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DJ Bravo’s hit Champion Song has summed up the prevailing mood in the Caribbean and Barbados right now. Our Under 19, Women’s and Men’s cricket teams took on all comers in India and came out champions in all of the ICC Twenty20 Cricket World Cup divisions. An unprecedented feat! Sufficed to say, it is a great time to be in Barbados to soak up the atmosphere, thicker than normal with swelled Bajan pride in Caribbean citizenship. As we gear up for the annual Crop Over celebrations including our world famous Kadooment Day masquerade carnival, the festivities are wending their way into another great reason to have a good time. Revelry is the name of the game and from the end of this month until the first Monday in August, the cultural showcase is epic. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. On our way there, we first have May, the month of motorsport in Barbados. This year sees competition happening every weekend in disciplines including karting, circuit racing, drag racing, and International rallying. There is something for everyone. The month opens with a bang with the Barbados Festival of Speed. This event is a mix of international and local motorsport, including Superbikes, Radicals, Suzuki Swifts, Monster Trucks, Banger Cars, Classic Cars and features 3-time Formula 1 World Driver’s Champion Lewis Hamilton, MBE in his Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 car. The month culminates with the annual SOL Rally Barbados – the premiere rally event in the Caribbean which features WRC and top 2WD machinery from the Region, UK, Ireland & Europe vying to dethrone local aces. Our charge is led by Roger ‘The Sheriff’ Skeete in his Subaru Impreza WRC S12B. This local rally legend has won this event an unprecedented 13 times! If you’re a motorsport lover, jump in your rental car and get ready to follow these champions across the island. Of course, the beautiful sunsets and scenery promised in the brochures is still in full effect. Sun sea and sand is definitely on the agenda. So if motorsport is not your thing, worry not. You can still hire a car and explore to your heart’s content. Barbados has got plenty to offer and the freedom to drive all over safely and confidently makes all the difference making your vacation epic. Remember, load up the GPS and buckle into your rental car for the trip of a lifetime in Barbados!
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The one thing you will notice as you drive around Barbados is the proliferation of churches of all denominations spread across the island. From the humble one room worship hall to the grandest of cathedrals and parish churches. This would give you a heads up to the fact that Easter is just as important to Bajans as Christmas. As such, our celebrations tend to reflect this with the Easter weekend having the feel of a celebration after the somber observance of Lent, and reverence of Good Friday. Easter is also kite flying season in Barbados, and any island tour involves looking to the skies to follow the gentle buzz of the ‘bulls’ of a Bajan round kite or singing angel. The bright colours and myriad patterns of colourful paper dot the skies on every day, except for Good Friday.  Tradition dictates that on that day all kites are silenced and only black kites are flown, with the colour returning on Easter day in celebration. The strong trade winds washing across the island which are equaling good for kite flying as they are for sailing and other aquatic wind sports. The horizon is usually dotted with colourful spinnakers and kites for the avid kite boarders and ‘foilers’ dancing across the tops of waves. Regattas are the order of the day, with the odd international competition thrown in for good measure. Drive from beach to beach in your hired car and enjoy the splendor first hand. That would be our advice. During the Lenten season Barbadians eat a lot of fish, especially on every Friday. As a result, the island’s fish markets and restaurants are full of life and fish of every conceivable species is available for the taking. If you’re a fish lover, then this is the time of year to be here. Celebrating mother ocean is the name of the game over Easter weekend with the annual Oistins Fish Festival taking centre stage in the south of the island. There are fish boning and skinning competitions, music and revelry, fishing boat races and of course awesome cuisine to be enjoyed all weekend long. Just cruise on down and park your rental as you stroll through this piece of Barbadiana. Back to those kites: Easter Monday is the traditional peak of the kite flying season with the annual kite flying contests. Across the island freshly cut sugar cane fields and sports grounds host entries from the smallest to the largest, some competing for cash prizes, and all competing for pride! Plan to spend a day on the road zipping from field to field using the skies as your guide. The aural and visual spectacle is not one you’re likely to forget soon. We’ve only barely scratched the surface of the memories you can make over Easter in Barbados. No matter your view or persuasion there is something for everyone at this time of year, and if you’re really lucky the Easter Bunny will have paid you a visit. Remember, load up the GPS and buckle into your rental car for the trip of a lifetime in Barbados!
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Can you believe we’re two months into 2016 and motoring on into March? Neither can we.  This means that the Sandy Lane Gold Cup is just around the corner. The Southern Caribbean’s biggest race day and most prestigious race is a staple on the first Saturday in March. This year is no different. The pomp and pageantry is not to be missed, as there is no other atmosphere like horse racing in a UNESCO heritage area while enjoying a tropical carnival atmosphere that only Barbados can deliver. If horses are indeed you thing, then you’re in luck. A short drive north from the Garrison Historic Area to the West Coast/Gold Coast of the island and you’re going to find yourself in the epicentre of the local polo scene. Late winter polo in Barbados is a tradition going back over 130 years. With 3 active polo fields and a strong local cadre of players there is usually polo to be found every Thursday and Sunday afternoon at this time of year. For the even more adventurous, there are also opportunities for polo lessons on the teaching fields. Traditionally strong trade winds are a hallmark of this time of year on the island. While that may be excellent for kite-surfing, wind-surfing and sailing, it proves to be a great challenge for golfers of all abilities. With its excellent courses, Barbados’ golfing scene is very vibrant and locals and visitors alike are spoilt for choice and spectacular views while enjoying their favourite game. Just load up your rental car and make your way either south or west, and you’ll soon be within shouting distance of a championship course. Of course, you can always just load up the hired car and embark on a driving adventure crisscrossing the island and its vast network of paved roads, which all seem to lead to the beach! Punctuating those lazy days on the beach are opportunities to visit numerous open house and gardens in the programme run by the Barbados National Trust every Wednesday afternoon during the season. Being mobile also means diversity in beaches, since you can mix up your days with calming turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea on the West Coast with the more rugged surf of the East Coast with the raw power of the undisturbed Atlantic Ocean. Whether the beach is your thing, or you’re looking for a more balanced holiday; belt yourself into a hired car and enjoy our island. So remember to book your rental early and make sure you take the GPS option if you’re planning to maximise your time in the sun! Barbados invites you to escape your winter and make the most of your tropical getaway!
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As winter continues to rage on and the storms get worse, your resolve wears thin and the need to escape to a warmer climate grows within. Barbados is the tonic you’re searching for. Snowzilla has so far been the worst of the North American winter storms for snow and its impact on the larger metropolitan areas of the eastern US, but luckily Barbados is just a few hours away from JFK or MIA, allowing the lucky travellers a chance to change their latitude and their attitude on the same day. January ended with a bang, as the Team Concise 70 trimaran, Ms. Barbados (MS70), shattered the round the island record in the 70th anniversary Mount Gay Round the Island Race. By almost 50% was the record lowered by both Ms. Barbados and her sister boat Phaedo3.  Also falling by the way side was the windsurfing round the island record, at the hands of Charles Trevor Hunte.  The J/24’s were almost in on the act, but missed by the slimmest of margins this year. If yachting is your bag, there’s plenty more J/24 action coming up in the first half of the year. The steady tradewinds also bring with them the windsurfers and kiteboarders frolicking in the warm Caribbean waters and enjoying the cooler winter temperatures during the day and night. To keep up with the winds and the swells a hired car is a must, as the freedom allows for maximum fun! Also on the water the fishermen are kept busy with the charter season in full swing, and plenty of boats and adventures for visiting anglers to find the right fit for them. Barbados in February also means that polo is kicking off, and Thursdays and Sundays take on a whole new meaning for the glitterati. Driving from field to field is a part of the allure, as are the tailgate picnics and teas. If you’re visiting, rentals cars, are a must if you would like to enjoy the matches like a local.  Of course there’s also the full VIP experience also available and is another popular option among visitors and locals alike. For those really missing the sports of the summer, the appeal of world class golf in the middle of your winter must make a visit to Barbados top of your list. Because of the lower daytime temperatures, golf is that much more pleasurable at this time of year, but the challenge also increases with the steady northeast trades blowing strong across any of the island’s championship courses.  Whether you’re on the Old Nine at Sandy Lane or playing the public course at Durants, the feeling is the same when you know your neighbour is shoveling snow and you’re swinging your clubs. So remember to book your rental car early and make sure you take the GPS option if you’re planning to maximise your time in the sun! Barbados invites you to escape your winter and make the most of your tropical getaway!
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As the throes of winter grip the southern Caribbean we in Barbados are trying to make the best of the average 26°C (79°F) temperatures sweeping the island! Life’s rough in the tropics! Don’t you wish you could ‘complain’ about the same in your beloved homeland? January in Barbados is well and truly in the height of our winter tourist season and, as such, demand is quite high for all things tourism related. Whether it is hotel rooms, hired/rental cars, ground tours, airline bookings or just dinner reservations, if you haven’t already made your arrangements then you’ll be in a bind to get your pick of activities and attractions for your vacation. The relatively cooler temperatures during the day, and at night, make it perfect for our friends from the north to escape their winter to the very pleasant cooling breezes provided by the prevailing trade winds. Beach going is especially comfortable at this time of year, as the intensity of the sun’s rays is mitigated by the lower temperatures.  Similarly, going out at night is a joy in the ‘chilled’ air. During the high season many restaurants, especially on the Gold & Platinum Coasts (West Coast) tend to take on a more formal posture at night, and as such, long pants/trousers and long sleeves become de rigueur for the more swanky restaurants and lounges. For the more adventurous or active amongst us January, and especially cold fronts from the north can bring with them the coveted north swell. For surfers, this is the swell that they are looking forward to all year. The arrival of these swells means that there will be some of the best surf in the world wrapping all the way around from the world class Soup Bowl to the West Coast of the island.  The only way to effectively get the best out of these brief epic conditions is with a car. Hired SUV’s/Jeeps are the way to go if you’re chasing the elusive perfect wave. The previously mentioned prevailing and sustained trade winds blowing across the island also make it perfect for wind sports. Kite surfing and wind surfing take to the fore in the south east of the island, with Silver Rock and Silver Sands coming alive with professionals and highly skilled amateurs honing their skills and training for the upcoming summer seasons in their native lands and on the professional circuit. Also world famous is the round Mount Gay Round Barbados Yacht Race. Now in its 80th year, this race features yachts from around the world and throughout the Caribbean all vying to break the records and beat their class rivals to line honours. If you love sailing, you are treated to everything from MOD70 Trimarans doing 40 plus knots, to J/24 racers. Following this series around the island in your rental car is a must in January. Remember, book your car early and include the GPS option if you want to thoroughly enjoy your January experience in Barbados. The island has so much to offer, especially at this time of year, that you’ll miss it all without the freedom of your own transportation. You can decide if you want to enjoy or endure the winter!
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   December 1 is the official kick off of the Christmas season in Barbados, as far as us Bajans are concerned. With Independence celebrations culminating on November 30th, we slide straight into the joy of the holiday season. And what a festive celebration it is on the island. Bajans love Christmas and there is a definite buzz in the atmosphere as you drive around the island. For us, the season brings with it stronger tradewinds blowing cooler breezes dropping the average temperatures to around29°C / 84°F during the day and cooling to a pleasant 23°C / 73°F at night. However, it does feel a lot more enjoyable than it may sound, and sure beats a bitter winter!  Rainfall also starts to diminish in December, as we prepare to enter the official dry season at the turn of the year. But, I digress.  If you’ve never experienced a tropical Christmas, then this is the place to be. Traditional decorations and lighting adorn all business places during the season, with visitors often remarking how different it feels to see wreaths and garlands outside, but it’s not snowing. Local homes are also subject to the annual spruce up, and many homes get fresh coats of paint and are themselves decorated beautifully for all driving by to enjoy. Bajans take great pride in showing off their homes at this time of year. As with any celebration in Barbados there are traditional culinary treats which accompany the celebrations. Alongside the worldwide staples of turkey and ham, there are also local delicacies such as peas and rice, using fresh pigeon peas, macaroni pie, and jug-jug. Jug-jug is a local delicacy made using fresh pigeon peas as the basis for a casserole. To finish off any holiday meal is the ubiquitous Bajan Great Cake or Black Cake and a cold glass of sorrel. This is a very rich fruit cake which is made with relatively high rum/sugar cane brandy, port wine, falernum and stout content.  The only other time Bajans typically enjoy this treat is at weddings, where it is also the traditional cake. One of the great treats for a tourist at this time of year on the island is to drive your hired car around the countryside and follow your nose. Let that be your guide to the freshest ham out of the local Rum Shop’s oven.  Of course, all of the traditional attractions on both the beach and land side of the island are always there to lure you back after every enjoyable expedition. With the relatively warm temperatures in the air goes the warm water temperatures, which means you can always enjoy a relaxing ‘sea bath’ at the end of a long day. As ever, we encourage you to buckle up and let your GPS be your guide, loosely, as you explore our lovely Barbados in your rental car.  Meet a few locals and make your Christmas experience one which you will remember for the rest of your life. Happy Holidays!
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November is a special month in Barbados. It is the month in which we celebrate our independence from England; gained on November 30, 1966. Typically buildings and roundabouts are decorated and lit from the beginning of the month right up until the big day, making it a beautiful month long festival of our heritage. The celebrations make for the perfect segue way into the Christmas season, almost as if planned by the architects of independence.  As a visitor to the island driving your way around Barbados the sights of ultramarine, gold and black draped on buildings, walls and fences you cannot help but feel the pride which the average Bajan feels about his national colours and sharing that with his fellow countrymen. The nights after the national lighting ceremony on November 1st are always prettiest, with the buildings, roadways and businesses all coming alive with the colour. As a former British colony and current Commonwealth nation, Barbados still celebrates many traditions held over from the pre-independence days. It is not unusual to find daily afternoon teas being served in restaurants and hotels across the island. Another tradition passed on is the love of a good beer. Although in this climate the choice is ‘beastly cold’ and more often than not it is the local favourite Banks Beer. In your travels, as you wind your way around the island in your hired car, we would strongly encourage the sampling of the local fare. This is another dimension of the celebrations being enjoyed. Local favourites include conkies, cou-cou and flying fish, sea eggs, rice & stew and the ubiquitous ‘pie’ – macaroni and cheese pie to the tourists. Conkies can typically only be gotten at this time of year, and are looked forward to all year long. Bajans are also incredibly proud of our achievements as a country and through standout Barbadians locally and around the globe. During November and leading up to Independence Day, you will definitely learn more about the Caribbean and Barbados’ achievements in business and industry. It is our national motto, after all. There is a saying – ‘you’ll find a Bajan everywhere’ – and this is no more true than when those doing exceptional things are identified, no matter where in the world they are. From the most famous pop/R&B artist in the world to the titans of the cricket field and those in the sciences, putting Barbados on the map is always a worth by-product of their labour. So remember, to plan your trip carefully to allow you the freedom to explore our island and leave here with the feeling that it could also be your own. Turn on the GPS in your hired car and let the adventure begin, to say nothing of the lifelong love affair with Barbados. Happy 49th Anniversary of Independence, Barbados!
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If you’re planning your dream trip to Barbados, then now would be the opportune time to beat the winter rush.  You may have booked your trip some time ago to take advantage of a special fare or just so that you had that taken care of well ahead of time when you booked your vacation. However, have you confirmed your accommodation, rental car, ground activities and sightseeing? For a few reasons this is the best time to finalize your details and activities for your Bajan vacation. Choosing a hired car early allows you better choice of make and model. Typically the rental car companies will take reservations for specific needs and with a limited supply of vehicles, the renters who get in the queue first are the ones who end up with exactly what they wanted.   Sometimes, you can also lock in better rates than with last minute bookings and changes. As the fleet is booked up and the vehicles become more scarce demand can influence the price. By booking your rental early you may be able to take advantage of pre-season rates and specials offered to the early birds. This is especially important around the peak demand times such as Christmas and New Year’s. Similarly, you will find that Barbados offers some of the best dining in the world. Due to its relatively small size, intense tourism focus and availability of fine fresh ingredients our restaurant stock is incredible. This means reservations are almost always required in the high season for fine dining and for those special nights during your holiday, you may need to book now in order to get that special table. Barbados, as a destination, offers many attractions beyond and magnificent sea and sand and sun. The freedom of a rental car to explore the island and visit these attractions at your leisure can be very appealing to most. To really make the most of your trip we would recommend that you pre-plan and pre-book the attractions which mean the most to making your vacation special. Whether it be that catamaran cruise, pirate ship adventure, off-roading island tour or a visit to the world famous Harrison’s Cave. Little known fact: Barbados has the 11th most dense road network in the world. This makes for a great adventure when exploring the countryside in your hire car. It also means that with so much of the island accessible by paved road, a trip around the island in a day is very doable, but for maximum fun and enjoyment a couple of parishes a day will more than hold your attention. You will, though, want to plan your route to the map or by geographical location of places of interest and then let your GPS do the work. We rent GPS units for those who prefer the comfort of knowing exactly where they will end up. For the intrepid, Bajan locals are always willing to assist a lost tourist, and get them back on their way. Usually by way of the local watering hole just so dehydration is never a factor. At the end of it, it really is down to how much you want to fuss with details while in paradise or whether you just want to gas up your rental car and make a beeline for the action. Plan your fun wisely!
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For most of the world it is back to school time and the beginning of the new school year. However, if you’re a lucky traveler it is bargain time. September is traditionally the lull between seasons – summer travel has petered out and the winter season is upcoming – and so hotel rates and other services, such as hired cars and beach rentals will be at the lowest that they will be for the year. Additionally, because there is less demand on the resources, bargains are also possible for those looking for upgrades and choice of attractions. This late into the summer also means that temperatures are also a little lower, which is an added bonus for those looking to beat the higher heat of July/August. Beside the lower nightly rates for hotels, the savvy traveler can usually find a great beachfront suite at many of the island’s exquisite hotels up for grabs. Less tourists and local staycationers also means more flexibility of choice for attractions. The freedom of a rental car is the best way to maximise your stay in Barbados. While we’re not a big island you will find that our scenery and attractions are not concentrated in a couple areas, and taxi fares can add up. The rugged east coast, with its surfing spots and natural Atlantic beauty is in stark contrast to the calm azure waters of the west coast and its glamourous villas. Similarly the north coast is about as unspoilt an area of the island as you can hope to find. The pace of life is sedentary and the enjoyment is really in the solace of wide flat expanses of beautiful land. Contrast that with the south coast which is really the young person’s coast. A drive down Highway 7 on any weekend night lets you know that Barbados is awake and ready to have a good time. During the day some of the island’s most popular beaches and the endless restaurants make this a hive of activity, but the dark of night brings out those looking for everything from great reasonably priced dinners to full on bar and party crowds looking to fete the night away. For the truly intrepid a GPS equipped rental car is the way to go. While Barbados’ very dense road network is very well mapped, there’s a lot to be said for just letting yourself get lost along a winding country lane safe in the knowledge that if a friendly local can’t direct you back to your intended destination, you can rely on the soothing voice of your Garmin. Now you know when you should be coming, the next question will be how soon you can get here. Remember, last minute travel is never a problem at this time of year, and neither will be your rental car waiting for you at Grantley Adams International Airport. See you in Barbados!
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In Barbados, August is synonymous with celebration! The month starts with the celebration of Emancipation Day on the 1st. This public holiday celebrates the emancipation of slaves in 1833, and is usually incorporated into our Crop Over festival. The climax of the festival is celebrated on the first Monday in August with the annual Grand Kadooment Day jump up. Costumed revellers take to the streets from early morning until early into nightfall to celebrate life!  Divided into various bands, participants follow their respective music trucks down the closed roads to the pulsating sounds of local calypso beats. The bar truck is also in attendance fueling the revelry. The route takes the ‘jumpers’ playing mas from the Warrens/Waterford area through the National Stadium environs and down to the Spring Garden Highway for the grand culmination. It is truly and sight to behold and an experience not to be missed! Carrying the ‘vibe’ through the month is that sweetness of having to relax from a hectic month of parties and cultural engagements. This leads to many Bajans taking annual vacation to unwind and enjoy the last month of summer with their families. Staycations, overseas travel and island tours are the order of the day for many a local. For a visitor to the island it is an excellent time to interact with the ordinary Barbadian in a very relaxed setting. Driving around the island definitely reinforces the laid back atmosphere, as the East Coast takes on new life with vacationing families and friends scattered across the beaches and houses of the Bathsheba and Cattlewash areas. With the lower hotel rates of this time of year, you can also find many a Bajan taking the opportunity to staycation in local hotels. Living like a tourist is extended into the enjoyment of local attractions and adventures. As you drive your rental car around the countryside the sight of children playing and adults liming by the various rum shops and beaches tells you that summer life is in full effect. Beaches will also have more activity than normal at this time of year, whether on the South Coast or the West, you will find many a family taking the time to follow their watersport passions or just having a ‘sea bath’ . Remember that the best way to enjoy Barbados is always going to be if you’re fully mobile, and for that a hired car is always going to be your most cost effective option. The true beauty of the island is found in its people and the interactions with the various communities as you circulate the island. While it is generally easy to make your way around the beaten path, include a GPS in your rental package to ensure that you can always find your way back to your home base.  See you in Barbados!     

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