So I am here in Barbados for my 2 year anniversary and having a great time. I promise to write you an entire trip report in the next week as the island is beautiful, the food is great (love the flying fish!), and there is so much to do. Today we headed to the east coast of the island where there is more surf and the waves are a little rougher. The one beach we were at, however, has reef close to the coast which makes for these little pools to wade in.
We ate lunch at the restaurant on top of the cliff then made way to the beach. We put down our beach bag in the shade and headed to one of the little pools. After about 20 minutes we decided to grab our bag and take a walk along the beach. We were probably only 35 feet away from our bag and when we returned it was gone – stolen! We asked everyone on the beach if they saw anyone take it and unfortunately no luck. While our eyes were not locked on our bag 100% of the time, we were in the water right in front o
f it and there were a bunch of families watching their bags right nearby. We believe someone quickly came down the side, grabbed the bag, and took off. I am sure we had "tourist" written across our face.
It would not have been the biggest deal if our car keys hadn’t been in the bag. Lesson learned #1 – always keep your keys in your pocket, especially if it does not have a remote door lock attached. Yes we had some cash, a camera, credit cards, and licenses, but not having a car key was pretty limiting. Luckily though, the family owned car rental company was extremely accommodating and brought us another car key, crisis diverted. While we were pretty bummed about the situations we realized quickly it was not the end of the world and we absolutely were not going to let this ruin our vacation. Luckily, we had not taken too many pictures thus far so the sentimental value of the camera was minimal.
The people on the beach and at the nearby restaurant were so nice and helpful. Everyone felt so bad and wished they could do more for us. We got free drinks at the restaurant and a million offers to take us wherever we needed to go. I truly believe this was an isolated innocent from a local as most of the locals we met were so kind and willing to go out of their way for a tourist. Petty non-harmful theft can happen anywhere, so luckily it will not leave us with a sour taste of Barbados – we still love the island!
We’ve traveled to many countries and this was actually our first experience with theft. I must say though, it did leave us with some lessons learned while traveling.
Lessons learned when going to the beach:
- As already mentioned, keep your car keys with you (assuming no remote entry attached to the key chain)
- Keep your bags close to the water so they do not leave your site
- If possible, keep your bag locked in the car
- Keep minimal amount of cash in your bags – most places take credit card anyways!
- Make sure to upload all pictures from the day every evening on to your computer, this way only one days worth of pictures are lost
- File a police report – this will help if you have any insurance you can claim against theft (we have renters insurance)
- Cancel your credit cards immediately!
- Keep your passport in your hotel safe
- Do not keep jewelry in your beach bags, if you are going to take it off then leave it back in the hotel in the safe
- Make copies of your license/passport and keep them in your suitcase always
- most importantly…DO NOT LET IT RUIN YOUR VACATION!