Antigua and Barbuda are part of one country, but two islands are completely different: super organized and Guide Antigua, wild and wonderfully spartan Barbuda. Two sides of the same coin: there speaks Marzia, that there was in 2011 with his Alex 13 months.
Simple, you start to scour the web for several months before. So, in February 2011 beginning to comb through rates and ultimately can not find a good combination of price / date of Antigua: 1522 Euros total for two adults and an infant (our Alex will have 13 months in fact the date of travel) by 30 December to 11 January, with British Airways.
Antigua and Barbuda with children: travel arrangements
The flight is taken, the holiday does not require much preparation, apart from deciding how to spend the 11 days total we have available. My nomadic soul tells me that there are too many to be spent all in Antigua, so we check some to nearby Barbuda, wildest island in theory … and in practice, see some beautiful!
Antigua and Barbuda with children-Alex
How to reach Barbuda
And ‘one of the main aspects to consider in the choice of how to articulate the days available! Reach Barbuda fact!
The solution practiced by more and to make the trip to Barbuda from Antigua via ferry in the day, however, consider a few things before opting for this solution: if you find the rough sea the journey by ferry can take up to two hours, which means 4 hours of navigation for the round trip within the day. Also the ferry, at least in the winter when it was us, started from Barbuda at 9.00 to return at 15.00 then meant to spend only 4 hours on the island. I think it is a bit ‘a grind and that is just it, though you evaluated.
A good compromise may be to make at least one night on the island. For all information you can contact the site of the ferry; in theory you could write an email to book, basically I’ve written it four and no one ever answered. When I arrived in Antigua I did call from the owner of our apartment to book us places: recommend doing so because the ferry is not very great.
Remember to bring your passport with you because I will ask for the crossing. Consider also that, contrary to when said, when we were racing were made Monday through Friday. I emphasize this because the way home, I realized that the information in the network were anything but reliable.
Also, do not enter the day trip to Barbuda at the end of the holiday, when you have to take the Intercontinental back home: if you read what has happened to us, it may not be a nice experience to risk losing the flight back.
Barbuda however, you can also be reached by air, always starting from Antigua. The company is the SVG Air.
Even here, in theory, you can book on the site, but I do not have it never even made me a price quote. If you do not want to throw you, know that any travel agency organizes trips to Antigua Barbuda on all inclusive, from transport to accommodation to the movement on the island. Prices are not the cheapest though.
Antigua and Barbuda with children: where to sleep
For reasons of cost, but also for convenience with Alex, we decided to book an apartment. Or rather two, one in Antigua and one in Barbuda. I find them sifting on TripAdvisor, and I find it cheaper to book directly with the facilities.
With hindsight, it is a choice that I would recommend to the great: certainly allows to contain costs but also makes it much easier to prepare a child everything he needs.
And now we come to some details / premise that aid, in the near future I hope to organize a nice vacation on these islands.
In Antigua we stayed at LambLion Guest Apartments: Leonard, that is really a very kind person, rent other apartments in the house where he lives, so in case of need can be found there!
Rates, if you ask, can be compresive of car rental. In addition, the seventh night is free!
But bring the car seat for children in the car, because he does not have them. Antigua does not believe are not required for the record, but driving in a way that … I’d use them! In fact I had brought my own.
Leonard does not even have the cot, and I had brought my own. I carried as luggage Alex: the British treated him well, put in special baggage.
The apartment with Alex was perfect: not too fancy, but very clean and spacious. Also the kitchen was equipped with pretty much everything: microwave, toaster .. scolapastaaaa, a nice big fridge.
In the end we always ate lunch at the beach and coming back only in the evening we ended up having dinner there, after putting to bed Alex. Also in the apartment it is very convenient: if your child affected zone (air or sea ..) falls asleep early, you can put it to sleep without being sacrificed all evening in a hotel room.
Finally, the location: it is not the sea, but it is fairly central island and in the day you can get almost anywhere. It ‘a great base to get around, as we did, a different beach a day.
In Barbuda instead, which is much less touristy, for the same price we rented an entire house, living room, patio, two bedrooms and large garden. In the kitchen there was also a washing machine: Needless to say, I took the opportunity!
Unfortunately ours, called Carriage House, I think it is no longer rented, but can be found all here> Barbudaful Guest Houses
Antigua and Barbuda with children: how to navigate on the islands
No rental car is not going anywhere, in any of the two islands. There are taxis, it is true, but it’s worth it to me: as the islands are in the Commonwealth, the prices of rental fall in European standards, guide English aside, the locals drive well enough.
Attention to one thing: those who will lease the car, you will ask for a small amount (at the time of our trip were 20USD) you need to pay some kind of temporary permit to drive in the State of Antigua and Barbuda (permission will be worth it for both islands).
The permit is linked to the Italian one individual, so if you want to drive more people need to pay more permits: the whole is completely legal so do not be surprised when you are asked to pay this duty.
On the island of Barbuda then the only way to get around is the rental car, which I got procure directly from my guest house. I found the charterer and the car waiting for ferries docking: we signed the contract on the fly, and paid cash withdrawn our battered Suzuki. Just see the streets of Barbuda to understand why it was so …
The advice they give you when you give the car are valid then turn them there, and we add two or three of my:
Do not turn in the dark because the island is not lit.
Careful not to get too close to the beaches with the car because the risk of silt is high
Pay attention because the one all the island’s roads are dirt tracks, often ugly
Watch out for the donkeys: they are everywhere and crossing the road without warning so go slowly!
Beware also petrol: there is only one gas station on the road from the village leads to Pink sand beach and closes at 16:00. So when you pass in front of the case, refill the tank!
But there is no need to panic: in up to twenty minutes to reach virtually any part of the island.
Ok, I have told you everything you had to say: I scared? I hope not, because the island is worth, and how if it deserves!
Antigua and Barbuda with children: how much life? (And how you pay?)
As in Europe, unfortunately! We are not in Cuba! A seafood lunch at the beach restaurant go from 20 USD to 35 USD each, the second price is easily reached if the meal is lobster.
A grocery shopping here is also in line with the European one, almost a tad bit more expensive, I guess for the cost of importing virtually everything.
The solar are, but you better bring their own, at least if you want to save: here they cost significantly more.
Spesuccia final just to keep happy: at the airport exit tax of 28 USD, free the baby.
We have brought dollars in cash, and with hindsight I sponsor as the solution, especially as we have lunch a little ‘wherever it happens not everyone has credit cards.
On the island is circulating their currency (the dollar Western Caribbean) and the US dollar and are accepted both without exception: often if you pay in US dollars will give the rest in the same currency.
Maybe just ask politely, so there will remain useless “banana” (as we call the money of these remote locations .. ?) to take home!
And the children how they perform on the islands?
We will devote a chapter to describing what beaches are suitable for children and which are not: other than that, Antigua is top marks for traveling with a child too small.
A ST JOHN, the capital, there are two large supermarkets where you can find everything from diapers to the most famous American brands of baby food. How do you find pasta, olive oil, cheese … all what you need. And a complete pharmacy around.
The capital is also the hub of the streets of Antigua, then you end up spend at least once a day: this will make it very easy to arrange what you need.
I already mentioned the speech car seats: in these islands seem a strange thing, and I was playing with my. And I was right. Now, I think anyone would have done the fine for not having it: their children hold them in their arms and walk in Barbuda, where there is a road and four mules, but in Antigua traffic there is, and how if c ‘ is! And drive in a very sporty … I felt much safer with Alex buckled into his car seat, then you do.
As regards Barbuda, as already said, it is much more wild Antigua, for which lacks all that is essential for children.
The shops that are very basic, and only found in milk powder and diapers, selling to individual units and are very expensive !. So bring everything but everything from Antigua.
If you own emergency you find any homogenized in the pharmacy of the island, but there is little choice and especially fruit do not even know what they are.
Antigua and Barbuda with children: a typical day
Our days always flowed virtually identical. Here’s a quick, at least for Antigua. In Barbuda, things got a bit ‘more adventurous!
After breakfast in our apartment, we loaded backpack fridge of Decathlon brought from home for drinks, fruit and yogurt for my miniature dragon and went to the beach (or beaches) of the day. Here usually we ate lunch if we could (and we did mostly) fish on some restaurant on the beach without ever spend absurd figures and always eating pretty well, sometimes superbly.
After the beach, detour all’Epicurea food and pharmacy, stocked supermarket in St john open 7 days 7, for the expense of the dinner, always made in our apartment (only Barbuda a few evenings we dined out) based on a very Italian pasta dish brought from home: I had brought 5 kg, as if the rest of the world does not sell … what a shame that we do!
Here I open a parenthesis to Alex: he home already ate the pasta we ate, so I took just a pack of little ones Barilla. If your child eats pasta children, take her home because Antigua is not found, there is only the normal one.
Other than that, I took the sauces of Mellin, I used often and was very comfortable when Alex was small. Also this is an article in the rest of the world I have not found. Homogenized fruit, yogurt etc … instead ecc..si were no problems.
Better Antigua or Barbuda?
Difficult to answer.
Antigua Caribbean are super organized for tourists, however, where you can find beautiful beaches and not too busy moving away a bit ‘from the resort. A very beautiful island and very green, with a clear water and very fine sands. An island that can be defined in many ways, but certainly not wild.
Barbuda is all that is not Antigua. Services for tourists are sold (at great cost) dall’organizzata Antigua, where they take you to Barbuda for prepackaged tours usually last two days-one night. Many visit it during the day from Antigua. Very few of us choose how to stop most nights, so much so that several of Antigua, beginning with Leonard, got crazy.
This is because in Barbuda services for tourists are often less essential and must be agreed first: if you want to dine, you have to book the restaurant for lunch because otherwise what closes, there are no tourists to stay open! The Beach bar you cooking the lobster, but you have to tell him at ten in the morning, so go to buy. All so.
Barbuda lacks signs, streets that are not dirt just outside the village, people who ask for information outside the main resort there is none. There are only beautiful beaches, from the crashing waves, some of which do not even have the name on the map. Yet, in his being all that is not Antigua, then especially wild, we liked.
Especially the colors of sand and sea, far exceed those of Antigua.
Just wanting to find a “defect” to both islands, it is that we found the beaches so beautiful, but not memorable: until now the colors seen in Los Roques remain in our opinion unique in the Caribbean. Their architecture, if you can call it, does not really have anything to say: Cuba and its cities are on another planet.
Summing up …
Antigua (and neighboring Barbuda) are definitely a destination Caribbean in the winter very suitable if you want to escape for a few days in our harsh climate. Being careful, you do not gulp your wallet, as if we are staying in the apartment and eaten many meals at home. Accounts in hand, we spent € 3500 for all three all-inclusive, even intercontinental flights and overnight stop in London where we had to pay: hotel, dinner at the restaurant … etc.