Useful information about holidays in Tobago
Here’s some general information about holidaying in Tobago which we hope you find useful. If you have any specific questions please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 01373 814214 and ask away. For anything that’s not immediately at our fingertips, we’ll do a bit of research and give you a call back once we’ve found the answer.
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$ or TTD) 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$ 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.
If you wish to hire a vehicle 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. Some roads are narrow and winding, and there are very few pavements, so pedestrians often walk on the roads. Indicators are not always used!
Take extra care when driving at night as some roads are unlit. Road signs and hazards may not be easily visible. Please note that driving is on the LEFT, the same as in the UK.
Use hotel or pre-booked taxis and drivers who work with set fares. Private taxis in Trinidad and Tobago are unmetered and unmarked but can be identified by vehicle registration plates beginning with ‘H’. They can take the form of either a private car or ‘maxi taxi’ minibus. Some vehicles with ‘P’ registration plates offer informal taxi services illegally.
If you don’t have a vehicle, use hotel taxis to get around, particularly after dark.
Remember to take your driving licence with you!
Tobago runs on 110v. This is less than the UK which runs on 240 volts. You will need a universal adapter plug for all electrical appliances as plugs and sockets are US flat 2-pin style.
You should also check the label on the appliance in case you also require a voltage converter. Some appliances never need a converter. If the label states ‘INPUT: 100-240V, 50/60 Hz’ the appliance can be used in all countries in the world. This is common for chargers of tablets/laptops, photo cameras, mobile phones, toothbrushes, etc.
How to get to Tobago
We can offer flights to Tobago as part of a package holiday with British Airways as follows:
British Airways from London Gatwick (Scheduled flight)
Tuesday and Friday
Via St Lucia* (year round)
*flying with British Airways means we can easily combine Tobago with St Lucia as a twin-centre holiday!
All hotels will offer necessary assistance. Pharmacies are generally well stocked with all the usual medications. The Scarborough General Hospital is located in Signal Hill and there are a number of health centres across the island.
Emergency health treatment is free to residents and visitors at all public health facilities; private health facilities often require payment upfront. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment. Before choosing to be treated at a private facility, you should check their policies on pre-payment. Private clinics may not accept medical travel insurance as payment for treatment.
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 https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice for information and feel free to talk to our staff for clarification of any information the web page contains.
Most UK 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. Most hotels have in-room phones for local calls. The best option however is to switch off data roaming on your mobile phone prior to landing in Tobago and connect to wi-fi services wherever possible. Calls and messages to the UK can then be made using apps such as WhatsApp or Messenger. For those staying at Blue Waters Inn or Castara Retreats, WhatsApp is also the best way for our agent, Yes Tourism, to keep in touch with you.
Tax & 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.