Things to Know Before You Go to Barbados

Before you go to Barbados here are some helpful facts and things you should know so when you arrive on the island you know what to expect.

Barbados has one airport – the Grantley Adams International Airport (BGI). The airport is in the south of the island and is 16kms from Bridgetown, the capital. There is only one terminal at the airport. The airport does not have skyways, so passengers are required to exit the plane via a stairway and walk to the arrivals hall.

Barbados has a strict rule banning any form of army camouflage clothing, including hats, scarves, shorts, t-shirts, back-packs, etc. Anyone wearing such articles into the country (even children) will be asked to remove them by the Authorities.


On board the flight you will be given an Immigration/Customs Form to complete. The forms must be completed prior to entering the Arrivals Hall. Visitors are required to list the address where they will stay while in Barbados. On the reverse side of the Landing Card is a blue Customs Form to be completed and handed to the Customs Officer once you have collected your luggage.


Take the hassle out of your arrival experience by arranging a personal Meet and Greet service. This service includes being personally escorted through Immigration, immediate assistance with baggage retrieval, and continuing on through Customs into an awaiting air-conditioned taxi.


After you have cleared Immigration you will see numerous “Red Caps.” These men and women are available to help you with your bags and will accompany you through Customs to the outside. It is customary to tip the Red Caps Bds$2 (US$1) per bag, however, for extra luggage or exceptional service, an extra gratuity will not be refused.


There is a Duty Free wine and spirits shop next to the Baggage Claim where prices can be as much as 70% below on-island retail purchases. Especially good bargains are found in vodka, gin and whiskies. There is no savings on our local rum. Each person is allowed 1 litre but insiders know they can purchase more than the 1 litre limit.


Unless you have made prior arrangements for a private taxi, upon exiting the Arrivals Hall there is a desk immediately on the left where a taxi dispatcher will direct you to the next available taxi. There are signs with the posted fares of all major island destinations but please be advised that most if not all drivers will charge extra depending on the number of passengers and the amount of luggage. We suggest you agree on a price prior to leaving the airport.


There are numerous car rental companies on the island but only a select few meet international standards. Courtesy Rent-a-Car, one of Barbados’ oldest and well known car rental companies, and Drive-a-Matic both have kiosks to the immediate left after you exit the Arrivals Hall. With a prior reservation other companies will greet you usually with a hand held sign outside the Arrivals Hall.


Barbados’ water is naturally filtered via the limestone and coral and is therefore safe to drink. Some say Barbados’ water is fit for a Queen, as Queen Elizabeth herself declared Barbados’ water delicious.


If you are shopping in any of the island’s many stores be sure to take your passport and Immigration Card with you as you will be required to present these documents in order to purchase certain items duty free. Alcohol and tobacco purchases cannot be taken with you but rather will be waiting for you at the Chamber of Commerce desk after you clear security in the Departure Lounge.


We drive on the left side of the road which means the steering wheel is located on the right hand side of the vehicle. For those of you who drive on the “other side of the road” please be aware and use caution and look both ways before crossing the road. Easy tip: the steering wheel should always be in the middle of the road, never on the side!

Bajans are fond of their car horns. Rarely are horns beeped in anger in Barbados but rather as a friendly hello, as a “please go ahead of me” and as a thank you. A flashing of the lights is an indication “please proceed before me”.

Our extensive road system can be quite a challenge to navigate. You can download a free SatNav map on to your Garmin and some car rental companies offer a SatNav with the vehicle rental. The bus stop signs are helpful in knowing which direction you are going in. They are either marked “To City” or “Out of City.” This is helpful if you want to go in either of those directions, but going across the country can be a bit more complicated.


Our public transportation system is fairly good, however, there is no particular schedule. The blue buses are Government owned; the yellow mini-buses and the small white ZR vans are privately owned. Unfortunately there is sporadic law enforcement of the sometimes unsafe driving practices exhibited by public transportation vehicles. Please utilise these vehicles at your own risk. Bus fares are Bds$2 /US$1 to anywhere on the island. Simply raise your hand to flag down a bus.


If you are hiring a vehicle the car hire company will issue you with a driver’s permit that is valid for 3 months. The cost is Bds$10 / US$5. Alternatively should you be borrowing a vehicle from a family member or friend, you can obtain your local driver’s permit from any police station. They accept only Barbados dollars. Remember to bring your own driver’s permit.


Car seats, strollers, cots, cribs, even toys, can easily be rented if you want to leave those bulky items at home to facilitate a hassle free trip to Barbados.


United States Dollars are readily accepted throughout the island at a conversion rate of $2.00 Bds equal to $1.00 US. Any other currency can be converted to Barbados Dollars in any of the island’s banks or at the bank by the airport’s Baggage Claim. Upon departure, the Barbados National Bank kiosk located in the Departure Lounge can change any remaining Barbados dollars back to your home currency. All major credit cards are accepted in Barbados, although American Express is not widely accepted.


It is not customary to tip taxi drivers, although a tip will not be refused. The average restaurant tip is 10% but check to make sure a service charge or tip has not been included on your restaurant bill. In the supermarket it is customary to give those packing your grocery bags and then take them to your car a couple of dollars. In the private villas the staff appreciate a tip at the end of your holiday and this amount is discretionery, based upon the level of service you have received. Please check with either your villa manager or booking agent for guidelines. The hotels normally automatically add a 10% service charge on to your room and food and beverage bill.

Leather Motorcycle Accessories Can Bring Your Wardrobe Alive

It use to be that if you were setting out on a long trip cross country on your favorite bike, all you needed was a comfortable seat, a leather jacket on your back and a sense of adventure. Today, the number of incredible leather motorcycle accessories you can take with you is staggering. You may not need every single one of these items, but you will be surprised how many of them you will fall in love with after just one use. Let’s take a look at some of the hottest items currently on the market.

Two of the most popular items to hit the leather market in recent years are skull caps and masks. Every year, sales of these two items increases dramatically as riders try them out for the first time and realize that they provide protection and warmth on those cold, long rides. The skull cap looks a little funny when you first see one, but since so many motorcycle fans sport the buzz cut anyway, the skull cap fits effortlessly over the top of the head and protect against road debris and against the elements, too. The mask also helps to protect against any hazards that might end up making it over your motorcycle’s windshield, including, but not limited to, insects. The mask can also help keep you warm if you ride in the wintertime as more and more riders do. If you are looking to save money on both these essentials, look for retailers that are selling both an all leather skull cap and mask as a set for one low price.

For those people who are looking for a head covering that isn’t quite a skull cap but isn’t quite a full fledged hat, some leather retailers are selling a genuine leather flat cap that looks almost like a beret but with much more style. This item was once quite rare, but more and more riders are reporting having seen them around. Some retailers are even selling embroidered ones sporting patriotic phrases and designs, such as USA and Freedom Isn’t Free. Look for these leather motorcycle accessories at your local retailer or online.

While wearing a hat with a wide and pronounced brim can be difficult when you’re riding, as soon as you get to where you need to go, a baseball cap style leather hat is a popular choice. If you’re headed to the ballpark or to your kids sporting events, you’ll fit right in and you will protect yourself from the harmful rays of the sun at the same time. The ball cap goes perfectly with any other leather items you might have on, such as a classic leather vest or a leather coat so it is perfect with practically any outfit. These leather ball caps are a hot seller, so if you see one, grab it because it might not be there when you go back!

The world of leather motorcycle accessories is growing every day, who knows what will be hot item this time next year? Stay tuned!

What Are Device Drivers and Why Should I Care?

What are Device Drivers?

If you’re wondering what are device drivers?, this article is for you. Device drivers are software instructions that allow a computer device to communicate with the computer. These instructions come in the form of software. For example, when you buy a new printer, the printer comes with a CD containing installation software. This software contains all of the necessary files for your printer to work with your computer. After you install the software, your computer will recognize the printer and know exactly how to communicate with it.

What are Device Drivers that Windows Automatically Loads?

Some devices no longer come with installation CDs and rely on Windows to automatically recognize the device and use a pre-installed driver for the device. These devices are known as “Plug and Play” devices. Simply plug the device in and it’s immediately recognized by Windows. This doesn’t happen by magic. Rather, Microsoft works with hardware manufacturers and includes approved device drivers in its vast database. Some of these drivers come preinstalled on your computer while others are downloaded through periodic Windows Updates. Since they are already installed on your system, you do not need an installation CD.

What are Device Drivers’ Updates?

Thanks to the ease of Plug and Play devices, most computer users can handle basic device installations. If the installation goes well and the device works as intended, that’s usually the end of the story. However, computers and hardware don’t always get along as planned. Conflicts may be present, bugs in the program may interfere with operations, or a Windows Update may cause a device to stop working. These are but a few of the potential problems that could affect the device. Manufacturers are well aware of conflicts, bugs, and other problems and work continuously to address problems. They issue fixes to known problems, and occasionally new features, in the form of updated device drivers.

When to Update Drivers

Because your Windows operating system may have an older version of your hardware device’s drivers installed, or because the CD that came with the device may be out of date, it’s smart to check for updated device drivers immediately after installing the device. This ensures that your computer has the latest fixes and enhancements, thus solving potential problems before they appear. It is also smart to update the drivers periodically for this same reason.

Updating Drivers

Now that the “what are device drivers?” question has been answered, let’s explore how to update them. In some cases, Windows will do this for you through the Windows Update process. However, this is only for specific pieces of hardware from manufacturers who have supplied Microsoft with the updated drivers. You may need to search for fresh drivers individually by either launching the hardware’s management console (if available) and using its “update” feature (if available) or by going directly to the manufacturer’s website and searching for updates there.

It’s vital to specify your exact hardware model and operating system version because driver software is written specifically for each device and operating system. You’ll usually receive a self-executing file that installs automatically once downloaded. Always reboot your computer after updating.

Car Cleaning Tips For Personal and Rental Cars

There are two types of cars you want to clean and shine always. One of them is yours personally and the other car type is rental. Many people are much more likely to ignore their own cars cleanliness. Others are much more likely to ignore the sanitary conditions of both personal and rental cars. A car is an expensive asset and it deserves proper repair, cleaning and storage. There are many car-cleaning tips you could pursue to always keep your asset clean. These include the following:

1) Managing the personal stuff: Do you know how easily you can turn your auto into a garbage place? Accumulating clutter inside your car happens the same way it does inside your house. This is especially true if you have the habit of bringing books, CDs, Magazines, food, and other stuff in the car. It is okay to bring these personal items in the car. However you should be organized. Find a way to organize entertainment possessions in one place. If you often ride with your kids, you know only too well how messy they can get. Make sure their play stuff are gathered and kept in the car boot. If you allow clutter in your car, do not be surprised if you start seeing roaches riding along.

2) Keep a garbage receptacle: This is very useful because you do not have to search for trash under the car seats and other hidden places.

3) Eat outside the auto: Food spills attract insects and pollute the air in your car. Food could cause stubborn stains on carpets and other surfaces as well. If possible, eat all edibles outside your car.

4) Buy a vacuum cleaner: Everyday you should take a few minutes to clean your car after using it. A vacuum cleaner can help you do it fast and effectively. If you habitually clean your auto interiors, you will always breathe clean air. You could use baking powder to get rid of stubborn stains on carpets. The car interiors will smell badly if you ignore cleaning them regularly.

5) Buy some car cleaning supplies: when you can freely clean your auto thoroughly at home the cleaning supplies will become necessary. You certainly do not have to buy the expensive pressure washers, carpet cleaners or other chemicals. There are some cheaper and safer spray cleaners available within your means. Hire a company to clean your auto thoroughly from time to time though. It is easy to clean and shine your entire car until you can get money for expert detailing.

6) Create a sweet aroma: Your luxury car need to smell as good as its owner. Some dryer sheets placed underneath the car seats can purify the air inside your car. However you have to keep on adding the sheets when the sweet aroma fades away.

7) Travel car cleaning tips: when traveling far away in your car, it is much more likely to collect dirt and trash. Pack only the items you may need in the car boot especially if you have kids. Many items are likely to get lost in the car or get scattered everywhere. Look in advance for cheap car cleaning shops around your final destination. There is other good car cleaning tips you should apply when traveling.