole
Sunset with Shawna and Cole at Champers, looking out over Accra beach
This is the same all around the world – if people don’t have enough physical space, they will drive each other crazy. I downsized to a one-bedroom apartment in Barbados and there was no way my cousin and her son could stay with me over the last couple of weeks. But we were able to rent the unit across the landing from me and that worked perfectly. We could set plans and jump into the car at short notice. But it didn’t preclude me from following my morning routine or walking around in my underwear.
Factor in differences in routine between those visiting and those working, throw in some jet lag and you have a recipe for disaster if there isn’t enough space for people to get in/stay in their own grooves.
Shawna and I at Chalky Mount, East Coast, Barbados
It is hard to imagine a place until you have visited, even if they have watched videos and referred to guidebooks. An upfront conversation is helpful to determine what they want to see and experience, how often they want to eat out and in, and how they will get around. But the biggest question is this:
How would you know that this trip was a success?
Keep the end in mind. They may just want to chill out while they are here, maybe eat well and get fit and healthy, or they may want to drink their face off and party. All these things happen on the island but some of these goals have trouble co-existing on one trip.
Cole's favorite days were hanging out with Luca, Kian, and Tristan
Supply and Demand
The tourist trade operates under the principles of supply and demand. January-March are about as close to perfect weather as you can get in Barbados. Everyone wants to be here during that time, and it is expensive! April and November are great alternatives in the shoulder season, but they are hotter and cheaper! Do you want to enjoy what is in high demand or take advantage when there is more supply? Take your pick.
Barbados is magic! Come visit me.
Sunset over Walkers Reserve, East Coast, Barbados