Business opening hours
As a general guide you can expect the following:
- Banks: 8am – 2pm, Monday to Thursday, and 8am – 5pm on Friday.
- Shops: 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday, and 8am – 1pm on Saturday (in some areas many retailers stay open for much longer. Some shops close between 12noon and 1pm).
- Supermarkets: 8am – 8pm Monday – Saturday.
- Pharmacy: 8am – 7pm Mon – Thurs; Friday 8am – sundown; Sat 8pm – 8pm approx; Sun 9am – 12pm.
Casual, light comfortable clothing is appropriate during the day as well as in the evening. No restaurants expect gentlemen to wear jackets in the evenings.
Long trousers and hiking shoes are recommended for hiking.
Beachwear should not be worn in the streets or stores. You should also be aware that it is an offence for anyone, including children, to dress in camouflage clothing. Nude and topless bathing is illegal.
Credit cards and currency
Major credit cards are accepted by most hotels, car rental companies, and shops. The Trinidad & Tobago Dollar (TT$) is the local currency in Tobago and is tied in value to the US dollar. It is advisable to exchange currency at the banks, as the most favourable exchange rates may not be obtained elsewhere. Many establishments will accept payments in US Dollars with change being given in local currency. However please note that smaller establishments, especially in country areas, may only accept TT Dollars.
We suggest you take US$ or £GB and exchange them for local currency. The vast majority of our accommodations offer in room safety deposit boxes for your valuables.
There are ATM machines at all of the banks – 5 in Scarborough and 2 in Crown Point. There is also an ATM in the supermarket in Canaan.
We recommend that you pre-book your car or jeep at the time of booking your holiday. Not only will this guarantee the vehicle but we can often pass on special offers that are not available in resort. Our car hire partners will arrange all the necessary permits and licences as well as insurance and your vehicle will normally be delivered to and collected from, your accommodation.
Whilst most of the main roads are in good condition, the quality can vary in country locations and potholes are commonplace. Please note that driving is on the LEFT.
Remember to take your driving licence with you!
Tobago runs on 110v US 2-pin. Please consult your accommodation fact sheet (which we will send out with your tickets), for details about plugs and sockets etc at your particular hotel or villa.
All hotels will offer necessary assistance as will our agents, Destination Tobago. Pharmacies are generally well stocked with all the usual medications. There is a general hospital with an Accident & Emergency department in Scarborough. There is also a private clinic in the Triangle Building in Scarborough.
We advise you to take sufficient supplies of any medication that you normally take and as always, make sure you have adequate medical insurance before you travel.
Mosquitoes and other pests
While Tobago has very few creepy crawlies and the like, tropical places do produce tropical insects, and mosquitoes can be a nuisance. We suggest you take precautions by using repellent creams and sprays both day and night.
Safety and security
Virtually all the thousands of visitors to Tobago each year have happy and trouble-free holidays. This is a friendly island and visitors are very much welcomed. However, even in these idyllic surroundings you should not become complacent about safety and security. Isolated incidents, although very rare, can occur here as they can in any part of the world and visitors should exercise common sense wherever they travel. If you are staying in a villa, the owners or housekeeper may give you specific security instructions for that property when you arrive. We would advise visitors to use taxis at night whenever possible, if you do not have a rental car. Restaurants will always offer help with calling taxis to and from their premises. We also advise particular caution when visiting isolated beaches and deserted areas at all times of day – please use common sense and do not leave valuables unattended on beaches.
We also advise all our clients travelling anywhere in the world to consult the Foreign Office website for detailed up-to-date travel advice. Visit www.fco.gov.uk for information and feel free to talk to our staff for clarification of any information the web page contains.
Local calls are inexpensive and telephones are readily available. Many European mobile phones will work in Tobago however it is advisable to check with your service provider before travelling to confirm roaming facilities and texting options. Some villas provide cell phones for your use while you are on the island and the bigger hotels have in-room phones.
Tax and tipping
There is 15% VAT on meals at hotels and restaurants. Most also add a 10% service charge, but some do not, so check your bill before you settle. Additional gratuities are at your own discretion.
Lock up as you would at home. Most hotels have safety deposit boxes and we advise you to use them. It is sensible to only carry a minimum amount of cash with you when you are out and we would suggest that you do not take valuables to the beach or leave possessions on view in your hire car. The police emergency number is 999 in Tobago.